SpartanNerd Tech Review…WinClone

 

I am going to offer my experience with WinClone.  First, a few details.

I use a mid-2010 MacBook Pro Unibody.  This is one of the last machines to offer a SuperDrive, and to not have ThunderBolt or a Retina Display.

(I had a slight case of buyers remorse after seeing the models that were introduced right after I made my purchase.)

My machine has been good to me…but I have had a few incidents.  These are not generally the fault of the manufacturer.  They are MY fault.  The first had to do with migrating from an older mac to the newer one, and sort of messing things up.  I got a freeze at the startup screen.  I had to call Apple, and their tech helped me free of charge.  He totally didn’t have to, either.

The second issue was a major physical fall that the mac took in May of 2013.  This caused the mac not to boot correctly…It generally would crash on the login screen, and when I learned to disable the login screen, it still would crash after about 45 seconds of use.  This had me thinking I was going to have to buy a new model for awhile.  But then I figured out how to fix the crash.  What was actually damaged in the fall was the battery sensor and indicator.  I figured out that simply unplugging that from the motherboard was a sufficient fix.  It disabled the battery indicator light, but I rarely used that anyway.

Tinkering around inside my mac for hours and hours eventually afforded me the bravery to upgrade the hard drive.  I opted to go for a hybrid drive, a classic hard drive with a flash drive component.  I have been pretty happy with that so far, but it doesn’t make your computer as responsive as an iPad or anything, as sort of advertised.

In upgrading drives, though, I lost my Windows Partition.  Which brings me to WinClone.  (My old Windows had Magic Online, Digitech GNX4 software, and Steam.  This is why I wanted that back so badly.)

I explored a few different options before arriving at WinClone.  Ever the cheapskate, I considered what I perceived to be free options.  I tried to clone the partition with Disk Utility…Nah.   I tried to get Windows to boot from a USB powered Drive Caddy.  Nah.  (It just doesn’t work with Windows.  Mac OSX can boot from USB!)  I read forums…The name that kept coming up was WinClone.  So I finally dished out the $30.

After the transaction was complete, and the download, I had to activate the software with a key they e-mailed to me.  So that is how that went down.  I didn’t realize it, thought until I was already trying to clone my drive!  It gave me a warning!  That was nothing, though.

After authenticating, it still wouldn’t work.  I tried several times.  NADA.

So I sent an e-mail expressing regret over spending $30 on a product that doesn’t work.

 

The company that makes WinClone is called TwoCanoes Software.  A girl from TwoCanoes named Sarah began e-mailing me the next day, and telling me to try a few different things.  None of her suggestions were working, so she passed my problem up to another technician, one who I gather is more high powered named Russell.  Russell insisted more or less that I run “ChkDsk” on my source drive.  I rolled my eyes as I borrowed my computer from work and tried to circumvent the restrictions and access the command line.  But it worked!

When I ran WinClone after using ChkDsk, it worked like a charm.  It cloned my 25GB Windows Partition onto a new roomier 200 GB partition!  No setup hassles, buy a new copy of Windows, nothing.  I was very pleased!

I bought the software on Sunday night.  It was Wednesday before I got it straightened out.  I suppose that could be a strike against WinClone.  But it isn’t because I wasn’t running “ChkDsk” when it actually instructs you to in the software.  (I’m not sure why it helps…the disk had no corruption on it whatsoever.)  The great thing about this whole experience, though is that the help from the company was really nice.  They told me off the bat that they would refund my money if it didn’t get up and going.  But they were e-mailing me constantly.  That is a great thing!

WinClone does what it advertises, just be sure to run “ChkDsk” first.

I give WinClone a 5/5.  4 of those points come from the product.  The other point comes from the customer service.  Let me know what you think, oh Hub City Geeks!

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