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[OP]
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Mar 13, 2004
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Ontario

Clone HDD Software

So my Mechanic has an older laptop running Win7 where he has a lot of specialized software on. I brought it up that he should clone the drive just in case it ever dies on him. So he was asking what the best free (unless there is a valid reason to pay) for closing software.
The idea is to have a spare hdd with the clone and when it dies he pops in the other HDD and hes back up ad running.

Thanks
21 replies
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
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If that's his livelyhood, you better advise him to get another laptop of the same model in case something beyond HD dies and don't connect that thing to the internet.
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Jun 14, 2008
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+1 Macrium reflect
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Oct 12, 2007
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I've been using Acronis. Is Macrium Reflect better?
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Apr 22, 2013
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CaptSmethwick wrote: I've been using Acronis. Is Macrium Reflect better?
General consensus by those who used both is Macrium Reflect is better and a giant bonus in its favour is its also free(you can buy a full version but most only need the free one). If Acronis hasn't failed you yet and you've already paid for it, I'd say get the most out of it. If it fails, stop using it because Acronis support hasn't been great.
[OP]
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It does not go on the internet at all.

But yea I know I mentioned that to him too. Hes using some older dell thats falling apart slowly lol. But it because he needs some of the serial ports on it sometimes. I mentioned usb to serial but that can be a hit and miss. Might have to move him to a newer laptop at some point & try

Xtrema wrote: If that's his livelyhood, you better advise him to get another laptop of the same model in case something beyond HD dies and don't connect that thing to the internet.
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Jul 7, 2017
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Make not just one copy but two (or more). Try updating one of the drives to Win 10 (has the advantage that it will boot up, eventually, on different computers even with different-brand CPUs) so that if his old computer ever dies, the s/w can sit run.
sickcars wrote: But yea I know I mentioned that to him too. Hes using some older dell thats falling apart slowly lol. But it because he needs some of the serial ports on it sometimes. I mentioned usb to serial but that can be a hit and miss. Might have to move him to a newer laptop at some point & try
His computer is still using RS-232??? More impressive if it is 25 pin!
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Sep 13, 2011
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CaptSmethwick wrote: I've been using Acronis. Is Macrium Reflect better?
No, but Macrium has a free version.
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elgros4 wrote: No, but Macrium has a free version.
Ah, I got my copies of Acronis with my SSDs so mine were free-ish...
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Jan 21, 2018
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CaptSmethwick wrote: I've been using Acronis. Is Macrium Reflect better?
I used Acronis for several years, but ended up switching to Macrium Reflect. Acronis got unreliable, and I couldn't trust it with my backups any more after a couple of failures. The Macrium UI is not the most straightforward, but it works reliably.

There are 2 main shortcomings with the free version of Macrium Reflect:

1. Incremental backup disabled - only differential allowed.

2. Backup encryption disabled.

There are other free backup apps that do both, but I've tried them all and they have too many flaws: too slow, poor backup management, or the worst fault - unreliable.

But for the OP's purpose, any disk/partition copier will do, including the free version of Paragon currently available.
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Scote64 wrote: I used Acronis for several years, but ended up switching to Macrium Reflect. Acronis got unreliable, and I couldn't trust it with my backups any more after a couple of failures. The Macrium UI is not the most straightforward, but it works reliably.

There are 2 main shortcomings with the free version of Macrium Reflect:

1. Incremental backup disabled - only differential allowed.

2. Backup encryption disabled.

There are other free backup apps that do both, but I've tried them all and they have too many flaws: too slow, poor backup management, or the worst fault - unreliable.

But for the OP's purpose, any disk/partition copier will do, including the free version of Paragon currently available.
Wich version of acronis where you using ? I never had any issue with the linux boot in 15 years.
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Jan 19, 2006
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I have had great success cloning drives with this unit. ineo USB 3.1 Gen1 to SATA 2.5" or 3.5 inch SSD/HDD Docking Station (Clone Docking) Yes, this link is to Amazon.COM because it totals out to much less than if purchased at .CA

Source disk must be smaller or equal in capacity to the target disk, two button pushes, walk away for 10 to 30 minutes and the target is a perfect clone that will boot in the same PC that you took the source disk out of.

I am wondering if the new target disk could be made to work in a DIFFERENT PC in the event you had a MB failure or lost of the original PC.

Great unit.
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elgros4 wrote: Wich version of acronis where you using ? I never had any issue with the linux boot in 15 years.
Early versions were fine, but when it got up to version 2014 the Windows version started getting unreliable.
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Macrium Reflect has worked perfectly for me many times.
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While everyone has been talking about cloning, what we haven't heard is whether the OP's friend is using a computer that may have an IDE drive (my last 3.5" IDE HDD died a few weeks ago - still have a few 2.5" ones floating around). Will still be able to clone I imagine, but to an SATA drive where, even with a SATA adapter, the S/W may not work so well in the old computer (or, so well in a new _desktop_ computer even with added RS-232 ports).
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[OP]
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Mar 13, 2004
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Yes its likely IDE. After talking to them I suggested to pick up a new laptop running Win10 and we can try to get it working with all his programs this way we can take out time to get it running while the old one still works. Instead of panicking because the old laptop is broken.
thriftshopper wrote: While everyone has been talking about cloning, what we haven't heard is whether the OP's friend is using a computer that may have an IDE drive (my last 3.5" IDE HDD died a few weeks ago - still have a few 2.5" ones floating around). Will still be able to clone I imagine, but to an SATA drive where, even with a SATA adapter, the S/W may not work so well in the old computer (or, so well in a new _desktop_ computer even with added RS-232 ports).

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