How is it possible to clone a drive in use?


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bblackmoor
bblackmoor
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I am sure that this is not the first time someone has asked this, so if there is an article that explains it, please direct me to it.

What I would like to know is... how is this possible? To clone a hard drive while the computer is on and programs and running and files are being changed? I don't mean me -- I set up the clone process to run overnight, and it appears to have completed successfully (I have not tested it, but Macrium Reflect says it completed successfully). But even though I wasn't using it, I know that there are scores of programs running -- I didn't close anything, so even the web browser and such were still running.

But how is that possible?

Froggie
Froggie
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Reflect, and many other apps that run under Windows, use a Windows service called VSS (Volume Shadow Service).  When an app wants to "freeze" the System, Windows goes through a series of steps to inform DataBase programs and others to make their files consistent before it freezes the FileSystem.  As soon as Windows gets confirmation of consistency among those applications, it freezes the System into a snapshot for Reflect to image.  Any changes from the freeze to the end of the apps use of the snapshot are kept separately from the rest of the System.  As soon as the app releases the snapshot, Windows now incorporates (merges) all the changes that occurred since the freeze back into the main FileSystem.

It works very well "most" of the time...
Edited 9 March 2017 4:20 PM by Froggie
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