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Volume Clone Operations 
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Selecting the Clone Mode

XXCLONE


XXCLONE is used predominantly for volume cloning operations either for a one-time upgrade from the current system disk to a new (typically) larger one, or for periodic system backup purposes.

This section describes the difference among the four distinct ways to perform a cloning operation.  The available choices are displayed in the Operation Mode tab in the main window in the following order.

  1. Full Volume Backup (/BACKUP1)
      In this mode, the Target Volume will always be completely cleaned first.  Then, the entire Source Volume will be copied to the Target Volume.  This is the most time-consuming operations of all.

      One notable advantage of this method over the Incremental Volume Backup method (described below) is that every file in the Target Volume will be written contiguously without fragmentation.  Furthermore, this is the most "reliable" method of all to duplicate the volume faithfully.

      The files that make up the system registry will be transfered in this operation.

  2. Incremental Volume Backup (/BACKUP2)
      The end result of this operation will be logically equivalent to that of the Full Volume Backup (described above),  In both cases, the contents of the Target Volume should become the same as those of the Source Volume.

      The difference between the two is that the Incremental Volume Backup tries to reduce the work by identifying and skipping the files that have not been modified since the most recent backup operation whereas the Full Volume Backup always copies everything. 

      In each directory in the Target Volume, XXCLONE scans the contents for any extra file or directory whose counterpart does not exist in the Source Volume.  All such files and directories will be deleted from the Target Volume.

      Then, the directory in the Source Volume will be scanned for files that need to be copied to the corresponding directory in the Target Volume.  All new files that do not exist in the Target will be unconditionally copied.  If the same file exists in the Target Volume with identical size, timestamp and file-attributes, then, the file will be skipped.  Otherwise, the file is considered modified since the previous backup and will be copied.

      The process continues recursively for each directory found in the Source Volume.  At the end, the Target Volume will be made logically equivalent to the Source Volume in theory.

      There may be cases where the copy operation fails for various reasons.  We will discuss this topic in the Failures in File Copy section.

      After the entire volume is duplicated in the above mentioned fashion, the files that make up the system registry will be transfered.

      In most Windows systems, the vast majority of files in a volume remain unchanged in most day-to-day operations.  Therefore, an incremental backup operation dramatically reduces the time it take to perform a volume clone operation.

      In conjunction with this mode of volume cloning, the HyperSync option increases the performence significantly.

      This is the preferred operation for a periodic backup using XXCLONE.

      Note: the XXCLONE Freeware does not support this feature.

  3. Windows Key Directories Backup (/BACKUP3)
      Unlike the first two backup methods, this operation duplicates only the two essential directories in the Windows system volume.

      This operation is designed to create a target volume that is at least self-bootable in a minimalistic way.

      • The Windows system directory (%SystemRoot% --- in most system it is at C:\Windows\). This directory is the most important directory in any Windows system.  Therefore the contents of this directory are copied in this operation.

      • The standard user-data directory (\Documents and Settings\) is also very important for Windows operations, therefore, the contents of this directory are also copied in this operation.

      Some essential files in the root directory will also be backed up by this operation.  The files that make up the system registry will also be transfered in this operation.

      Many applications create their own directory inside the \Program Files\ directory.  However, the absence of such directories is not critical for a successful bootup process in most cases.  Therefore, the \Program Files\ directory and all other directories in the root level will not be duplicated in this mode of cloning. 

      You may use this method for the sake of troubleshooting or a transition to more complicated disk management operations.

      Note: the XXCLONE Freeware does not support this feature.

  4. Transfer of System Registry (/BACKUP0)
      This operation does not perform any file backup.  Rather, it performs only the transfer of the system registry from the Source Volume to the Target Volume.

      You may use this feature in order to capture the current state of the system configuration before installing a new software package so that you may restore the current system registry when something goes wrong with the new application.

      This operation is useful in conjunction with other file backup utilities such as Pixelab's XXCOPY-Pro.

      Note: the XXCLONE Freeware does not support this feature.



Note: The XXCLONE Freeware version supports only the Full Backup (/BACKUP1) operation.