Planning to upgrade from XP to Vista. Can Winclone saves me in case of troubles?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by hajime, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. hajime macrumors 68030

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    #1
    I am planning to upgrade from Windows XP to Vista Ultimate. I have already backed up the bootcamp windows partition using Winclone. If I just install Vista over XP and things go wrong, can I simply use Winclone to restore my original Windows XP partition without much troubles?
     
  2. italiano40 macrumors 65816

    italiano40

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    #2
    i would recommend it, i did it with XP sp2 to XP sp 3 and it actually help me
     
  3. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #3
    WinClone is as flawless as I've seen any utility. Just remember that it's a processor monster, your fans will spool up and you'll push the highest range of temps you're likely to see, and it can take hours. Be patient, don't panic, and it WILL restart the sizing process two or three times, all perfectly normal.
     
  4. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Thank you very much for sharing your experience.
     
  5. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #5
    I haven't used Winclone. But, I have used programs like Norton Ghost (which does cost a little money).

    If it backs up the entire partition as an "image" then you'll be fine. You can restore the image and have everything like it was.

    If it does a file copy, then there is a lot of room for things to go wrong.

    But, in general, you should be fine with a backup to revert to.

    My question, is why you want to go to Vista. It's not terrible. But, when it comes to Macs, you can get a bit more flexibility out of XP.

    XP can be used in both a virtual environment and the real (as in BootCamp) environment without having two installs going.

    Vista will force you to choose one or the other, and has a very limited number of reactivations should you choose to move it from one environment to the other.

    Microsoft says you can transfer it from one computer to another one time (which includes real computer to virtual machine - or the other way around).

    I do use Vista. And, it really isn't that bad. It's very nice. But, not a significant improvement from XP. Just more eye-candy and prettier. But, I do find I have a lot more trouble trying to get to things that I always found quickly in XP.

    Some settings I can only seem to get to if I follow a certain sequence of clicks. If I go straight to where it should be, it isn't always there. But, if I go through a set of less obvious clicks and take the indirect route, I can sometimes stumble on them. Seems like I end up having to stumble onto most things when it comes to tweaking settings that are less common to tweak.

    As far as using it goes (once it's set up), I do like Vista. It's pretty. But, besides "pretty" I have a hard time finding a reason it's better than XP.

    I got Vista Ultimate at a ridiculously low price (through corporate benefits I have access to), but have actually wished that I had instead gotten XP.

    I don't know that I would want to give up access to Vista since someday it might become necessary for new programs. But, if I had XP sitting here as a retail package, I would probably install it in-place of Vista on my Mac.

    But, anyway, if you are going to upgrade, then yes, a backup could save you in-case of a problem.

    One thing I would caution you with if you install Vista. There are two points which you can activate with the product key. Before install, and after install.

    I would suggest you do it after install. This way, if something goes wrong, you haven't tied your product license to that particular computer. This would enable you to use it on a different machine (or sell it) without issue.

    If you put in your unlock key first, then you would tie the license to that computer before you even find out if it will install (or install properly) for you.

    One additional caution. If you do tell it to let you enter the product key after activation, then you will have up to 30 days to do so. But, you will be choosing the version of Vista to install from a menu. So, if you tell it to install "Ultimate" then make absolutely sure that it is the version you have.

    If you select Ultimate from the list, and then try to use the activation key from home premium or business, then you will have a problem.

    So, if you wait to activate until after install, then be absolutely sure that you pick the version of Vista that you have the unlock key for.

    By comparison, if you give it the product key up front, it will automatically determine the correct version to install. But, then you will have tied your key to that particular computer or virtual computer even if the installation fails.
     
  6. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

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  7. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Thanks for the warnings. I considered to use the 64-bit version of XP but some forum users suggested that I better use the 64-bit version of Vista due to drivers/compatibility issues.

    Microsoft only allows transfer of OS to one machine? Does that mean if I change my computer twice, I need to buy a new copy of Vista?
     
  8. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #8
    Completely ignoring that WinClone is donationware (meaning totally free except for the guilt involved ;)), the best part of it is that it's a Mac application, not needing Windows in any way, shape, or form, no boot disk, nothing. It supports Vista now, and I don't know of any issues there.

    I've owned & used Ghost, a number of pre- and post-Norton versions, and find it to be a pain, really, and certainly not worth the price.
     
  9. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #9
    That's their policy.

    And, a virtual computer / machine is considered a "computer". So, while the virtual machine and the actual machine are still essentially running on the same physical hardware, the virtual machine is considered an entirely different computer than your physical computer.

    So, if you use it in a virtual machine, then try to use it directly and without the virtual machine, you will have to call Microsoft to get a new activation key. And, that will use your one transfer allowance.

    Likewise, if you have a computer, and your mainboard dies, then you'll use that transfer allowance when you install the new mainboard. Though, they might grant you an exception on that one depending on how nice they feel like being. But, each mainboard has a new ethernet ID number and will likely require a new unlock.

    They are pretty tight on that with Vista. With XP, you could reinstall with the same product key on different machines. And, if it was refused for some reason, then you could get a new unlock / activation key. But, there wasn't a set 1 time limit like there is with Vista.
     
  10. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #10
    Ghost is a little cumbersome. But, I like it because I know it. And, I know that it copies the entire partition as one chunk. In other words, it completely clones instead of just copying information piece by piece.

    With Vista, if you backup your hard drive in a conventional way, then you will have to reactivate Vista when you restore your backup (this is documented).

    But, if you find a utility that works without the use of the operating system (like Ghost), and it makes a physical copy of the entire drive as it is (like a picture), then you can restore that on the same system in the same place without Windows being able to tell it was just restored.

    Perhaps compare a clone to a copy by saying if you cloned a picture by using a copy machine compared to if you copied elements from the picture to build a mostly identical representation of the original.

    If Winclone does in-fact work by cloning the partition, and not just copying the data / files from the partition, then I wouldn't see any problem using it.

    And, free is always nice. I know, donationware. Even if his price is reasonable, that great. The ones I hate, are where it's donationware, but you have little hope of actually getting the donation to them and confirming their receipt or getting proof.

    I've got one program that requires me to satisfy my requirement by sending him a postcard to a foreign country. Sounds cheap. But, then you consider the mess of dealing with foreign mail (which I've done quite a lot of), and then the fact that I'm likely never to hear from him. So, I don't actually enter anything in the program, I just check the box that says I donated.

    I would find it better to ask me to send him an e-mail card or thank you. And, he'll send me a serial number to enter. At least then, I feel like I got it unlocked by donating. Instead, I have to mail something, and never know if it made it through customs, and whatever. Still likely to be $5 or $10 to get it to him. Might as well send him $5 through PayPal.

    I like freeware, or donationware that clearly states it's optional to pay. Donationware that requires something is not donationware. Just Shareware that isn't locked.

    I can't comment on the thing with Winclone. I've never used it. But, just commenting that I hate the term donationware. I like it if it is truly up for donation. But, seems rarely that it is.
     
  11. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

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    #11
    Microsoft's license allows you to run Vista in a virtual machine. The issue people are finding is if they install in Boot Camp and activate and then launch that Boot Camp partition in a virtual machine, Windows thinks the hardware has changed (because the VM installs it's own drivers) and demands re-activation.

    The key is to install it in Boot Camp, but do not activate. Windows Vista allows you to use the OS for 30 days without activation and XP SP3 now provides the same benefit for XP.

    Once it's up and running in Boot Camp, launch it in a VM and let the VM add all it's drivers. Then you can activate it and it should be fine because the hardware drivers for both BC and the VM are good.
     
  12. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #12
    Interesting trick.

    I wonder if that works if say I were to reinstall fresh using the CD. Say I reinstall using bootcamp on my machine. Then, do as you suggest with Parallels or Fusion. Then, reactivate with my activation key while in BootCamp?

    Would it see it as valid then once I switched back to the Virtual Machine? Or, would I need to activate in the Virtual Machine?
     
  13. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #13
    This is the process i've always used & have never had to ring M$ due to activation issues

    1 install & activate windows in bootcamp

    2 install Fusion & boot,bootcamp volume under Fusion

    3 Install tools

    4 Reboot VM

    5 activate Windows under Fusion
     
  14. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #14
    Hey Niel, thanks for that. Have you done that with Vista or just XP?

    I have Vista installed now through BootCamp. But, would like it to be available in OS X as well through Fusion or Parallels (don't really care which). But, would want it to still work when I switched back to BootCamp.

    If you can confirm that it works with Vista, then I may give it a shot.
     
  15. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #15
    Yep it works for both Vista & XP, it is a tried and tested method & not just for me, just so you know i only ever used parallel's once & that was over a yr ago so i don't know if the activation thing is the same & works with it,i go Fusion both for stability & support
     
  16. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #16
    Great to hear. I'll have to give that a shot and see what happens.

    Thank you :D
     
  17. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #17
    No worries,but don't forget to post back with the results as it's always handy if people are doing searches & looking to see if things work or not ( not that it wont work )
     
  18. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #18
    Yep, I'll try to remember to post back when I get around to trying it out. I keep quite busy with life stuff, so it could be a while before I get to play with it.

    Probably be an evening project sometime.

    But, I would like the ability to keep my BootCamp Vista and still use it without rebooting when I just need something quick.
     
  19. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #19
    Yep understand, Fusion rocks and to be honest i couldn't do without it,the only thing it disappoints on is gaming ( not that i play any ) but that's only to be expected & will get better with time,me personally i use bootcamp for work & my attempt's a web design checking IE7 etc & fusion for everything else office etc
     
  20. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #20
    Kind of sounds like my intentions. Use it with BootCamp for things that either take longer or are more intensive. And, use it in a virtual environment for tasks that take less time than rebooting would.
     
  21. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #21
    As its name states, it clones the Windows partition, in fact, Windows is shut down during the whole process, as WinClone is a Mac application. I have (twice) WinCloned my partition, deleted it, rebuilt it to a different size, restored the WinClone file and rebooted Windows as if nothing had happened.

    And it truly is donationware, in that it's free, fully-featured, unlocked (no serial required), and no nags. Consider it no-obligation shareware. ;)
     

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  22. Siron macrumors 6502

    Siron

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    #22
    You're the second poster I've seen using Fusions that has said that. I use Parallels but had to activate twice. Maybe Fusion differs somehow in this respect. Maybe it "tricks" Windows into thinking that the hardware hasn't changed but that seems counterintuitive.
     
  23. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #23
    Windows still has to be activated twice using the method i posted,but as i understand it,it's the tools that fools windows into thinking it's only been done once,a lot of users have posted on here that they have run into activation issues & reading there posts they have either not installed the tools or activated windows when they shouldn't have
     
  24. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #24
    Well, I downloaded the trial of Fusion, and it seems to be working.

    Did as you suggested. Installed tools before activating again in Fusion, and then when I rebooted into Bootcamp I found that Windows was still activated.

    So, seems to be working. I've got Vista in Bootcamp and in Fusion.

    So, I may go ahead and buy Fusion now.

    I do hope that if I ever need to reinstall Windows Vista on the machine, that it will still activate fine in BootCamp.

    Seems like it should though.

    Do you know how the upgrading works? Like if I get the 1.1.3 version now, do I have to pay full price to get 2.0 in a short while?
     
  25. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #25

    Good to hear things worked out for you,i wouldn't worry about re-installing windows to much,i've re-installed loads of times and never run into any issues,but i think there comes a time when it tells you it's been activated to many times & you need to ring M$ for a new key. Again this isn't a issue as you just tell them that you had a hardware failure and need to re-install just make sure you tell them it's on the same machine

    I not 100% what will happen when version 2.0 comes out,so far i haven't had to pay for any updates,if i was you id carry on with the trial and if it gets released before the trial is up then just buy it,if it's after the trial is up then i don't know but if it were me id just wait it out for version 2.0 as is seems imminent
     

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