What is XXCLONE?
XXCLONE is a handy utility with distinctive number of useful features and professional approach to backing up and restoring a hard drive. Its main features:
- Makes a self-bootable clone of Windows system disk.
- Supports 32-bit Windows (95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP).
- Can restore the self-bootability in many cases. It takes only a minute to run.
- Supports common internal disk drives (IDE, SATA, and SCSI).
- Supports external USB/FIREWIRE drives (good for a laptop).
- Competes with Norton Ghost, DriveImage, MaxBlast and is much faster than any of them regular backup operations.
- Need not go to the DOS mode. Operates in regular Windows environment.
- Simple to use by novices.
XXCLONE views a Windows disk as a collection of files and directories and with a few exceptions, its access to data on the disk is carried out as a logical (file) access operations using the standard Windows file I/O Application Program Interface (API).
Whereas, nearly all of competing products on the market that are designed for disk cloning operations access the disk using physical, low-level (sector to sector) device I/O technique.
In short, XXCLONE is a special purpose file-copy utility with extra features to make the target volume self-bootable (this portion of the operation still requires low-level disk I/O). It is not a disk-imaging tool that treats a disk as a collection of sectors. Much of XXCLONE's advantages represent a result of this fundamental difference to its competing products.
Here is a list of contrasting characteristics in the two approaches in the disk cloning problem.
- When a clone operation is performed for the first time, all the files created on the target volume will be stored in a contiguous region. Therefore, the clone operation in full backup mode automatically performs the so-called "defrag" operations.
The competing products that are based on a sector-to-sector duplication principle propagate the same degree of fragmentation found in the source volume to the target.
- When the same clone operation is repeated for regular volume backup, XXCLONE can skip files that were unchanged since the previous backup.
Disk-imaging products typically cannot perform an efficient backup operation in incremental mode (Note: some products do claim to skip unchanged sectors).
- You may operate XXCLONE in a regular Windows session without stopping your routine use of the computers, since XXCLONE acts as a regular Windows application for most of its operations.
Disk-Imaging tools typically force you to terminate a Windows session and run in DOS mode.
- XXCLONE can clone a volume into another with a different file system. That is, you may clone a FAT volume into an NTFS volume or vice versa.
Disk imaging products require the same type of file system between the source and the target volumes.
- With XXCLONE, the target volume's size need not match that of the source. As long as the target volume has the capacity to hold the files, it can even be smaller than the source volume.
Free Version Limitations
Here's a list of the basic XXCLONE features that are supported by *ALL* packages of XXCLONE.
- Makes a self-bootable clone of the system volume.
- Makes a full backup of a non-system volume.
- Restores (repairs) the self-bootability.
- Makes a Quick Boot Diskette (QBD).
- Makes a batch file for repeated operations.
- May show alternate wallpaper for distinct look.
- May shut down the system after its job is done.
- May throttle down its CPU usage.
- Can save log and debug files.
- Can add an entry in the boot menu for testing.
- Can duplicate the Volume ID.
- Can be run with command line options (batch file).
- Can be invoked in minimized/hidden modes.
- Provides a convenient button for the DiskMgmt tool.
When you install and run the XXCLONE Freeware, you will immediately notice that some of the backup options are disabled (grayed out in the display). Currently, there are two things that the Freeware does not support.
- The Freeware does not support any of the incremental backup options. Every clone operation will be a fresh, full backup that takes a long time. It demonstrates XXCLONE's basic capabilities. We don't recommend the Freeware use on a daily basis because of the wear-and-tear of the hard disk.
- The ability to make an unattended operation. You may write a batch file but you need to be there to click the start button (the /START option has no effect in Freeware).