Cloning a Windows XP drive and Booting from a Firewire Clone

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#1
OK folks - I'm a Mac person, but I have a couple of PCs. I found a few LaCie 2TB drives on sale for US$214 each. So - I have some older Firewire 400 external drives 'available' since I've consolidated all my Mac files (including audio and video files) on the drives I bought.

On my Mac I can clone a drive to an external firewire disk. And, I can even boot from that disk should my internal drive fail. I'm not worried about 'incremental' backups (files deleted on the drive being cloned are not deleted on the clone - If I delete it on the main drive, I don't want a copy on the clone drive - I have that covered by simple file backups).

Both of my PCs have Firewire 400 connections.

How to - What to Use - To do the same for my PCs?

Let's just say I'm updating my 'disaster recovery' system here.
 
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Jim Wynne

Staff member
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#2
If what you want to do is be able to boot from a USB clone of your system drive, it ain't easy. I was just looking into this the other day, as a matter of fact. First, you have to make sure that your motherboard and BIOS support booting from USB devices (there should be something about it in the BIOS setup). If your hardware is capable, here's what you have to do to get XP to cooperate:
How to install and run a FULL Windows XP from a USB drive
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
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#3
Well, I was thinking Firewire.

Bottom line is, I want to be able to backup and restore the internal drives at a minimum.

I spoke with Howard about this when he was here and said he could boot with a USB stick, which would be OK but from what you linked to - What a chore to set up the USB stick.

A DVD or CD boot disk would be OK (maybe only CDs work for boot disks in Windows XP?) would be OK. I have a fair amount of trust in the media. But there comes the Backup and Restore aspect.

The drives are 250GB Maxtor One Touch backup drives. I guess when I get finished backing up the files and swap these drives out of my Mac network I'll have to check the disks that came with the drives. They may have a PC backup program (even if 'basic' or 'promo') - The drives are not specific to Mac computers or anything.

Note 1: Checked the Compaq Presario V6000 laptop - It appears the BIOS only supports CD and floppy boot. I do have a USB floppy drive (for stuff that is now archaic...), but obviously it will have to be a CD solution.
 
Last edited:
R

Rinascimento

#4
A couple of thoughts here.

I do this with an ISO image converted from older versions of my Ghost emergency disks. I rarely use firewire, but if I remember correctly, the firewire connection is easier to use than the USB connection.

Alternatively, I am using the Ultimate Boot Disk for Windows (search for UBCD4Win) and it contains a few cloning programs, including an open format XML image. These are CDRom or CDRW disks.

UBCD4Win is my main utility and recovery tool for my windows PCs.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#5
Well, I was thinking Firewire.

Bottom line is, I want to be able to backup and restore the internal drives at a minimum.

I spoke with Howard about this when he was here and said he could boot with a USB stick, which would be OK but from what you linked to - What a chore to set up the USB stick.

A DVD or CD boot disk would be OK (maybe only CDs work for boot disks in Windows XP?) would be OK. I have a fair amount of trust in the media. But there comes the Backup and Restore aspect.

The drives are 250GB Maxtor One Touch backup drives. I guess when I get finished backing up the files and swap these drives out of my Mac network I'll have to check the disks that came with the drives. They may have a PC backup program (even if 'basic' or 'promo') - The drives are not specific to Mac computers or anything.

Note 1: Checked the Compaq Presario V6000 laptop - It appears the BIOS only supports CD and floppy boot. I do have a USB floppy drive (for stuff that is now archaic...), but obviously it will have to be a CD solution.
I use Acronis True Image for cloning and general backup purposes. It's great and the latest version has some good features. In my desktop computer I have an 80GB system drive, and I have an identical drive in a USB enclosure. I clone the system drive about once a month, and do incremental backups of data in between. If the system drive crashes I can physically install the clone in the computer and restore the incremental backups and be back in bidness.
 
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