Solved Good Free Software for Cloning Windows, Settings and Programs?

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Brandon Byrnes

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I just did a reinstall of Windows after my system crashed, and after reinstalling windows and then taking another 2.5 hrs to reinstall all my programs I've come to the conclusion that I'm really getting tired of doing this, lol. Can someone suggest a free program to clone my Windows install? I just need Windows 10, my Windows settings, and my installed programs cloned. I'm not worried about my personal files because I keep all of those on a separate drive, but I know alot of disk cloning programs want you to clone all your personal files but thats not an option becuase I don't have a drive big enough to clone those plus I don't need to. Any help/suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

georgeks

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Have you tried the Windows File History tool?

On the search bar, type File History, then select Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
Click on Create a system Image and then select where you want to save the image.
After the image is created, you must create a System Repair Disk.
That's it.

I've been using it for more than 5 years now.
 

Brandon Byrnes

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Have you tried the Windows File History tool?

On the search bar, type File History, then select Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
Click on Create a system Image and then select where you want to save the image.
After the image is created, you must create a System Repair Disk.
That's it.

I've been using it for more than 5 years now.
does that backup the OS and Programs and personal files, or Just the OS and Programs. I already keep a back up of personal files on an external HDD, so I wouldn't need that, just Windows and installed programs.
 

Brandon Byrnes

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quick question, when it comes to backups and clones. I know a clone is basically a working exact copy of a hard drive (just pop it in and it will work) and a backup has to be installed to the hard drive you want it on. But my primary OS hard drive is an M.2 NVME ssd, and from what I've been reading in order to install a backup I would need to have the software I used to create the backup installed, but how would that work if the drive with my OS on it is not bootable? I can't just pop out my M.2 drive and stick it into another system (like a regular SATA drive) (plus most systems only have one M.2 slot and usually that slot is Taken up by a M.2 drive that has the persons OS on it) and because the only other system I have is my laptop (which only has one M.2 slot) and it's OS is also on a M.2 ssd. So I am thinking the only way for me to install a backup would be to, I guess get a M.2 external enclosure and install the backup using that connected to my laptop where I could have the backup software installed? Or am I making this to complicated?
 

Bruce

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all depends on what you are trying to mitigate.
file deletion, folder corruption, drive failure, PC theft, house burns down etc.

at the easiest end, you just need to copy all your files to another medium, for the worst case you need offsite medium probably spanning multiple backup volume sets.

I actually used Macrium today to clone my full m.2 drive to a bigger SATA SSD drive, and as you said, just pop it in and bingo.

using Macrium as an example to answer your question, create a bootable CD using the Macrium Windows PE rescue medium.
that way you boot to a version of Windows on the CD and use Macrium off that to restore to the new drive.
 

Brandon Byrnes

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ah okay. That would make sense about the rescue CD. I initially went with the AOMEI Backupper but since I don't any option like that I think I'll use Macrium instead, just throw the backup on to a thumdrvie and then throw the rescue CD onto another thumb drive and boot onto that to install the backup. Thanks for the how-to. I'm going to do that right now.
 

Brandon Byrnes

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I just created the backup. I have a question though, I ended up using a 256GB flashdrive for the backup, but when the backup was completed it looks like the image was only about 30GB, is that correct? Does Macrium compress the backup image file or something, because when i look at the screen during the making of it it says that the backup is a little over 69GB and it says compression is medium.
If in fact it does compress it and the file is only 30GB then I think I'm going to use a smaller flash drive so I'm not wasting a 256GB drive on one 30GB backup file.
 

Rustys

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You may also want to look at doing more than one backup. You can create more than one back up on the drive.

I keep three and one off site that I rotate in once a month.
 

Brandon Byrnes

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Alright it's official this m.2 SSD has to be toast. Once again everything was working fine. I decided to rearrange my room. Turned off the computer, unplugged it, moved it to a different spot and plugged everything back in. It boots up, the screen flickers, freezes up, and I get a bsod saying the same thing.and once again I'm back to square one, good thing I made that backup earlier today. I don't suppose I can RMA this drive after using it for almost 2 yrs can I? I just realized my bsod issue was another thread, but I guess it applies here.
 

Bruce

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I'd rate the Samsung EVO's as the best, so your experience probably highlights the simple fact, it doesn't really matter in the long run.
as long as you compare apples with apples, so compare SSD's with similar features and prices and capacities - it looks like one brand is roughtly the same as any other.
 

Brandon Byrnes

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Yeah thats what I was thinking. Right now i am currently applying the backup, but I have a bit of an issue I think. I was installing the official samsung driver for my m.2 nvme and the computer crashed, and now when i go to my bios the drive doesn't show up in the bios. I am going to finish installing the backup and see what happens. I just don't understand why it keeps crashing, i scanned the drive with smasungs smasung magician, it said no errors, i also scanned it with windows and it said no errors. I'm not using any pirated software or anything, I just have no idea what is going on.
 

Brandon Byrnes

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strike that, when i go to the settings/System status it shows M2_1 is occupied by my drive but then when I go to boot order it's not showing up, and when i try to boot it says there isn't any device connected.
 

gus

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Seems this thread has moved on a couple or more times. As the original topic has been answered (as has been previously) will close this thread. If @Brandon Byrnes has different issues perhaps it's best to start a new thread? Computer hardware would be good.
 
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