The difference between image and clone is both simple and confusing, because the terms are used interchangeably to mean different things.
Image and clone are two very confusing backup terms.
One reason is a deep, dark, dirty little secret of the industry: we don’t all agree on what these two terms mean. Quite literally, one person’s clone is another person’s image, and vice versa.
It gets confusing, and if you’re hearing different things from different people, that’s why.
I’ll provide what I believe are the most accurate and common definitions. Hopefully, that means you’re more likely to hear people agree than disagree with what I’m saying.
When you can’t create the Windows 10 Recovery Drive, try these three fixes
The words you don’t want to read: “We can’t create a recovery drive on this PC.” These workarounds should help in most situations.
If you’re running Windows 10, you need to create a recovery drive—a bootable flash drive that will allow you to restore your system from a restore point, an image backup, or through a complete reinstall.
There’s no single solution to this problem. A fix that works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.
But first, a quick review on creating a recovery drive: Plug in an empty flash drive with a capacity of 4GB or more. Then open Control Panel’s Recovery tool, click Create a recovery drive, and follow the prompts.
And yes, you do want to back up system files necessary for a full reinstall.
If you try those directions and get a “We can’t create a recovery drive…” error, try these solutions:
Scan for problems
Your PC may be suffering from a corrupted system file. Here’s how to find out and hopefully fix it:
Type cmd in the Search field. In the search results, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
Once you’re inside the command environment, type sfc/scannow and press Enter. The System File Checker (SFC) program will examine Windows files and replace any that appear to be corrupt. This scan rarely takes more than 10 minutes.
After the scan, try again.
Try another flash drive
Yes, it’s obvious, but a lot of people overlook the obvious. You can buy a 4GB flash drive for less than $5, so there’s really no excuse.
Create an install drive instead
A Windows 10 install drive is very much like a Windows 10 recovery drive. The major differences are that the install drive defaults to reinstalling Windows, and doesn’t know the details of your particular Windows installation.
First, you’ll need to download the media creation tool. Be patient; it’s a big file. Once you have it, plug in your flash drive, launch MediaCreationTool.exe, select Create installation media for another PC and follow the prompts.
When you boot from this drive, the Windows Setup wizard comes up. On the second page of the wizard, ignore the big “Install now” button and click Repair your computer in the lower-left corner. That brings you into an environment nearly identical to the Recovery Tool.
But if you do a complete reinstall, there’s a possibility that it will require you to enter your Product ID number—the proof that you can legally run Windows 10 on this machine. So take a precaution now: Download and run Nirsoft’s free and portable ProduKey. Save the displayed numbers in a safe place.
If you’re constantly testing software, trying out new Windows settings or tweaks or even purposely infecting your own machine with Malware, it’s essential to have a complete copy of your Windows partition to hand so you can quickly restore it to its exact state to before you started messing around. Even if you don’t use your computer very often or for those things, a full backup could save you time and money, reinstalling Windows and all your applications again would be a long, laborious and possibly expensive process.
Norton Ghost used to be the go to piece of drive imaging software if you wanted to create full backups of your entire Windows system. Backup Images have an advantage over backing up files and folders because they make a complete copy of everything in the Windows partition. Although it was good, Norton Ghost wasn’t free and has long since been discontinued. Thankfully things are different now and even Windows can create basic full image backups of your system, although it can be slightly inflexible.
Here we’ll show you 3 free applications that can make full backups of your entire Windows install and how to create an image of your system with each one.
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