Both cloning and imaging create an exact record of your drive or partition. This consists of not only the files, but the master boot record, allocation table, and everything else needed to boot and successfully run an operating system.
This isn’t necessary for protecting your data as a simple file backup will handle that particular job just fine. However should your hard drive crash or Windows become hopelessly corrupt, a clone or image backup can quickly get you back to work.
When you clone a drive, you copy everything on it onto another drive, so that the two are effectively identical. Normally, you would clone to an internal drive made external via a SATA/USB adapter or enclosure.
But imaging a drive is more like creating a great big .zip file (without the .zip extension). Image backup software copies everything on the drive into a single, compressed, but still very large file. You would probably save the image onto an external hard drive.
What are the advantages of each?
Should your primary hard drive crash, a clone will get you up and running quickly. All you have to do is swap the drives.
On the other hand, if your drive crashes and you've backed it up to an image, you'd have to buy and install a new internal hard drive, boot from your backup programs emergency boot disc, and restore the drives contents from the backup.
An image backup provides greater versatility when backing up. You can save several images onto one sufficiently large external hard drive, making it easier and more economical to save multiple versions of the same disk or back up multiple computers.
Get advice and assistance from Andy and the team at R3. R3 Data Recovery is real lab that deals with real disasters each an every day. If you have any sort of problem with a hard drive or any data storage device, we are the people to contact. Call us today on 0800 999 3282 for immediate help and assistance.