Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Backup using System Image and Cloning with 3rd party s/w

  1. #1


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player

    Backup using System Image and Cloning with 3rd party s/w


    I'm still looking at 3rd party software options that would enable me to restore my system to another machine, in the event that either of my current laptops died and I decided not to buy a new one with the OS preinstalled.

    At present I have Win8.1 but if I have to do a refresh or factory reset this would take me back to Win8 with all the work of updating to 8.1 and reinstalling programs.

    I'm having issues with Macrium Reflect not working on one of the laptops, and I want just one solution that will work on both laptops so today I've been looking at AOMEI and it raised a question.

    AOMEI has the option to clone the disk (I know Macrium has this too, and I guess other options like Acronis will as well). In their description of the process they say:

    Click image for larger version
    This makes me think that I could use a clone of my current system as a way to have a copy to install on a different machine. And maybe I could also use the clone instead of a System Image as my regular backup method to restore to my current machine if needed?

    Would this meet my needs or have I completely misunderstood?

    I'm wondering if the clone has to be installed somewhere else immediately rather than being able to store it somewhere until I need it (like I can with a System Image), for example.

    And I don't know if there would be any problems with activation if I did this, or if the clone would be automatically recognised as a legitimate system. I currently have an OEM installation of Windows 8 with recovery disk but no installation media; but I do have the product key and activation key information.

    Thanks

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    This makes me think that I could use a clone of my current system as a way to have a copy to install on a different machine. And maybe I could also use the clone instead of a System Image as my regular backup method to restore to my current machine if needed?
    NO, if Pre-installed.

    Pre-Installed OEM:
    Windows 8 EULA

    Quote Originally Posted by microsoft
    Can I transfer the software to another user?
    You may transfer the software directly to another user, only with the licensed computer. The transfer must include the software, proof of purchase, and, if provided with the computer, an authentic Windows label such as the certificate of authenticity label including the product key. You may not keep any copies of the software or any earlier version. Before any permitted transfer, the other party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Joisey
    Posts : 315
    Windows 8.1 consumer 64 bit


    If the new machine is not the same hardware as the old machine then the clone image will have many wrong drivers for the new hardware. It may be rocky to boot the cloned image; you will have to hope it will run well enough to allow you to replace all the obsolete drivers with ones correct for the new machine.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Quote Originally Posted by mikeytg View Post
    If the new machine is not the same hardware as the old machine then the clone image will have many wrong drivers for the new hardware. It may be rocky to boot the cloned image; you will have to hope it will run well enough to allow you to replace all the obsolete drivers with ones correct for the new machine.
    Been there, done that. Windows 8 is more forgiving than Windows 7 with different hardware. If you boot up from an image taken from another PC, It will take you to the screen saying: Getting Your Devices ready .... then it will install the appropriate drivers for it. However, you will end up with the 2 PC's having the same SID's for the user accounts. To clean up the orphan drivers, you will have to open Device Manager->Show hidden Devices and manually delete the unused drivers.

    Having said that, I still think it is better to keep them separated.

    So what is the problem that you have installing Macrium ? did you get any error message ? Please post it so we can work on it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    @theog:

    I note what you say, but I do not want to transfer the software to another user. I want to keep the software and laptop for as long as I can, but I also want to be prepared for any problems that arise. I already make backups through Windows that would enable the software to be restored to the laptop as is, and I am looking for an additional 3rd party option to supplement this.

    But I also want to have a situation where I can still use the software if, for example, my hard drive died and needed replacing, or I wanted to install a bigger hard drive. These are not using a different machine, as I first posted, but changing components in an existing machine. And I wondered whether cloning could be an alternative to a program that enables restoring a System Image to different hardware (such as Macrium Pro and Acronis). I have not read anything that says this functionality can not be used with an OEM install.

    @topguncp:

    I have already logged this problem on this thread Macrium Reflect Free installation problem (hope the link works, this is the first time I've tried this). You have already contributed to the thread, which is marked as Solved because it got sidetracked into a discussion around VSS. Anyway, I never resolved the problem of getting Macrium Free to work on my second laptop. I did not try running it from a usb drive because I assumed that if it wouldn't run from the desktop then it wouldn't run from a usb either. But I may have been mistaken in this assumption and, if you advise, I can try this.

    If I can use Macrium Free successfully from a usb on both laptops (would the same usb work for both laptops?), would I be able to achieve my objective (of having the ability to restore an image to dissimilar hardware {different machine or new hard disk for example} either from a System Image or a Clone? I'm not sure how a Clone image works in terms of how big it is and how you save it for future use (or even if you can).

    Thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    If I can use Macrium Free successfully from a usb on both laptops (would the same usb work for both laptops?), would I be able to achieve my objective (of having the ability to restore an image to dissimilar hardware
    I've already answered your question in the other thread and I will again: Yes, you can use the same USB to boot up any PC's to make a backup image.

    Cloning a disk just means: copy bit by bit from one physical HD to another physical HD provided the destination HD is equal or larger in size. Normally, cloning is used for example, you want to replace the disk with one that has higher capacity or your current disk is getting old or contains bad sectors etc...

    Making a backup image is used when you want to save your current HD/Partitions to a single image file for future restore.

    Since your last thread, there's a new version of Macrium released (Version: 5.3.7171), you might want to re-download and try if it will work with the laptop you had problem with.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    : Yes, you can use the same USB to boot up any PC's to make a backup image.

    Since your last thread, there's a new version of Macrium released (Version: 5.3.7171), you might want to re-download and try if it will work with the laptop you had problem with.
    First, thank you for your patience, this is unfamiliar territory for me. I'd appreciate it if you could help me with the following questions so I can make sure I get it right this time.

    I would like to try to put Macrium onto an 8gb usb rather than on the laptop. On the Macrium site, the version you note above is listed as a trial. Does this become the free version automatically after the end of the trial?

    The alternative on the Macrium site is to download a slightly earlier version from cNet. I've had problems with cNet before, not getting the correct version, and I'd prefer to download from Macrium direct if I can.

    I've never downloaded something to run from a usb before. Do I download then run the .exe file as usual, then specify the location as the usb drive? And should I uninstall the older version of Macrium from the laptop first so I don't inadvertently update the laptop rather than install onto the usb?

    I did actually download the recovery .iso file (that whs offered on my other thread) onto the usb drive, as I thought this could be an alternative to downloading the program from Macrium. This was based on being told that I could run Macrium from the recovery .iso and make & restore back-ups this way. But I can't work out how to do this. This is the set of files on the usb from the Recovery .iso.

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Maybe you can tell that I am getting a little confused by the different options and unsure what exactly I should do now


    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    Cloning a disk just means: copy bit by bit from one physical HD to another physical HD provided the destination HD is equal or larger in size. Normally, cloning is used for example, you want to replace the disk with one that has higher capacity or your current disk is getting old or contains bad sectors etc...

    Making a backup image is used when you want to save your current HD/Partitions to a single image file for future restore.
    So if I understand this, I would only clone a disk at the time I wanted to copy my OS from one place to another?

    [I do get a 'bad sector' message sometimes when I make a backup through Windows (and this happened with Macrium also). I have tried to repair this, but without success so far as it keeps re-occurring. I know that I can set Macrium to make a backup that ignores bad sectors though I haven't tried that.]

    And from what you wrote previously, am I correct in thinking that I could possibly restore a system image made with Macrium Free to different hardware (most likely a replacement HD in the same laptop) but there would be some work to do related to drivers and SIDs?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    First, thank you for your patience, this is unfamiliar territory for me. I'd appreciate it if you could help me with the following questions so I can make sure I get it right this time.
    It's OK. Obviously, We/I failed to explain clearly to you.
    I would like to try to put Macrium onto an 8gb usb rather than on the laptop. On the Macrium site, the version you note above is listed as a trial. Does this become the free version automatically after the end of the trial?
    - I don't think you can install full version of Macrium on a USB. There's things setup in the registry and service for it to run.
    - I did not see anything noted above as a trial, where is it ???
    - When you download Macrium from the official website, you download the Standard/Professional trial version of Macrium and it's only good for 30 days. The Free version is posted at CNET. @CNET you will first get the Macrium Reflect Download Agent and run it as seen below:
    Click image for larger version
    After downloaded, you can safely delete the download agent "reflectdl.exe"

    Again, cloning the disk when you want to copy everything from one physical HD to another physical HD.

    In your case, just use backup the image to an external HD in one single file then restore when needed using the Macrium Windows PE rescue disk created from WHS's ISO file or you can create one yourself from Macrium as shown below.
    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    Aomei works great for me, you may as well give it a try as you have it now.

    Otherwise you might have a look at some others as well. Paragon do backup and recovery free.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    @Theo,

    You have missed the important bits. Almost everybody does because of the way it is written.

    For example:
    except if the laws where you live permit this even when this agreement does not.
    Let me translate that for you:

    If, and only if , the laws in your country allow us to, then we may apply the following restrictions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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