Pre-Clone Request for Assurance


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phred
phred
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I have three 1tb HHDs that I feel are getting on in their years. I'd guess they've been in use for at least four years. Still working well, no bad sectors, but how long do I want to push this? (Rhetorical.) None of these are the boot drive which is on a Samsung 250gb SSD.

HHD 1 has only 46gb in use, while HHD 2 is using about 212gb. HHD 3 is using 465. My thought is to replace the first two with 500bg SSDs and the third with a 1tb SSD. The first two HHDs have five and four partitions, while the third is one partition.

I remember using the Cloning feature when I was a True Image user. Will Reflect's cloning of the first two HHDs to smaller SSDs automatically adjust proportionally the partitions? Are there any potential pitfalls I should be aware of in advance? It seems like a fairly straight forward procedure especially since there's no boot drive in play.

Pointers, tips, and suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

jphughan
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Reflect won't resize partitions automatically (that will be coming in V8), but you can specify custom sizing in the first step of the wizard where you "stage" the clone job.  Look at Steps 4 an 5 of this KB article.  The key concept is that instead of just clicking "Copy selected partitions", you have to drag your individual partitions down from the Source to Destination, working left to right.  And after you drag down a partition you want to resize, BEFORE you proceed to another one, select that partition in the Destination area and click "Cloned Partition Properties".  In there you'll be able to specify the desired size of the partition on the destination, either in terms of its size or in terms of how much space to leave free AFTER that partition.  After you've resized that partition to your liking, proceed dragging down any remaining Source partitions to the Destination, resizing them one after the other if desired.

phred
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I'm getting closer to doing this as the SSDs have been ordered.

Reflect is installed on one of the hard drives that will be cloned. Will it be able to clone itself to the new drive, or will I have have to boot from the rescue media in order to clone that drive?

Thanks.

jphughan
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You can clone Windows disks while Windows is running from them.

phred
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jphughan - 21 January 2021 10:17 PM
You can clone Windows disks while Windows is running from them.

Perfect!

Thanks
Edited 22 January 2021 10:01 PM by phred
phred
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Hopefully the final questions...

Two of the 1TB HDDs are under-utilitized, so I want to combine them on to one 1TB SSD. There are a total of nine partitions across the two HDDs.

I can think of two methods to do this. First method is use Reflect's clone tool, stating with HDD1 and resize each partition as I drag it from the source to the destination one at a time. When done with HDD1, there will be unallocated space on the SSD. I would then select HDD2 as the source and clone partition by partition resizing as I go.

The second method would be to use MiniTools Partition Wizard to create the nine downsized partitions in advance, and then clone HDD1 to it's new space followed by HDD2. Or, I can use Windows copy command to copy each partition one by one. Just a reminder that there is no boot drive involved here.

Would Reflect be better at error checking during the cloning that Windows would be during the copying?

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks.

Beardy
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Personally, to set up a data drive that way, I'd probably use Windows Disk management, or DISKPART, followed by robocopy for the data.
Robocopy does checking copy/paste doesn't, & also copies avoiding file fragmentation, something a clone operation duplicates, & while that's unimportant from a performance perspective on an SSD it can make a difference to recoverability using tools like testdisk if you should suffer filesystem corruption or a drive suddenly presenting itself as raw.  Either that or do File & folder backups & restore those to a pre-partitioned disk.

But that's me being me, you'll get other answers I'm sure, & reasons why my approach isn't the best.
jphughan
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Beardy - 22 January 2021 10:54 PM
Personally, to set up a data drive that way, I'd probably use Windows Disk management, or DISKPART, followed by robocopy for the data.
Robocopy does checking copy/paste doesn't, & also copies avoiding file fragmentation, something a clone operation duplicates, & while that's unimportant from a performance perspective on an SSD it can make a difference to recoverability using tools like testdisk if you should suffer filesystem corruption or a drive suddenly presenting itself as raw.  Either that or do File & folder backups & restore those to a pre-partitioned disk.

But that's me being me, you'll get other answers I'm sure, & reasons why my approach isn't the best.

A clone operation does not necessarily duplicate fragmentation.  I'm not completely certain, but I believe that Reflect's default intelligent sector copying mode would not reintroduce fragmentation, even if the forensic mode would.  I agree that with a data disk, you could typically get by with Robocopy, although a client of mine has an office file server with about 500K files occupying about 1.4 TB of space, and F&F backups took about 2.5x longer than image backups due to per-file overhead that occurs with file-level operations that are avoided on block-level operations.  But I grant that speed may not be a major concern for a one-off migration.

Beardy
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Well my comment re fragmentation was based off my most recent experience where I actually looked, & that was using v5 but both clone & image/restore did nothing to reduce it, maybe it's changed.
phred
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I spent a good amount of time time yesterday reading up on RoboCopy. Which leads me to this situation/question...

Since the plan is to clone/copy nine partitions to the new SSD, it appears that with RoboCopy the destination has to have a drive letter (which I know I can change later.) But I don't have nine letters available. Yeah, don't ask ;-)  If I go the Reflect Clone route, I can use MiniTool Partition Wizard or Windows diskpart and create the partitions without drive letters, but with labels. Can I at that point use Clone to drag from the source to the destination for all nine partitions (one by one) without the source having letters? Once I pull the source from the PC, I can then assign the drive letters. The screen shots in the Cloning section of the Reflect KB show drive letters on the destination partition, but are they necessary? -Or- how would I use Robocopy without drive letters on the destination?

Thanks.

GO

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