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Cloning software that works with Windows 8.1 and creates a bootable UEFI/EFI USB drive

Posted on 2014-11-18
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Last Modified: 2015-03-11
I am having a heck of a time finding a cloning software that will allow me to create a bootable USB drive that will work on newer EFI/UEFI machines. In particular an Acer S3....other machines boot fine from my many USB Windows 2012, 8.1, etc. The only thing I can get to boot is an Acer USB drive that was created from one of the machines. It looks the same to me as my other drives, but the Acer hates mine.

So I want to try some other software so I can clone a bunch of these.
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Question by:mvalpreda
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40451415
I use Casper for cloning:
http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/

It's not free, but it is reasonably priced and is excellent software, definitely worth the cost (and it works on W7, W8, and W8.1, all in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions).

Here's a 5-minute EE video Micro Tutorial, Cloning a Hard Drive with Casper, showing how to do it.

Casper creates a bootable USB drive as long as you use the Copy an entire hard disk method, not the Copy a specific drive method. I'm not sure about the EFI/UEFI issue, but there's a free trial, so you can know the answer before you purchase:
http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/trial/

The only issue with the trial is that it doesn't support volume resizing. Of course, the purchased product does — it can clone to a larger disk or even to a smaller one, as long as there is enough space on the smaller one to house the used (non-free) space from the larger one.

As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with this company and no financial interest in it whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer.
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by:nobus
ID: 40451743
can you tell me what exactly you want to do with the bootable usb drive ?

for creating bootable usb drives, i use Yumi : http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/
lets you even boot to multiple iso's from the same stick - and very easy to use
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by:rindi
ID: 40451844
Disable secureboot on your PC, and your tools should be able to boot. Maybe also change the BIOS mode from UEFI to conventional if it still doesn't work. After that you can always go back to UEFI and secureboot.
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by:mvalpreda
ID: 40452332
I want to be able to boot from the USB drive and run the cloning software.

These particular Acers will not allow me to turn off UEFI in the BIOS. They're really a pain.
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by:rindi
ID: 40452390
They must allow you to disable secureboot though. That is a requirement of m$.
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by:nobus
ID: 40452568
did you try this method?

http://itsfoss.com/disable-uefi-secure-boot-in-windows-8/

btw - i use paragon software to clone, ; here their free soft :  http://www.paragon-software.com/free/
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by:mvalpreda
ID: 40479194
Have not had much luck with these Acers. I wound up pulling the hard drive and using HDClone on my machine. Few extra steps, but works....even to a smaller drive.
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by:rindi
ID: 40479295
Meanwhile I have gotten hold of a mainboard with UEFI BIOS, and there is no problem cloning/imaging. I've used paragon software, as well as CloneZilla. And I can boot from USB stick or DVD drive without issue, but as I mentioned above you at least need to disable secureboot within the BIOS. Also, when you get to the boot selection, you should be able to choose between UEFI and Standard mode when you select the USB stick.

For example when I select the "Boot Menu" of my UEFI BIOS, it shows my JetFlashTranscend USB stick twice, once as UEFI, and once just as the stick. There you would not select the UEFI version, and your cloning / imaging software should boot normally.
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by:mvalpreda
ID: 40510896
Stupid Acers must not follow standards since I cannot turn off secure boot.
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by:nobus
ID: 40510909
i don't think they are to blame, but faulty hardware
acer is one of the cheapest manufacturers around.
if you want better quality, buy a business model from HP, Dell, or Lenovo
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40510950
You must be able to turn off secureboot. That is a requirement they have from m$. Maybe it is just called differently on that PC.

OF course if it is an Windows RT system, then it is different. Windows RT runs on ARM processors, and there the m$ requirement is different, you can't turn off secureboot there. But your cloning software wouldn't run anyway, as that was made for x86 type CPU's.
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by:nobus
ID: 40511370
what model is this?
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by:mvalpreda
ID: 40520173
I don't recall the model off the top of my head. I had to take the drive out and clone it with a USB/SATA adapter. There are 12 screws on the back and 3 more for the hard drive. What a pain.

I am using Miray HDClone. Works great, but their documentation on how to create a boot USB is lacking. I still have not been able to figure it out.
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by:nobus
ID: 40520233
are you trying to make the image bootable from USB?   with win7 - that won't work
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by:mvalpreda
ID: 40522262
What are you referring to nobus?
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by:nobus
ID: 40523249
well - windows 7  does not have the option to run from an usb device, like win8
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by:mvalpreda
ID: 40554743
I still don't see how that helps nobus.
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by:nobus
ID: 40554866
if we don't know what you are trying to do, we can only guess at possible solutions
that's why i posted - as example - one that does not work
eliminating impossible turns you to the possible solutions
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by:mvalpreda
ID: 40659683
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

I don't care any longer.
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Accepted Solution

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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 500 total points
ID: 40659684
Well, you may not care any longer, but three experts (two Savants and an Ace) spent their valuable time trying to help you, so as a member of the EE community, I think there's an obligation on your part to care. Furthermore, the database of Previously Asked Questions (the PAQ) is a critical part of EE, but if this question gets deleted, the potential solutions recommended by the experts will not be available in the PAQ to other members of the EE community who are looking for a solution to the same problem.

I'm following up on my suggestion of Casper in this post, along with the video Micro Tutorial on it. As I alluded to in that post, Casper has a Startup Disk Creator that can create a stand-alone, bootable CD/DVD or bootable USB flash drive (or bootable ISO image). What I didn't know at the time of that post is if it works on EFI/UEFI computers. So I wrote on your behalf to Casper's technical support asking about it. Here is their response:
The Casper Startup Disk will be configured for the type of system that it is created on. For instance, if the Startup Disk was created on a Bios system, the Startup Disk will only work on Bios systems. Consequently, a Startup Disk created on a UEFI system will work on UEFI systems.
So the answer is YES, as long as you create the Casper stand-alone media on an EFI or UEFI machine, it will be bootable on an EFI or UEFI machine. Regards, Joe
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