Cloning disks as a backup method

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by etcetera, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. etcetera

    etcetera Notebook Evangelist

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    [​IMG]

    This has been my backup solution for years and it has mostly worked well.

    If there is an issue with the operating system like Win update wipes it our or a user error or a virus or something - just boot off the clone drive.. and lose whatever data you did not copy over in the last say 3 weeks since the clone operation. User data should probably be backed up in another way, this is mostly operating system stuff.


    4 SSDs in the machine.. the primary Win 10 boot is designated as Samsung, PM981.
    Which is cloned to Samsung PM951 and can be selected as an alternative boot.
    Which is also cloned to the Samsung 860 EVO SATA M.2 SSD and can be selected as another alternative boot choice. I clone more or less without a schedule, when enough major changes have taken place.

    I worked with just 2 clones (1 primary and 1 clone) for years until an accident a few days ago wiped out the EFI partition on the clone *and* the source, I was down for days.

    I am not sure I will keep the disk #3 in the clone capacity or delegate it to something else, maybe throw Linux on it.

    The 4th drive, the 2.5" 860 SATA is just a data disk.

    Surprisingly, despite labeled as 1TB, they are not equal. Something about being managed by the system, PM981 and PM951 appear to be identical space-wise while 860 EVO M.2 and 860 2.5" unit are a bit less, strange. I am actually surprised a clone to 860 EVO M.2 worked at all.

    Question, what is that last partition in disk0? "Healthy (Primary Partition)"?
     
  2. pete962

    pete962 Notebook Evangelist

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    Most of my laptops are completely independent dual boots (exactly for the reason you experienced) and compressed image of C: drive is saved on usb hard drive (I have few of them left over after upgrading my laptops original HDD's to SSD). I absolutely hate new MS 5 partition set up (my Win 7 laptops have one partition, period ) so let me stop here before I start using foul language. In case my Win 7 fails, I just restore from image. If Win 10 fails. I would install fresh, then restore C:. I use BIOS to choose boot sequence.
    The partition in question is called GPT recovery partition, it has tracking.log ??? and WindowsRE files, probably used for Win recovery in case of error.
     
  3. etcetera

    etcetera Notebook Evangelist

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    I very recently recovered from a serious (user) error, I ran a cloning program such as AOMEI partition Assistant.
    I attempted to clone my primary boot disk into its designated clone disk. The software told me this step will make your computer unbootable, since it's overwriting the EFI partition. I thought the software was in error and got confused, since the target disk was in fact a bootable disk and of course bootable partitions would get overwritten but I was confident the source partitions would be left untouched.
    Well, I was sorely wrong!
    I clicked on and it asked to reboot, when it tried to boot, I got the dreaded blue screen of Your PC needs to be repaired. I struggled with it for several days... Reinstalled a fresh copy of Windows 10, then copied the non-EFI partition from the damaged disk onto the non-EFI partition of the working operating system. Still had to let Windows do the "repair" and it finally booted after 4 days of downtime.

    I still don't know why the AOMEI partition Assistant wiped out the *source* EFI partition during the disk to disk clone process.
     
  4. StormJumper

    StormJumper Notebook Virtuoso

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    If the software was the problem you should contact AOMEI support and ask them about the issue since it's their software. My setup is just one main drive and a drive to backup the image for updates only. And I use Acronis 2017 without problem. Is there a reason why you use so many clones? And remember not all chipset are equal.
     
  5. pete962

    pete962 Notebook Evangelist

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    I don't think it is the software problem. I could be wrong, but I think officialy MS allows 1 EFI partition on a computer and the system may fail to boot, if there are 2 or more. So the software probably followed "official" MS way of doing things. I see OP shows 2 EFI partitions, but if I had to make a wild guess, OP did say his computer originally would not boot up, until he run Win recovery and my guess is, the recovery disabled 2nd EFI and even if it says EFI, in reality it isn't and computer would not be able to boot from it. Please feel free to correct me, if my guess is wrong.
     
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