Clone a Hard Drive

Edited by Michael J., Anonymous, Lynn

Whether you want to back up your computer file system or migrate your entire hard drive data into a storage unit with superior storage capacity, hard drive cloning could be one of your immediate options. This article will guide you on how to perform a hard drive cloning process using different methods and applications.

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Things You Will Need

  1. 1
    The hard drive you want to clone.
    The hard drive must be internally connected to a computer unit. You won't be able to copy data between two hard drives all by themselves. You need to have a computer system to facilitate the process.
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  2. 2
    An extra hard drive that has the same storage capacity or more than that of the hard drive to be cloned.
    Having a destination hard drive that has a relatively lower storage capacity will not do the trick.
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  3. 3
    A software for hard drive cloning.
    There are a lot of them. This article will guide you through the steps to using some of the most popular hard drive cloning tools in the market.
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  4. 4
    An ability to follow simple instructions.
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  5. 5
    A little bit of patience.
    Depending on the size of your source hard drive and the speed of the two drives you are going to use, the clone speed may take at least an hour on average.
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Steps to Cloning a Hard Drive on Windows using EaseUS Todo Backup

  1. 1
    Prepare the Hard Drives to be used.
    Ensure that the source and the destination hard drives are connected to your computer's motherboard and appears on Windows' disk manager or "My Computer". If connecting your destination hard drive to the motherboard is not possible, you may buy or borrow from your friend a hard drive enclosure to be able to connect the destination drive to your computer's USB port.
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  2. 2
    Download and Install EaseUS Todo Backup.
    This a free system backup utility that comes with many data backup and recovery features, including disk cloning. Todo Backup is only available for Windows platforms which include Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP.

    You will need to provide your name and e-mail address in order to qualify for a free download of the software. After downloading the software, you will need to agree to use the software for personal or home use only before you can proceed with the installation.
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  3. 3
    Open the application.
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  4. 4
    Click on the "Clone" option in the Options pane.
    There are two clone options provided: Disk clone and partition clone. Disk clone allows you to copy the entire hard disk drive, sector by sector, to another recipient drive. Partition clone is used to copy just a specific partition of your source hard drive. In this case, you will need to select the "disk clone" option.
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  5. 5
    Specify the clone source and the clone target destination.
    Be extra careful with your selection. The last thing you would want to do is to interchange the source and the destination drives.

    Before you proceed, you can also opt to optimize the clone for a Solid State Drive destination by checking the "Optimize for SSD" checkbox. This is applicable if the destination drive is in fact an SSD.

    Checking the "Sector by sector clone" checkbox will ensure that the destination drive is completely identical with the source drive. It will clone all the sectors of the source drive, even the blank and the bad ones. Generally, you can proceed without selecting this option.
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  6. 6
    Click "Next".
    This should start the disk cloning process. If your source drive contains the operating system you are currently running, the EaseUS software may prompt you to restart your computer first before the disk clone process proceeds.
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  7. 7
    Wait and be patient.
    The cloning speed will vary, depending on the size of your source hard drive and the read/write speed of both the hard drives.
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  8. 8
    After the clone is completed, turn off your computer.
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  9. 9
    Unplug the source drive from its SATA slot on your computer's motherboard.
    Make sure to discharge yourself of any static electricity before interacting with the internal components of your computer. To do this, you need to wear an anti-static wristband or if you do not have access to one, you can tap a smooth metal surface using your fingers. A good example of this is your computer's power supply.
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  10. 10
    Unplug the destination drive from its SATA slot and plug it to the SATA slot previously occupied by your source hard drive.
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  11. 11
    With only the destination drive plugged in, turn on your computer.
    If the clone process was successful, you will see your computer boot to Windows similarly to how it boots up with the original source drive.
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  12. 12
    Check your files through Windows Explorer or My Computer if they are all intact.
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Steps to Cloning a Hard Drive without Booting to the Operating System

To perform hard drive cloning independent of the operating system, you will need to create a bootable CD, DVD or a USB containing a hard drive cloning software. Since this method does not boot to the operating system, it can be used to clone drives on either Windows, Mac or Linux based computers. In fact, it can even be used without an operating system installed. To create a bootable hard drive cloning tool, we need not to look further. The EaseUS Todo Backup can be infused into a bootable media and you would not need any third-party software to complete the process. The software itself has a built-in feature for creating a bootable CD, DVD or USB version of it. Here are the steps to create a bootable EaseUS Todo Backup application.

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  1. 1
    Download and install EaseUS Todo Backup on a Windows system.
    While the bootable version that you are going to create is platform-independent, the EaseUS main application that is needed in order to create the bootable version needs to be installed on a Windows system.
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  2. 2
    Open EaseUS Todo Backup.
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  3. 3
    Click on the "Tools" option in the left pane.
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  4. 4
    Select "Create emergency disk" from the right pane.
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  5. 5
    Insert your storage media of choice.
    If you want to create a bootable CD/DVD, insert the CD or DVD into your optical drive. If you want to create a bootable USB, plug in an empty USB flash drive to your computer.
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  6. 6
    Under the "Create Linux emergency disk" section, select the appropriate storage medium.
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  7. 7
    Click the "Proceed" button located at the lower-right portion of the application.
    This should begin the creation of a bootable version of EaseUS Todo Backup.
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  8. 8
    After you have successfully created the bootable version of the software, keep the bootable medium connected to the computer.
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  9. 9
    Reboot the computer and enter your computer's BIOS to put the CD/DVD or USB atop the boot priority list.
    Save the changes and reboot.
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  10. 10
    The EaseUS Todo Backup graphical user interface should now display.
    The interface is similar to the original desktop version. So to perform a hard drive clone, you just need to carry out the relevant steps outlined in the second section of this article (Steps to Cloning a Hard Drive on Windows using EaseUS Todo Backup).
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Steps to Advanced Hard Drive Cloning using CloneZilla

If you like to get your hands a little bit dirty and you would not mind a little complication, you can opt to try CloneZilla in your hard drive cloning venture. CloneZilla is a free and open-source disk cloning tool that is basically similar to EaseUS Todo Backup or any other disk imaging/cloning program in the market. However, CloneZilla was primarily built for more complex disk cloning operations, particularly for cloning multiple disks simultaneously through a network. It comes in two versions: the CloneZilla Server which does the earlier mentioned operation, and the CloneZilla Live, which is built for single machine operations.

This section deals with cloning hard drives with the CloneZilla Live version. Unlike the EaseUS cloning application, CloneZilla cannot be installed as a standalone program on a live operating system. You need to restart your computer and boot to the CloneZilla application itself to start the process. Also, CloneZilla does not have a sophisticated user interface like EaseUS. Most of its operations are done in the terminal or console, which means you will be interacting with black or blue screen or with simple boxed menus.

Here are the complete steps to clone a hard drive using CloneZilla.

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  1. 1
    Download CloneZilla.
    There are two formats for download: ZIP and ISO. Generally, any of the two will work in this scenario. For this tutorial, we will use the ZIP version.
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  2. 2
    Create a CloneZilla Live bootable CD/DVD or USB.
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  3. 3
    Reboot your computer.
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  4. 4
    Access your computer's BIOS and set the boot priority order so that it boots to your bootable device first (e.g.
    CD/DVD or USB)
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  5. 5
    Insert or plug in your bootable device to the computer.
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  6. 6
    Save the BIOS changes and reboot.
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  7. 7
    Your computer should now boot to the CloneZilla Live menu.
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  8. 8
    Select the "CloneZilla" live option.
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  9. 9
    Choose your language and keyboard setup.
    If you are from North America or if you use similar standard North American keyboards, you can leave the default option selected, "Don't touch keymap", and proceed. If you use non-US keyboard layout, you may select "Select keymap from arch list" or "Select keymap from full list".
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  10. 10
    Select "Start_CloneZilla.
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  11. 11
    Select "disk_to_local_disk" clone.
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  12. 12
    Specify the source disk.
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  13. 13
    Specify the destination disk.
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  14. 14
    Confirm the disk cloning operation.
    Before the cloning commences, you will be asked to confirm the cloning operation. There will be a couple of confirmation queries along the way. For each query, press the "Y" key on your keyboard and hit "Enter" to confirm.
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  15. 15
    Wait until CloneZilla finishes the clone operation.
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  16. 16
    After a successful clone, CloneZilla will prompt you with two options you can choose between to proceed.
    Select the second one which says "Run command exit or logout" by pressing the corresponding number two key on your keyboard.
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  17. 17
    Choose "poweroff" in the ensuing interface.
    This will shut down your computer.
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  18. 18
    Unplug the source drive from its SATA slot on your computer's motherboard.
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  19. 19
    Unplug the destination drive from its SATA slot and plug it to the SATA slot previously occupied by your source hard drive.
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  20. 20
    With only the destination drive plugged in, turn on your computer.
    If the clone process was successful, you will see your computer boot to the installed operating system similar to how it boots up with the original source drive.
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  21. 21
    Check your files to see if they are all intact.
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Categories : Tech

Recent edits by: Anonymous, Michael J.

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