I was lucky. Last few weeks I have noticed some oddness with main machine where it would sometimes just hang when booting up. Funnily enough, Denise never saw the behaviour but it happened to me more than I liked. Thankfully I was already prepared for this eventuality with a backup SSD ready and waiting. The problem was that it actually didn’t have a copy of the boot drive on it.
So I dug up my oldish Acronis backup which should have the necessary software to do a clone of a drive. Tried installing it and it complained that it can’t install on Windows 10. Hrm… Time to look for other solutions. I had a CD for the Samsung drive that was failing, somewhere but that brought out another problem, my CD organization is a bit of a mess.
Time to look at what is out there. I figure there should be free tools out there already that should do this already, maybe even something from Microsoft themselves… Nope! Some tools say they have free options but to clone a drive and have that drive bootable is not part of the free option. Sigh.
Acronis is a developer I trust but their latest offerings are basically subscription-based. Pay a fee yearly. I really hate that considering I only ever need something like this once every 5 years or so. And I have never used a backup tool as people should. I have a QNAP NAS which I just basically clone all the hard drives on my main machine to and that’s my back up. So in this case I just need a simple tool that does one thing.
I ended up going with MiniTool Partition Wizard. I can’t say I like their trial software. They let you believe you are about to do something but at the last minute they hit you with a “Sorry, this is only available in the paid version.” I get it but I feel they should be more upfront about it. Tell me earlier that I will not be able to complete the action in the trial version. However, I have to say, the tool was clear and simple and just worked. Unplugged the Samsung SSD and adjusted my bios to boot from the Intel SSD, which is also twice as large as the Samsung was, and Windows started up without complaining about being on a new drive or anything. Brilliant. I can’t say other times when I had something similar was as painless as this.
So crisis averted. Now I need to get a new SSD just so I have an emergency backup like I had here and this time, keep it up to date unlike what I had done. I got lucky that the Samsung drive failed rather gracefully. SSDs are not known to do that. And thankfully I didn’t leave it till too late before doing something. I have to say I did luck out. Played a little dangerously with this situation.