xxclone doesn't work with W8.1,it does not preserve all settings. Can someone recommend a software cloner for W8.1?
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Unless you are really locked into freeware applications, I would recommend looking into Acronis True Image. It comes on sale at times for a decent price and it's very easy to use. Acronis says it works with W8.1.
Freeware programs can also work, but they may be a bit behind. If you are locked into freeware, wait a bit and look around for alternatives.
There are two free versions of Acronis that I know of, one offered by Western Digital, the other by Seagate. If you have either a WD or Seagate drive in your computer you'd be in business. Dunno if the Seagate tech over-ride still works for new versions (hold Alt, type t and o, then click okay). The tech over-ride allows you to use Seagate's DiscWizard even if you don't have a Seagate drive.
Either one can clone a drive and AFAIK do pretty much everything the regular Acronis can do except incremental backups.Pull! Bang! Darn!
Macrium Reflect 32bit and 64bit for personal use is free. After installation, a bootable rescue CD can be created which can replicate all of the original cloning and imaging functions of the original installation.For the nth time, with the possible exception of certain Intel processors, I don't have/ever owned anything whose name starts with "i".
I can testify to Macrium Reflect/64 free version also. Attempting the 8.1 upgrade some months ago, the W8 system crashed and totally corrupted the partition. I used my MR rescue disk and it restored 100%, and I was back up & running in a few minutes.
I also recommend Macrium Reflect. You will absolutely need to make a rescue CD when it asks you to do so or your restores may not work. For a free product, having to burn a rescue CD is not unreasonable in my opinion.
I use a bootable USB thumbdrive that contains Win7-pe. I have SnapShot installed on it. I have created and restored partion images on my wife and son's Win 8 laptops. It works fine, you just need to store the images off-line. I store them on an external HDD.
Clonezilla also works, it's linux based and is free.Got my retirement plans all set. Looks like I only have to work another 5 years after I die........