How sure is disk cloning & little help with choosing HDD

My external WD (500GB) has died, so I'd like to insert another HDD in WD's case. I have one 1TB HDD in my PC, so I'm thinking about buying another, better 1TB HDD to replace old one, and put old one into WD's case.

I have 2 questions:

1) Is HDD cloning safe, will cloned HDD be absolute clone (partitions, drivers, everything the same) or is this not recommended? Note that I'd be cloning same-sized HDDs and that I have all data on one single HDD, meaning that I'd be cloning system and one other partition (2 in total).

2)Which 1TB HDD would you recommend, which are the best? I'd like something that has high writing speed. Also, what exactly should I look for when buying new HDD, what is most important?

This is my current HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST31000333AS

Thanks in advance!!!
4 answers Last reply
More about disk cloning choosing
  1. Greetings,

    First off the bat, HDD cloning the the only fail safe and surest way of backing up your system drive or external drive.I have been doing this for years,and trust me on this,you will never regret doing so.It's safe and preserves your entire hard drive including any partitions or folders if you choose to do so.I initially started to use Symantec but found that it was slow and cumbersome but it performed well, but now I use Acronis.Acronis took a learning curve but once I used it several times, I mastered it.It also allows you to do 3 types of backup to an external drive:- Incremental, differential and full.I use the full backup when I install a new operating system install that includes all drivers,apps and software that I will use and I will backup to DVD media and then to an external hard drive.

    I recently bought this HITACHI Deskstar HD31000 IDK/7K (0S00163) 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive to be used as an external.It seems to backup very fast and access times are great.

    Well, hope that you got usefull info.
  2. Thanks, that was useful!

    I'm planning to replace my current internal HDD and use that one as external though, so I'm looking for something that would have OS running on it and be writing and reading 23/7 on average.
    I looked at newegg, but I've read various reviews stating that the packaging wasn't good and some of HDDs were dead on arrival.
    This is what I can get at my local shop (1 & 1.5TB only, with price decreasing):

    WD RE3 1TB, 7200rpm, 32MB, SATAII (WD1002FBYS) - 140,20 €
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1,5TB, 7200rpm, 32MB, SATAII (ST31500341AS) - 127,73 €
    Samsung ECO Green F2 HD154UI 1,5 TB, 5400 rpm, 32 MB, SATAII - 108,54 €
    WD Caviar Black 1 TB, 7200 rpm, 64 MB, SATAII (WD1002FAEX) - 106,00 €
    WD Caviar Green 1,5TB, 7200rpm, 64MB, SATAII (WD15EARS) - 104,27 €
    WD Caviar Black 1TB, 7200rpm, 32MB, SATAII (WD1001FALS) - 101,90 €
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB, 7200rpm, 32MB, SATAII (ST31000333AS) - 96,03 € *i have this one now*
    WD Caviar Green 1 TB, 7200 rpm, 64 MB, SATAII (WD10EARS) - 91,02 €

    Which one would you recommend?
  3. Of all those listed, i'd recommend the Seagate 1.5 TB.. Personally, i trust Hitachi drives the most though..
  4. Cloning works very well, and you may get it free. IF you buy a new Seagate drive, download from their website Disk Wizard. It will make clones, but only TO a Seagate HDD (does not care whose drive is the source). IF you buy from WD, get their Acronis True Image WD Editiion. In fact, both of these are customized versions of Acronis True Image which is VERY good and has lots of feature beyond cloning, so get the manual and read it! IF you buy from another company, check their website also for free utilities to set up your new drive, including cloning tools. And yes, they will clone EVERYTHING, putting all your critical boot files in the right places, etc. On a multi-Partitioned Source drive, the default action often is to create Partitions on the new HDD with sizes in proportion to your old partitions, but enough to fill up the new drive. In your case you propose to get a new one the SAME size as the old one. So cloning will simply re-create the two Partitions almost exactly the same as the old ones.

    Of the drives you listed, the first one from WD is a RAID Edition unit with particular features for use in RAID arrays, and is more expensive. You don't need that. The "Green" units run slower and use less power, but perform a little more slowly than "Blacks". WD tries to compensate for that performance factor in their Green units by including a large cache to offset the slower rotational speed impact.
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