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What is the best free drive cloning software?

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Last response: in Apps General Discussion
February 16, 2014 12:13:32 AM

Tomorrow I'll be going from my current config (120GB SSD Boot disk, 320GB SATA 2 Games Disk), to a new config (64GB SSD Boot Disk, 120GB SSD Games Disk).

In other words, I need to clone the 40GB worth of Windows files and applications from my 120GB 840 EVO to my 64GB SanDisk Ultra Plus that arrives tomorrow. After that I'll clone the 80GB of games from my HDD to my 120GB SSD (or I could just reinstall steam and all my games).

So, just wondering, what's the best free cloning software? I'm looking fro something reliable and user friendly. Cheers :D 

More about : free drive cloning software

April 21, 2016 1:10:45 PM

FYI Paragon Free does not allow cloning, only backup. The cloning must be "unlocked" for the discount price of $40.

Macrium will not clone to a smaller disk.

I have Win10 Pro (nothing else installed) on a new system with a 512 GB HDD; I want to move to a 128GB SSD. This should be possible but not with either of these two programs, and not even to a disk of similar size with Paragon Free.
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April 25, 2016 5:17:35 PM

bboyes said:
FYI Paragon Free does not allow cloning, only backup. The cloning must be "unlocked" for the discount price of $40.

Macrium will not clone to a smaller disk.

I have Win10 Pro (nothing else installed) on a new system with a 512 GB HDD; I want to move to a 128GB SSD. This should be possible but not with either of these two programs, and not even to a disk of similar size with Paragon Free.


Can you use the Windows tools to shrink the partition? If you can shrink it to an acceptable size, then Macrium will work.
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April 25, 2016 10:23:13 PM

17873847,0,2236945 said:
17853125,0,2234290 said:
FYI Paragon Free does not allow cloning, only backup. The cloning must be "unlocked" for the discount price of $40.
No, I could not shrink enough to fit on 128 GB SSD even though only 22 GB of disk space is actually used. Windows 10 seems to have a really strange combination of redundant boot drives and recovery partitions.

In the end I remembered I had an Apricorn USB3 to Sata adapter which included EZ Gig IV Cloning Software, and I was able to get a new version of that as support for the adapter. That was able to migrate the HDD to SSD (a good mid-range SanDisk), but there were a couple of strange warnings during the process and now I can't recall what they were. I swapped in the SSD and it boots. Windows reported unspecified disk errors which it said could be fixed with a restart, which I did, and now the SSD seems to be fine with no reported errors.

I ran Attodisk benchmarks on both the HDD and SSD. The HDD (7200 RPM 500 GB Sata 6 Toshiba) peaked out at about 200 MB/Sec and the SSD max is under 300 MB/Sec. This doesn't seem like much of an improvement but the boot time, application loading time, etc seems much quicker.
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May 1, 2016 12:48:56 AM

bboyes said:
FYI Paragon Free does not allow cloning, only backup. The cloning must be "unlocked" for the discount price of $40.

Macrium will not clone to a smaller disk.

I have Win10 Pro (nothing else installed) on a new system with a 512 GB HDD; I want to move to a 128GB SSD. This should be possible but not with either of these two programs, and not even to a disk of similar size with Paragon Free.


Actually Macrium does support cloning to a smaller disk.

1. You have to make an image of the old drive
2. Under the 'Restore' tab in Macrium Reflect, go to 'Browse for an image or backup file to restore'
3. Select the correct image (*.mrimg) file, and click 'Restore Image'.

Now you get a window which at the top displays the partitions in the image file, and at the bottom it displays the new disk.
Just dragging all partition won't work, because that doesn't fit, but If you drag them one by one, you can for each partition change its size. If you adjust this according to the disk size, you can fit all partitions of the old drive on the newer one.

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