An exact bootable copy hard drive

I thought the answer to this would be much simpler than it seems to be. I've been googling around and researching for about a week now trying to figure out how you can make an exact bootable replica of a hard drive. Preferably, for free.

I have a 500GB hard drive in my PC and an external USB hard drive (500GB). I want to make it an exact replica so that if my computer ever crashes, I can just stick it in my computer and it will go.

The only program I have found that even has this ability is DriveImage XL, but when I attempted it I got an error that I chased for a day, to no avail (something about the drives being locked). I'm guessing there must be a simpler solution out there than chasing this weird error.

Please let me know!
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More about exact bootable copy hard drive
  1. You want to clone your drive. There is a lot of software out ther that will do this. Try clonezilla, it's free.
  2. Wow, after all the research I did I never came across this software. I'll try it and get back to you. Thanks.
  3. If you don't like clonezilla, try Hard disk Copy by Easeus.
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