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Solved: Technical Definitions

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by Hughv, Sep 21, 2011.

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  1. Hughv

    Hughv Thread Starter

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    Is there an accepted source of technical computer terms? If so, what is it?

    I was involved in a discussion about disk cloning, and there was no consensus about whether imaging and cloning are the same thing.
    No opinions needed, as I have plenty of those.
    TIA.
     
  2. raybro

    raybro

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    Wikipedia has just about everything you want. Click here for a list of computing terminology. Alternatively, you can simply search Wikipedia for a specific term., such as Disk Image
     
  3. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    I have always understood cloning as making a 1 to 1 copy of a hard drive to another hard drive. Imaging is taking a hard drive and make an image file of the Hard Drive which would then be used at a later time to restore the hard drive or used as a base image to build new computers.
     
  4. Hughv

    Hughv Thread Starter

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    That's the problem, Squashman. What you and others have "Always understood" doesn't jibe with what others understand.
    "Disk cloning is the process of copying the contents of one computer hard disk to another disk or to an "image" file. Often, the contents of the first disk are written to an image file as an intermediate step, and the second disk is loaded with the contents of the image. This procedure is also useful when moving to a larger capacity disk or to restore the disk to a previous state."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_cloning

    Interestingly, the answer I get to this is "Wikipedia isn't reliable", which I suspect leaves out the rest, "Because I don't agree with it."
     
  5. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    You're looking for a "Webster's Dictionary" definition for technical terms, and I don't know of one. Cloning and imaging are tech industry and community terms. Their definitions can be fluid.

    Wikipedia is a collaboration effort. Many people can make changes to articles. That's the definition of a wiki. It is often referenced as an encyclopedia, but it's not. It's an evolving, living, breathing set of documents. The content is not gospel and is subject to change.
     
  6. raybro

    raybro

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    I disagree. My perception of the two is quite black and white.

    The cloning process produces a fully functional duplicate of the source. i.e. you can boot into it.

    A disk image is a compressed "snap shot" of the source and is not functional as a stand alone. It must go through a restore or recovery process using a software program for to become functional. i.e. you cannot boot into it.
     
  7. Hughv

    Hughv Thread Starter

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    And others disagree with you and have their own definition of the process.
    I find it interesting that there's no accepted dictionary, and I think DH has it right-these terms have evolved as the industry has evolved and that's just the nature of the beast.
    Thanks to all.
     
  8. raybro

    raybro

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    Recognizing the OP specifically stated he was not looking for opinions in this controversy, the subject is to hard to resist. So, with apologies to Hughv, I'd like to make a point.

    A quote from Wikipedia under Use of a Disk Image:

    I interpret this quite literally. A disk image may be used to create a clone, but they are hardly the same thing, nor do I see any reason to confuse the two. The most common usage of a disk image is to serve as a backup for recovery in the event of a catastrophic event to a hard drive (complete failure, Virus, registry corruption, etc). The most one can do with a disk image (other than using it to recover a drive) is explore it for specific file retrieval using the software program that created the image. Conversely, retrieving a file from a clone on another HDD, while connected to the source HDD, is a simple drag and drop operation. Or one may drag and drop a file from the cloned HDD to a flash drive or other media, the transfer it to the source HDD. One cannot do that with a disk image.

    If one wishes to create a clone, it can be done in a single operation. Although it can be done, it is not necessary to create a disk image, then create a clone from the disk image. The only circumstance where using a disk image to create a clone would be when one wishes to create the identical configuration on multiple computers, and that has some pitfalls.

    One overriding factor remains to define a fundamental difference between a cloned disk and a disk image... One IS functional as is (clone), the other (image) IS NOT!!! They both contain the same data, it is simply a matter of configuration and accessibility. :)
     
  9. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    I do like Raybro's description better than mine. But I think we can all agree that we all think differently! :)
     
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