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  • Writer's pictureConcept Computers

To Backup or Clone?

Something is up with your computer. Naturally, you take it down to Concept Computers to speak with their knowledgeable staff about what to do. The conversation turns to data and new computers and the tech is talking hard drive back-ups and clones. You politely smile and nod, but you secretly have no idea what they are talking about. Aren't they the same thing?

First, let us preface this post by saying that we welcome your questions at Concept. Sometimes the inner nerd in us sneaks up and technical jargon starts falling out of our mouths. If this happens, please feel free to stop us and ask what the heck we're talking about! Otherwise, we welcome you to arm yourself with a bit more knowledge as we answer the question, "What is the difference between a hard drive back-up and clone and when should you use them?" We're glad you asked!

A back-up images files and settings into a single file at a target location of your choice, typically using a back-up software. This back-up file can be password protected and updated at regular intervals (daily, weekly etc.). These back-ups can be used if your computer crashes or data becomes corrupted and typically requires the backup software to do so. Since back-ups compress data into one file, they usually take up less space.

Cloning is a copy of all the contents, settings and structure of your hard drive, including partitions and file locations. This is typically a one-time operation and data is not compressed or updated. A clone will essentially move your data to a new hard drive or computer in exactly the same format as it was from the hard drive of origin. It is used to duplicate data and/or move it to a new location, not to restore it to the same hard drive. The bonus is that in one step you will have all your data on a new hard drive and be able to edit it immediately.

Still confused? No problem! Our technicians are happy to explain the process so you understand it AND offer tutoring packages to broaden your knowledge and grow your confidence with the products we sell.

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