XXCLONE is used predominantly for volume cloning operations either for a one-time upgrade from the current system disk to a new (typically) larger one, or for periodic system backup purposes.
This section describes the difference among the four distinct ways to perform a cloning operation. The available choices are displayed in the Operation Mode tab in the main window in the following order.
Full Volume Backup (/BACKUP1)
In this mode, the Target Volume will always be completely cleaned first. Then, the entire Source Volume will be copied to the Target Volume. This is the most time-consuming operations of all.
One notable advantage of this method over the Incremental Volume Backup method (described below) is that every file in the Target Volume will be written contiguously without fragmentation. Furthermore, this is the most "reliable" method of all to duplicate the volume faithfully.
The files that make up the system registry will be transfered in this operation.
Incremental Volume Backup (/BACKUP2)
The end result of this operation will be logically equivalent to that of the Full Volume Backup (described above), In both cases, the contents of the Target Volume should become the same as those of the Source Volume.
The difference between the two is that the Incremental Volume Backup tries to reduce the work by identifying and skipping the files that have not been modified since the most recent backup operation whereas the Full Volume Backup always copies everything.
In each directory in the Target Volume, XXCLONE scans the contents for any extra file or directory whose counterpart does not exist in the Source Volume. All such files and directories will be deleted from the Target Volume.
Then, the directory in the Source Volume will be scanned for files that need to be copied to the corresponding directory in the Target Volume. All new files that do not exist in the Target will be unconditionally copied. If the same file exists in the Target Volume with identical size, timestamp and file-attributes, then, the file will be skipped. Otherwise, the file is considered modified since the previous backup and will be copied.
The process continues recursively for each directory found in the Source Volume. At the end, the Target Volume will be made logically equivalent to the Source Volume in theory.
There may be cases where the copy operation fails for various reasons. We will discuss this topic in the Failures in File Copy section.
After the entire volume is duplicated in the above mentioned fashion, the files that make up the system registry will be transfered.
In most Windows systems, the vast majority of files in a volume remain unchanged in most day-to-day operations. Therefore, an incremental backup operation dramatically reduces the time it take to perform a volume clone operation.
In conjunction with this mode of volume cloning, the HyperSync option increases the performence significantly.
This is the preferred operation for a periodic backup using XXCLONE.
Note: the XXCLONE Freeware does not support this feature.