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Frequently Asked Questions
I cloned my main volume (the C: Drive) to an external USB
disk. In the BIOS settings, I chose the external disk
as the first boot device. But, the external disk always
fails to boot correctly. Please help.
XXCLONE makes the external (USB) disk self-bootable.
However, the disk must be directly attached to your computer
in order to become the Windows system disk. That is, you
need to take the bare disk drive inside the external enclosure,
and attach it directly to your computer as an internal disk
in order to have the disk succeed in booting your computer.
Apparently, Microsoft does not like to see a Windows booted
from an external disk. We suppose this is a deliberate
design to prevent software piracy. Under normal
circumstances, you cannot configure Windows to designate
an external disk to be the system disk.
My USB-flash drive is not listed either in the Source Volume list
nor in the Target Volume list. Why?
XXCLONE lists only volumes on real hard drives (not flash drive).
That's because XXCLONE's primary goal is to create a self-bootable
clone of the Windows system volume.
A USB flash drive (or even a physical disk which is attached to the
computer via the USB interface) cannot become Windows' system volume
(unlike SATA-attached drive, a USB-attached drive may merely initiate
the boot process).
Therefore, a USB flash drive is unfit for "volume-to-volume" cloning
in the usual XXCLONE scheme.
However, XXCLONE-Pro does support the USB flash drive for more general
folder-to-folder clone operations. Click the little Folder Button
right next to the Source/Target list box and you should find your
USB flash drive there. (This feature is not available in XXCLONE-Home.)
After a successful XXCLONE operation, I rebooted the
system using the newly cloned disk. Then, I discovered
that my Office-XP says it needs a new installation.
What should I do?
It is best that you re-install the application as required.
Although the cloned volume created by XXCLONE is capable of
booting up the system to a Windows operating environment
very much like the original environment, it just cannot be
100% the same. In virtually all cases, the hardware
characteristics of the disk drives are differnt. Even
if you choose an idenical model from the same manufacturer,
the serial numbers of the disks are differnt.
There are a number of software products that are sensitive to
minute differences in the environment. Typically, it is
a result of deliberate design by the software vendor.
XXCLONE has just one provision to handle such chases.
The Cool Tools > Duplicate Vol. ID function allows you
to copy the volume serial number from the source volume to
the target volume. For certain products (e.g., some
popular anti-virus products) that are finicky with the volume
serial number, the problem will go away with the change in
the serial number. But, in our view, the fundamental
issue is that XXCLONE can only do so much within its design
parameters. It is our opinion that if a software
product issues a warning and suggests a specific solution,
you should follow the instruction. The duplication
of the volume ID will not cure all such problems.
Why won't XXCLONE recognize my D: drive (CD/DVD) so I can make
a bootable copy ?
Frankly, we are puzzled by the frequency of questions like
this one. As the name implies, XXClone "clones"
the Windows system disk to another one. We mean a "faithful"
duplication of a volume by "cloning". As a matter of fact,
most cloning operations are from volume to volume (a clone operation
is limited to a volume-to-volume cloning unless you acquire a
XXCLONE-Pro package that allows for cloning to/from a remote computer,
or a subdirectory.
For us, "cloning" is not a synonym of backup.
I purchased a license for XXCLONE-Pro.
When I ran the XXCLONE Installer program the first
time, it initiated the Product Activation.
What is it? And, how does it work?
We borrowed the basic idea from the Product Activation
scheme that Microsoft adopted in Windows XP distribution.
The core principle is that a fair pricing of
a software product needs a reliable method of counting
the number of installations in accordance with the
license terms. Microsoft uses a set of hardware-based
parameters to compute a signature value (hardware hash)
to represent your computer. Microsoft keeps track of your
software installation activities by the hardware hash.
XXCLONE's Product Activation parallels Microsoft's scheme
except that XXCLONE uses the name of your computer to
represent the installed environment.
The XXCLONE Installer examines the computer name
(known as the NetBIOS ID) and reports to the
XXCLONE web server that maintains the record in the
user database. The XXCLONE server then, generates
an Activation Key to the specific computer and
sends it back to the XXCLONE Installer. The
transmission of the data to and from the XXCLONE web
server is performed by you by copy-and-paste procedure
(no hidden data will be exchanged with the server).
We feel the manual operation will preclude any anxiety
on privacy related concern.
Once the Installer receives the Activation Key from the
server, it proceeds with the remaining installation steps.
It stamps the computer name on the XXCLONE.EXE program file
before it is saved in the appropriate location on your disk.
That is, each XXCLONE.EXE file is customized on the fly
at the installation time. You should keep the
XXCLONE Installer handy for future re-installation of
XXCLONE on another computer. Since the XXCLONE
program checks the computer name for license verification,
when you change the computer name, you need to re-install
XXCLONE and perform the Product Activation.
Do I have to go through the Product Activation procedure
every time I download and install a new version of
No. We consider the Product Activation chores are
a necessary evil. Therefore, we put extra effort
in the program design to minimize activation-related
actions. When you visit the XXCLONE web site
and request for an update, you will be asked to provide
the License Data (pasted from the About Dialog of
XXCLONE program) as a proof of your license ownership.
The XXCLONE server looks up the database and retrieve
the computer name(s) that have been installed in the
past through the Product Activation procedure, and
then, custom-build a copy of XXCLONE Installer for you.
Unlike the very first time you downloaded the XXCLONE
Installer program, the subsequent downloads always give
you a pre-activated copy of the Installer program.
A pre-activated Installer program will be able to
create a machine-specific XXCLONE.EXE file when it
installs on the computers that had been installed with
XXCLONE before. As long as you don't change the
computer name, the Product Activation procedure won't
get in the way you operate XXCLONE.
If I understand it correctly, I could buy a single
license of XXCLONE, rename all of my computers in my
office to be the same, and install XXCLONE on all of
them. What's the catch?
Technically, this scenario can defeat XXCLONE in its
enforcement of the license terms. But, we consider
any manipulation of the computer environment for the
sake of circumventing the license enforcement mechanism
an infraction of the agreement. Please read the
license agreement --- such acts are explicitly prohibited
in the agreement.
One may wonder why XXCLONE uses such a feeble enforcement
scheme. Our answer is that a more invincible
mechanism would cause an unacceptable level of inconvenience
to legitimate users. So, we chose to rely on the
license agreement to take care of unsavory user behaviors.
I have an XXCLONE-Home license for one computer.  Now,
I would like to install and use it on my daughter's
computer. Do I need to buy another license?
Yes. XXCLONE's license is tied to the number of computers.
Each license has its limit on the number of computers that
you are permitted to install XXCLONE. On the other
hand, you need not purchase a new license for your daughter's computer
--- it is less expensive to increase the host count of your existing
license than to buy a new license. Visit the on-line
order page and select the Quantity Upgrade option.
Please note that our pricing schedule provides substantial
discounts for additional copies (e.g., $30 each for 2 copies,
$25 each for 3 copies, and so on).
I purchased a my XXCLONE license a year and a half ago.
Now, I would like to download the latest version of
XXCLONE. The License Data says the update/support subscription
has expired. What should I do, now?
XXCLONE's licenses are always issued with at least one year of
update/support subscription. While your update/support
subscription is in good standing, you may download the latest
version of XXCLONE as many times as you want. You may
also switch the computer by installing XXCLONE on the new
computer (via the Product Activation procedure) during this
If your subscription has expired, you may re-activate the
subscription by paying for the lapsed months at a prorated
rate. In most cases, it will be less expensive to do
so than to purchase a new license.
At the on-line order page, select the Subscription Renewal
option whether or not the subscription has expired.
Does XXCLONE run on Windows 2000 (or even NT4) ?
Yes. But, you will have to acquire the old version of XXCLONE
(V.0.58.0). The most recent version of Visual Studio (the
tool that we use to compile the XXCLONE program files) cannot
generate a program that runs on some old Windows (NT4, 2000).
Apparently, Microsoft wants very old Windows products to disappear.
Please sign up for XXCLONE v.0.58.0 Test Drive.