We mentioned a few competing products at this site,
Norton Ghost is probably the most notable
example of XXCLONE's competitors. Some of the usages of
XXCLONE shares the common objective --- to clone a Windows
However, XXCLONE has one very significant difference in
its approach to the problem of cloning a Windows disk
that makes it a class of its own.
XXCLONE views a Windows disk as a collection of files
and directories and with a few exceptions, its access
to data on the disk is carried out as a logical (file)
access operations using the standard Windows file I/O
Application Program Interface (API).
Whereas, nearly all of competing products on the market
that are designed for disk cloning operations access
the disk using physical, low-level (sector to sector)
device I/O technique.
In short, XXCLONE is a special purpose file-copy
utility with extra features to make the target volume
self-bootable (this portion of the operation still
requires low-level disk I/O). It is not a
disk-imaging tool that treats a disk as a collection
of sectors. Much of XXCLONE's advantages is
a result this fundamental difference to its competing
Here is a list of contrasting characteristics in the
two approaches in the disk cloning problem.
So far, we paraded the advantages of the logical access
technique used in XXCLONE over its competing products that
are based upon the physical (sector-to-sector) access.
Obviously, an objective comparison cannot be complete without
mentioning the drawbacks of one product.
- When a clone operation is performed for the first
time, all the files created on the target volume
will be stored in a contiguous region. Therefore,
the clone operation in full backup mode automatically
performs the so-called "de-frag" operations.
The competing products that are based on a
sector-to-sector duplication principle propagate
the same degree of fragmentation found in the
source volume to the target.
- When the same clone operation is repeated for
regular volume backup, XXCLONE can skip files that
were unchanged since the previous backup.
Disk-imaging products typically cannot perform an
efficient backup operation in incremental mode
(Note: some products do claim to skip unchanged sectors).
- You may operate XXCLONE in a regular Windows session
without stopping your routine use of the computers,
since XXCLONE acts as a regular Windows applications
for most of its operations.
Disk-Imaging tools typically force you to terminate
a Windows session and run in DOS mode.
- XXCLONE can clone a volume into another with a
different file system. That is, you may clone a FAT
volume into an NTFS volume or vice versa.
Disk imaging products require the same type of
file system between the source and the target volumes.
- With XXCLONE, the target volume's size need not match
that of the source. As long as the target volume has
the capacity to hold the files, it can even be smaller
than the source volume.
- XXCLONE does not currently employ a brute-force
optimization in the cloning operation other than
the good programing technique of coding the program
as efficiently as any conscientious engineer does.
As a consequence, one may find a competing product
outperforming XXCLONE in the first full volume
cloning operation. However, XXCLONE's ability
to perform the incremental backup will more than
compensate for it.
- XXCLONE currently does not support a Dynamic Disk as
the target volume. If your target disk has already
been configured as a Dynamic Disk, you must reinitialize
the target disk as a Basic Disk.