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XXCLONE
Version
2.08.8


Released
2017-01-20
©2017 Copyright
Pixelab

 All rights reserved  


Frequently Asked Questions                              


Q:
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.

A:

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.


Q:
My USB-flash drive is not listed either in the Source Volume list nor in the Target Volume list.  Why?

A:

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.)


Q:
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?

A:

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.


Q:
Why won't XXCLONE recognize my D: drive (CD/DVD) so I can make a bootable copy ?

A:

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. 


Q:
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?

A:

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.


Q:
Do I have to go through the Product Activation procedure every time I download and install a new version of XXCLONE?

A:

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.


Q:
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?

A:

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.


Q:
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?

A:

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).


Q:
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?

A:

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 period.

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.


Q:
Does XXCLONE run on Windows 2000 (or even NT4) ?

A:

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.