[SOLVED] clones of clones of clones....

gn842a

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I've never heard of anyone who has tried making an OS clone of a clone, then a clone of that clone, etc., repeating say till one gets to tenth generation clone or even twentieth.

What I'm getting at is, would the 20th generation clone work as well as the original? Is there any information on data loss in such conditions?
 

gn842a

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Assuming all media is defect free and that the cloning process is successful, there is no limit (theoretically) on cloning in this regard.

Why do you ask?
Well jeeze COLgeek almost every replication process is flawed. I would think media are NOT defect free and that there probably is some data loss in the cloning process, just like a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy etc. begins to lose sharpness, even though there is theoretically no limit. I just don't know what the limits are. The electronic components are maybe three or four sigma but there's a whole bunch of them.

Anyhow I was thinking about a situation where one has an OS drive and makes a clone of it and throws it in the closet till some terrible day comes along when the OS dies and the clone is needed. So let's say you fire up the clone and it works. Then you want to make a clone of the clone and put THAT one back in the closet as your reserve.

I think probably degradation of the components is more likely than actual data loss in the cloning process, but I would think that each copy must have some incremental risk.
 
I would think media are NOT defect free and that there probably is some data loss in the cloning process, just like a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy etc. begins to lose sharpness, even though there is theoretically no limit.
If digital information would lose integrity by copying then nothing would work,there would be no computers.
Every time you run something you copy it to ram, that's the same as cloning it's just a copy process,if you would lose integrity you would get errors if it would run at all.
There are several safeguards all around that make sure about the integrity of the data.
 

gn842a

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If digital information would lose integrity by copying then nothing would work,there would be no computers.
Every time you run something you copy it to ram, that's the same as cloning it's just a copy process,if you would lose integrity you would get errors if it would run at all.
There are several safeguards all around that make sure about the integrity of the data.
Well OK that makes sense. thanks.
 

oblivioncth

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Well OK that makes sense. thanks.
In addition to the safeguards that are built into the process, data is often verified after copying either by sector or all at once at the end during a imaging/cloning process.

Like others have said, the entire basis of digital data is that it is heavily resistant to the small variations that are unavoidable in computing (i.e. imperfect voltages, temperature changes, etc.) as 1 vs a 0 is determined using a range of voltages (that implementation dependent) instead of one exact voltage value like in analog computing ; therefore, there is a level of fault tolerance built into the paradigm.
 
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gn842a

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I guess I have had various issues in the back of my mind. One is the degradation of storage media, so that, for example, how will historical archives preserve electronic information for twenty or 100 years. Or more. Countries like Britain have "data" going back a thousand years (magna carta and so on).

More prosaically I have had issues (this was quite some time ago) using Acronis mirror images as a back up. The mirrors did not reinstall so that the OS worked reliably. I don't remember all the details but after 25 or 30 hours at it, I concluded it was above my brain level and that it was enough to shift me to an emphasis on file copying and data preservation and just eat the cost of new OS if that was what was required. (We're always being forced every few years to get a new OS in any case) I was not able to implement a home RAID that was low on effort and reliable. In that particular case I think there had been some mechanical issues on the HDD with the OS and that the mirrors had had that issue baked into them, so even with a new HDD I couldn't get anything to work. And I think that the mechanical issues stemmed from a bad PSU. It was a cheap build.

I have also wondered how well all my music files will copy from system to system etc.

The reason I posted about the operating system though is that it strikes me as one of the most complex data streams, with innumerable opportunities for slight errors to have major consequences, that we use on a routine basis.

thanks
Greg N
 

USAFRet

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Clones or Images, done right, with non-broken hardware, can work great.
I've personally done it dozens of times.

My current backup routine is nightly Images with Macrium Reflect. Works quite well.
Recovered the totality of a dead drive from the backup made the night before.

Long term data storage? I wouldn't trust anything we currently have to 'create, sit on the shelf for 2 decades, and simply open up'.
 
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Henderson

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Anyhow I was thinking about a situation where one has an OS drive and makes a clone of it and throws it in the closet till some terrible day comes along when the OS dies and the clone is needed. So let's say you fire up the clone and it works. Then you want to make a clone of the clone and put THAT one back in the closet as your reserve.
I have actually done that exact thing before. I always have a cloned backup drive in all my systems, so it's just a matter of changing the boot order if something on the main drive goes horribly wrong. One time I just didn't want to spend the time figuring it out and just cloned the cloned backup drive, that was probably a year old or so, back to the original bad drive. And it worked perfectly. The way I backup my changed files nightly, the only thing I was missing were any newly installed programs, which are minimal once I'm setup, so it was a quick and easy process compared to reformatting and reinstalling 100 programs and setting up their preferences for each.

I used Acronis True Image. One thing to always do though is to always boot up the cloned drive after the process finishes just to be certain everything went as planned.
 
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I guess I have had various issues in the back of my mind. One is the degradation of storage media, so that, for example, how will historical archives preserve electronic information for twenty or 100 years. Or more. Countries like Britain have "data" going back a thousand years (magna carta and so on).
This is a very serious concern but it has nothing to do with cloning.
The magna carta is on paper which itself doesn't have an endless shelf live and parts of it are rotted away,on top of that it was copied by humans that have a much higher fault rate than computers.
Important data always gets backed up multiple times and is kept in different places and it gets checked on periodically to make sure it's ok.
 
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