I wish to have an exact copy of the hard drive

By dbonniwell · 27 replies
May 9, 2010
  1. I have Win vista ultimate
    I would like to make an exact copy of my hard drive programs OS and all that I am using presently on another new hard drive laying around here for back up in case the drive I am using goes out. I understand anything after the point of this type of backup will not be on there.
    IS there a cheap easy way to do this?
    I hope to just pop another HDD in real quick if the one I am using now goes south on me.
    Thanks for your time
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    If the internal drive is Western Digital you can use a free version of Acronis True Image (tho IMHO it's well worth the $50 for the full product)

    You can also use freeware EASUS Disk Copy to create a full disk image copy.
  3. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58

    "Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore

    Available in Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions, Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore is a comprehensive, image-based backup tool that will help you out of a tight spot if you need to recover your entire system."
  4. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    Now I am trying to clone a HDD using Acronis
    I found a 250 gig HDD this is not in use with Win Xp Pro on it. ( I will call this Disk 2)
    I took some files etc off it and then used a HDD Wipe utility to take the contents off the HDD Disk 2. this went fine. it is now clean. I am assuming here that the disk should be clean if you clone to it.
    Disk 2 is now wiped clean. I unplug Disk 2 and plugged in disk 1 and used CCleaner and AFT cleaner to get un-needed stuff off of Disk 1 that has Vista Ultimate to prepare for the clone job. No sense in clone garbage.
    I shut down
    I plug in Disk 2 again and boot to my desk top(disk 1 is also plugged in) I go to use Acronis to make a clone of disk 1. Acronis sees the Disk 1 as the source or disk to be cloned.
    OK now
    It can see Disk 2 and reads ''the disk is empty'' I hope so? But i cannot find anything to check as the destination (I want disk 2 to be the destination)
    The Bios can see disk 2 and so can this Everlast utility (System information) but it lables the disk as generic. I went to My computer and the disk 2 is not indicated but disk 1 is of course.
    How can I get my computer to see disk 2 so I can clone to it.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Acronis will write the backup image as a compressed data file
    > Meaning you only need delete old files so there's enough space for the new backup file
    > Also note: since Acronis uses data compression and other techniques the backup image file will be smaller then the disk you are cloning

    So make Disk 2 to assure it's still formatted
    > Rt click My Computer->Manage->Disk Management
    > Can you see the disk listed there? Is it listed with a FAT or NTFS filesystem (is good)
    > If it has a "raw" or unformatted filesystem, it needs to be reformatted
  6. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    Thanks for your reply. I am now a bit smarter but not much

    Here is what I did
    I figured that the Disk 2 needed to be formated to see it.
    I unplugged the Disk 1 (source) and proceeded to load Vista on to Disk 2 (intended Destination) during the early part of the install I tried to format but for what ever reason it did not work out and completed the whole Vista install on Disk 2.
    With Vista now on disk 2, I also plugged my disk 1 back in and booted with both disks connected and the Disk 1 OS contents came up.
    I proceeded to open Acronis and this time the disk 2 could be seen with 12.xx Gig on the drive (Assuming the recently installed Vista OS)
    Great, I went through the process and it loaded the Disk 1 contents on to disk 2.
    I know it is on disk 2 because it took a bout 45 min to complete and the Gig reading is now 156.xx according to My computer properties.
    The Vista OS settings etc etc installed on disk 2 are not the same as disk 1. It was still the fresh install look to it.
    the contents are in a backup file as Lookinaround stated.
    if or when the time comes, how do I access and process this clone on disk 2's backup file (compressed data file) to a new drive? And where is it?
    My intent here is to have something with all my files and OS settings ready to go if there is a HDD failure (Presently disk 1)
    thanks so much for your help
  7. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    Is there any one out there that can advise me?
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Run Acronis. Look for Create Bootable Rescue Media (i think it may be listed under Tools). Use it to create a bootable CD.

    Once you create the CD
    > Verify you can boot from it (while your USB drive is connected)
    > Your computer should load to an Acronis boot screen letting you select to boot
    ===> Normally or into an Acronis "safe" mode

    You should be able to boot Acronis normally. It should start and allow to recover the disk image on your drive

    btw.. Thanks for pointing out "Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore" as well... i never realized it did image backups also
  9. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    Please forgive my ignorance

    Here is where I am
    Disk 2 has a version of Vista on it now along with the compressed data files (from Disk 1) that are somewhere. Was not able to find

    Is it OK that the (new VistaOS install) and the (compressed data files) from disk 1 are on the same HDD (disk 2)

    Or should the only the image and compressed data files be on the disk 2 HDD?
    thanks for your patients
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    1. You're using Acronis True Image, right?

    2. Is your internal drive a Western Digital drive? so you are using the free Acronis version for WD?

    3. If you're using the free WD version, note you'll probably need to restore back onto a WD drive as well (i would guess.. I use the Acronis pay version.. so can't tell you that fact for sure)

    You should be able to find the compressed backup files
    > When you create the backup doesn't Acronis ask you for the directory where it should create the backup files?
    > Acronis backup files end with extension .tib so you can also search your backup drive for .tib files

  11. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    The version is Acronis True Image Home 2010 (Trial version) I do not see anything that it is for WD drives

    Both Disk 1 and 2 are Seagate 7200 250 gig
    thanks for your kind assistance
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Ooooops. OK. My mistake... I forgot you were using the Acronis 2010 free trial (and NOT the free version for Western Digital drives)

    So no need worry about the drive manufacturer.. but my other answers still apply (i.e. you should have been prompted for backup location. Where did you tell Acronis to store the backup files? It might even have defaulted to Disk 1!

    Advise you search both drives for any .tib files and also look at each Acronis backup prompt screen again as one of them asks you for the backup folder location (and there's a default if you didn't enter one)
  13. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    No harm done, thanks so much for helping me.
    I beleive the files (.tib) are on the disk 2.
    I know that because I went to Properties in My computer and it said 12.xx used space before (the Vista install in attempt to format disk 2).
    After the transfer it now says 156.xx gig

    When I backed up with Acronis (Cloned) I checked disk 1 as source and disk 2 as destination now the ''F'' drive and away it went (nothing exact as far as location). about 30 min later i got a message it was a sucess. I saw the 156.xx and looked for the backup but could not really see them nor understand how even if I can find them How do I use them to get up and running on a new diskl
  14. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    1) You can use Windows to search Disk 2 to find all the .tib files

    2) Run the Acronis Backup Wizard again
    > Click Disk and Partition Backup
    > Then you checked to backup Disk1, yes? Click Next
    > Now, when it prompts for Target Selection, note this same screen prompts you for Backup Location. This is where you tell it where to save the backup .tib files
  15. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    I found the .tib files on the disk 2 in a folder called ''Back up''
    just for the heck of it I tried to open it, but it would not open, so I left it.

    Would be better to put the .tib file on my desktop? This disk 2 is just going to sit on a shelf unless my disk 1 goes to heck. So nothing wil be played with until if or when i need it.

    I put the acronis program I downloaded (set up icon), and the boot files I found in the Acronis tools on this desktop of disk 2.
    I plan to make a wordpad file for the wonderful directions you gave and put that on there.
    However one thing I still do not understand
    If something happens to disk 1 where I have to replace it.
    How do I or what do I do to use the .tib file on disk 2 to get it up and running again from the point at where I was when I did the cloned it? Could you give me a step by step.
    Contents on desk top of disk 2
    .tib file dated 5/11/2010
    Acronis set up icon
    Acronis boot files in a folder
    directions to set up

    thanks again for your help
  16. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    Is there anyone there that can help me with this question of proceedure to use .tib file to get my system up and running?
  17. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    You would need to use acronis to open the file.
  18. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    ok....? then?
  19. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58

  20. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    No. Backup files should always be kept on physically separate media. If Disk1 should crash or get damaged you could lose all the files on Disk 1 (which would defeat the purpose of creating backups if your backups were also on Disk 1)

    You need to Create Bootable Rescue Media. This allows you to boot an "OS deprived" computer (e.g. a computer without Windows installed) into Acronis so you can then perform recovery. Refer back to my post #8 as well as pg 85 in documentation (as hughva indicates)

    Additional notes:
    1. Suggest you make sure you understand how to explore backup files as well as recover them now (i.e. before actually need to do so). Run the Acronis application to play with its different backup/recovery/explore features. (Don’t just use the one-click backup icon on your desktop)
    2. You’re using a free trial version now. You should buy it before you need to rely on it for recovery
  21. rattman169

    rattman169 TS Rookie

    Here are 2 things that will make it simple = Norton Ghost (Ghosts the whole drive to an image that can be saved to DVD's to be restored on new drive, = Drive Image, also makes DVD image made up of whole partition chosen. Both make bootable disc's and it restores to exact duplicate (profiles, file location, documents, users...) makes no difference, a complete duplicate. You make the DVDs (I prefer Drive Image) of the C drive, once DVD's are made install HDD disk 2. Put first DVD in, DVD will boot, choose image to restore (A name with the file will be listed) it will prompt for other DVDs, when completed it will say reboot, eject DVD and start PC, will be same as before, no configurations, nothing to do.
  22. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    I think a fundamental problem early on with what this guy did was he installed Windows to the drive he wants to back up to. You don't do that, cloning does what you want, it makes an exact copy, so your install of Windows is already there.

    I suggest giving up on Acronis since you are having difficulties with it, and just make a bootable disk from the EASEUS Disk Copy free download, I just used this myself about 3 days ago and it worked perfectly.
  23. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    the .tib file is about 64 gig, how many DVD are necessary to get it on there
    I have the boot/rescue files on DVD, but the .tib still on hard disk 2. I also put it on a external backup hard drive I keep in the drawers
  24. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Many many, best to use an external hdd.
  25. dbonniwell

    dbonniwell TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 120

    As I thought.
    So the boot Rescue files on the DVD disk and the .tib files on a USB external HDD, I should be able to get the clone on to the next HDD if there is need to replace HDD in use now. Correct?
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