About Drive Cloning:
'Drive Cloning' is a process to create sector by sector copy of your hard drive or any other digital media. With this cloning technology, you can create an additional backup hard drive by copying the entire content of the source drive to another empty hard drive. The cloned hard drive contains all your data, applications, operating system and works exactly as your original hard drive. Thus, this alternative data backup method not only restores your lost data, but also helps in continuing important on-going work in case of media failure.
For Mac there are various data backup schemes available, like that of Time Machine. With Time Machine or similar backup means, you can create backups that can help restoring data under instances of data loss. These data backup copies are not bootable and they can only restore data to a running Mac hard drive. Hence, if your Mac hard drive has failed; along with data restoration, you need to install other necessary applications to a new hard drive. Such a process can take hours to complete, when your ongoing work remains stuck.
Cloning Vs Imaging -
This is the reason, while taking backup of important data in the hard drive, there are two data backup methods, which are discussed mostly – Imaging and Cloning. Cloning allows creation of a bootable replica of the Mac hard drive, whereas imaging only helps in restoration of data. There is a thin line of difference in requirement that holds the key for opting in between Cloning and Imaging. As it is the safety of your data that is the most important thing, the best way to perform imaging is to take the image of your healthy Mac drive and set an incremental backup on the original image. On the other hand, though cloning requires two physical hard drives, this is more useful, when your original hard drive crashes.
As cloning makes two mirror copies of your Mac hard drive, they can easily be used interchangeably. Though mostly, users create clones of their boot drives, cloning can also be performed to backup create functional and faster backups of external drives, installation DVDs etc.
Types of Cloning
There are two different methods for cloning your Mac hard drive – File-level cloning and Block-level cloning. The file-level cloning works on the basis of files, whereas the block-level cloning method clones hard drive by copying blocks after block. Both these methods involve certain benefits in them, when file-level cloning defrags data at the time of cloning, block-level cloning is the faster one.
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