Need software that enables me to create a bootable clone of a W10 system.

TheOldCrab

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Have 500GB internal drive (IHD) and 1G external USB3-attached hard drive (XHD). IHD is GPT, XHD has not been formatted. I need to be able to create a bootable clone on the XHD, +++AND+++ I need to be able to reverse-clone from the XHD (larger) to the IHD (smaller). I'm tired of wading through all the advertising speals trying to determine who supports this and who doesn't. I've looked at MiniTool, Partition-Wizard, AOMEI and ACRONIS, but I just don't have all day to read through all the blitz only to discover that the product literature didn't answer my question or that it doesn't support my requirements. I use SuperDuper on my MACs; looking for a similar product for W10.
 

13thmonkey

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You can't boot from an external drive containing windows, windows simply doesn't like it. The technical problem is that windows customises itself to the hardware it is on, as a one-shot process, by having it on an external it can't be sure that the next device it gets plugged into will be the same as the last one, so they don't allow for it as an option.

So your idea of a bootable machine until the spare hdd arrives is no-go i'm afraid, but this does make it a little easier, use your external to hold backup images, and then restore from them onto the new drive once installed, or if you muck windows up too badly (quite difficult to achieve in fact) then you restore to last week etc.

As to updates, win10 has updates, many of them are patching security holes, if Mac's don't do that then think if that is really a good thing (and yes Mac's do get viruses and malware).
 

Ralston18

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By definition, a clone is identical to the original.

So if you clone a boot drive to another drive then the second drive will likewise be bootable.

EaseUS ToDo Backup (free) and Macrium Reflect both clone drives and have served me well for many years.
 

13thmonkey

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Given you have hinted that you want to go back from ext to an int drive what are you actually trying to achieve? Booting from the ext is generally not a good idea (if even supported) in windows, so it sounds to me like you might be trying to migrate to a new int drive?
 

TheOldCrab

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At any time, the internal drive may fail. If I have a bootable external clone, then I can boot off of it and use the computer while I order a replacement internal drive. As the external drive is a point-in-time clone of the original drive, I know what got saved and what didn't. It also means that when I install the new internal drive, I can clone from external back to internal, reboot, and continue as before on the internal drive.,

Now for the truth. The last Windows system I owned at home was XP. The stealth updates ticked me off and I moved over to Apple's MAC platform where I've run happily for many years. I just now purchased a Dell box with W10 on it, and with me being me, it's awfully easy to screw up Windows to where I don't have a working system any more. Having a bootable clone solves both that problem and provides me a point-in-time backup.

I used Easus ToDo Backup just a little while ago at the suggestion of someone else. Although the clone worked and I can see the same partitions at the same size and location as on the internal drive - and access them from Windows - I can't boot from it. Get stop code INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE. This was with the free version of Easus Backup so I can't ask them for help.
 

13thmonkey

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You can't boot from an external drive containing windows, windows simply doesn't like it. The technical problem is that windows customises itself to the hardware it is on, as a one-shot process, by having it on an external it can't be sure that the next device it gets plugged into will be the same as the last one, so they don't allow for it as an option.

So your idea of a bootable machine until the spare hdd arrives is no-go i'm afraid, but this does make it a little easier, use your external to hold backup images, and then restore from them onto the new drive once installed, or if you muck windows up too badly (quite difficult to achieve in fact) then you restore to last week etc.

As to updates, win10 has updates, many of them are patching security holes, if Mac's don't do that then think if that is really a good thing (and yes Mac's do get viruses and malware).
 

TheOldCrab

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Well, that lends a little clarity to things - I can keep images on the external and then just restore them back when the new drive comes in. Since the external disk is 1TM, I could maintain a couple of historical images as well.

Or, from your answer, it sounds like I could add a 2nd IHD and clone to that to keep my W10 box always bootable.

As for Windows 10 being hard to muck up - you don't know me very well, do you - if there's a way to screw it up, I'll find it. That's why I'm a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy.

I was puzzled by your response about updates, since that's not a question I asked, but I always take an image on my MACs and then apply the patches pretty close to when they come out. W10 autoupdates so that's not an issue unless they release a patch that bricks the machine - which has happened, and which is part of the reason why I'm so anal about restorable images.

Thanks for setting me straight.
 

USAFRet

Splendid
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Just a note...a second bootable internal clone/copy is not always a good thing.

I've seen instances here where the system defaulted to booting from the second drive, without the users knowledge.
Everything looked a little bit "off", and it took us almost 3 days to figure out what happened.

He initially thought virus, or a Windows Update screwed things up.

Nope, it was simply a bad SATA cable.
On startup, the couldn't see the normal drive due to the bad cable. So it dropped down to the next option on the list...the other drive. Stuff wasn't quite right.
I prefer to know that something has failed, rather than continue on in ignorance.

I use Macrium Reflect for imaging backups. Pretty seamless, and recovery of any individual drive might take a whole 20 minutes.
Read here for the specifics: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3383768/backup-situation-home.html
 

13thmonkey

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Terribly sorry about the update comments, involved in too many threads, thought you'd switched from windows to mac because of 'steathly updates' but that must have been someone else.
 

TheOldCrab

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Well, let's just say the stealth updates were the final straw. The fact that I got a Mac PRO G5 for free from work was the primary motivating factor. It seems to me that with Windows, there's always something else you need to know (like Windows not booting from an external drive), and a substantial number of reasons why something that used to work or which works for someone else doesn't work for you. And, with me having been out of Windows in an administrative capacity for almost 10 years, there's a lot of catching up I have to do. With the MACs, the motto used to be "It just works", and, to be honest, that's been my experience. The reason I got a Windows box after all these years is that I was learning how to do development using ASP.NET MVC, and although the MAC has a similar environment with Xcode and Swift, I was more familiar with the Windows environment because that's what we used at work. So my goal was to develop a couple of simple apps, and then cross-train on the MAC.

Thanks to all who responded.
 
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