Cloning disks in Windows

Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2011 07:52 am
I've been having problems cloning large external usb drives, falling fowl of the limitations of windows archaic copy processes.

Once a month I backup my working 2tb WD elements drive to another 2tb WD elements drive.

Research showed that Windows has caching limits. So I tried Teracopy but it failed with the same error (copying just stops and the drive access lights blink quickly and metronomically - no error message).

The I tried Driveimage XML which has a clone disk function. This is working but it's now at 80% after FOUR DAYS.

Any recommendations for quicker free disk to disk copying utilities for Windows (7 and XP). I also need backup copy files from internal to external drives.

Cheers, HH
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Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2011 08:06 am
I was looking for a similar solution a few days ago and decided on Microsoft Synctoy as a possibility.

Haven't used it yet, though.
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2011 02:19 pm
Hi Oirish

Synctoy looks cool, but it doesn't delete files from the clone that have been removed from the master, so I'm assuming I'd have to del *.* on the clone before attaching it, and then I wonder how long the sync would take (and I need something that works in W7 as well).

Would love to hear what you think of it when you get to it.

Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2011 04:40 pm
As of today, I'm running a W7 machine, too, so re-starting my search. Let me know if you find something that works for you.
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Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2011 09:54 pm
xcopy with the /mir command will make an exact copy.

Alternately you can use a cloning tool like Clonezilla. Just be careful to correctly select your source and destination drives.

Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2011 10:15 pm
Thanks DD, I'm assuming you mean at the command line - just had a look what /MIR does. I think I can skip the M. I'd still have to del *.* to make sure redundant files weren't hanging about on the target drive (no biggie). Does this bypass the datacache issues that plague windows?

I'm guessing part of the problem is using usb2.0 from one external drive to another - I found a web site that says it takes about 8.5 hours to transfer a terabyte of day from one external drive to another.

Will definitely try xcopy next time.
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