John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Cloning and backing up UEFI based systems

A while back PCs moved from a ROM based BIOS to a combination of ROM/hard drive based UEFI. This article isn’t about what is UEFI but more how you deal with it. Looking at the drive you can see the EFI partition as well as Windows 8 recovery files:
When I got a new laptop recently the first thing I wanted to do was back it up. Laptops no longer come with restore media, and traditional tools that were not designed for UEFI would not work. I tried a bunch of them and burned a ton of time getting no where. The other reason you would want to back up your hard drive would be to migrate to an SSD. I’m surprised how many systems today still come with rotating media hard drives. SSDs are more durable (not susceptible to bumps and temperature extremes), quieter, draw less power and start up faster. They are particularly better at random access. Even older slower SSDs are a good improvement over normal rotating media. Of course in general SSDs are more expensive and smaller than rotating media, so like everything there is a trade off.

The backup tool in Windows 8.1 (yes it’s still there just hidden) does not handle the EFI bios partitions, only the OS itself.

So on my quest to solve this problem I came across this article and discovered I am not alone in my quest. So I took the recommendation of this fellow and bought a new tool Paragon drive copy. It was on sale so the price was not too hard to swallow. And given how much time I had already burned this seemed like an acceptable price.

The tool is simple and easy. You install it directly on your Windows system. It runs like any other app. And even has a Metro like interface. You simply tell it what you wanna do and it just does it. It took care of EFI partition, the OS recovery partition and even resized going from a 500G drive down to an 80G drive. It just worked. There was an additional 20G partition on my drive called recovery that for some reason it ignored. Now I was going to delete it anyway in favor of the additional space. If you have a system you need to backup, or migrate to a new hard drive, I can recommend this tool. It supports all the modern nuances. It’s well worth the money!


December 20, 2013 - Posted by | Other reviews, Uncategorized

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