Can I clone my hard drive.

Posted on 2012-08-21
Last Modified: 2012-08-28
I have a 1000gb hard drive which holds pretty much everything except the Windows 7 o/s ,(which is on a SSD).  SO it contains my 'program files' folders and all associated data.
The hard drive is partitioned into 6 logical drives.

I have some suspicion that it might be having problems and what I would like to do, if possible , is to attach another drive and then run some software that replicates the logical structure and transfers all the programs and data.  I appreciate that once I do this I might have some issues with software needing re-activation.

I have looked at some products on the net but I'm unable to work out whether they will do what I want.  Most of the 'features' information seem to assume that a drive is a physical drive and I can't find any reference to the use of logical drives at all and whether this would be managed by the cloning software.  Also in this category of software there appear to be products which assume that what i really want is backup facility.  I don't.

Anyone any experience of doing this ?
Question by:peter57r
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    I think Clonezilla can do what you are looking for. You need to have the same hard drive size to copy your image on the new one.
    Here is the link: Clonezilla
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    Norton Ghost does this easily, in fact you can create an image of a drive and use it as the source for a VMware drive, or do a copy from one drive to another allowing Ghost to either make the target drive partition the same size as the original (so on a larger drive, you end up with unpartitioned space that can be used later), or expand the source partition into a larger target drive, which is great for upgrading a hard disk.

    I've been using Ghost for years, it's excellent, but it's not free.

    I've copied WIndows XP source disks to larger replacement disks with no problems, no need to reactivate etc.

    All you do is install Ghost on the system you want to copy from, then attach a new drive through a USB cable, for example, and do a new copy and follow the prompts. The target will be bootable, and if your source drive has multiple partitions, copy each one at a time. The boot partition is handled a bit differently than the second or third partition on the source, but it's documented and you can figure out out by reading the instructions.

    LVL 91

    Assisted Solution

    i suggest to use the free paragon B&R software; it lets you image to bigger sized disk, and adapt even to other hardware :
    LVL 9

    Assisted Solution

    I have used a program called Drive Snapshot ( -its not free (€39!)

    You can create images of partitions (while Windows is running) and restore then easily.  It aslo have a command line feature that you automate to run via scheduled taks etc
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    Acronis will let you make an exact copy of a drive, such that you can swap it in place of the original and it will work seamlessly without reactivation of software.  It will also let you clone to different size disks.  True Home is the version for desktops, and there is an enterprise version as well.
    LVL 77

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks to everyone for responding.  After a brief look a the links suggested, i was initially attracted to Acronis, but when I go into their user forum the posts suggest that the current version is a bit of a mess.  I'll investigate a bit more before deciding what to do.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    any reason you don't want a free one?
    i can assure you Paragon 's tools do work well  - and fast
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    I'm running v10, which works as it should.

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