Question Cloning Boot Drive To Another SSD = Best Way To Back Up Windows10 + Info......Right ?

worstalentscout

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hi

i've never backed up my PC's OS before - people say make a copy of Windows on a thumb drive as back up but isn't a SSD more reliable ? :??:

my boot drive is a SSD (250GB) with another SSD (500GB) and External HDD as storage + backup.............the boot drive has my only copy of Windows10 Pro (the OS from a PC shop that built my PC)............i plan to clone the boot drive to a 3rd SSD - is that okay ? :??:

the boot drive SSD has Malwarebytes and it quarantined 31 items on the 1st day i had the new PC so they might be Windows10 files - should i ''release'' the 31 items from quarantine before i clone to the new SSD............ or just leave it since the PC is running okay............?:??:

i also uninstalled some Windows10 apps and disabled the Hibernate File - if i clone to the new SSD - the apps and Hibernate File won't be there, right ?:??:

lastly, can i later on ''remove'' Windows10 from the 3rd SSD but retain other info on that SSD ? :??:
 

USAFRet

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For a "backup", you don't want a Clone.
Rather...you want an Image.

A clone is for swapping data from one drive to another, for use right now.
And Image is used for storing a copy of that data for possible later use.

Macrium will do either.
An Image results in the entire contents encapsulated in a single file. The rest of the target drive can be used for whatever.
A clone consumes the whole drive.

Images are the basis for my entire backup routine.
Full/Incremental/Differential.
 
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hi

i've never backed up my PC's OS before - people say make a copy of Windows on a thumb drive as back up but isn't a SSD more reliable ? :??:

my boot drive is a SSD (250GB) with another SSD (500GB) and External HDD as storage + backup.............the boot drive has my only copy of Windows10 Pro (the OS from a PC shop that built my PC)............i plan to clone the boot drive to a 3rd SSD - is that okay ? :??:

the boot drive SSD has Malwarebytes and it quarantined 31 items on the 1st day i had the new PC so they might be Windows10 files - should i ''release'' the 31 items from quarantine before i clone to the new SSD............ or just leave it since the PC is running okay............?:??:

i also uninstalled some Windows10 apps and disabled the Hibernate File - if i clone to the new SSD - the apps and Hibernate File won't be there, right ?:??:

lastly, can i later on ''remove'' Windows10 from the 3rd SSD but retain other info on that SSD ? :??:
There is no one size fits all backup method.
Some folks use an image others a clone others the cloud.
It's whatever fits your needs.

I use a clone.
I have 2 spare disk which I alternate.
Every 15 days I make a clone.
That fits my needs.

The nice thing about a clone is if the orig disk decides to go poof I can remove it and install the cloned disk and be back up and running very quickly.
With the possible loss of 14 days of data.
 

worstalentscout

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For a "backup", you don't want a Clone.
Rather...you want an Image.

A clone is for swapping data from one drive to another, for use right now.
And Image is used for storing a copy of that data for possible later use.

Macrium will do either.
An Image results in the entire contents encapsulated in a single file. The rest of the target drive can be used for whatever.
A clone consumes the whole drive.

Images are the basis for my entire backup routine.
Full/Incremental/Differential.

so the Image is to be stored on a 2nd SSD and it will contain all info and Windows10 ?

so if the SSD boot drive were to malfunction.........i can just put the 2nd SSD into the PC and boot it up ?
 

Lafong

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so the Image is to be stored on a 2nd SSD and it will contain all info and Windows10 ?

so if the SSD boot drive were to malfunction.........i can just put the 2nd SSD into the PC and boot it up ?
The image file will contain whatever is on the partitions YOU CHOOSE to include in the image file. That might include Windows. It might include pictures of your cat. Whatever is on partitions you choose.

NO....you wouldn't just put the SSD in an boot it up. An image file is not bootable. The drive you saved it on is NOT a "clone".

The image file must be formally "restored" to a drive. That drive is then bootable and is effectively a replica of the original drive...or at least a replica of those partitions.

If you don't include the correct partitions in your image file, the restored drive may not be bootable.
 

worstalentscout

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There is no one size fits all backup method.
Some folks use an image others a clone others the cloud.
It's whatever fits your needs.

I use a clone.
I have 2 spare disk which I alternate.
Every 15 days I make a clone.
That fits my needs.

The nice thing about a clone is if the orig disk decides to go poof I can remove it and install the cloned disk and be back up and running very quickly.
With the possible loss of 14 days of data.

many thanks for answering................

so you're saying you have a total of 3 SSDs and you use the ''original'' SSD to clone to the other 2 every 15 days ?

i was thinking of doing that with 2 SSDs.............but someone told me if i swap the SSDs to run the PC, it'll corrupt the boot partition............

so i should try out the clone SSD and if it works then i use back the ''original'' SSD.............but ''update'' the clone SSD by cloning it every 15 days ?
 

worstalentscout

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The image file will contain whatever is on the partitions YOU CHOOSE to include in the image file. That might include Windows. It might include pictures of your cat. Whatever is on partitions you choose.

NO....you wouldn't just put the SSD in an boot it up. An image file is not bootable. The drive you saved it on is NOT a "clone".

The image file must be formally "restored" to a drive. That drive is then bootable and is effectively a replica of the original drive...or at least a replica of those partitions.

If you don't include the correct partitions in your image file, the restored drive may not be bootable.

i see.................many thanks indeed................i'm very very poor at computers and i think the ''image'' method is beyond me..............

i think i'll have to go for a spare clone approach.................
 

Lafong

Respectable
i see.................many thanks indeed................i'm very very poor at computers and i think the ''image'' method is beyond me..............

i think i'll have to go for a spare clone approach.................
Making an image with Macrium takes about 7 mouse clicks using the defaults. Restoration is a bit more complicated.

Cloning is OK as long as you understand its limitations and can confirm the clone is in fact bootable.

I'd probably use neither cloning nor imaging to back up personal data...but that may not be relevant to you.
 
many thanks for answering................

so you're saying you have a total of 3 SSDs and you use the ''original'' SSD to clone to the other 2 every 15 days ?

i was thinking of doing that with 2 SSDs.............but someone told me if i swap the SSDs to run the PC, it'll corrupt the boot partition............

so i should try out the clone SSD and if it works then i use back the ''original'' SSD.............but ''update'' the clone SSD by cloning it every 15 days ?
I use a single ssd to run the pc.
A clone is a exact copy of that ssd.
As an exact copy it is bootable.

Remove the orig ssd and install the cloned ssd.
It should boot and bring you to the time you made the clone.

With a 2 disk system you have double the work.
 
so i should try out the clone SSD and if it works then i use back the ''original'' SSD.............but ''update'' the clone SSD by cloning it every 15 days ?
Cloning entire contents to SSD every 15 days?
Wouldn't suggest doing that.
SSDs have limited write cycles. You want to minimize writes to SSD.

Clone to HDD instead.
When SSD fails, get a new SSD and restore clone from HDD to SSD.
 
I don't really bother with cloning or imaging, since if I'm going to restore the OS, I'd rather have it in a more or less pristine state. Sometimes I might do something that has consequences months later and I'd long forgotten what I did.

So I just back up what's in my User folder, the pluck out whatever I really want back into the fresh install. It's a little more work, but I know I have a clean(er) system.
 
As this is data only to be used in case of crisis, I'd confirm the process works. Restoring from an image or clone which contains the OS, apps, and data, is much easier, if that's what the individual needs. (figure an hour per 150 GB if using a slow external drive as source)

As an OS can be installed in 4 minutes or less these days, and any application reinstalled in potentially even less time, it's likely more important to make sure your actual 'data' is safe, i.e., at least 2 (3 is better) copies, one (or more!)of which is not installed or even connected to the computer in question...(backups that are connected to the computer are of little value if they fall victim to ransomware!)any many would prefer not in the same room, or even building, to guard against 'building burned up' scenarios.)

I had a laptop with multiboot (Linux and WIndows 10/multiple mixed partitions (GRUB, EXT4, NTFS, etc.) of which I created clones via Clonezilla to external USB hard drives, then restored from, just to make sure all worked...!

Later, realizing I can reinstall WIndows in 4 minutes anyway, I concentrated in making sure I had at least two or three backups of any files/photos of importance. If it's really important, it goes to at least 2 cloud locations, and 2 -3 separate drives!

I'd advise anyone wanting a complete image stored to take a nice look at Rescuezilla....; it's like a nice, easy to use GUI-implemented version of Clonezilla, but, w/ images only.

 

USAFRet

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(figure an hour per 150 GB if using a slow external drive as source)
Actually, that would be quite slow.

In my own experience, a 600GB Macrium image coming out of my NAS (HDD), across a standard gigabit LAN...90 minutes to restore to a replacement SATA SSD.

And yes....whatever procedure is done for the backup is only 1/2 the solution.
You actually have to know how to recover. Test test test.
 

worstalentscout

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On a secondary note----what things was Malwarebytes finding and quarantining? (That is concerning!)
i think must be certain files from Win10 since i scanned with Malwarebytes on the PC's 1st day of operation.............

and over 6 months later today.............no new additional items were quarantined..............still only the original 31 items quarantined on the 1st day
 

worstalentscout

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Actually, that would be quite slow.

In my own experience, a 600GB Macrium image coming out of my NAS (HDD), across a standard gigabit LAN...90 minutes to restore to a replacement SATA SSD.

And yes....whatever procedure is done for the backup is only 1/2 the solution.
You actually have to know how to recover. Test test test.

many thanks for your answer..............due to my extremely limited PC skills - i'll never be able to restore anything.............so i thought of cloning............

but i'll only be cloning the boot drive which has only Win10 and anti-virus.............no pics, vids or anything on it............
 

worstalentscout

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Making an image with Macrium takes about 7 mouse clicks using the defaults. Restoration is a bit more complicated.

Cloning is OK as long as you understand its limitations and can confirm the clone is in fact bootable.

I'd probably use neither cloning nor imaging to back up personal data...but that may not be relevant to you.

i've very limited PC skills so restoration is beyond me.................i've did cloning before so it's okay..............

also, i'm cloning my boot drive (only has Win10 + anti-virus) ...............i have an external HDD + SSD for my other info
 

worstalentscout

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Cloning entire contents to SSD every 15 days?
Wouldn't suggest doing that.
SSDs have limited write cycles. You want to minimize writes to SSD.

Clone to HDD instead.
When SSD fails, get a new SSD and restore clone from HDD to SSD.

i'm only cloning the boot drive so the contents are only Win10 and anti-virus.............
 

worstalentscout

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I don't really bother with cloning or imaging, since if I'm going to restore the OS, I'd rather have it in a more or less pristine state. Sometimes I might do something that has consequences months later and I'd long forgotten what I did.

So I just back up what's in my User folder, the pluck out whatever I really want back into the fresh install. It's a little more work, but I know I have a clean(er) system.

i understand but i don't have a copy of the OS which came from the PC shop that fixed up my PC................also, i've never installed OS to computer before so cloning is the easiest way for me.............
 

worstalentscout

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As this is data only to be used in case of crisis, I'd confirm the process works. Restoring from an image or clone which contains the OS, apps, and data, is much easier, if that's what the individual needs. (figure an hour per 150 GB if using a slow external drive as source)

As an OS can be installed in 4 minutes or less these days, and any application reinstalled in potentially even less time, it's likely more important to make sure your actual 'data' is safe, i.e., at least 2 (3 is better) copies, one (or more!)of which is not installed or even connected to the computer in question...(backups that are connected to the computer are of little value if they fall victim to ransomware!)any many would prefer not in the same room, or even building, to guard against 'building burned up' scenarios.)

I had a laptop with multiboot (Linux and WIndows 10/multiple mixed partitions (GRUB, EXT4, NTFS, etc.) of which I created clones via Clonezilla to external USB hard drives, then restored from, just to make sure all worked...!

Later, realizing I can reinstall WIndows in 4 minutes anyway, I concentrated in making sure I had at least two or three backups of any files/photos of importance. If it's really important, it goes to at least 2 cloud locations, and 2 -3 separate drives!

I'd advise anyone wanting a complete image stored to take a nice look at Rescuezilla....; it's like a nice, easy to use GUI-implemented version of Clonezilla, but, w/ images only.


many thanks for your detailed answer...................wish i had your PC skills............i don't even have a copy of Win10 since the OS came from the shop that fixed up my PC..............
 

worstalentscout

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I use a single ssd to run the pc.
A clone is a exact copy of that ssd.
As an exact copy it is bootable.

Remove the orig ssd and install the cloned ssd.
It should boot and bring you to the time you made the clone.

With a 2 disk system you have double the work.

many thanks for answering...............but what do you mean by ''With a 2 disk system you have double the work'' ?

you have 3 SSDs containing your OS - so how do you do it ?

should i keep using the ''original'' SSD to run the PC................while ''updating'' the clone SSD once every 15 days like you do ?
 
many thanks for answering...............but what do you mean by ''With a 2 disk system you have double the work'' ?
If you had your OS and apps on one disk and YOUR stuff on a second disk you would need to clone each disk to save everything.
Double the work.

you have 3 SSDs containing your OS - so how do you do it ?
Only one disk is internal and active the other 2 are external and alternated and connected one at a time only when I run the clone.

should i keep using the ''original'' SSD to run the PC................while ''updating'' the clone SSD once every 15 days like you do ?
Yes.
 

worstalentscout

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i just cloned my boot drive and am testing the clone right now..............both are the same model but why the clone is quicker ?..........perhaps the flash memory on the original SSD slow down as it's being used more ?

also my original SSD has 43 unused reserve blocks..............but the clone only has 37 blocks...........so cost-cutting by Crucial ?

so Chrome's Session Buddy is not updated on the clone as i've updated Session Buddy on my original but the changes don't show on the clone ?
 

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