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Found a slick way to clone a live Windows partion

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Audioaficionado

Sparkomatic Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
As I was migrating over to a new system, I needed to move my main Windows 7 partition to another drive's partition. Just that partition and not the whole drive. Unfortunately the much touted 'Acronis True Image' fell flat on its face.:rolleyes: It states that it can only transfer an entire hard drive to another same sized or larger hard drive. Well I had other OSes on the target drive I didn't want overwritten. So I looked around for a better solution (preferably free). EaseUS\Todo Backup said it could do the supposedly impossible task (even from a live partition). So I set my soon to be destroyed installation on a Matrix RAID0 partition as the source and then set the target partition to a larger partition on another drive I was going to move with my Asus Commando system. So I selected the sector by sector option and initiated the action. 13 minutes later the deed was done. Did it work? I had no way of knowing until after I moved the hard drive over to the case with the Commando.

On the other hard drive the cloned win7 partition was there at the exact size it was when cloned. I went into the computer management / disk management and resized it to take up the entire space available. Used a BCD editor to set up the boot menu. Then I tested it out. It failed to boot into win7. So I put in the win7 install disc and rebooted into the installer, then selected 'repair' option. It indicated there was a problem in the loader the BCD editor set up and I opted to have it repair that error and rebooted. Success! My Windows 7 installation I have set up the way I like is still alive and well. Now I can delete that Matrix RAID0 segment and expand the RAID1 to use the extra space. :thup:
 

Nebulous

Señor Senior, Senior
Joined
Oct 11, 2002
Location
The Empire State
That's awsome! Is there a size limit EaseUS\Todo Backup (free version) will clone over to the target drive? I ask only because I've tried several "Free" cloning software only to find out they have a limit of how much can be cloned.
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Huh. Incidently I had to clone my brother's drive today as I freed up my extra 1Tb drive for him.
Good thing too, it found 3 bad sectors! :shock:

But yeah, this would have been easier than dealing with reflect all day :-/
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Good find Audio!

Question though, what version of Acronis are you using? Is it full featured? I ask this as I have a version (2013?) And I recall being able to image a partition and restore it (to an equally as large or larger drive).
 

RGone

Senior DFI Staff
Joined
Apr 20, 2004
Location
JAX, Mississauna
Just a little bit of...

...bit of additional info where needed by others perhaps.

This is imageware that is free for home use in general. I use similar all the time. You make image saved to a location (not drive to be cloned) and then REstore image to location you wish to clone. I notice that Paragon BU Free was 2012 version and imagine all tested were from that year or close. Most specs apply today and some of those programs are now doing even more in a free version.


This is not an exhaustive list of features but rather a list of what we thought most noteworthy.


Honestly I do n0t clone drives since I want an image to 'keep' so I just image and then put that image to whatever drive location I wish to put it. Well to a drive I intend to make bootable.

One thing I guess I should add here is that I manage ALL my partitions before any installation of windows or any drive that is going to become my "new" O/S drive. I have done quite a bit of so-called or sort of cloning in the last 5 mos. Because Win 7 64 bit will not use any driver to install into/onto AMD raid. Well not on AMD chipset for sure. Trick to using Raid on Win 7 64 bit and my AMD setups was to use the bios feature to allow 4 ports of chipset to be raid and two ports to be IDE. Install Win 7 64 bit to IDE drive with raid enabled on other 4 ports and Win 7 then had minimum raid understanding. Edit registry from IDE to Raid and install raid driver. Image Single drive now in raid mode and then put image onto my raided drives with single drive in raid mode REmoved. Now have AMD raid. So yes a good bit of imaging for the purpose of cloning 'other' drives.

A lot of how cloning and imaging works is dependent on what you know and prepare before beginning to install and image later for any purpose. I 'always' make partitions for Win 7 before installing so the often worriesome 100MB Boot partition is not created. Win 7 to a clean already created partition, does not 'form' that worriesome 100MB partition.

Overtime I have used 'all' of the apps shown in link except ReDo. They all work well with a little Pre-planning. I currently use a For-Pay version of Paragon Drive Manager which images as well as has multiple uses for managing partitions.

RGone...
 
OP
Audioaficionado

Audioaficionado

Sparkomatic Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
Acronis True Image WD Edition was what I first tried to use. Acronis would only copy to an entire disk and would overwrite anything else on that disk. I Googled it and the answers confirmed that on the Acronis faq section.

EaseUS Todo Backup Free 8.2 was the one I used. EaseUS took my target Win7 on a Matrix RAID0 partition and cloned it on a partition with two other partitioned OSes on the drive. All work now. The only hitch was the boot loader couldn't find Win7 and a Win7 installation disc bootup/repair session took care of that. That article you linked was dated Nov 30, 2012 so I'm thinking things might have changed on some of those apps. I'm posting this on my cloned Win7 installation. All my apps are setup just the same as before. Even the windows RAID registry/drivers are still installed as it will BSoD if anything other than RAID is selected in the BIOS.
 
OP
Audioaficionado

Audioaficionado

Sparkomatic Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
I also used Microsoft Sysprep on another clone copy to an SSD after I got it booting correctly so I could move it intact with all my installed applications and customizations. Worked like a champ and I was able to run Win7 on the new system with different motherboard drivers. Normally it would BSoD if you tried to just move the HD over to the new system.

However there is a catch... If you have RAID enabled on that drive, sysprep will break it. I tried to use the normal registry edit that allows you to change a non RAID Windows installation into a RAID enabled one and it failed and rendered the OS unbootable. It works on normal windows installations by changing one number in a Dword entry. Sysprep apparently changes something else also. A good GUI or command prompt bootable registry editor could have put Humpty Dumpty back together again, but I decided to just do a fresh install and call it a day or a week if you add up all the time reinstalling my apps.