Question Cloning between different drives (theoretical)

Mac029

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Feb 26, 2019
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Leaving aside how Imaging beats Cloning, I want to understand how software works. I use an SSD (2.5" using SATA cable) for my OS and have data on hard drive (HDD). Considering getting M.2 but I'm an oddball and switch drives using a caddy to boot either W10 or Linux. I use Macrium Reflect free ver but generically, does cloning write files differently to a HDD vs SSD vs M.2? (Yes I know M.2 = and SSD). In other words, if you cloned from one type of drive to another would any software not succeed in making a different type of drive bootable? Due to how you write files to different types of drives? Numerous posts here and elsewhere would seem to refute this. Are there extra steps you must take when, for ex., clone from HDD to M.2?

Also, I've read that the cloning 'process' itself puts your data in an unstable state, apparently meaning that to Clone is not as reliable as to Image. I presume this view means your clone data = unstable, vs. source, during the write process.

Finally, AIUI when you clone - then leaving your single cloned OS drive - you need to check your boot order but otherwise it's pretty straightforward.


Thanks.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Cloning and Imaging are for two different purposes.

Cloning is for swapping the software to a new drive, and using it right now.
Imaging is generally for saving that Image of the drive or software for later use.

SATA III HDD -> SATA III SSD...no problem.
The OS does not care.

SATA III -> NVMe...you may have to inject the relevant drivers. Depending on your OS.


I've done many, many SATA III HDD -> SATA III SSD clones.
And the Imaging in Macrium is the basis for my enire backup routine. Those Images get written to a Linux based NAS box, living on HDDs. Directly recoveraable out to an SSD.

Also....the term "Clone" is Macrium and other tools is not an exact "clone".
A true clone would be a bit for bit copy. These are not quite that. Unless you invoke the Forensic Clone function in Macrium
 

Mac029

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I'll research the NVMe drivers situation. I also presume that theory re: unstable data is a lark. Not sure why some 'clone' operations would differ but one would hope it refers only to unused space vs. files and programs that need to work.

Thanks as always USAFRet.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I'll research the NVMe drivers situation. I also presume that theory re: unstable data is a lark. Not sure why some 'clone' operations would differ but one would hope it refers only to unused space vs. files and programs that need to work.

Thanks as always USAFRet.
Right.
Things that are unneeded or transient.

Pagefile and hibernation, for instance. That gets redone at the next power on/off cycle anyway, so there is zero need to clone that.

In addition to actual spaces involved.

Given:
300GB consumed space.
1TB source drive.
500GB target drive.

Macrium will happily do this. It only considers the actual used space.
CloneZilla, OTOH, will not. It wants to do a full "clone" of the source to the target. The target, in this case, is not large enough to contain the entire 1TB, and the process fails.
 

Mac029

Commendable
Feb 26, 2019
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Absolutely. Familiar w/CloneZilla. And the larger to smaller... Keep toying w/the idea of a NAS as yet another backup safeguard. Wish I had time, seen some interesting software. But so many things on the burner now and for summer I feel like that Calvin cartoon where he says 'I'm so far behind I will never die'.
 

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