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HD cloning/ghosting tips?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Mr.D, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Hello

    I've recently been dabbling with upgrading Theatertek to the latest version on my htpc. I was loathe to do this in the past as my machine was nice and stable however I need the multidrive capability (mainy to give my missus the pearl and dean trailer before movies!).

    I've been worried about knackering my stability and thought it was about time to take some precautions. I've just bought acronis trueimage in order to image the HD and restore a previous configuration if I manage to lose stability with my messing about.

    I'm a little unsure of the best way to implement it however.
    I was thinking about buying an external USB2 or firewire drive and cloning to that (but that seems a waste of a useful external drive) , next option down from that is to stick another internal HD in the htpc and clone to that ( although I'd likely unplug it and store it outside the HTPC case for noise and space reasons.

    Alternatively I was wondering if I could just create another partition on the original HD and clone to that? I'm not sure how to go about this with an already formatted and operational hd that I boot from?

    The last option seems like the most practical if not 100% safe ( won't protect me against a terminal bsod situation I imagine)

    Any idea how to accomplish this or any useful observations/ experiences?
     
  2. ukgebe

    ukgebe
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    Unsure bout trueimage, but what I have is an extra partition of about 8gb on my machine on which I have ghost images on. If my XP messes up, or I mess it up, I pop in the ghost bootdisk, boot and just ghost one of the images back, takes about 10 minutes to do, quick and easy. Okay, so I usually need to reinstall some software, but it's way quicker than redoing OS & all apps & all drivers
    Not 100% sure but I think ghost only works with fat/fat32, but maybe newer versions support NTFS as well.
     
  3. rhinoman

    rhinoman
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    Ghost 2003 supports ntfs partitons and can be installed and run from windows but, works better by creating a floppy boot disk as it allows you to fine tune options better.

    Ghost-clone to a seperate internal drive for simplicity and then remove it when not in use (or turn it off in the bios), dont forget to include the boot files which is an option that needs turning on after you have booted from the floppy.

    You can clone from one partition to another but not from a secondary to a primary partition as it overwrites the boot information.

    To create a partion on a working drive you need something like partition magic but definity create a backup before you start as I had this go badly wrong once. With a sperate partition just make image files as oppsed to cloning, its simpler and you can have a heirachy of changes to "roll back" to.
     
  4. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Cool thanks for the tips.
    I'll clone the drive initially to a second HD before messing with repartitioning just to be safe.
     
  5. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    I use Partition Magic & Drive Image (Both Powerquest)

    Partiton Magic allows me to create dual boot system & keep a seperate hidden partiton to store image made with Drive Image on. A copy of that image is also stored on DVD-RAM disc for further safety.

    Find this works for me & never had any problems when been called to revert to the old image. (Just beware of installing an old image if you have changed hardware since that back up)
     
  6. GJC

    GJC
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    I have used Drive Image 7.0 and it copied my Master Hd to the slave no problem - BUT, when I switched them over my PC would not boot.

    I changed the Jumpers, cables, checked Bios, called Tech support twice who recommended using the Recovery disk to boot my PC then change the boot number in a secondary piece of software called ptedit.exe - still didnt work. I run Win XP home Sp1 and they told me its a know problem.

    I had to do a clean install on the new drive which completely defeated the purpose of buying this software.

    I havent used or heard of AcronisTrueImage, should you do as I have try and borrow a redundand HD to see if you can make the slave an 'Active' (bootable) Master.

    Regards,

    GJC

    My system:

    Compaq S3350uk
    P4 2.66ghz
    768mb Ram (pc2700)
    80gb Maxtor ata-133 (7200rpm) - Master with 4gb FAT32 partition
    40gb Maxtor ata-133 (5400rpm) - Slave
    Cdr/w
    Dvd Rom
    64mb Agp Naphics Card - not a typo. (next upgrade
    250w power supply - which will have to be changed when I upgrade my Graphics Card.
     
  7. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I've got an 80Gb drive in my HTPC formatted as a single partition. What I intend to do is clone it to a 120Gb drive I've just ordered. Then I'll ersize the partition on the 120Gb to allow me to add another of suitable size to clone the HD from my serious desktop machine. Then I'll store the 120Gb somewhere safe.

    Then I'll resize the original 80Gb in the htpc and add a couple of extra partitions to allow different boot configurations which should allow me to twaek with impunity and even if I manage to frag the drive I'll have the 120Gb archive to get back to a stable configuration.

    I'll probably have to get something like partition magic as well.
    So far its getting quite pricey but its only when you have to fix a problem on your HTPC you realise how much time and effort you've spent tweakign it and I'd be gutted if I ruined the superb stability the machine now has.

    (also now have great fun tweaking it remotely on a cheap laptop I bought running Radmin: means I don't need to power up the projector any time I want to mess with the htpc)
     
  8. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
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    I have used HyperOS on all my PCs for some time with great success.
    In essence, you create multiple partitions and have a different OS on each one. There is no boot option, when you power-up, you return to the last OS you were using. You can switch to any other OS from there. Backups of any OS can be made onto any partition.

    The great beauty of this product in setting up a HTPC is you can try new hardware/software on a different OS partition than your current one, and if you screw it up, go back to another one and delete / restore in 5 mins flat. You can also use one as a non-HTPC eg games / surfing, without worrying about messing the stability. My current setup is
    C: XP Pro 15GB Fat32
    D: not used except by HyperOS 100MB Fat16
    E: Win 98 SE 3 GB Fat32
    F: Win XP Pro 6 GB Fat32
    G: Win XP Pro 6 GB Fat32
    H: Win 2K Server 6 GB
    I: Data 56GB NTFS
    J: AV Drive 120GB (separate NTFS drive)
    K: DVD ROM
    L: DVD Writer
    M: Daemon Tools Virtual DVD Drive
    N: Nero Virtual CD Drive

    Details from http://www.hyperos2002.com/
     
  9. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Success!

    Used Trueimage to image my C drive in my HTPC to a 40Gb partition ( one of three) on a 120Gb drive I installed as the primary slave.

    I use one partition to restore the C drive image to. I use another to save the drive image files themselves to and I have another 40Gb partition going spare that I'll use for imaging my main desktop PC.

    Good things. I can now boot from the primary slave if necessary just by selecting it in the bios settings. It doesn't take long to image the drive or restore them. I can do it all in windows and don't have to boot from a recovery disk.

    Bad things: shrinking the partition during restoration ie 40Gb C drive cloned to a 10Gb partition ( only 10Gbs of data in the C drive rest is empty space) stops the disk being bootable. restoring it at the original partition size seems to be the cure but tis a little inflexible. I'll probably have a bash with partition magic.

    And its a good job I did it too! I just upgraded theatertek to 1.5.46 and the second disk I put in ( U571 region2) plays the copyright warning then returns to the theatertek splash screen! The previous version setup played it fine! It also takes way longer to get round to finally playing the dvd.

    Now I feel I can tweak with impunity and not sacrifice stability.
     
  10. Mr THX

    Mr THX
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    Hi I'm wanting to do the drive cloning myself, but with my configuration of drives don't know if this possible. (Thats where you lot come in):D

    I'm currently running with 2 x Maxtor 80Gb 150SATA 7200 8Mb hard drives in Raid 0, (Nice quick 160GB) thing is I have a spare 60GB IDE IBM Deskstar 7200 that I wanted to use as a back up / data drive. Can I Use the Serial ATA drives to boot up the machine etc etc and still run the IBM on an IDE channel ??

    :suicide:
     
  11. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I would have thought you are OK running the IBM on a spare IDE channel. Whether or not you can clone the boot disk/partition to it is a different matter might be a size limit or some complications with the raid array. I suspect you'll be ok creating a disk image as these are smaller than the size of the actual disk you are cloning . You might be able to restore this image back to the original Raid array by booting to a recovery disk depending on the type of cloning package you use.
     

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