Cloning a Hard Drive?

How do I clone my drive so that the new drive works 100% exactly like the old one?
I have never learned anything on the HDD besides using it.
Some people say I have to reinstall windows if I disk clone, some people say it'll work exactly like my old HDD.
Can anyone explain in detail how to clone?
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cloning hard drive
  1. You will make an image of the current drive using some software like Norton Ghost or the backup software included in the most recent versions of windows. You typically store this image on a separate drive, optical disc or flash drive. Depends on your plans for the image use. You also need a start up /boot disc. Windows or the other software has a disc creation feature as well. The system receiving the image is booted using the mentioned disc and then instructed to mount the image (this too is a feature offered by the boot disk). However if you are using Win7-8 and do not have a multiple use license of some type to activate the new system, Windows will be in a trial period on the new system. Also if the hardware configuration of the new system is not the same as the old one, you will need to install the appropriate MB and hardware drivers. There may be other hardware updates required also. If you are using the image to restore a corrupted installation on the original system there will be no issues.
  2. Best answer
    It should work the same assuming you installed windows in the same SATA mode you're gonna use in the new HDD (say you installed windows and your BIOS was setup for AHCI, then the new HDD would have to be setup also in AHCI mode).

    In order to clone you can use programs like Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost. Just boot your pc with any of these with both HDDs connected and then follow the wizard for cloning a HDD.
  3. If you want a free version of software to do it, I have used
    Macrim Reflect.. worked very well for me. Perfect clone so could go from a dying 320GB drive to a new 500GB one.

  4. There are several drive cloning programs available. Your drive manufacturer will have one you can download from their website. Most are easy, straight forward to use. They will make anexact copy of your current drive. All you have to do is go into the bios when its done and set the drive in the boot order. Of all the programs available, the Windows one is the hardest, stupidest, most flakey, bug infessted one there is. I suggest you use ANYTHING else over it.
  5. Cloning works best when you are replacing a failing drive in a computer or when you want to move your OS to a larger drive.

    You can safely clone a storage drive and move it to another computer. I don't recommend cloning an OS drive and moving it to another computer as most times it won't work or will require some effort to make it work.
  6. I just need the simplest way to move from a slow and probably failing drive to a new one.
    The hard drive I am desiring to clone contains everything, including Windows 7 and all of its installed programs.
    I require the simplest way to completely copy everything over so the new drive works JUST like the old one without having to go through additional tweaks or reinstalling an OS, as I no longer have the CD for it.
  7. 1. Buy your new drive and install it in the system: 2. Select and install whatever software you decide on or use the software in Win7; 3. Follow the software instructions on how to create an image and mount it on a new drive: 4. Disconnect and remove the old drive. When the system boots with the new drive it will be renamed as your C: primary drive: 5. Done. You still may have to reactivate the OS so have you license key available.
  8. a lot of freeware to choose:
    i will recommend Macrium Reflect and easeus todo backup free
    you can get them from their official site:
  9. Once again, the manufacturer of your harddrive will have a program available for free to download from the website. They used to include it on a disk with every new retail purchased drive, but in these modern times, you have to go to the web site and download it. Some retail drives do in fact still come with a disk with the software on it, but whatever way you get it, It will be quick, straight-forward, easy to use, and will do exactly what you are wanting to do. No frills, no free "trial" nonsense, no adware, no crap, no problem.
  10. I will now be moving this HDD data to an SSD.
    Unfortunately, the new SSD is also attached to a new Mobo, with different chipsets and such.
    Will I need to tweak things around for a clone, or is it best to just start over?
  11. I have used several programs over the years to do this. I always come back to "maxblast", which was originally used only for maxtor hard drives, but is now working on most of them I think. You only have to have one of their drives, the other can be any manufacturer. EVERY time I cloned from one to another HDD, my original activation always was intact, and stayed that way. Easy to use and can be found just by searching.

    Good luck
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