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This is a discussion on Cloning hard drive within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I cloned my hard drive with a new drive to have as a spare in case of failure of my


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Old 09-29-2019, 08:34 AM   #1
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I cloned my hard drive with a new drive to have as a spare in case of failure
of my current drive. Due to updates and other added data and programs, can
I reclone the same drives again and if so, how many times? Used AOMEI as
the clone program. Have 2 comps (win 10 and 7) and did the same on both.
Your help and info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 09-29-2019, 09:45 AM   #2
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This explains the whole picture: https://www.disk-partition.com/help/...hard-disk.html
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:34 AM   #3
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You need to check our cloning vs imaging. In your case doing images periodically would be better.
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:57 PM   #4
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A Clone is a mirror copy of a drive to another drive. At the time of the clone job. This is great if you have a total drive failure, you can easily replace the HDD with the cloned one and be back in business. The down side is that if it's been awhile since the clone job, there have been several updates and new software downloaded etc that would have to be reinstalled.
An Image file, is a Clone image of the HDD, but the image file is saved on an external drive. Periodically over time, you can do Incremental Backups to this Image (ie) it just backs up the files that have changed since the last Image file was created or backed up.
If you have a HDD failure, or the HDD is good but it has a virus, or cannot boot for whatever reason, you would boot off of Aomei Rescue USB Flash drive, and in the Aomei program, you would choose to Restore an Image, and browse to the Image file you saved to the External drive. If you have been diligent and doing Incremental Backups to the Image, you would restore the most recent version of your OS.
Booting off of the Rescue USB is also great for creating an Image or Clone outside of Windows, so you get all of the files that are in use which are not available when booted into Windows.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:40 AM   #5
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Thank you all (especially Spunk-Funk) for the info. Can I assume that an image file
includes the OS and can I do an image file over the cloned spare hard drive?
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retiree View Post
I cloned my hard drive with a new drive to have as a spare in case of failure
of my current drive. Due to updates and other added data and programs, can
I reclone the same drives again and if so, how many times? Used AOMEI as
the clone program. Have 2 comps (win 10 and 7) and did the same on both.
Your help and info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Why Dont you simply add 1 extra hard drive on both the computer and Activate RAID 1 ( In Simple Way Disk Mirroring )


It is the replication of data to two or more disks. Disk mirroring is a good choice for applications that require high performance and high Availability, such as transactional applications, email and operating systems. Disk mirroring also works with solid state drives so “drive monitoring” may be a better term for contemporary storage systems.

Because both drives are operational, data can be read from them simultaneously, which makes read operations quite fast.


In case one drive fails the other takes over and then later you can fix the other drive and clone it again.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:21 PM   #7
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When you restore an image or Clone to a HDD, during the process it wipes the HDD prior to running the task. So, yes, you can restore an Image file to a previous Cloned drive.
As for RAID 1 (mirror image) this works most of the time but can fail and both drives are inaccessible. If you do RAID, you still need to backup.
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Old 10-01-2019, 06:46 PM   #8
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My method: Two identical SSD + SATA to USB cord (Amazon). When a Cumulative Update is downloaded and installed on SSD (C:) I simply connect the other SSD to SATA - USB and clone current updated C: using Macrium Reflex. Thus I always have a current back up in case I do something stupid messing around with primary C:......As an added bonus I never install my side casing on the Computer Chassis...means I can switch out SSD very quickly if needed, and give innards a good cleaning as needed.
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Old 10-01-2019, 10:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ego View Post
My method: Two identical SSD + SATA to USB cord (Amazon). When a Cumulative Update is downloaded and installed on SSD (C:) I simply connect the other SSD to SATA - USB and clone current updated C: using Macrium Reflex. Thus I always have a current back up in case I do something stupid messing around with primary C:......As an added bonus I never install my side casing on the Computer Chassis...means I can switch out SSD very quickly if needed, and give innards a good cleaning as needed.
Considering a cumulative update always has known issues, which may or may not affect your particular configuration, it would make sense to backup or clone BEFORE installation of said update, so that you can revert back to the state it was in before something got broken by the update. Leaving the case open doesn't seem like a bonus, exposing the inside of your pc to dust and all, just for convenience during the occasional cleaning or swapping of drives. I wouldn't advise anyone following this thread to do the same. If I had your setup, I would create an image of the system drive instead of cloning. That way, I can keep more than one backup image on the external SSD because images are compressed. My backups are about three times smaller in size with compression level left at the default value (medium). This way, I get to keep a backup before cumulative updates or feature updates/upgrades and another backup after the update/upgrade if all goes well. Restoring a backup image, unlike swapping a clone, doesn't involve opening the computer's case and handling its innards. It's a simple reboot from a rescue media or recovery environment and plugging in the external drive containing the backup images. You can easily get away with cleaning (the inside) once a year. That's how often I do it, but that will depend on how dusty it is where you are and how protected from dust your pc is. I'm guessing since you leave the case open, you're in a pretty clean and rodent-free environment.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:00 AM   #10
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My office/smoking room/mud room is carpeted to collect mud/dirt from our four dog's paws. Also in this humid environment (WA.St) we get 'cob' webs which can act like a conduit on my innards. Cloning is done externally only and the non-C: SSD is not cloned to until I make sure the W10 update is ok. I DO NOT USE My Documents in W10....I use external HDD. Thus most cloning takes less than 5min so it is no issue for me. I do suggest all should use whatever they choose, but I HIGHLY SUGGEST keeping all important ANYTHING on an external HDD!!! I have replaced many hard drives....Both mine and others.....but not an SDD....YET!
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
My office/smoking room/mud room is carpeted to collect mud/dirt from our four dog's paws. Also in this humid environment (WA.St) we get 'cob' webs which can act like a conduit on my innards.
May I suggest regularly and often cleaning your room, so you don't have to clone the computer as often.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:15 AM   #12
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Good On YA
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