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Cloning TO a single partition

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by coover, Oct 30, 2011.

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  1. coover

    coover Thread Starter

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    I've been using Acronis True Image to clone my hard drives on 3 computers to 3 separate external drives. I would like to do all three clones to a single external drive. I figure a 2 TB external drive, partitioned into three parts should easily do the trick. However, True Image wants to use the entire drive for cloning one computer, so it cannot do the job I want it to.

    Question: Are there other cloning softwares that will allow use of only 1 external drive to clone 3 separate computers by partitioning the external drive? Freeware? Shareware?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I don't know why you'd want to clone 3 different "Systems" to one HDD .. Sounds like booting problems to me ??
    What's wrong with making Image backups ???
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    You don't want clones. You want images. You only need one partition on the external and put the images in separate folders.

    Cloning is not the main use of Acronis. It is designed to make images. Images save the whole partition, use less space, and you can put them all on one external.
     
  4. coover

    coover Thread Starter

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    I have had major problems with images in the past, imaging a computer and then failing to be able to use the image, and I prefer to clone. A clone is, after all, the ultimate backup and can be checked for accuracy immediately. No compression is required.
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    A clone is an exact copy of a drive. If you want 3 clones, you will need 3 drives. Could you clone 3 Dolly sheep into 1 sheep?

    Most of us have used images for years with no problems. Just verify the images to be sure they are good before relying on them.
     
  6. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I usually make my external backups by building from an Image .. Then I know it works.
    If this is W7 .. Make a Repair CD, It might be needed
     
  7. coover

    coover Thread Starter

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    It is 3 separate Operating Systems ... Win 7, Win XP, and Win 2000, all used for different purposes. I do like to backup frequently. In fact, I image every day, but I have had problems with some of the images, so I like to clone about once a week. I have been using 3 separate external drives for the clones. I would prefer to use only one.

    The external drives are then taken to an alternate location. Taking three external drives when I could take one does not make a lot of sense to me.
     
  8. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Clone to 3 separate HDD .. One for each computer.
    They will only work when installed in the correct computer.

    I do not like Frequent backups of my "System" ... One never knows when your backing up a problem/corruption you haven't found yet.
    All my "System" backups are fresh installs .. The Data backup is a different story
     

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  9. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I make 6 Acronis backups a day of the system drive, using the Grandfather-Father-Son protocol. It is done all automatically and takes about 2-3 minutes for each. That gives me many dates to recover to if I should happen to back up an infection or corruption - I can just go back to before the problem occurred. Older images are deleted automatically. Having the backups that frequent means I can only lose 1/6 of a day's work. And since the backups are isolated from one another, any infection in one is not passed to any others.

    At any one time, I have around 50 dates to choose from, all the way back to a month ago. And the space used is less than 200 GB's for my 180 GB system drive (with about 100 GB's used on the drive).
     
  10. coover

    coover Thread Starter

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    Evidently there is no cloning software that will place 3 clones on one external drive! I would think this option would be offered by somebody for those of us who want it for whatever strange reason we do want it. It shouldn't be a difficult add to True Image or any of the other cloners. I can partition the drive without a problem. I do not understand why the software cannot see the partition on the drive where the clone is to be placed and not interfere with the other partitions.
     
  11. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    No, it is not possible for such a thing to exist. As explained, a "clone" is an exact copy. You can't have 3 exact copies of 3 different things in the same place. I am having trouble understanding why you can't see that. You clearly do not understand what a clone is.

    What you are trying to do is totally impossible and can never be done by anyone, ever.
     
  12. coover

    coover Thread Starter

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    My understanding is that a partition can act like a separate hard drive. For example, I (think I) could place a Windows OS on one partition and a Linux OS on another on the same hard drive as long as I have a way to tell the computer from which to boot. Perhaps I am wrong?
     
  13. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Acronis can manually clone to different partitions (make different partitions) ...
    But you couldn't use the Drive .. It wouldn't be bootable in different computers.

    One system is only allowed in the computer it was installed in
     
  14. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    More importantly, those would not be bootable if restored to another drive, either. They would be worthless as drive backups.

    Just make images. They can be updated easily with incrementals or differentials so you always have a recent backup rather than an old clone that has none of the work you have done in the meantime.

    There is really no point in even having Acronis if you don't make images. There are a lot of tools that do that job as well or better. But Acronis can be scheduled to make backups on a regular basis so you always can get back to a recent installation. You don't have to spend your time worrying about backups because the machine does all the work for you.
     
  15. coover

    coover Thread Starter

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    I do not wish to boot from the external drive which has three clones. If I needed to boot from one of the 3 clones, I would then clone one of the clones to a single hard drive and place it within the computer from which the original clone came from.
     
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