Cloned laptop to pe-formatted HDD, then Vista says must format before use?

  polymath 21:44 23 Oct 14

External 500GB HDD is Targa Databox NDAS 500 eSATA, notebook OS is Vista Home Premium SP2. It's the first time the Targa's been used. And the first time I've used any external HDD or done any backup from Windows, so apologies if this is something everybody knows!

I switched on the Targa for the first time today, though it had been just sitting here for years. It started up fine, and sounds as if it's running smoothly. I haven't partitioned it. The manual says it's pre-formatted for NTFS and is ready to go with Vista, and when I connected the USB lead (no eSATA on the notebook), Vista accordingly recognised & installed it, showing up as disk E: (as with any other storage device I connect to the notebook, which only has a C: partition) I made a clone (as opposed to an image) of the notebook's (160GB) HDD using Macrium Reflect Free, and all seemed to go as expected, with the Targa's activity light on, and progress in the Targa window, confirming completion in about an hour. Wanting to test the backup (and not knowing how), I then went to E: in Vista, to see if I could look at the files there and try restoring/copying one. But when I click on the drive, Vista says 'You need to format the disk in drive E: before you can use it'. I've tried rebooting everything, to no effect. Sorry - have to go offline now, back in the morning.

  lotvic 22:31 23 Oct 14

"I made a clone (as opposed to an image)"

A clone is a bootable exact copy of the original C:\

A clone is made to replace the original C:\

You open up the drive bay and take the original C:\ out (and put it in your cupboard to keep it safe) and then you put your clone in the hard drive bay.

The clone is now the C:\ drive.

....If you did not want a clone, I suggest you start again.

  lotvic 22:43 23 Oct 14

(apologies, last line did not post as expected :))

...if you did not want a clone, so that we can advise accordingly, I suggest you start again and tell us what you were hoping the outcome would be.

Did you want to back up the op sys Vista and your programs and also your personal data (My Documents)?

or did you just want to back up your personal data (My Documents)?

I have read your posts in other thread ClickHere and note you now should have some idea of what type of backup you have decided upon.

  onthelimit1 08:43 24 Oct 14

I'm not totally sure about this, but I suspect that as the ext HDD is a clone, you would need to set the laptop to boot from this drive.

  lotvic 10:20 24 Oct 14

onthelimit1, AFAIK a laptop can't use an external Targa Databox NDAS 500 eSATA as the C: boot drive.

  polymath 13:17 24 Oct 14

Thank you for your responses.

I'm still learning about backup re modern computers, and only realised yesterday that 'image' and 'clone' aren't synonymous. I then went for a clone in this instance, because I had the impression from somewhere that a clone would be simpler (and quicker to test) before going ahead with an urgent laptop repair. (And for this initial job, disk space isn't yet an issue). I also assumed I'd be able to restore from a clone on an external E: drive (and a new recovery disk, maybe) - didn't realise a clone has to physically replace the internal HDD.

I am in the process of setting up a proper backup strategy (for 2 computers), with several backup types. But in case of any mishap during the laptop repair, what I'm trying to do at the moment is to be able to restore everything on the laptop HDD. Until I can, I'd rather avoid opening it up. It's currently difficult to use except for the simplest purposes (I'm peering at it through a 30° angle, and it could get impossible any time).

So it looks as if I should reformat the Targa & do a disk image.

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