fcuc wrote:I am still confused about the difference between clone and backup. I just had to (a) reinstall Windows XP on my computer, (b) copy all my data files (which I backed up with another software), and (c) re-install all my softwares (like Quickbook, Adobe Professional, Nero, MS Office, etc.)
I am looking at your software to replace my current backup software. Does your software "backup everything and re-install steps (a), (b) and (c)? Or does it reinstall only (b)? Which one does what - clone or backup?
Does clone erase the source after copying it?
Although support answered your question, I have a feeling you were looking for some other information, so I will also respond.
If your goal in doing this particular backup is to avoid having to reinstall your operating system, all your applications, and all your data, you should be doing either a DISK/PARTITION BACKUP or a CLONE of your drive (or maybe even both).
What's the difference? If you have a second hard drive right now that matches the specifications of your main hard drive, you could CLONE your original drive to your second drive. That way, the second drive can be put into storage, and inserted immediately into your computer in case the main drive crashes. That would return your computer to the exact state it was in at the time it was cloned. You wouldn't have any NEW programs or data that had been installed since the cloning, but you would have a good starting point that didn't require the installation of Windows or your applications. You'd still need to restore anything added since the time you cloned (both programs and data).
If you don't have a duplicate drive that you want to keep as a "swappable" spare, then you should create a DISK/PARTITION image backup onto a backup device. If your current drive crashes, you'd need to replace that drive, then RESTORE the image from your backup device onto the new replacement drive. Assuming you hadn't changed any other hardware, you'd be back up and running with the operating system, programs, and data as of the date you made the image backup.
The advantage of cloning is that you don't need to do that initial "restore" after a crash - you already have a drive waiting for you with all your data.
The advantage of disk/partition backup is that it acts as a starting point for CONTINUING your backup process. If you intend to continue with recurring backups of your system (to keep track of new programs, newly added or changed data, etc.), then you should start with the DISK/PARTITION backup, followed by regular backups using either the INCREMENTAL or DIFFERENTIAL backup method, depending on which works best for you.