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How To Clone A Hard Drive?

Old 09-08-11, 06:36 PM
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How To Clone A Hard Drive?

I already have an empty USB Drive Enclosure and an extra hard drive the same size as the main drive in my computer. I want to make an exact copy of my current drive (including OS and everything else). So that if anything happens, I can just removed the old drive and put in the new one.

Is this possible and how do I do it? Which software is best for this? Do I just need something like Ghost or Acronis? Or do they copy everything in a proprietary format? I'd really like an exact copy.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-08-11, 06:58 PM
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Re: How To Clone A Hard Drive?

I haven't used ghost, but I have used Acronis. You make a boot disk, and it creates an ISO file that has every bit of data on your drive. It is basically a snapshot of the way your drive is at this moment.

If your drive crashes, you put the boot disk in, and you can restore that ISO to a different disk.
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Old 09-08-11, 07:07 PM
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Re: How To Clone A Hard Drive?

Originally Posted by shadowhawk2020 View Post
I haven't used ghost, but I have used Acronis. You make a boot disk, and it creates an ISO file that has every bit of data on your drive. It is basically a snapshot of the way your drive is at this moment.

If your drive crashes, you put the boot disk in, and you can restore that ISO to a different disk.
So then would I need two hard drives? One to store the ISO backup file (a backup drive). And a second to replace the crashed drive and restore the ISO file to (a replacement drive). Is that how it works?
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Old 09-08-11, 07:14 PM
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Re: How To Clone A Hard Drive?

There are a couple of ways to do it, it sounds to me like you do NOT want to backup to a file, but you want to clone the drive (like making a xerox copy of a piece of paper, but with hard drives)

You can buy ghost or acronis, but your needs are basic, you can do it with free tools like EaseUS todo backup (there are others)

http://www.todo-backup.com/products/...e-features.htm


Disk and Partition Clone - Improved

Migrate or copy all the data on a hard disk, partition or dynamic volume to another. Clone disk is especially useful to upgrade your hard drive to a new one without reinstalling operating systems and applications.
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Old 09-08-11, 10:54 PM
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Re: How To Clone A Hard Drive?

Because you are cloning you system disk, you have to boot to a different system other than your windows system to do the clone (otherwise there's no guarantee you are getting an exact copy).

If you feel comfortable with Linux system, the best solution would be Colonezilla, you boot from its live cd or usb drive then do disk-to-disk clone, or to be safe, do disk-to-image then restore-from-image.

Read this tutorial first:
http://geekyprojects.com/cloning/how...illa-tutorial/
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Old 09-09-11, 04:47 PM
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Re: How To Clone A Hard Drive?

4KRG - Thanks for the info on EaseUS Todo Backup. I'll give it a try.

lxl - Thanks for the heads up. I don't know if I want to take things that far. Really just want a simple point and click solution. But I'd definitely look into it.
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