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Old 06-19-17, 08:46 PM   #1
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How do I clone my laptop har drive?

I have a 500gB hard drive from my desktop computer and I want to clone the hard drive from my laptop in case my laptop ever dies I can restore a system from that hard drive? How would I go about doing that? Is it possible?
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Old 06-19-17, 09:36 PM   #2
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Re: How do I clone my laptop har drive?

You probably want to make a disk image instead of a clone. A disk image can take up only part of a backup drive instead of using the full drive, and you can do incremental updates, and restoring to a new drive is easy.

Windows has a built in System Image utility since Windows 7:
https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241...-in-windows-7/

Personally, I don't bother with a system image, but just back up the files I care about. If my system drive goes, I'll just re-install Windows and my programs from scratch and copy back over my files.
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Old 06-19-17, 10:16 PM   #3
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Re: How do I clone my laptop har drive?

but to reinstall windows, don't you need to know the license id's etc.. where can I find that information stored on my computer so I can record it.. I don't want to have to buy a new license.
I guess the other thing, I know some files to back up.. but I feel like I don't know everything to backup, like programs, etc..
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Old 06-19-17, 10:27 PM   #4
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Re: How do I clone my laptop har drive?

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Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE View Post
but to reinstall windows, don't you need to know the license id's etc.. where can I find that information stored on my computer so I can record it...
If you have Window 8.x/10, the license info is all stored in the PC's BIOS/UEFI, and will auto-fill in the key and reactivate on a new install. if you upgraded to Windows 10 from a previous version, MS stored your PC's hardware profile on their server and will re-activate it on a re-install (you may have to click "I don't have a product key" during re-install and pick the right Windows 10 Edition).

For Windows Vista/7, I used Activation Backup and Restore to, well, backup and restore OEM activation on PCs:
https://directedge.us/content/abr-ac...up-and-restore

Advanced Token Manager is another option:
http://joshcellsoftwares.com/Product...dtokensmanager


Or, with any version of Windows prior to 8, an activation key was printed on the license sticker on the PC. The only trip-up with using those keys is that partway through XP's lifespan, those keys stopped activating online; you have to call in to MS's phone activation to activate using those codes. Note that the ABR and ATM tools about allow you to sidestep doing that.

Of course, you'd also need install media. Windows 8.x and 10 have downloadable installers available. Windows 7 has one available, but only for retail licenses (have to provide your product key as proof before it will let you download it).
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Old 06-20-17, 06:32 AM   #5
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Re: How do I clone my laptop har drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE View Post
I have a 500gB hard drive from my desktop computer and I want to clone the hard drive from my laptop in case my laptop ever dies I can restore a system from that hard drive? How would I go about doing that? Is it possible?
Unless I'm misinterpreting your question, creating a disk image of an operating system installation on one computer should not be used to restore to an entirely different computer. It may work, but more often than not you'll be faced with a hot mess.

https://askleo.com/can_i_restore_an_..._have_it_work/

http://www.andyrathbone.com/2012/04/...-different-pc/

If your hard drive dies, you can recover an image to the new hard drive, but if you're planning to use that image on an entirely different computer, I would say don't trust it to work.
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Old 06-20-17, 06:56 AM   #6
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Re: How do I clone my laptop har drive?

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Originally Posted by kd5 View Post
Unless I'm misinterpreting your question, creating a disk image of an operating system installation on one computer should not be used to restore to an entirely different computer. It may work, but more often than not you'll be faced with a hot mess.
I'm pretty sure he means he has an extra HD that came out of the desktop PC that he wants to use for backup. Not clone the laptop to the desktop... as that would be a very bad idea (as you said).

Jay's initial suggestion to use the built in Windows System Image is what you are looking for. You can go third party (Acronis or ShadowProtect for example) for more backup options or if you don't trust Microsoft's built in product.

I use ShadowProtect both at home and at work. Saved me several times... I agree with Jay that reinstalling from scratch is the preferred method as it cleans out the junk in the OS that accumulates over time. If my primary PC HD were to die today, I can restore from the image and be back up and running much quicker then do the full reinstall when time allows.
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Old 06-20-17, 05:58 PM   #7
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Re: How do I clone my laptop har drive?

So I was thinking of cloning my laptop drive on another harddrive.. this way if my harddrive dies in my laptop.. I can install a new one and then copy the image over.. not that I have any idea on how to do any of that.. that's why I was asking.

I am trying to format the hard drive and my windows 10 pc won't let me. windows explorer thinks its a 1TB drive, but its only a 500GB drive.. I am thinking I need a jumper set or something. This hard drive was part of a raid setup that was 1TB
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Old 06-22-17, 04:56 PM   #8
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Re: How do I clone my laptop har drive?

Doea anyone know why my 500gb hard drive looks like 1000gb when looking through windows wxplorer? I cant format the drive because of tte disconnnect
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Old 06-22-17, 06:10 PM   #9
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Re: How do I clone my laptop har drive?

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Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE View Post
Doea anyone know why my 500gb hard drive looks like 1000gb when looking through windows wxplorer? I cant format the drive because of tte disconnnect
Search for "Disk Management" and check the capacity. It might have been formatted weird. If you want a completely clean drive you can delete all the partitions and reformat. THIS WILL ERASE THE DATA ON THE DRIVE. If this does not work you are going to have to use the command prompt and diskpart command. You will have to google it because I don't remember the switches but again be careful.
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Old 06-22-17, 08:39 PM   #10
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Re: How do I clone my laptop har drive?

I want to wipe the drive. I took it out of a old desktop and installed it in a case.. the laptop had 2 of these druves in a raid configuration, where it spread data over 2 drives.. I tried formatting it but like i said windows explorer thinks its a 1000gb..

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