Disk cloning is the process of copying the contents of one computer hard disk to another disk or to an “image” file. This may be done straight from one disk to another, but more often, the contents of the first disk are written to an image file as an intermediate step, then the second disk is loaded with the contents of the image. The common uses of disk cloning includes reboot and restore, provisioning new computer, hard drive upgrade, full system backup, system recovery, etc. Backup is making copies of data which may be used to restore the original after a data loss issue.
Data loss becomes a common experience for computer users. In order to save time, many people would like to use disk cloning as a backup strategy. Does this sound like a good idea?
Compared to regular backups, the speed of recovery for cloning is far faster. However, there are much more disadvantages.
Firstly, if the disk is a system disk, clone it and leaving the source and clone in the computer will produce problems.
Secondly, a clone takes up an entire hard disk with a single image, even if most of it is empty space! With backups you can have multiple backups on one target disk so you have extra insurance that you have a good backup. Plus, sometimes software goes wonky and you want to recover a disk image to a time before the wonk happened. So having some older backups is sometimes handy too.
Thirdly, You cannot keep a clone of a disk with an active (system) partition on a drive that already has a disk with such a partition — Windows will make one of them no longer a bootable disk–which defeats the whole purpose of a cloned system disk.
Lastly, when you recover, it’s possible to clone in the wrong direction and be left with only empty disks!
For Backup, you can store different images with different versions of files. It is much more flexible and less risky.