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Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations? (Read 23845 times)
NightOwl
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #30 - Apr 24th, 2011 at 11:52pm
 
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Quote:
Currently, PC-DOS otherwise works fine on another external drive I've been using for the past year or two - a LaCie fully-enclosed, USB-connected drive. So, this is clearly very much device/manufacturer-dependent. I use the Lacie drive (500GB) for storing partition images made with Ghost PC-DOS.

Do you have the model number for that USB external HDD enclosure?

Any idea what *internal* interface is used by the HDD--PATA or SATA?

Are there instructions on replacing the enclosed HDD with any other size HDD--i.e. does it say what type (PATA or SATA) HDD you would use if you did want to replace it?
 

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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #31 - Apr 25th, 2011 at 4:30am
 
NightOwl, let me address your latest set of questions first. I'll come to your earlier ones later. Brian, I'll reply a bit later, if I may. Got lots of other computing and non-computing tasks to get through today.

The LaCie enclosure is a 500GB Neil Poulton model (no model no., as such), the one with the gimmicky blue light. It's not a particularly quiet hard drive but that doesn't matter in my case, as this drive's used only as a destination drive when making G2003 images of my system partition. This model has an on/off switch, so that you can have it there, permanently connected up on the desk, switched off for most of the time, but have it readily accessible.

The one and only interface on it is a USB 2.0 interface. By looking at its drive's Properties, I've managed to ascertain that it uses an Hitachi HDT721050SLA380. (The drive's name comes up briefly, anyway, during the boot into PC-DOS). I suppose you could look that up on the Web to see if it's a SATA or PATA drive; I've not hitherto done so, but my guess would be that it's a SATA drive. Being a permanently-enclosed drive, one that you're not meant to ever remove from its casing, the type of drive is somewhat immaterial to me. Perhaps what's more important to me is that its USB interface is compatible with G2003 Build 793.

There are most certainly no instructions in the small leaflet that came with it for replacing the drive inside.

After an awful lot of searching and analysing of specns., I bought this about 18 months ago. I think LaCie may now have stopped marketing it, though. They make a similar one now, called the Neil Poulton Quadra, which has a variety of interfaces - 3Gbps eSATA, Firewire 400 and 800, and USB 2.0. Am not sure what the drive size is, in the Quadra, but googling for it will give you those details. Or, of course, you can go to LaCie's site. It's almost bound to be 500GB or greater.

If you think you might want to get a Quadra, then bear in mind that you might be taking a chance with one or more of those interfaces working properly with G2003. Just because my 500GB USB model works with G2003, it doesn't automatically follow that the Quadra will, because manufacturers have a habit of tweaking and re-designing interfaces.

Postscript: Have just done a quick google and the drive's one of the Deskstar 7K1000.B types. 7200 rpm, SATA 300, 8MB buffer, 8.5m sec av. seek.

In its Properties In Windows, I've got it set up for 'Optimise for quick removal', rather than 'Optimise for performance'.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #32 - Apr 25th, 2011 at 7:19am
 
Brian,

Thanks for confirming what I too found I had to do, to safely remove the destination drive.

Having learnt some bitter lessons in the past, what I do nowadays, using G2003, is:

1) Imaging my system partition to a reserved partition on the same physical drive.
2) Imaging my system partition to my external USB-connected hard drive enclosure.
3) Occasionally cloning my hard drive to another physical hard drive that I keep aside. This is why I recently invested in the Akasa docking station I've mentioned.

By doing this, I think I cover the possibilities of different failures quite well.

I usually partition my main drive and so can make images and can restore quite quickly, especially if I use a reserved destination partition on the main drive for it. Imaging in this way not only allows me to quickly test new apps or utilities but also enables me to return to much earlier incrarnations of my system partition, if that becomes necessary.

I don't place 100% reliance on the main hard drive, though. That is, drives do fail, and they can get corrupted in other ways. They are, after all, electro-mechanical in nature. I don't place 100% faith for all time in my external drive either (the LaCie enclosure). I fully anticipate that, in time, that too will fail. All mass-produced hard drives have a finite life and, in my experience, that's no more than about 3 years.

If anything, the main drive , inside the PC, is likely to fail the quickest, as it runs for far, far longer than the external drive and gets switched on and off the most often. For that reason, I prefer to also do cloning of the entire main drive inside the PC, and that's where the newly-acquired Akasa docking station and Samsung drive will come in.

Even way back in 2003, I never managed to get G2003 to work properly in the Windows environment so, ever since, I've always stuck to using it instead in the DOS mode. And even with Ghost updated to Build 793, G2003 DOS can be very choosy as with which USB interfaces it'll work. Evidentially, the Ghost DOS drivers aren't fully compatible with all USB interfaces.

I've left the Windows version of G2003 on my old PC (a machine barely used at all now and no longer online). About the only use I make of it is to make/re-make the floppy bootdisks. On the newly-built machine, I don't even bother to install the app. When I need to do a backup or restore on the new machine, all I need use is a bootdisk (floppy). People may laugh at me for purposely installing a FDD on a new machine but it's simple and, for the mostpart, G2003 DOS works.

As ever, I can only relate what works for me. But people have different PC setups and consequently different preferences. And given that official support for G2003 ended a long time ago, I don't find it surprising that it occasionally fails to work with some memory devices/interfaces. But at least this G2003 forum can point the way to usefully prolonging its use. I've yet to come across an alternative and bug-free app of this kind that has the same versatility.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #33 - Apr 25th, 2011 at 4:24pm
 
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voximan wrote on Apr 25th, 2011 at 7:19am:
I've yet to come across an alternative and bug-free app of this kind that has the same versatility. 


I like Image for Linux. It works from a CD, USB flash drive or from a HD partition. It can create/restore partition and entire drive images, clone partitions and entire drives, wired and wireless network support, USB HD support, can do automated images/restores even across a network, does sector based restores, is compatible with 2048 sector alignment, has different geometry options, is updated regularly.

Despite the Linux name, it is mainly used on Windows OS.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #34 - Apr 25th, 2011 at 5:27pm
 
NightOwl,

To get back to some of the questions you posed:

There's no great mystery about the stupidity of allowing two physical system drives to boot with the same copy of Windows on them - just don't do it! Not unless you want to risk corrupting one or both of them. Why would you ever want to allow two identical drives to try to boot at the same time anyway? In fact, Symantec warned about this, both in their G2003 user manual and later in various Ghost articles on the Web. When you clone a complete drive, therefore, you have to be especially careful to remove the destination drive afterward in a sanitary way. When cloning a drive, quitting Ghost DOS in the normal way is inadvisable, as the destination drive will otherwise then boot automatically back into Windows, giving you the unwanted double-boot situation.

I think I made it clear from the very start of this thread that I don't use the Windows  version of G2003. I never had much success with the Windows version, so for years I've just used the DOS version. It's Build 793, which is the latest ever issued by Symantec. Yes, it's a floppy I use.

I don't understand why you've been making such a fuss of my comment that I disliked just powering off after performing cloning. It's just that, to me, it's always seemed a bit of a dirty solution the need to remove the destination drive, that's all. The only thing I was seeking was whether Brian or someone else had discovered a more elegant way of doing it, when coming out of the DOS environment. But it appears that neither he nor anyone else had. That's fine by me. I'll continue to do it that way. End of story.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #35 - Apr 26th, 2011 at 12:55am
 
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voximan wrote on Apr 25th, 2011 at 5:27pm:
When you clone a complete drive, therefore, you have to be especially careful to remove the destination drive afterward in a sanitary way.


Not necessarily. I can't speak for Ghost 2003 but this isn't an issue with the Windows hot imaging Ghosts. You can leave the new HD in place and continue booting from the old HD. At a later time you can remove the old HD and boot from the new HD.

What you must not do is boot from the new HD while the old HD is still in the computer. After a single boot from the new HD, the old HD can be reinstalled in the computer if desired.

http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/partsigs.shtml

 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #36 - Apr 26th, 2011 at 6:14am
 
  Brian wrote on Apr 26th, 2011 at 12:55am:
What you must not do is boot from the new HD while the old HD is still in the computer.


This is precisely what I meant.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #37 - Apr 26th, 2011 at 11:13am
 
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Quote:
I don't understand why you've been making such a fuss of my comment that I disliked just powering off after performing cloning.

Hmmmm.....maybe, because you kept making a *fuss* about how possible data corruption might occur to the external HDD if the *proper* way to power down and disconnect peripheral items when in DOS is used.  I've never had that happen.  I was trying to understand your situation, and if you have had such a problem occur.  Apparently not.  So, as you have said, *End of story*!

Quote:
There's no great mystery about the stupidity of allowing two physical system drives to boot with the same copy of Windows on them

Well, ... I don't!  I use Ghost image files--I never clone *disk>to disk*--so I'm never in risk of any OS corruption due to two identical drives on the same system.

But, as I mentioned in reply #12:

Quote:
Ghost 2003's default behavior is to erase the NT-signature on the destination HDD--this forces Windows to re-assign drive letters to that HDD--and not see it as *identical* to the source drive that it was cloned from.  So, I think that problem does not actually exist any longer--unless you use cloning switches that force Ghost to preserve that NT-signature on the destination drive.

I have not done the actual experimenting to be absolutely sure of that statement--but the testing could be done if you are using *disk > to disk* cloning and leaving the external HDD connected--just need a spare HDD, and then removing the actual *good* OS HDD and then performing *disk > to disk* cloning and re-booting to see what happens.  If one of the drives (or both drives) gets corrupted--remove the corrupt one where you would normally connect the OS HDD, reconnect your *good* HDD that you removed, and just re-clone to the *backup* drive as before--if corruption actually is a problem, then just make sure you don't boot with both HDDs up and running--as you have said!

Quote:
When cloning a drive, quitting Ghost DOS in the normal way is inadvisable, as the destination drive will otherwise then boot automatically back into Windows, giving you the unwanted double-boot situation.

But, I just don't understand!  You continue to make this statement.  When I use Ghost 2003 in DOS from a floppy disk, there is no such behavior.  So, I have to assume your version of Ghost 2003 must behave in a different manner than what I'm familiar with!

On my oldest system, I can change the boot priority to be the one of the following:  floppy drive, optical drive, or HDD.  If I choose HDD, then the only drive that will boot is the drive connected to the *Primary IDE Controller*, and it must be the *Master* HDD (either by using the jumper to set it as Master, or if *Cable Select* is used, then it has to be on the *Master* position of the communication cable).

On my next newer system, I can add an external USB HDD or USB Flashdrive to the boot priority list--but, only if the device is actually connected prior to booting--and then I have to bring up the *Boot Priority List* during boot and manually select the USB device in order to boot from it.  Otherwise, the only HDD that will be bootable, is the HDD connected to the Primary IDE Controller, and as Master--similar to my oldest system.

On my newest system, the BIOS lets me choose from a bunch of different boot devices for the Boot Priority list:  floppy, LS120, Hard Disk, CDROM, ZIP, USB-FDD, USB-ZIP, USB-CDROM, USB-HDD, and Legacy LAN.

And, after selecting the *Hard Disk*, if I have more than one HDD hooked up (I do!), then in a separate BIOS setting, I have to choose the *Hard Disk Boot Priority* setting, and there, choose the specific HDD on a specific HDD controller--this includes any external USB HDD that the system detects during boot!  Again, once that HDD is set, the only way that I can change the boot device is by manually using the *Boot Menu* during boot, or by entering the BIOS and making a change there--on my system, Ghost 2003 does not make any changes to the BIOS Boot Priority, or to the boot device during re-boot.

Quote:
I think I made it clear from the very start of this thread that I don't use the Windows  version of G2003.

Initially, I glossed over your statement in your first post saying: *I'm planning to use Ghost 2003 - from the DOS version on a floppy*. 

As I said in reply #28: 

Quote:
To my knowledge, the only way to have Ghost 2003 *automatically* boot back to Windows is if you have set up your cloning operations in the Ghost Windows interface, let it close out Windows, re-boot to DOS via the *virtual partition* route, do the cloning operation, then Ghost will shut itself down, switch out of the *virtual partition*, and then re-boot back to Windows.

That's why I became confused about whether you were using the Windows Ghost interface--or, booting from a DOS boot disk or disc.

For me, Ghost 2003 booted directly to DOS from a bootable floppy or optical disc, has never *automatically* re-booted the system back to Windows.  And DOS Ghost 2003 has never made any changes to my BIOS Boot Priority settings.

So, I'm still interested in how your version of Ghost 2003 behaves differently!
 

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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #38 - Apr 26th, 2011 at 5:03pm
 
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If the new HD is left in place after the clone and you boot from the old HD it is interesting how different OS handle the situation. If both HDs have the same Disk Signature, WinXP changes the Disk Signature on the non booting HD. If both HDs have the same Disk Signature, Win7 doesn't change the Disk Signature on the non booting HD but it takes that HD "Offline".
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #39 - Apr 26th, 2011 at 5:40pm
 
A extra feature of Image for Linux. It has USB3 support.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #40 - Apr 27th, 2011 at 8:47am
 
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Quote:
If the new HD is left in place after the clone and you boot from the old HD it is interesting how different OS handle the situation. If both HDs have the same Disk Signature, WinXP changes the Disk Signature on the non booting HD.

So, you have done the *testing*--great!  Interesting results.  What program did you use to preserve the disk ID--TeraByte's?

I wonder if Microsoft updated the WinXP behavior when it sees an identical disk ID--back in the early days of WinXP I think there were a number of corrupt systems reported.  That seems to have become a non-issue as time went by.  I always thought it was Ghost's zeroing out the disk ID that was responsible.  But, maybe it was a change in WinXP!

Quote:
A extra feature of Image for Linux. It has USB3 support.

Thanks for the heads up!

Being as I have no USB 3 devices, I haven't tried looking to see if there are any DOS drivers being developed for USB 3.  I wonder if there will be any support in the future?
 

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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #41 - Apr 27th, 2011 at 9:12am
 
NightOwl,

Possibly, the reason you're being so perplexed about the possibility of my G2003 automatically booting straight back into Windows after a Disk-to-Disk operation is partly because I've perhaps not qualified that statement properly. What I meant by "automatically" is that, yes, you the user still have to do the one or two operations to exit from G2003 DOS mode (eg. to get to an A: prompt again) but that, other than making the system then boot back into Windows (which is inadvisable, anyway, under those circumstances) there is no intermediate stage available in which to re-enter the BIOS. That is, when having got back to the A: prompt and removed the floppy disc and I do a Cntrl Alt Del, the system would otherwise boot straight to Windows; there's no opportunity to boot first to the BIOS. If you try, it simply doesn't work and the system will continue to boot to Windows.

Perhaps you've not noticed this because, as you say, you never do Disk-to-Disk copies? Regardless, though, when doing Disk-to-Disk copying, you must not allow the system to boot back into Windows with both physical drives still attached anyway.

When cloning using Disk-to-Disk, therefore, the best compromise seems to be to power off the PC, once you've safely put G2003 DOS to the A: prompt, then remove the destination drive. Then power up the PC once more, this time forcing it to enter the BIOS so that the drive(s) can be reconfigured back to normal and the boot order also put back to normal.

Now do you understand?

I can't vouch for what happens on your setup but certainly this is the procedure I had to use when I last did Disk-to-Disk cloning (with WinXP) - which was over some years and using PATA drives. I'm anticipating having to do the same on this new machine, using SATA drives. (I've only just taken delivery of the 'eSATA PCI bracket', so haven't had a chance yet to try it in earnest).
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #42 - Apr 27th, 2011 at 9:30am
 
Brian,

Thanks for those interesting test observations.

Back when I used to clone my PATA drives (under WinXP), I had no special trouble with them afterward. But I've a vague recollection that when I subsequently ran the destination drive (having removed the source drive from the machine), the latter would boot up noticeably slower than normal. Also, during the bootup, Windows would put a message onscreen to the effect that 'the hardware had changed'. This slowness disappeared the second time it booted, and the drive was always perfectly okay after that. Have never figured out what caused that slowness but, in any event, it didn't seem to matter. Perhaps it was just the BIOS 'reassigning' the drive and its partitions in some way?
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #43 - Apr 27th, 2011 at 12:00pm
 
Just tried out the eSATA PCI bracket. That is, connected up the Samsung drive, with it sitting in the Akasa docking station.

Being careful to ensure I powered on the Samsung before the PC, I've just tried out the connection (not involving Ghost at all). The Samsung's automatically detected by the BIOS, which I think is how it should be. As Windows came to screen, I got the "Found New Disc Drive" alert in the systray. Again, normal, I think, for WinXP. Then looking in Disk Management and in Windows Explorer, I was able to see the Samsung. Last week, I partitioned and formatted some of it, just to see that, as a newly-bought drive, it was okay.

I then shut down Windows (turning the PC off). I then powered off the Samsung.

So, thus far, no problems. After a second run of doing this, however, I've noticed that, when I finally shut Windows down, the Samsung drive itself also shuts down without me needing to press the on/off button on the docking station. Nice!

The Samsung drive showed in Disk Management as Drive K, which seems a bit adrift but might have resulted from my playing around with the Samsung last week.

Tomorrow, I'll run Ghost DOS (as usual, from the floppy) and see if Ghost recognises the Samsung. It jolly well should, as the Samsung should be appear as just another hard disc, connected as it is into one of the six SATA ports on the PC's motherboard.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #44 - Apr 27th, 2011 at 3:57pm
 
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NightOwl wrote on Apr 27th, 2011 at 8:47am:
What program did you use to preserve the disk ID--TeraByte's?


Yes. My test computer has 3 HDs. In BootIt BM I edited the Disk Signature of the third HD so it matched the first HD.

Have you downloaded your free copy of BootIt BM? There are changes from BING, subtle, but I think major changes will come later. It contains a GUI IFD which is nice. It is more compatible with my USB devices. When creating partitions you can now choose the offset in MB so the partition can be positioned anywhere you like. Before you only had the option of the start or end of the unallocated space. You can use GPT. I don't have any HDs larger than 2 TB but I had fun learning to use GPT with a 20 GB HD. WinXP can't see these partitions. Win7 can.
 
 
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