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Help with cloning or imaging full hard-drive

by okeebryant / February 28, 2009 10:08 PM PST

I have an older Dell desktop using Windows 2000 with a 20 Gig HD that is partitioned into 4GB (C-drive) and 15GB (D-drive) drives. I have closed my business, but have much needed data and programs on this computer (programs that are needed to access data, but which are no longer supported by the vendor and cannot be reinstalled without vendor assistance.) Problem is, my C drive has slowly become full, only 80 MB free space. The D drive has nearly 8GB free. (All previous data back-ups were accidently destroyed.) Some of the programs will not even open due to lack of free space and I can't do anything with the C-drive to free up any significant space. I would like to create a disk image of these two drives onto an external HD, and perhaps repartition the internal HD, then transfer the cloned information back onto the internal drive.

I was researching the Spotmau software and have been convinced by the negative individual reviews that it is not the program for one with my limited computer knowledge.

Anyone have any suggestions for a program to use, or an alternative that will allow me to access this data and use the programs? Will cloning or imaging my partitioned HD result in the same partitions for C and D if I try to transfer the cloned images back from the external HD, or will they go to the new partitions I have created?

Thanks for any help.

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Cloning and Partitioning...
by John.Wilkinson / February 28, 2009 11:51 PM PST

The top three cloning applications available are Norton Ghost, Norton Save&Restore, and Acronis TrueImage. Save&Restore is perhaps the easiest to use, but I put my faith in Acronis after having Ghost fall short of my expectations in the past and reading 'horror stories' from others. TrueImage will complete the task successfully.

As to partition sizes, a backup can be restored to any partition equal to or greater than the amount of data, in uncompressed form, being stored in the image. Thus, if you cloned the C: drive you could then restore the image to any partition equal to or greater than 8GB - 80MB. It does not resize partitions to match what originally existed, which in your case is a good thing.

I should also note that you can partition your hard drive without wiping it by using a program such as Acronis Disk Director. Using it, you can shrink the D: drive and transfer the space to C:. This process can be done from a bootable Acronis CD instead of Windows 2000 since the limited space would not permit the program's installation. However, it is always recommended that you clone/image a drive before partitioning it, just in case.

Hope this helps,
John


P.S. I saw your post in the other thread as well but elected to remove it so the discussion can continue in a single thread.

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Thanks, John
by okeebryant / March 1, 2009 4:05 AM PST

Can't tell you how much I appreciate your input.

I did not know that you could resize the partitions without wiping out the content. I will explore that right now and try to find Acronis TruImage and Disk Director.

Thanks again, John

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