question Clone a system drive

Adcadet

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Hey Gang,
Sorry for the barrage of questions lately. When it rains, it pours.

As mentioned elsewhere, I'm going to move my (Intel X-25-M-G2) SSD to my wife's PC, and install a new one (Samsung 830) in my computer. Before pulling the old SSD, I'd kind of like to clone it (contains OS and apps, no user data) to another HD to keep handy just in case. Some of my work software, VPN, etc, is kindof hard to install, so having a backup OS that can get me into work is a major plus, and in the past I've frequently kept a "lifeboat" OS install with just my basic work apps so if my main OS/drive got screwed, I'd have a fall back to provide basic functionality. What do you guys use these days to clone hard drives? Are there any good open source/free tools? My new SSD comes with Norton Ghost, but it has gotten some massively bad reviews and anything from Norton scares me. I have an old 74 GB raptor drive that I could easily use, but is it a problem that it's smaller than the SSD if I'm only cloning the used space of the SSD (about 44 GB)?

I thought about cloning my wife's current OS into the Intel SSD, but figured a fresh install would be better (less cluttered) and easier to do.

Thanks in advance!
 

Stereodude

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I think you will need to resize the partition with gparted first, then clone. If I recall correctly Clonezilla will not let you shrink a partition during restoration / cloning.
 

Howell

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I was reading some concerns about imaging to SSD that resulted in performance problems and that the software needed to be specially SSD that is aware of alignment. Or something like that.

Hopefully someone will chime in and correct/elaborate.
 

ddrueding

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There is an alignment thing, but I have never worried about it and haven't had any reason to complain. My current work system was imaged using an older version of Acronis, and performance is the same as others on the web.
 

CougTek

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There are free copies of Acronis available from Western Digital and Seagate.
Which won't install on either a Samsung or an Intel drive if there are no data drive from those companies. It will be fine if the data drive is from either company though.
 

time

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I was reading some concerns about imaging to SSD that resulted in performance problems and that the software needed to be specially SSD that is aware of alignment. Or something like that.

Hopefully someone will chime in and correct/elaborate.

You're correct. It affects write amplification (and probably random write performance) rather than reads, so it's not surprising Ddrueding didn't see any difference.

Of course, for a desktop, it's hard to see how it could matter much.

Also, I don't think any of the free tools can manage the alignment yet.
 

Stereodude

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I went through this before in a thread somewhere here. You take the unaligned drive and use gparted to move the start and end of the partition slightly by like 1MB. It aligns to 1MiB boundaries by default now. Clonezilla maintains partition alignment so the target SSD will have the same alignment.
 

Bozo

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Which won't install on either a Samsung or an Intel drive if there are no data drive from those companies. It will be fine if the data drive is from either company though.

I plug in a WD USB drive and everything works fine. Should work with a Seagate USB drive too.
 

CityK

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Why you! (shakes fist wildly in air at Intel)

For the record, I clone my / and /home partitions on my SSD to a mechanical drive for backup purposes using gparted. Nice an easy.

I do recall running into a partition size mismatch after I first started doing this -- I believe I changed around the partition sizes on the SSD and my /home partition became larger then the partition on the mechanical that I was trying to dump the contents too, and gparted complained (I was working under the assumption that only the used data space would matter). Anyway, like stereodude alluded too, you should probably get the target partitions as large (or larger) then the source drives before hand ... though this factor may or may not be pertinent to the various cloning software out there.

As for alignment, when I first got the SSD and cloned over from a mechanical, I definitely misaligned the partitions -- I even remember when I checked with fdisk (sudo /sbin/fdisk -l /dev/sda) that it informed me of the misaligned partitions. Anyway, the drive's performance blew goats then (i.e. only marginally better then a HDD). Though, I can't say for sure whether it was that factor alone, as I'm not sure the OS and filesystem support for TRIM was working properly, or whether I had at that time mounted the filesystem with appropriate options.
 
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