Cloning a hard drive using Casper?

Posted on 2014-12-11
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I had this question after watching Cloning a Hard Drive with Casper.
Excellent tutorial Joe.  I have one question.  Since you are cloning your main hard drive over to this external drive on a frequent basis is it true that each clone will wipe out anything (including the previous clone) on that external drive in order to produce a new and up to date clone?
Question by:capreol
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Accepted Solution

Tuan Massey earned 500 total points
ID: 40494719
That is right Capreol, it will.

Doing a clone will wipe all data on the destination drive. I use Acronis and scheduled the incremental backup feature to start once a night. Doing a full clone every night would be a bit overkill but doing a clone once a week or once a month might be more reasonable. I'm sure Casper has the ability to do incremental backups right?

It also depends on how much data you are cloning/backing up. If your hard drive is only 20GB or so, i think a frequent clone every night would be fine. But if you have something like 500GB data, an incremental backup would be better.

Author Comment

ID: 40494723
I suspect that it does.  I am not sure.  Are you suggesting doing a clone of the hard drive periodically and then doing incremental backups of data on a different external drive than the one I am cloning to?

Expert Comment

by:Tuan Massey
ID: 40494727
That sounds like a good backup plan to me.
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Author Comment

ID: 40494740
Thanks a lot for your help.  Much appreciated.

Expert Comment

by:Tuan Massey
ID: 40494745
You're welcome!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40494749
Very good answer.  Thanks a lot.
LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 40989622
Hi Capreol,

I want you to know that I was not notified when you submitted this question at the video. I don't want you to think that I was being unresponsive. I have submitted a bug report on this to EE, as I think the authors of video Micro Tutorials should be notified when a question is asked:

That said, I'm glad that another EE member addressed your question, although I don't agree with everything that Tuan said. He is right that a clone overwrites the entire drive, but I do not think that "a full clone every night would be a bit overkill". It really depends on how much time you want to be down when you have to recover. I prefer the idea of installing a cloned drive into the machine where the drive failed and being back up and running in literally a few minutes. It has happened to me! So even for a 500GB drive, Tuan's comment that "an incremental backup would be better" needs some provisos — there are pros and cons.

Of course, in addition to cloning, Casper (and Acronis) can create images, allowing you to store a backup of the complete drive in a single file in the file system (such as on a NAS or a high capacity, external USB drive), but unlike a clone, restoration of an image to create a working machine is not a simple matter of installing the cloned drive.

Re the question, "I'm sure Casper has the ability to do incremental backups right?", the answer is yes (for images, of course, not clones):

Casper images - incremental updates
Regards, Joe

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