View Full Version : Thanks For Nothing, Winclone!

04-08-2011, 02:05 PM
I recently decided to upgrade my Macbook's (late 2008) hard drive because the original 250GB drive was nearly full. I regularly use Time Machine to back up my files on the OSX partition, and I used Winclone to back up the 32GB Windows XP partition prior to installing the new drive.

I installed the new 500GB hard drive, re-installed OSX, restored my time machine backups, and everything was working fine. I then opened the Boot Camp Assistant and created a 32GB FAT partition for Windows. I re-opened Winclone, went to the "restore" tab and set up the image file to restore to my newly created Windows partition.

However, this is where things went wrong. When I clicked "Restore", I got an error message saying my 32GB partition was not big enough! The numbers Winclone listed were less than 0.02GB different; however, a reformat from both Boot Camp and the Windows XP install disc have not fixed the problem. I'm now in the process of rebuilding my XP partition from the ground up, but I'm wondering why Winclone is so picky about the partition size, especially considering that I was only using about 11GB of space on that partition to begin with.

Bottom line, I wasted my time with Winclone unless anybody has a workaround for this problem. I do have two questions about this situation though:

1.) Why was the 32GB partition on my new drive "smaller" than the 32GB partition on my old hard drive? (and why is it a problem for Winclone, considering over half the original partition was free space?)

2.) Would a direct copy of the entire Windows partition on the old hard drive to the new hard drive (formatted by the windows installer) restore everything?

04-08-2011, 02:29 PM
WinClone has always been buggy. One reason why it's no longer being developed. Much depends on what contiguous free space is available. Also, you asked it to create the largest FAT-32 partition that it can currently support. (32 GB) And you should know that WinClone needs "breathing" room to uncompress the image and restore it.

I suspect if you had used NTFS in the first place instead of FAT-32, WinClone would probably have worked.

04-08-2011, 07:43 PM
Too bad. I use FAT32 because I like to move stuff back and forth like pictures, etc. Besides, 32GB is all I need for windows, and I use a LOT more space for media on my OS drive.

Oh, well. It was worth a shot. What are the cool kids using to back up their windows partitions these days?

04-08-2011, 10:29 PM
Windows 7 has a built in backup program that's really pretty good. It'll make a file by file backup and at the same time create an image of the partition. It does need an external HD formatted to NTFS in order to work.

In order to restore, you boot your machine with the Windows 7 DVD and point the restore to the correct partition. It does work but for someone unfamiliar with partitioning they could wind up overwriting the OS X partition.

04-09-2011, 04:16 AM
Could be why I haven't had any issues with Winclone - have been using NTFS partitions to back up to. Plus, I have Paragon's NTFS for OS X installed, although I'm not sure if that would have been required with Winclone or not. I've done numerous restores with it of both XP and 7.

I am not sure if I have used a FAT partition on a hard drive since my first install of XP. I've pretty much had to have greater than 4GB file sizes for a number of years now.

edit: Just opened the Winclone readme file that comes with it. The developer definitely says to use NTFS partitions and then has this to say pertaining to FAT32.

FAT Support
When restoring a FAT32 bootcamp partition, you must restore on to a partition that is the same size or larger as the original partition. If you restore it onto a partition that is larger, the partition will shrink to match the size of the original partition, and you will not be able to expand it. If you want the ability to increase the size of your Windows partition, convert it to NTFS. Winclone will then expand the image on restore to take up all the space on the partition.

From that, it looks like yours might still work if the partition is larger than the original. The one BootCamp created must have been that smidgeon smaller, which prevented Winclone from restoring.

04-09-2011, 10:52 AM
You bring up a great point; I forgot about the 4GB file size limit.