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Cloning hard disk partitions selectively

  • Hard Drives
  • Western Digital
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
April 29, 2009 10:34:16 PM


I've a Seagate hard disk divided into 5 partitions: C, D, J, K, and H. C and D are primary partitions with C as the system drive hosting Windows XP.

I'd like to clone partitions C, D, and J only to a new, larger sized WD Caviar Black drive, and replace my old Seagate with the WD. Ideally, the end result is that the cloned C, D and J partitions will be identical in size to the existing ones, with a large unformatted section on the WD drive.

What would you recommend as the most straightforward procedure to accomplish the above objective using free software tools? I've spent some time reading about DriveImage XML, BartPE and a few tools but none seems to offer the selective cloning feature. Further, there appears to be frequent problems with how to set the OS partition of the new drive active.



More about : cloning hard disk partitions selectively

a c 127 G Storage
April 29, 2009 11:19:32 PM

Just boot an Ubuntu cd and use a simple command known as dd to make an exact copy of your Seagate disk. This would be accomplished by a command such as:

sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=1M

The 'if=' section specifies the input file, or call this the 'source'
The 'of=' section specifies the output file, or call this the 'target'
The bs specifies blocksize and is not required but will make the data transfer faster

This dd command will copy all data from disk /dev/sda to the target disk /dev/sdb. You need to change these names to correspond with the actual harddrives once you booted Ubuntu. To get a list of all harddrives found by the system, issue a: 'dmesg | grep sd' without the quotes. This will give you alot of text but you can see your disks labeled sda, sdb, sdc and so on. Figure out which one is the source or target disk.

So in short:
1. download ubuntu and boot from it
2. open a terminal and find out which names your disks have with 'dmesg | grep sd'
3. issue the dd command and double check if its correct

If you mix the source and target drives the other way around, you will loose your data so be sure to insert the command properly. After that, simply shutdown your pc and connect only the new drive, which now contains a complete copy of your old one. You can use partitioning tools to use the additional space your older drive didn't had.
a b G Storage
May 2, 2009 1:21:17 AM

Use acronis drive image image home. One of its features is generating image files for entire drives or selective partition. Specific partition can restored to your liking or preference.

You can also use it as your back up software for specific folder, files, partition or drive.

For drive partitioning you can use acronis disk director. You create , delete, resize without losing your partittion/data(unless you delete).

The 2 software is what i use and i know it works. The downside is you need to buy it. Its not free. I have mulitple drive, multple partition, and multiple OS on my setup.

The software is all icon-based. Very user friendly.

Related resources
a b G Storage
May 2, 2009 3:02:22 AM

the software that comes with the retail version of the drive can do it also
May 3, 2009 11:58:24 AM


Thanks for all your helpful feedback. Still trying to learn as much as possible about cloning and imaging...