In certain cases, the user may need to transfer information from one internal drive to another, very often together with the installed operating system. If we talk about large amounts of data and the need to accurately copy the HDD, for example, when replacing a device, then the solution is to clone the used hard disk. Many actions can be performed manually, but even if you only need to transfer user data, depending on the size, the process can drag on for hours, and the system and the necessary software will have to be reinstalled, therefore it is more efficient to use specialized software for such purposes.
The procedure for cloning a hard disk.
What is cloning a hard disk
The procedure is a complete copy, transfer of data by sector to a new, specified HDD or SSD carrier, which allows you to literally “clone” an existing source. The content at the end of the process will be available in the same form as it was on the original device, that is, with the same operating system and its files, drivers, installed software, user data, settings, passwords and other information, in other words, all data will move "to another carrier. Everything will be exactly the same as on the source device, while you can perform full cloning of the HDD or some of its partitions. In certain cases, this will seem a more acceptable option.
To perform cloning of a drive with files, structure and partitions, it is not necessary that the volume of both devices, the source code and the clone, be the same, but the drive to which we transfer information must still contain it. So, if there is no possibility or desire to clone the entire disk, you can copy only what you really need.
Why do you need to clone a hard disk
Each user has his own goals in the implementation of certain tasks, including this one. First of all, cloning a hard disk is done for the sake of your own comfort and saving time. So, the procedure is performed for the following reasons:
- Replacing the old hard drive with a new HDD or more productive SSD (the second option is becoming very popular today, since recently the cost of solid-state drives has become adequate by consumer standards, the tendency to purchase devices has increased).
- Another reason for which you want to clone a hard disk is the transfer of the installed OS. So, having executed the procedure, you can use the same Windows operating system, with all its components and settings. On the new media you do not have to install Windows, nor customize everything you need to work on a computer. Nothing will change, except that in the case of transfer to SSD, the system will be several times faster.
- Synchronization of work for different computers. This is not about the scale within any project, specific program or service, for this you can perform other, less global actions. With the ability to clone a hard disk, you can expand your own field of activity and feel as comfortable as possible in your own working environment when using different devices.
- Create backup data. For many users, the information recorded in the device’s memory is of great importance, especially if it is personal and not available anywhere else, except on a specific drive. The eternal guarantee for any type of media does not happen and sooner or later the device may suddenly fail. In this case, not every user entrusts certain data to the cloud storage service, and the volumes may exceed the allowable storages or you will have to pay for the storage, and if there is a clone with your files, they will be safe.
Utilities and cloning software
It is impractical to manually transfer data on the hard disk by means of Windows, especially since there is absolutely no need to do this, because there are special tools for this purpose, and in a large assortment, allowing you to quickly and easily perform the cloning operation. Among the software you can find both free and commercial products. Some applications can only perform cloning; for others, the ability to create an HDD clone is not the only function. Here, the user has to choose which program to use, it all depends on which of the options for him will be more preferable. We will look at several handy programs and figure out how to clone a hard disk with the Windows 10 or 7 operating system.
Before starting work with any of the applications, you should connect the new drive to the appropriate interface of the device, and also make sure that the process will not be interrupted. The laptop should be charged with a battery, while on any computer you should exclude all factors that could interfere with the implementation, after which you can already begin to act on cloning. The procedure in different programs is similar, and you can perform it intuitively, but there are still some differences, so let's take a closer look at the process of creating a hard disk clone in popular applications.
FarStone RestoreIT Pro
The utility is paid, it creates backups and is used to restore data if it is lost under various conditions, for example, as a result of failures, infection of the device with viruses and other force majeure. Drive clones with this software do not create, but RestoreIT Pro functionality allows you to restore the OS even if the boot loader is damaged, save the history of file transformations, monitor the hard drive or specific sections of it, full and cumulative backups are also available.
A good program with easy navigation, offering backup and HDD cloning, selected partitions, and the operating system. The basic version of the software is free. To use Aomei Backupper to transfer data, do the following:
- Run the software and in the left menu go to the section "Clone".
- Here choose “Disk Clone” if you want to clone the hard drive.
- Specify the source ("Source disk") and click the button "Next".
- Now select the target drive (“Destination disk”), on which the data will be “moved”, click “Next”.
- The process will start automatically, after its completion it will be necessary to reboot.
Very convenient and simple program in Russian, which allows you to make copies of disks with full preservation of the structure of HDD drives. The cloning procedure is automated, which will save the user from manually cleaning, transferring data and eliminating various errors in the registry. The software is paid, but there is also a free version, designed for 30 days, it is quite enough for cloning. Working with Handy Backup is easy:
- Run the software and select the type of task “Create a backup”, click “Next”.
- Specify the data to be copied, for which we expand the “Disk Clone” branch, where we select “System Recovery”, click “Add”.
- Mark the section "Physical drive" (this is the hard drive).
- Now you need to specify the target drive for "moving" to it data, then click "Next."
- Choosing the type of copying, mark "Full".
- The next step, “Compression and Encryption, ” can be skipped without changing anything if you do not need it.
- At the next stage, the scheduler setting will be available, but we are not interested in it, so click "Next."
- Enter the name of the task, click the "Finish" button, after which the full HDD cloning procedure will start, after which you need to restart the device.
A simple utility with an intuitive menu that will help you with just a few mouse clicks to carry out the procedure of transferring all information from the media, individual directories or specific system sections. To carry out the operation, perform the following steps:
- Run the utility Renee Becca.
- Go to the "Clone" section (in the left interface unit) and select the "Hard Disk Clone" item. You can also make a partition clone or move only the system.
- In the window that appears, you need to specify the source drive (source) and the destination of the clone (drive to which we copy data).
- Check the box “Make target disk bootable ...”.
- We open the list by pressing the “More” button and mark the item “Clone of all sectors ...”, in this case, the procedure will take a lot of time, but will make the new drive identical to the previous one.
- Starting the process is performed by clicking the "Clone" button at the bottom of the window.
Acronis Disk Director
Paid, but multifunctional program. For the procedure of creating a clone of the hard drive, you can use the trial version. The software is notable for its convenience and good speed, as well as support for multiple versions of Windows. Thanks to the software you can clone media with different file systems. Consider how to clone a hard drive using Acronis Disk Director:
- Select the media to be cloned (not the partition, but specifically the hard drive), press the RMB to call the Cloning Wizard, select the option “Clone the basic disk”.
- In the new window, specify the target device where the data will be transferred. If there is any information on the “receiver”, it will be overwritten. Click “Next” after the selection is made.
- The next window assumes the choice of cloning method. If you want the new drive to be completely identical to the “donor”, select the “One to One” option and click “Finish”.
- In the main window, you will need to confirm the action from the HDD, for which we click "Apply pending operations", we confirm the intention.
- The program will restart the computer and execute the procedure.
Free program that provides the ability to clone a hard disk in whole or in part, supports Windows 7, 8, 10, and others, as well as different file systems and media. The utility uses multi-level encryption, ensuring data security, works with high speed and in addition to cloning, it also creates images of partitions or disks (after restoring the OS, they can be embedded in the standard Windows Explorer). The interface is simple, but there is no support for the Russian language. Also among the disadvantages of a bonus in the form of advertising software. Consider how to clone a disk using Macrium Reflect:
- Run the software and select the drive that will be the source.
- Click "Clone this disk".
- Mark the sections on the "donor" that need to be cloned.
- Click "Select a disk to clone to ..." and specify the drive where the information is transferred.
- Click "Finish" and wait for the end of the process.
Paragon Drive Backup Personal
The program is a tool for creating backup copies, restoring and cloning drives and their partitions. Its interface is simple and convenient, and all the manipulations during the work will be accompanied by the prompts of the “wizard”, so you will not have to study the instructions for working in the application. The program starts both from under Windows and from bootable media. The software is paid, but a trial version will be enough for cloning. Running the application, perform the following actions:
- We create an account, specifying e-mail and personal data.
- In the block on the left, click "My new backup".
- Select the source in the field “Backup source” and the drive on which we record the data in the field “Destination”.
- There are several settings, but you can not change anything. The process will start after pressing the “Back up now” button.
The simple and intuitive interface of the universal utility allows you to clone a hard disk by sector even for an inexperienced user. The program works with Windows 10, 8, 7, XP and is able to copy drives in whole or in part. To clone HDD using HDClone, do the following:
- Open the program, on the main page go to the section "Quick Pick".
- In the "Clone" block, click "Disk".
- In the window that appears, select the source drive.
- Now select the target disk from the list of devices.
- Perform the available settings, marking the desired functions. The Smart Copy option will allow you to make a copy of one hundred percent identical to the original, and also speeds up the procedure for transferring information. If necessary, you can mark the function "Defragmentation", it will be executed after the main process. When the necessary settings are made, click "Next".
- At the end of the process will require a reboot.
Easeus Disk Copy
Functional program that clones HDD by sector and works with any file systems. The software allows you to clone both the entire disk and its part, including remote, hidden and protected items. For the cloning procedure, a free demo is sufficient. The product is not Russified, which may cause inconvenience to some users. Another drawback is the advertising that goes with the engine to the software, but given the fact that the utility is free and good enough, you can close your eyes to it. To perform HDD cloning, do the following:
- Run the utility and select the Disk Mode to create a completely identical disk (the option of cloning individual partitions is also available, for which you need to select Partition Mode).
- Select the source and click the button “Next” at the bottom of the window.
- You can also mark the item “Sector by sector copy”, which allows you to make an identical disk by copying each sector.
- Select the drive, where we will record the information, and click "Next".
- Reboot to complete the procedure.
Acronis True Image
Another well-known product, featuring multi-functionality and also used for cloning a hard drive. The utility transfers the selected partitions, files or disk entirely, including hidden items. The created clones can be saved in the Acronis Cloud, from where they will be accessible from any device. The application can run from a DVD or flash drive, the interface is simple and convenient, the Russian language is supported, so working with Acronis True Image is a pleasure, despite the considerable cost of the product (the trial version lasts 30 days). Make a clone HDD using this tool as follows:
- Run the program and go to the Tools section (in the left block of the window), where we select “Disk Clone”.
- Two operating modes are available - automatic and manual. If you do not have enough experience, it is better to choose the first option and click “Next” (if you select the second option, you can manage the process).
- Mark the source disk, click "Next."
- Now we note the drive to which we will transfer information, click "Next", after which the process will be launched.
- Upon completion of the procedure, restart the computer.
After cloning using any of the tools, you can disable the old drive or change the boot priority in BIOS settings. You can specify the new media from which the OS should now boot from via Advanced BIOS Features — First Boot Device or Boot — 1st Boot Priority, depending on the BIOS version.
Features of cloning information from HDD to SSD
It is no secret that the solid-state drives of the new generation are much faster than the usual hard drives. So, if you clone from HDD to an SSD system, you will get a much more productive OS. In addition, on SSD any software will work faster, so that the transfer of the operating system and software will increase the comfort and efficiency of working at the computer. You can clone the system from HDD to SSD and built-in tools, creating a Windows image and specifying a new drive as a place to copy information. After that, the OS will need to be removed from the hard drive, disable the old drive, or change the boot priority in BIOS. When transferring data to an SSD (it is more expedient to transfer only the system and programs), do not forget about the volume of the new carrier, since the solid-state drives do not differ in large capacity. To successfully clone a hard disk, an SSD should not be smaller than the information “moving” to it.
Although the backup procedure can be carried out using standard tools, it is still easier to implement with the help of special software, since the programs allow you to copy hidden files as well. At the same time, most utilities are freely available or have trial versions, which is quite enough for an ordinary user.