Best cloning software?

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Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:03 am

I have a perfectly running install of W7 on my RAID 0 array, would a product such as Acronis True Image Home allow me to clone then restore to a non-raid disk? Short version is I'm replacing the array with a single latest gen SSD.

Thanks!

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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:09 am

Supposedly the new Windows backup is capable of creating system images. I have a few workstations around that make them as part of a nightly backup, but I've never (fingers crossed) had to restore from one yet.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:16 am

I had a backup of a W7 install (was installed on 500gb HDD), tried to restore to RAID array.. it wouldn't do it, kept complaining.. I admit maybe it was a case of PEBKAC.. I'll certainly try the built in software, just looking at more robust options.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:44 am

I've used this before and it worked well for me. Not for RAID, though http://clonezilla.org/
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:30 am

R-Drive Image is awesome, it makes bootable CD's too...
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:48 pm

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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:38 pm

So how does Microsoft prevent pirating in this kind of way? What if you used Acronis to "backup" that hard drive to 50 other 1gb hard drives, then sell those to the Malaysian public at the cost of the HDD plus some $ for your time...

Keep in mind this is a 3rd world make-believe story here. What I'm asking is WHAT prevents people from using Acronis for the good of evil?
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:47 pm

thegleek wrote:So how does Microsoft prevent pirating in this kind of way? What if you used Acronis to "backup" that hard drive to 50 other 1gb hard drives, then sell those to the Malaysian public at the cost of the HDD plus some $ for your time...

Keep in mind this is a 3rd world make-believe story here. What I'm asking is WHAT prevents people from using Acronis for the good of evil?

Product Activation.

Once activated, the image is tied to a unique "fingerprint" of the system on which the activation was performed. In previous versions of Windows, the MAC address of the NIC was given fairly heavy weight in this fingerprint; I don't know what the current algorithm (in Windows 7) is.

If they see too many reactivation requests for the same product key, they start denying reactivations for that product key.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:49 pm

just brew it! wrote:Product Activation.

Once activated, the image is tied to a unique "fingerprint" of the system on which the activation was performed. In previous versions of Windows, the MAC address of the NIC was given fairly heavy weight in this fingerprint; I don't know what the current algorithm (in Windows 7) is.

Does that hold true too with a VMware image? If I installed an OS on a vm, made a backup and then decided to use that same image across 50-100 other workstations... How does product activation come in if it's already been activated?
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:59 pm

thegleek wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Product Activation.

Once activated, the image is tied to a unique "fingerprint" of the system on which the activation was performed. In previous versions of Windows, the MAC address of the NIC was given fairly heavy weight in this fingerprint; I don't know what the current algorithm (in Windows 7) is.

Does that hold true too with a VMware image? If I installed an OS on a vm, made a backup and then decided to use that same image across 50-100 other workstations... How does product activation come in if it's already been activated?

Virtualization products like VMware provide a unique "machine ID" to the OS, and this ID is different for each VM. This unique ID is one of the activation triggers (I do know at least *that* much about Win7's activation algorithm). Yes, it's done in software, so it can be defeated; I'm not going into further detail here since that would take us too close to Rule 1 territory.

The OS can also still see the type of the real CPU from within a VM; this is likely part of the activation trigger algorithm as well.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:00 pm

wasnt trying to ride the rule 1 train... just curious man! the forbidden fruit is one that always tastes the sweetest! :P
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:02 pm

To get back to the OP question: Use ImageX. Free and file based imaging, which is definitely ideal for RAID arrays.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:15 am

I've been using Acronis lately and it seems to work quite well. Ghost seems to be the defacto for most corporations though.

Curiously do you guys know if Ghost inserts unique IDs too or is that just VMware? Does VMware support all the options that Ghost does? That is something that is very helpful for just the question gleek posed and one I've been wondering about myself as I'm getting to the point of having to clone multiple computers every night.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:50 am

If you're having to clone PCs for work and need to be changing the SID you shouldn't be looking to Ghost. What they're talking about with VMWare also isn't a solution.

Sysprep, ImageX, and either WDS and/or MDT is what you want.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:05 am

Ryu Connor wrote:If you're having to clone PCs for work and need to be changing the SID you shouldn't be looking to Ghost. What they're talking about with VMWare also isn't a solution.

Yeah, the VMware thing was a tangent. Cloning a VM is not the same as cloning a physical hard drive.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:32 pm

I've had very good success using Clonezilla to migrate Windows 7 from an old drive to a new drive. In the three cases I migrated with default settings and Clonezilla worked perfectly. However, in all three cases I was moving from a smaller drive to a larger drive. If you want to resize, especially shrink, things can get tricky.

Speaking of resize once I clone these systems and booted Windows saw extra unallocated space. In all three cases Windows 7 successfully expanded it's partition to use the new extra space.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:04 pm

Passion wrote:Hi guys, I don't quite understand about this cloning software? can someone please tell me more?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_cloning
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:01 pm

Honestly windows 7 system image restore works perfectly for me. I've used it to clone many raid-0 arrays over from each other and have never had a problem.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:53 pm

axeman wrote:The necessity of changing the SID is a pervasive myth in Microsoft land, so much so that Russonovich retired his NewSID tool for being pointless. Unless you're cloning a DC, it really doesn't matter. There are much better reasons to sysprep an image.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinov ... 91024.aspx


That was a very useful post and link. Thanks axeman.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:19 pm

Turkina wrote:
axeman wrote:The necessity of changing the SID is a pervasive myth in Microsoft land, so much so that Russonovich retired his NewSID tool for being pointless. Unless you're cloning a DC, it really doesn't matter. There are much better reasons to sysprep an image.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinov ... 91024.aspx

That was a very useful post and link. Thanks axeman.

Yup. I had heard about this a few months ago as well. Seems like it was a case of "we do it this way because we've always done it this way", with nobody actually understanding why.
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Re: Best cloning software?

Postposted on Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:36 pm



Read this a few months back. Doesn't change my answer, especially considering I didn't recommend NewSID. There are plenty of other reasons to leverage Sysprep for business (and even home) deployments. The reality that SIDs were an urban legend that even had Mark suckered is largely irrelevant given that the necessity of sysprep hasn't gone away.

If getting people to continue to adhere to best practice requires a fake boogeyman.... so be it.
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