Clone Physically Present with Original Boot Disk


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KSJ
KSJ
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New to MR. I intend to use cloning as my backup plan. If I clone the existing boot disk and leave the target in the system, will Windows continue to boot from the original disk as it always has or will this present a problem?

jphughan
jphughan
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It might depend on your system.  But it's a bad idea to use cloning rather than image backups as a backup plan, for several reasons:
  • As you've alluded to, you risk potentially booting from the clone target, which you may not even realize.  But Reflect will always be able to differentiate the disks you defined as source and destination.  So if you make changes to your destination disk not realizing that you've been working with the destination disk, then at the next clone operation, that will all be overwritten during the clone from the true source.  That can't happen with image backups.
  • Clones don't allow you to retain snapshots from multiple points in time.  You only have a single state at your destination.  Image backups allow you to maintain and restore from multiple points in time.
  • Related to the above, if you use a disk as a clone target, it's hard to use it for anything else.  With image backups, your backups are just files, so you can use the target disk for other purposes as well.
  • Most importantly, a clone operation requires you to destroy your only "backup" to update it.  This creates a major risk window.  Consider this scenario: You have your source disk that's current, and your destination disk that's intact but with a data state that's a day old relative to the source.  So you start a new clone operation.  In the middle of that operation, your source disk dies.  At that point, you have no accessible data on your source disk, and since the job failed in the middle of the operation, your destination disk is now in a completely unusable state.  You had a "backup" on your destination BEFORE you kicked off that new clone job, but you can't get back to that state anymore.  So at this point, your only real hope is to try some sort of advanced data recovery tools or services that will be expensive and may only give you partial recovery of your data at best.  With an image backup strategy, failure of a new image backup job doesn't wipe out all of your existing backups (unless you have a very badly configured retention policy).


Edited 2 August 2020 10:28 PM by jphughan
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