Difference between cloning and imaging.

January 29, 2011 at 00:56:59
Specs: Windows XP Pro Corporate Edition, P4/1.6 3Gb
Are cloning and imaging the same thing? As part of my backup I clone partitions to a second drive which is then bootable and can replace the original boot drive if necessary. Will imaging do the same thing?

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#1
January 29, 2011 at 07:16:09
cloning and imaging are the same thing.

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#2
January 29, 2011 at 11:20:14
Cloning copies 1 file at a time to a new destination.
Imaging copies all files into one large file . Its then expanded to a destination at a later time.

Basically the same but an image can be used repeatedly on different machines.


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#3
January 29, 2011 at 12:16:47
Always best to define terms according to industry standards. When you define them it can lead to confusion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_c...

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#4
January 29, 2011 at 13:42:00
Sorry, I'm now just as confused as I was before starting this thread. The procedure I use at the moment is to clone the source disk to the destination disk which then becomes bootable. Files on the destination disk can be accessed without problem when the system is booted from the source disk. If the current source disk fails the destination disk can be plugged up as the boot disk and the system is back in action very quickly.

It seems to me that imaging is different in that the files are written to one file on the destination disk and have to be recovered in order to create a bootable disk (?) or can the destination disk containing the image be simply plugged up as the boot disk and used as such without the need to do anything else to it?

Thanks


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#5
January 29, 2011 at 14:18:12
The confusion isn't due to terms but clarification of process.

Imaging and cloning mean the same thing but there are different processes. In an attempt to bypass vocabulary I am going to use the word mirror instead.

For example concerning processes:

You can mirror a partition to a file or another partition
You can mirror a drive to a file or another drive

There is also the aspect you refer to as [recovering] restoring a file. This only applies when using a image as a backup.

The difference between what you are doing is simple. You are mirroring to a local drive. If the drive was not local you would mirror to a file and then transport/restore that file on a different system and different disk.

Make sense?

Be aware you will have data loss if the main drive fails since your disk mirror won't capture data that has changed since you last did your mirror.

One of the reasons I used the word mirroring is that is what you are doing...manually. Suggest you consider a hardware solution instead. That hardware solution is called Raid [requires a raid controller] and the level of raid would be raid1 [mirroring]. It is far more responsive [takes over immediately upon main drive failure], requires no user response. It is even better when a hot spare is also configured so you automatically get back to having a mirrored drive array again with no user intervention.

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#6
January 29, 2011 at 14:52:52
Simply speaking I would say that essentially the process is the same except that Cloning is done directly from one drive to another... Acronis does this. Imaging is restoring a saved image to another hard-drive from the drive on which the image is saved.

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#7
February 2, 2011 at 18:59:54
From what I understand, cloning and imaging are virtually the same thing, except that cloning can be made bootable, whereas, imaging cannot.

I use Acronis True Image 11 to do both, and I can honestly say, this is one great product!


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#8
February 2, 2011 at 20:35:25
What a great question! And the challenge is there for a great definitive, simple, but comprehensive explication. The following four terms are similar, but not the same/equivalent:
• Copy
• Archive
• Image
• Clone

(in no particular order). NB: none the same.


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#9
February 3, 2011 at 00:45:19
John67m From what I understand, cloning and imaging are virtually the same thing, except that cloning can be made bootable, whereas, imaging cannot.

Sorry Guys I'm still confused. It seems cloning and imaging are not the same thing if imaging cannot be made bootable.

What is involved in restoring an image file, I understand that third party software is required to create the image file, is the same software required to restore it?


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