Thinking of buying Winclone? Better read this

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by steve23094, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. steve23094, Nov 14, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014

    steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #1
    Hi,

    I just thought I would post some experiences of Winclone 4.4 after having purchased it for a specific task. I wanted to migrate my Bootcamp Windows 8.1 partition onto an external hard drive. I am aware that Bootcamp does not offer or support this procedure natively.

    However... Winclone promises the ability to do this. In fact they have a tutorial in their support section specifically titled 'Migrate Windows 8 to an External Drive using Winclone'. (Source: https://twocanoes.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/203443727-Migrate-Windows-8-to-an-External-Drive-using-Winclone).

    So I purchased Winclone excited that this could make the process nice and easy. How wrong I was. After executing the relevant process in Winclone it appeared to freeze at the last stage 'Saving MBR'. So I contacted their support team and I couldn't believe the response so just had to share it with you here. If a company is going to treat it's customers with such contempt and in my opinion lie about the abilities of their product they do not deserve your custom.

    After describing my problem and doing some simple fault finding this is how it went down:-

    Them: It appears as though the external drive is going to sleep after Winclone mounts, and then un-mounts the drive, which is interrupting the restore process. Unfortunately this is most likely due to the external drive going to sleep after being first unmounted. This is a common problem with USB 3 HDD's.

    Me: If it’s a common problem as you surmise then perhaps you should not say on this page [link to the page above] that you support USB drives?

    Them: That page actually doesn't say we support migrating to an external drive with Winclone.

    I'm dumbfounded that they would dare suggest such a thing! My point:-

    1. It's on their support pages.
    2. It's a tutorial.
    3. The tutorial is specifically titled what Winclone support says Winclone doesn't do.
    4. The page specifically lists USB drives as being compatible with the process.
    5. There is no warning that there might be a problem with USB drives, even when Winclone support claims it's a common issue.
    6. The page does not warn this is an unsupported process.

    All I can say about Winclone is 'DON'T BUY IT'.
     
  2. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #2
    I fail to see how you can be blaming Winclone for the problem. This is a limitation of your USB drive. Their process does work exactly as they describe it. I've used it many times to successfully migrate my BootCamp to external drives (both Thunderbolt and USB3).

    Instead of blaming Winclone, why don't you see if you can't solve the real problem of your external drive spinning down? I assume you've tried going to System Preferences > Energy Saver and unchecked "Put hard disks to sleep when possible"? That is, however, known to not work with some external hard disks. The app, Keep Drive Spinning will work on OS X up to Mavericks. Apparently it doesn't work in Yosemite yet.

    Winclone is an awesome app worth every penny I paid for it. I highly recommend it to anyone who needs to backup and/or migrate BootCamp. For this purpose, there is no better tool.
     
  3. steve23094 thread starter macrumors 68000

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #3
    Yes, that was the first thing I tried. The interaction I wrote between myself and Winclone Support is copied verbatim. If their advice is correct it's a problem when the drive is unmounted so I can't see how an app like Keep Drives Spinning would be effective. However, I'm willing to give one a go so if you can suggest a Yosemite compatible app please do.

    It looks like you didn't read my post clearly, but I'll reiterate to reinforce my point.

    They say that Winclone doesn't support migrating to external drives yet claims it does in documentation! Despite it being a common problem they make no mention of the issue in their tutorial.

    Frankly this just smacks of being disingenuous and I hate companies that operate this way.
     
  4. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #4
    I did read that and if they did tell you that Winclone doesn't support migrating to external drives I have no idea why because I can assure you it does.

    My point was that the spindown/unmounting USB issue is not a problem caused by Winclone, nor is it present in all external drives. The migration process does work, exactly as they describe.

    I don't know that any software would help you in this case. From what I've read in these forums, random disconnects often seem to be a problem related to the USB3 chipset in the external drive/enclosure. What device are you using?
     
  5. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #5
    I am running several Windows 7 and 8 installations on external Thunderbolt SSDs all the time without problems. Simply use BootCamp to install internally, then use WinClone to clone it to the external drive and again use BootCamp to remove the internal install and restore the disk space back to OS X.

    Works great! :)
     
  6. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    #6
    The only lesson for Winclone is that there should be a small comment added in their support stating that some USB drives have limitations and will put themselves to sleep. They should then state that this is not down to Winclone.
     
  7. steve23094 thread starter macrumors 68000

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #7
    Thunderbolt drives by all accounts work fine, but the much more prevalent USB drives are the ones with the common problem.
     
  8. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #8
    It would seem that your anger is misdirected then ... rather than advising against using WinClone, readers should be warned against using USB 3.0 drives for their external Windows installations and instead seek out low cost Thunderbolt solutions such as the LaCie "Rugged" series or Seagate Thunderbolt Adapter series, both of which work quite well with Windows 7 and 8 using WinClone to initially create, and then backup the installation.

    There are several threads here discussing good solutions and there are several other external Thunderbolt enclosures that members have recommended as reliable and easy to set up with Windows.

    I have spent the last few days unsuccessfully installing Windows to USB 3.0 drives. WinClone does a great job of loading the image to the drive, but it simply isn't reliable booting or running Windows on my iMac. However, the exact SSD I created can be attached to a Thunderbolt enclosure and that Windows installation just created runs fine.

    I have never had WinClone let me down!
     
  9. steve23094 thread starter macrumors 68000

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #9
    That's Winclone's job. Not to advertise that it's compatible with USB drive migration without any sort of caveat knowing that it's a common failure point.

    ----------

    A Seagate Backup Plus Fast Portable. STDA4000200.
     
  10. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #10
    Well ... as I mentioned above, WinClone did a perfect job of cloning Windows to my USB 3.0 drives as proven by transferring the drive to a Thunderbolt interface and it working perfectly.

    I suppose TwoCanoes could mention on their web site that OS X doesn't handle USB 3.0 drives very well at this time, but they may have received advice against doing so.
     
  11. SaSaSushi, Nov 15, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #11
    It works on external HDDs that don't have these problems. I'm using a $23 Inateck UASP USB 3 HDD dock that doesn't spin down or disconnect. I suspect this is not even a problem on a majority of the devices out there.

    ***Deleted my misinformation regarding Winclone's lack of USB3 SSD support***

    Have you checked with Seagate to see if there are any firmware updates available for your model? Their forums may also be a useful place to seek for advice.

    ----------

    Indeed. As we've discussed previously I am using the Delock 42490 TB enclosure with a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO split half and half between OS X and BootCamp and it works great.
     
  12. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #12
    I guess I missed that ... could you link me to more information regarding SSDs and WinClone under USB3?

    I have not had the opportunity to try the Delock enclosure, but I am thinking of getting one for an older high power SSD I wish to use externally. I see several people have obtained these at your recommendation and are having good experiences with them.

    Thanks...
     
  13. SaSaSushi, Nov 16, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #13
    See below. This was my misinterpretation.

    For those with iMacs I really recommend it. For the price, it seems to be the best deal out there for an AC-powered TB enclosure. It doesn't have a pass-through port. That's about the only downside I could point out if I was really looking for one.
     
  14. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #14


    1. A USB flash drive and an SSD in a USB case are two entirely different things
     
  15. SaSaSushi, Nov 16, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #15
    Thanks for pointing out this boneheaded misread on my part. That doesn't change the fact that USB3 is far more troublesome and difficult to configure where BootCamp is concerned.

    Stick to Thunderbolt for minimum headaches, this applies to both HDD and SSD.
     
  16. steve23094 thread starter macrumors 68000

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #16
    Just an update in case somebody stumbles across this thread in future.

    I returned my Seagate USB drive and exchanged it for a Lacie D2 Thunderbolt 2 external drive with the SSD upgrade. Guess what? Winclone didn't work making a bootable Windows partition on that either. So my original point still stands, Winclone is flakey as hell for creating external Windows boot partitions and you can't rely on the publisher for support.

    I gave up. I created my own Fusion drive with the SSD and mechanical hard disk in the D2 and partitioned the 6Gb mechanical into a 1Gb OS X Fusion Drive, 1Gb Windows NTFS partition for data and games (the boot still has to reside on my internal SSD) and 4Gb Time Machine backup.
     
  17. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #17
    As has been discussed in many threads here, not all external enclosures are compatible with BootCamp or booting Windows on a Mac. This includes Thunderbolt enclosures, and even more so USB 3.0 enclosures. Some vendors specify the incompatibility on their web site data sheets, most do not address it at all. Usually it seems the ones that will boot Windows on a Mac display a "BIOS like" message at the beginning of the boot sequence.

    There have been several Thunderbolt enclosures found to work booting Windows identified by several posters on this forum in an attempt to prevent others from purchasing enclosures they have found to be a problem. I have found that only about 1/3 of the enclosures I have tried were successful at hosting Windows externally.

    I don't think this is a fault of WinClone, but an issue of the Mac hardware/software environment, and limitations of Windows itself which doesn't seem to encourage external installations.

    Sorry you had a problem with the LaCie D2 enclosure, and you might try a different one recommended by other posters to achieve your objectives. Note, most multi-drive Thunderbolt enclosures I have tried do not work. I am currently having limited success with the ThunderBay IV, and mostly use LaCie "Rugged Thunderbolt" and Seagate "GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter" for my systems.
     

Share This Page