cloning to a larger drive


J

Jo-Anne Naples

I'm using Windows XP with SP3. I have a 60GB internal hard drive in my
5-year-old Dell desktop computer and am planning to buy a couple USB
external hard drives (I have USB2) to be used for cloning the internal
drive, in case of a crash or other disaster of that sort.

My questions:

1. If I buy a substantially larger external hard drive, will I be able to
clone my internal drive multiple times til the space is filled, or is this
something one can do only once--with subsequent backup/clones writing over
the earlier one? If only once, I'm guessing I wouldn't need huge external
drives. I don't have many photos on my computer, and I don't store music on
it.

2. If I clone the internal drive to the external one, can the external drive
be used to boot the computer if the internal drive fails? If not, do most
cloning programs create a bootable CD? (The programs I've been thinking
about are Acronis True Image and Casper--both suggestions posted here in
response to an earlier query of mine--although I suppose I should consider
Norton Ghost as well.)

3. If the internal drive fails, I assume I'd have to acquire another one and
then clone the external drive to the internal one--right?

4. Before acquiring a new internal drive, would I be able to do all my usual
work on the computer using the external drive?

As you can see, I'm a novice at this kind of thing...

Thank you for your help!

Jo-Anne
 
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B

Big Al

Jo-Anne Naples said:
I'm using Windows XP with SP3. I have a 60GB internal hard drive in my
5-year-old Dell desktop computer and am planning to buy a couple USB
external hard drives (I have USB2) to be used for cloning the internal
drive, in case of a crash or other disaster of that sort.

My questions:

1. If I buy a substantially larger external hard drive, will I be able to
clone my internal drive multiple times til the space is filled, or is this
something one can do only once--with subsequent backup/clones writing over
the earlier one? If only once, I'm guessing I wouldn't need huge external
drives. I don't have many photos on my computer, and I don't store music on
it.

2. If I clone the internal drive to the external one, can the external drive
be used to boot the computer if the internal drive fails? If not, do most
cloning programs create a bootable CD? (The programs I've been thinking
about are Acronis True Image and Casper--both suggestions posted here in
response to an earlier query of mine--although I suppose I should consider
Norton Ghost as well.)

3. If the internal drive fails, I assume I'd have to acquire another one and
then clone the external drive to the internal one--right?

4. Before acquiring a new internal drive, would I be able to do all my usual
work on the computer using the external drive?

As you can see, I'm a novice at this kind of thing...

Thank you for your help!

Jo-Anne
Clone means to duplicate. You would be taking the 60 gig, and putting
everything on the "larger" external (adjusting for the new size of the
drive) and in the process erasing everything on it.
So no you can't clone it several times. (unless you made several 60 gig
partitions).

Imaging means to make a file that contains all the data on the 60 gig
drive that can be later used to re-image back onto another drive. But
its just a file, a bit smaller than the total contents of your data on
the 60 gig. (due to compression). So yes, you might get it down to
40 gig and can put lets say 7 or so on a 320 giger.

Backup (normally in this context of these three words) means to copy
files. However backup is truly a generic word. And backup is probably
the least favorable item of these 3 as you can do nothing with it but
get individual files out of the backup.

Either of the first two ways, will allow you to recover every bit of
data back onto an internal drive, OS and your data, as of the time you
did the operation. If you did it nightly you would feel no pain when a
HD crashes, (except the blisters from doing the labor of changing the
hardware :) .

HTH.
 
N

Nonny

Clone means to duplicate. You would be taking the 60 gig, and putting
everything on the "larger" external (adjusting for the new size of the
drive) and in the process erasing everything on it.
So no you can't clone it several times. (unless you made several 60 gig
partitions).

Cloning goes from disk to disk.
 
P

Patrick Keenan

Jo-Anne Naples said:
I'm using Windows XP with SP3. I have a 60GB internal hard drive in my
5-year-old Dell desktop computer and am planning to buy a couple USB
external hard drives (I have USB2) to be used for cloning the internal
drive, in case of a crash or other disaster of that sort.

My questions:

1. If I buy a substantially larger external hard drive, will I be able to
clone my internal drive multiple times til the space is filled, or is this
something one can do only once--with subsequent backup/clones writing over
the earlier one? If only once, I'm guessing I wouldn't need huge external
drives. I don't have many photos on my computer, and I don't store music
on it.

2. If I clone the internal drive to the external one, can the external
drive be used to boot the computer if the internal drive fails? If not, do
most cloning programs create a bootable CD? (The programs I've been
thinking about are Acronis True Image and Casper--both suggestions posted
here in response to an earlier query of mine--although I suppose I should
consider Norton Ghost as well.)

You will not want to do this with CDs, they don't have enough space. You
will use one or more DVDs instead.
3. If the internal drive fails, I assume I'd have to acquire another one
and then clone the external drive to the internal one--right?

4. Before acquiring a new internal drive, would I be able to do all my
usual work on the computer using the external drive?

As you can see, I'm a novice at this kind of thing...

Thank you for your help!

Jo-Anne

Cloning is the process of producing a working copy of a hard disk. What
you're suggesting is creating an image file for backup purposes.

Yes, you can create multiple image files on one drive - but in reality, this
is not efficient. You will very quickly fill the target drive.
Instead, create one image and then use the incremental-backup features of
the imaging software to create partial images of just the changed files.

In addition, aside from creating one bootable, restorable image of your hard
disk and system configuration, there's no point in backing up system and
program and temporary files over and over again. This is a waste of time
and space.

You need to also be aware that it's not good practice to rely on a single
backup set. You should use several. Create an archival image to one or
more DVDs - make more than one copy and store one in another location.

It's also not a good idea to have one single image that replaces earlier
ones, as if the source corrupts, and you create an image that replaces the
previous good ones - you're not in a good position. You need to be able
to go back to before the damage.

As to external hard disks: I think pre-assembled external drives are
overpriced and you can't tell what really matters - the drive inside.
Where I am, bare 500 gig drives are around $90, and good-quality USB2 cases
start around $30. It takes about five minutes to assemble them.

HTH
-pk
 
B

Bill in Co.

Patrick said:
You will not want to do this with CDs, they don't have enough space. You
will use one or more DVDs instead.

IF even that. (Takes quite a few DVDs to backup everything), at roughly 4G
each.
Cloning is the process of producing a working copy of a hard disk. What
you're suggesting is creating an image file for backup purposes.

Yes, you can create multiple image files on one drive - but in reality,
this
is not efficient. You will very quickly fill the target drive.
Instead, create one image and then use the incremental-backup features of
the imaging software to create partial images of just the changed files.

OR simpler yet, just rewrite the entire image again and you will NEVER have
to keep track of partial images, nor rely on them all being there (and which
ones to use, etc).
In addition, aside from creating one bootable, restorable image of your
hard
disk and system configuration, there's no point in backing up system and
program and temporary files over and over again. This is a waste of time
and space.

15-20 minutes ain't bad - to cover ALL bases (and that includes programs,
system files, and user data - the whole banana. That way you will never be
caught off guard).
 
B

Brian A.

Bill in Co. said:
IF even that. (Takes quite a few DVDs to backup everything), at roughly 4G
each.


OR simpler yet, just rewrite the entire image again and you will NEVER have to
keep track of partial images, nor rely on them all being there (and which ones
to use, etc).

As Patrick points out:
<quote>
It's also not a good idea to have one single image that replaces earlier ones,
as if the source corrupts, and you create an image that replaces the previous
good ones - you're not in a good position. You need to be able to go back to
before the damage.
</quote>

Aside from that. Acronis and Ghost both require the drive space to be two
times+ to create a new image that replaces the present image. Both apps first
create an entire new image, and once completed delete the present one. That
requires that the drive space be large enough to contain the present image and
the new image which will replace the present one, once the new image has been
completed the present (previous) image is then, and only then, deleted.
15-20 minutes ain't bad - to cover ALL bases (and that includes programs,
system files, and user data - the whole banana. That way you will never be
caught off guard).

Personally, I believe CDs and DVDs are old hat. It's much cheaper, less time
consuming and easier to use removable drives.

--


Brian A. Sesko { MS MVP_Windows Desktop User Experience }
Conflicts start where information lacks.
http://basconotw.mvps.org/

Suggested posting do's/don'ts: http://dts-l.com/goodpost.htm
How to ask a question: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555375
 
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B

Bill in Co.

Brian said:
As Patrick points out:
<quote>
It's also not a good idea to have one single image that replaces earlier
ones,
as if the source corrupts, and you create an image that replaces the
previous
good ones - you're not in a good position. You need to be able to go
back
to before the damage.
</quote>

OK. But I think that's a bit of a "long shot" (that that would indeed
occur):
As I pointed out before, either the source or the backup drive might fail,
but both at the same time? - seems pretty unlikely. So you always have one
to fall back on.

Just as it seems *quite* unlikely that you would go ahead and start a backup
if your source drive is corrupt. You'd likely know, by then.
Aside from that. Acronis and Ghost both require the drive space to be two
times+ to create a new image that replaces the present image. Both apps
first
create an entire new image, and once completed delete the present one.

Are you so sure? I seem to recall having the backup partition practically
filled, and yet still being able to overwrite an existing image (with the
same file name). So, I don't think that's *necessarily* true. (IOW, when
you write the new image, the old one can be directly overwritten, right then
and there, meaning its first erased, of course).
That
requires that the drive space be large enough to contain the present image
and
the new image which will replace the present one, once the new image has
been
completed the present (previous) image is then, and only then, deleted.


Personally, I believe CDs and DVDs are old hat. It's much cheaper, less
time
consuming and easier to use removable drives.

Yeah, me too. MUCH easier to do, too, and you don't have to keep a stack
of DVDs around either. :)
 
B

Brian A.

Bill in Co. said:
OK. But I think that's a bit of a "long shot" (that that would indeed
occur):
As I pointed out before, either the source or the backup drive might fail, but
both at the same time? - seems pretty unlikely. So you always have one to
fall back on.

Not if the backup (image/clone) is connected or improperly stored. There are
many different ways that a system could get toasted as well as the backup/image.
If you believe that overwriting an existing backup/image/clone is best, go with
it, I won't. I will overwrite images, yet I will always have one that is
previous to an overwritten one amd I will never only have one.
Just as it seems *quite* unlikely that you would go ahead and start a backup
if your source drive is corrupt. You'd likely know, by then.

When an image is created, the app creating it doesn't have a clue if any one
file within the system is corrupt, and it could care less. It's job is to
create the image, not to check the integrity of the system.
Are you so sure? I seem to recall having the backup partition practically
filled, and yet still being able to overwrite an existing image (with the same
file name). So, I don't think that's *necessarily* true. (IOW, when you
write the new image, the old one can be directly overwritten, right then and
there, meaning its first erased, of course).

I'm 100% positive, RTFM. If your image even completes when there isn't the
available required space, it will complete with errors.


--


Brian A. Sesko { MS MVP_Windows Desktop User Experience }
Conflicts start where information lacks.
http://basconotw.mvps.org/

Suggested posting do's/don'ts: http://dts-l.com/goodpost.htm
How to ask a question: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555375
 
J

JS

Best not to "clone" a drive but to create an Image backup.
A number of people use the two products list below.

Norton Ghost
http://www.symantec.com/norton/products/overview.jsp?pcid=br&pvid=ghost14

True Image (has a 15 day trial version also)
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/

I use Ghost but an earlier version (Ver. 10), each new image backup I create
goes into it's own folder on a separate internal drive on my PC and I also
make a DVD
copy of the image file for offline storage.

Whichever product you buy make certain that it comes with a 'Recovery CD',
which is a means of booting your PC from the CD and performing a recovery
using the most recent image backup you created.

Note: The current version of Ghost (Version 14) talks about a feature named:
"LightsOutRestore - Restores your system with an on-disk software recovery
environment-no bootable CD required."
Also you can download and read a .pdf version of their User's Guide from:
ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/products/ghost/14/manuals/

Using file compression you should be able to make multiple image backup to
the external drive.
For example if your 60GB drive is two thirds full (40GB used, 20 GB free) I
would expect that
you could create at least 10 image backups (each in it's own folder) on a
300GB external drive.

If your internal drive fails you can not use an Image backup which you
have stored on your external drive to boot and run/use Windows.
You must first replace the defective drive with a new drive and
then restore the image located on the external drive to the new drive
using the boot CD I mentioned above.

Once you have restored the image to the new drive then you can boot your PC
and use Windows. Note that what you then have is a working version of
Windows
as it was when you created your last and most recent image backup. Which
means
that if the last image backup is a month old then you will have lost
anything you
created after your made the image backup.

JS
 
P

Patrick Keenan

Bill in Co. said:
OK. But I think that's a bit of a "long shot" (that that would indeed
occur):

Unfortunately, it's not a long shot. It happens. I've personally seen
it happen, and I've read posts recently in one of these groups where a user
had it happen.

As I pointed out before, either the source or the backup drive might fail,
but both at the same time? - seems pretty unlikely. So you always have
one to fall back on.

Yes, both can fail at the same time, and a copy of a corrupted install is of
limited value.
Just as it seems *quite* unlikely that you would go ahead and start a
backup if your source drive is corrupt. You'd likely know, by then.

Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. It happens.
 
T

Timothy Daniels

Big Al said:
Clone means to duplicate. You would be taking the 60 gig, and
putting everything on the "larger" external (adjusting for the new
size of the drive) and in the process erasing everything on it.
So no you can't clone it several times. (unless you made several
60 gig partitions).

Imaging means to make a file that contains all the data on the 60
gig drive that can be later used to re-image back onto another
drive. But its just a file, a bit smaller than the total contents of
your data on the 60 gig. (due to compression). So yes, you
might get it down to 40 gig and can put lets say 7 or so on a 320
giger.

Several (if not many) cloning utilities allow "cloning" from a larger
partition to a smaller partition. Casper 4.0 (paid) and Clonezilla
(shareware) come to mind. They do this by transferring only sectors
which contain data, ignoring unused sectors. This delights me because
I typically keep several iterations of an OS at any one time on a large
archival hard drive (each clone directly bootable), and I usually can't
match the sizes of the source and target partitions exactly. Squooshing
a large partition into one that is a little smaller helps a *lot*.

*TimDaniels*
 
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T

Timothy Daniels

Jo-Anne Naples said:
I'm using Windows XP with SP3. I have a 60GB internal
hard drive in my 5-year-old Dell desktop computer and
am planning to buy a couple USB external hard drives
(I have USB2) to be used for cloning the internal drive, in case of a crash or
other disaster of that sort.

First, definitions: The the purposes of this NG, "to clone"
means to make an exact sector-by-sector copy of a partition
(or at least a copy of the non-empty sectors), and the
resulting copy will be directly bootable if the original partition
was bootable. That means that the boot sector as well as
the entire file structure and formatting have been copied.
"To image" means that the entire contents of the entire file
structure have been copied, perhaps the boot sector as well,
and stored on archival media as the contents of a file - the
"image file". To save archival space, this file is frequently,
if not usually, compressed. This file, since it's only a file,
must be "restored" to an uncompressed file structure on
a bootable medium before it can be booted or otherwise
used again. The usuall archival medium for an image file is
a stack of CDs or DVDs, although a hard drive (internal,
external, or USB/Firewire) will do as well. Be aware, though,
that various backup utilities - and their dedicated forums -
don't adhere to this terminology and may use "clone" and
"image" interchangeably.

My questions:

1. If I buy a substantially larger external hard drive, will I be
able to clone my internal drive multiple times til the space is
filled, or is this something one can do only once--with
subsequent backup/clones writing over the earlier one?
[.....]

For both clones and images, multiple copies can be stored
on the same hard drive and overwritten just like any other
information. In the case of clones, multiple clones may exist
on the same hard drive, and it the one marked "active" has
the proper boot.ini entries, any one of them may be booted
from where they sit.

2. If I clone the internal drive to the external one, can the
external drive be used to boot the computer if the internal
drive fails?

If the external HD is a PATA (IDE) or a SATA hard drive,
yes, it can contain a bootable OS just as if they were internal
HDs. If the external HD is USB or Firewire, mythology prevails,
but you can use "No" as a serviceable answer. If the external HD
is eSATA, the answer is "Yes" if the BIOS can handle booting an
eSATA HD - this varies from model to model of a manufacturer's
desktop line. In the case of laptops, the current answer is "No" -
if by bootable one means that the BIOS can pass control to the
MBR on the external eSATA HD. This is because the external
eSATA implementation on a laptop is currently is via an Express-
Card adapter, and for some reason, ExpressCards don't accommo-
date booting. But if you mean can an OS *reside* on a laptop's
external ExressCard-connected eSATA HD and be *loaded* by
a loader that resides on the internal HD, the answer is "maybe"
(I'll know more in subsequent weeks).
If not, do most cloning programs create a bootable CD?

Not a bootable CD. Either a bootable clone on a hard drive,
or an unbootable image file that resides on multiple CDs or DVDs
or on another internal hard drive, or on an external hard drive, and
such an image file must be "restored" to a bootable hard drive
before it can be booted.

3. If the internal drive fails, I assume I'd have to acquire another
one and then clone the external drive to the internal one--right?

Usually, yes. But you can continue to use a clone that exists
on an external PATA or SATA hard drive or on an external
eSATA hard drive in the case of an eSATA-enabled desktop.
Also, remember that an "internal" hard drive can include a hard
drive that sits in a removable tray as part of what some makers
call a "mobile rack".

4. Before acquiring a new internal drive, would I be able to do
all my usual work on the computer using the external drive?

Yes, if the external hard drive is bootable.

*TimDaniels*
 
N

Nonny

Jo-Anne Naples said:
I'm using Windows XP with SP3. I have a 60GB internal
hard drive in my 5-year-old Dell desktop computer and
am planning to buy a couple USB external hard drives
(I have USB2) to be used for cloning the internal drive, in case of a crash or
other disaster of that sort.

First, definitions: The the purposes of this NG, "to clone"
means to make an exact sector-by-sector copy of a partition
(or at least a copy of the non-empty sectors), and the
resulting copy will be directly bootable if the original partition
was bootable. That means that the boot sector as well as
the entire file structure and formatting have been copied.
"To image" means that the entire contents of the entire file
structure have been copied, perhaps the boot sector as well,
and stored on archival media as the contents of a file - the
"image file". To save archival space, this file is frequently,
if not usually, compressed. This file, since it's only a file,
must be "restored" to an uncompressed file structure on
a bootable medium before it can be booted or otherwise
used again. The usuall archival medium for an image file is
a stack of CDs or DVDs, although a hard drive (internal,
external, or USB/Firewire) will do as well. Be aware, though,
that various backup utilities - and their dedicated forums -
don't adhere to this terminology and may use "clone" and
"image" interchangeably.

My questions:

1. If I buy a substantially larger external hard drive, will I be
able to clone my internal drive multiple times til the space is
filled, or is this something one can do only once--with
subsequent backup/clones writing over the earlier one?
[.....]

For both clones and images, multiple copies can be stored
on the same hard drive and overwritten just like any other
information. In the case of clones, multiple clones may exist
on the same hard drive, and it the one marked "active" has
the proper boot.ini entries, any one of them may be booted
from where they sit.

With Acronis True Image, only ONE clone at a time because it clones
disk to DISK - using the entire second disk.

One can store as many images as the second disk can hold.
 
T

Timothy Daniels

Timothy Daniels said:
But if you mean can an OS *reside* on a laptop's
external ExressCard-connected eSATA HD and be
*loaded* by a loader that resides on the internal HD,
the answer is "maybe"

In thinking about this some more, the more I think that it
probably can't be done. The problem involves the BIOS
and the fact that the laptop BIOS is set up to see only a single
hard drive, and it doesn't make a list of attached hard drives
that could be used to define the "rdisk(x)" parameter in the
boot.ini file where "x" would be other than 0. That means
that the loader, ntldr, wouldn't know how to find the
ExpressCard-connected hard drive and thus couldn't load
any OS residing on it. It seems that there must be some
feature of an already loaded OS, maybe the ExpressCard's
driver, which makes the attached hard drive visible to the OS.
I know that Casper 4.0 live CD loads up with the ExpressCard-
connected hard drive visible, but it appears also to have a
minimal OS (possibly MSDOS or WinPE) to load those drivers.
If one understood the BIOS/ntldr interface, there might be some
way to make MSDOS or WinPE that was loaded from a live CD
or a live USB stick tell ntldr how to find the ExpressCard-
connected hard drive and its WINDOWS folder so that ntldr
could then load the final OS, but *I* certainly don't.

*TimDaniels*
 
B

Big Al

Timothy said:
Several (if not many) cloning utilities allow "cloning" from a larger
partition to a smaller partition. Casper 4.0 (paid) and Clonezilla
(shareware) come to mind. They do this by transferring only sectors
which contain data, ignoring unused sectors. This delights me because
I typically keep several iterations of an OS at any one time on a large
archival hard drive (each clone directly bootable), and I usually can't
match the sizes of the source and target partitions exactly. Squooshing
a large partition into one that is a little smaller helps a *lot*.

*TimDaniels*
Yes, Acronis that I use took my 6 gig SP3 install and imaged it down to
4.3 gig. So not only did it take just the data on the 80 gig drive
but it compressed it a bit. Even with some data a 10 gig dataset
could be image a lot on a 160 or 320 gig backup drive. A bunch.
 
T

Timothy Daniels

Big Al said:
Yes, Acronis that I use took my 6 gig SP3 install and imaged it down to 4.3
gig. So not only did it take just the data on the 80 gig drive but it
compressed it a bit. Even with some data a 10 gig dataset could be image a
lot on a 160 or 320 gig backup drive. A bunch.

Yes, that is usual and easy in *imaging* in which the result that is
archived is a *file*. But it isn't as common for *cloners* to transfer
just the sectors which contain data and which the archived result is
bootable as it sits there in the archive medium.

*TimDaniels*
 
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T

Timothy Daniels

Nonny said:
Timothy Daniels said:
Jo-Anne Naples said:
I'm using Windows XP with SP3. I have a 60GB internal
hard drive in my 5-year-old Dell desktop computer and
am planning to buy a couple USB external hard drives
(I have USB2) to be used for cloning the internal drive, in case of a crash
or
other disaster of that sort.

First, definitions: The the purposes of this NG, "to clone"
means to make an exact sector-by-sector copy of a partition
(or at least a copy of the non-empty sectors), and the
resulting copy will be directly bootable if the original partition
was bootable. That means that the boot sector as well as
the entire file structure and formatting have been copied.
"To image" means that the entire contents of the entire file
structure have been copied, perhaps the boot sector as well,
and stored on archival media as the contents of a file - the
"image file". To save archival space, this file is frequently,
if not usually, compressed. This file, since it's only a file,
must be "restored" to an uncompressed file structure on
a bootable medium before it can be booted or otherwise
used again. The usuall archival medium for an image file is
a stack of CDs or DVDs, although a hard drive (internal,
external, or USB/Firewire) will do as well. Be aware, though,
that various backup utilities - and their dedicated forums -
don't adhere to this terminology and may use "clone" and
"image" interchangeably.

My questions:

1. If I buy a substantially larger external hard drive, will I be
able to clone my internal drive multiple times til the space is
filled, or is this something one can do only once--with
subsequent backup/clones writing over the earlier one?
[.....]

For both clones and images, multiple copies can be stored
on the same hard drive and overwritten just like any other
information. In the case of clones, multiple clones may exist
on the same hard drive, and it the one marked "active" has
the proper boot.ini entries, any one of them may be booted
from where they sit.

With Acronis True Image, only ONE clone at a time because it clones
disk to DISK - using the entire second disk.

One can store as many images as the second disk can hold.


For Acronis's True Image, yes - because it can't clone just
a partition. But for Acronis's Disk Director Suite 10, individual
partitions can be cloned, and multiple clones of the same
partition, made at different times, can be put on the target
hard drive, and each one can be booted from where it sits.

*TimDaniels*
 
N

Nonny

For Acronis's True Image, yes - because it can't clone just
a partition. But for Acronis's Disk Director Suite 10, individual
partitions can be cloned, and multiple clones of the same
partition, made at different times, can be put on the target
hard drive, and each one can be booted from where it sits.

I recently bought Disk Director 10 but haven't checked it out any
deeper than what I originally needed it for.

That and True Image make a hard-to-beat combination.
 
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J

Jo-Anne Naples

Thanks, everyone! I have a somewhat better idea now of what can and should
be done.

Jo-Anne
 
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