new HDD: copy partition or reinstall OS?

dragnandy

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Hey all,
I recently got a new 1tb hard drive because my 4 yr old HDD is dying. I only use 1 HDD so this new one is meant to replace the old one. I was wondering if its best to just do a clean reinstall of Windows 7, install all the programs, drivers, ect. OR use a program like Partition Wizard and just copy the entire partition over to the new drive?

If I had any fragmentation in the old HDD and I copy over the partition, would the new HDD be fragmented as well?
 

GotNoRice

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That's a difficult question to give such a general answer to. I would say it should come down to just how old your existing Win7 install is. If you've kept things nice and tidy, then move it over, but don't move over some trashy half-broken old install.
 

Old Hippie

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I was wondering if its best to just do a clean reinstall of Windows 7, install all the programs, drivers, ect.
That's always the best solution. Ya can't beat starting fresh and clean although it can be a major PIA.

You can't copy the partition and have it active, you must clone the partition.

The EaseUS Partition Master Professional seems to say it can do a clone ("Copy or upgrade entire hard disk to another without reinstalling system and applications.") but I've never used it.

When I need a clone I use Acronis.

Good Luck!
 

Jalseng

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FYI cloning take forever (in my experience) because the software clones every piece of data. Took me over 10 hours, not sure if i was just running crappy cloning software or not. My brother just got an SSD and he clean installed it. he then installed the necessary software (office, etc) and that was it. Says he'll install other certain software (skype, imgburn, etc) when he needs them lol.
 

Old Hippie

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FYI cloning take forever (in my experience) because the software clones every piece of data.
Depends upon amount of data, disk speed, connection type, which program you use, and how smart you are about shrinking/expanding partitions when going to a smaller/larger drive.

My OS and programs are 40GB and a clone takes less than an hour.
 
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Jalseng

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thats true, I did about 120 gb using some kind of bootable linux based cloning software. I haven't used it in a long time so dont remember the name, but ill look into that part about shrinking and expanding partitions.
 

dragnandy

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oops, I meant clone, not copy.

I cloned the partition over last night, took like ~2 hours to clone 500gb over. It didnt seem that long at all!

Everything seems just as clunky so I think I'll end up doing the clean install.

Do you guys know anything about the fragmentation part when cloning? (Are frag files still fragged when cloned over?)
 

GotNoRice

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Do you guys know anything about the fragmentation part when cloning? (Are frag files still fragged when cloned over?)
You said you just copied it over? Open Disk Defrag and hit the Analysis button.
 

Zepher

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FYI cloning take forever (in my experience) because the software clones every piece of data. Took me over 10 hours, not sure if i was just running crappy cloning software or not. My brother just got an SSD and he clean installed it. he then installed the necessary software (office, etc) and that was it. Says he'll install other certain software (skype, imgburn, etc) when he needs them lol.
I've cloned my original windows 7 install 2 times now, originally on a wd 250gb to 1tb black and then to a 128gb ssd.
It was less than 100gb of data the most recent time and only took 20-30 minutes to clone to the ssd.

Cloning is what I would do since it takes around 3 hours to install windows 7 and all the updates, be nice if windows update wasn't a cumulative style update, it updates around 4 times, more if you install using a non sp1 disc.

Edit, just read your post, make sure you have an sp1 disc for the clean install otherwise you can add an hour to the total reinstall time.
 

Chandler

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I recommend a fresh install, JMO.


As recommended above...EaseUS is excellent for a paid option.

a linux live cd to copy one drive to another will work just a well too.
 

Old Hippie

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Do you guys know anything about the fragmentation part when cloning? (Are frag files still fragged when cloned over?)
Dude, it's a clone....an exact copy.

If you wanna defrag do it before cloning.
 

Quartz-1

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FYI cloning take forever (in my experience) because the software clones every piece of data. Took me over 10 hours, not sure if i was just running crappy cloning software or not
So what? Just leave it running overnight. BTW I'm guessing you cloned via a USB 2 port.
 

HobartTas

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Greetings

Regarding Copy Vs Clone Vs Image

If I had any fragmentation in the old HDD and I copy over the partition, would the new HDD be fragmented as well?
and

Do you guys know anything about the fragmentation part when cloning? (Are frag files still fragged when cloned over?)
It depends what you understand to be the meaning of these words. I've always assumed the following

IMAGING

In this case the process is to start from the first sector on the disk/partition and copy it to the target hardrive, then read the second sector and do the same and so on and for a 1TB to 1TB hard drive copy then do this two billion times (for 512 byte sectors).

advantages
- copies everything and doesn't even need to understand what the underlying filesystem is, could be anything like Linux Ext3, ZFS or whatever.
- This method is most likely used by law enforcement for forensic purposes as everything will be copied (including deleted files).
- process usually goes very fast as access is sequential on both drives

disadvantages
- can't copy to a smaller drive even if the source is mostly empty.
- fragmentation is preserved as its a 1:1 copy.
- doesn't know what to do if it strikes a bad block like a URE as all it can do is place a dummy block containing 0000's and hope for the best, could be part of a file or worse still part of the directory metadata information (lost files/clusters on next Chkdsk/f perhaps).

CLONING

In this case the software program reads (and therefore understands) the underlying filesystem and reads/writes individual files and in addition it also reads/writes the metadata directly so you can sometimes see this when it says its "copying $MFT" (for the Master File Table)

advantages
- can copy to a smaller drive if the source drive has less data than the size of the target drive
- can make sense of any bad blocks and may warn you e.g. "bad block in filename.ext" and if there's an error in the metadata it may do Chkdsk type functions and fix it.
- usually only one file is read at a time so everything gets de-fragmented when its written to the target drive as it usually starts writing on the target drive from the first block to the last.
- any deleted files don't get copied e.g. deleted virus files

disadvantages
- if the source drive is heavily fragmented then the excessive head movement on the source drive can slow the process down.
- any deleted files don't get copied and can't be recovered with disk recovery utilities later on as they were never on the target drive in the first place.

COPYING

I've always taken this to be a generic term that could mean either imaging or cloning e.g. my hard drive is dying and I need to copy it to a new one before it fails.

Finally

Most simple "disk cloners" usually only offer imaging as you can immediately tell they don't do actual cloning as they can't copy to a smaller destination drive. I think the terminology confuses most people as I consider "imaging" to be very specific using the first method I described only whereas I personally use "cloning" for the second method only rather than as a semi-generic term like copying, however, I am aware that in most people's minds the word "cloning" could describe either method.

If on your source drive you don't have any bad blocks or fragmentation is not much of an issue then imaging is only then a safe option and probably better as it has the least likelyhood of anything else going wrong as there is nothing conceptually that can cause a problem with this process as it is a very simple and straitforward procedure as I have previously described. e.g. healthy hard drive to an SSD where fragmentation will no longer be an issue on the SSD anyway, otherwise since your probably not going to be sure of the quality of how the data is on your source drive then cloning is probably better because everything is read and "digested" and checked for errors but just be aware that because NTFS is proprietory then make sure you get a disk cloner from a well established provider who is likely to have licensed the exact NTFS specifications from Microsoft and therefore you could/should expect them to do this process correctly without errors.

That's about all I can tell you about this subject.

Cheers

P.S.

Dude, it's a clone....an exact copy.

If you wanna defrag do it before cloning.
I think you mean imaging, and yes do this before you image the drive if you want the target de-fragmented, if your cloning then this will be done automatically.

Cheers
 

Old Hippie

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I think you mean imaging, and yes do this before you image the drive if you want the target de-fragmented, if your cloning then this will be done automatically.
Ahhhhh no, I meant cloning and have never heard of it defragging while doing a clone.

IF you want to transfer a workable OS and programs the computer must be in DOS mode and an image isn't done in that mode.

You can't transfer a bootable OS and programs while the OS is working.

While you can restore your OS from an image it's only because a healthy OS is still on the original disk.

Although you may be correct about defragging while doing an image I've never heard of it and it hasn't been my experience.
 

Jalseng

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DOS mode only? I did it in a bootable linux environment, should be the same idea right? different enviroment from your actual OS. im just asking for clarification.
 

Old Hippie

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DOS mode only? I did it in a bootable linux environment, should be the same idea right? different enviroment from your actual OS. im just asking for clarification.
Same, Same. :)

You just can't clone a working OS or programs.
 

Zepher

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Greetings

Regarding Copy Vs Clone Vs Image




CLONING

In this case the software program reads (and therefore understands) the underlying filesystem and reads/writes individual files and in addition it also reads/writes the metadata directly so you can sometimes see this when it says its "copying $MFT" (for the Master File Table)

advantages
- can copy to a smaller drive if the source drive has less data than the size of the target

That's about all I can tell you about this subject.

Cheers

P.S.



I think you mean imaging, and yes do this before you image the drive if you want the target de-fragmented, if your cloning then this will be done automatically.

Cheers
Not all programs will clone to a smaller destination, I tried a few and they wouldn't clone from a 200gb partition with 80gb of data to a 128gb ssd, I ended up using a program from paragon called Clone OS to SSD and it did it with no issues. The program also allows you to select or deselect files/folders prior to the cloning procedure if your source happens to have more data than the destination can hold.
 

ilikefire

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It seems like that you had cloned once.
I support you cloning too.Just because the new hd. Cloning is simple.
But I wonder you cloned the whole hd include the system partition? Or only data partitions?
Do you have a installation disc? I think clone the data partitions and reinstall OS is better.
About fragmentation part, I think it will skip when cloning.(At lesst my tool is thus)
At last, tool: I know EaseUS &Acronis excellent for a paid option.Someone had mentioned above.
My tool is aomei backupper.A freeware.Aha, I think it is very good
 

crzykid71

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Fresh install is always better, if you have a usb stick drive big enough to get some stuff you wanna save or use a online cloud service to save stuff then move it over.
 

Zepher

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Fresh install is always better, if you have a usb stick drive big enough to get some stuff you wanna save or use a online cloud service to save stuff then move it over.
If your system is running perfect, a clone can be perfect and you just saved a bunch of time, so you can't say a fresh install is always better.
 

Jalseng

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If your system is running perfect, a clone can be perfect and you just saved a bunch of time, so you can't say a fresh install is always better.
I like fresh installs myself, but Cloning is really good when you have certain software that you forgot the licensing key to it and no freaking key finder is able to pull it out. I've had issues with some business document software.
 

Old Hippie

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I tried a few and they wouldn't clone from a 200gb partition with 80gb of data to a 128gb ssd,
This is where the shrinking/expanding partition comes into play.

You shrink the 200GB partition into your 80GB of used space, do the clone, and then expand that 80GB partition into 128GBs.

To just clone 200GB with 120GB unused into a 128GB SSD wadda think it's gonna do?

That's like trying to put 10lbs of crap into a 5lb bag. LOL!
 

Zepher

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This is where the shrinking/expanding partition comes into play.

You shrink the 200GB partition into your 80GB of used space, do the clone, and then expand that 80GB partition into 128GBs.

To just clone 200GB with 120GB unused into a 128GB SSD wadda think it's gonna do?

That's like trying to put 10lbs of crap into a 5lb bag. LOL!
No, it's like you have a 50 gallon trash can with 10 gallons of trash and moving the trash to a 25 gallon can.
It will fit but the programs are trying to stuff the 50 gallon can into the 25 gallon one.
The program I used saw the trash and new it would fit and moved it to the other container.
 

Old Hippie

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The program I used saw the trash and new it would fit and moved it to the other container.
And which program was that?

I use Acronis for just about everything just because I trust it but it won't adjust the partitions automatically.
 

Old Hippie

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I see but, ahhhhhhh......I'm gonna stick with my tried and true.

I can to all the same things with Acronis and my C drive has never held anything but my OS and programs.

All music and other stored info is on a different drive and my C drives have always been small.

Same as SSDs I was the "first one on the block" to use the Raptor series drives to hold only my OS&programs and I've never looked back.

While I'm sure the program works just fine it's geared more toward the novice "one click" user and would make it very easy for user of W8 + uEFI +GPT to handle but that doesn't fit the profile of most advanced users.

Because your "old disk" still has an OS on it I wouldn't leave it plugged to the MB for storage until it's been formatted which would eliminate all files left behind. Even though it puts your new drive first there's way too much potential for novice users/computers to get confused.

I prefer more control and besides......you'll need another program for imaging a backup.

I do appreciate you showing me the program but it's something I would never use.

Thanks for the info and have a Merry Christmas!
 
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