How to Clone a Hard Drive

Jeffy Feb 12, 2014

Introduction


How to Clone a Hard Drive Cloning of a hard drive is basically copying all its content in order not to lose anything important. You may want to clone the contents of your hard drive when it has some really serious errors and you need to backup all the data you used to store on this hard drive. Anyways, having a cloned version of your hard drive is always a good idea because computers don't live forever. Even if it sound difficult, when you start doing it you will right away realize there is nothing impossible in it at all.

Ste-By-Step User Instruction

  • First of all, you're going to need some specific cloning software. There are tons of programs to choose from, some of them are really advanced and costly; others are simpler and more cost effective. DriveImage XML, Macrium Reflect, EaseUs Disk Copy and Acronis Migrate Easy are probably the most popular ones in the niche. Many users choose DriveImage XML, and we're going to explain the process using this software. Let's skip straight to the cloning;
  • Download it onto your computer and install it. This is quite an intuitive process, so there's no need to dive into details;
  • Once the program is installed, you'll see a window that offers you 5 options to choose from: 1) backup drives to image files; 2) browse these images; 3) restore images to the same or another drive; 4) copy directly from drive to drive; 5) schedule automatic backups with your Task Scheduler. You want to click Backup and then select the drive that you want to backup, for example your C Drive. Click Next;
  • Now, you should select where exactly you want to put the image. If you check Raw Mode box, the system will backup everything including blank spaces, so if you only want to backup your data, you should uncheck this box. By checking Split Large Files box, you would be able to burn the information into separate DVDs;
  • They also offer you to choose the Compression settings. You can choose from none, fast, or good, but in fact "fast" and "good" ones can make the process even slower, so you'd better leave the default "none" option;
  • The next setting on the bottom is called Hot Imaging Strategy. Click Try Volume Shadow Services First and hit Next;
  • After all these steps are taken, your system starts the backup job for your hard drive. It may take some time, and the duration of the process depends on the volume of data you store on this particular hard drive. Wait for the process to finish and you're done.

Summary

This is not the only program you can use to clone your data. Feel free to use any reliable one that you can find, but make sure you know exactly how to use it. Majority of such specific software is extremely easy to navigate as the interface is created in such a way that you won't likely to face any difficulties while their usage.

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