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Best cloning software

Posted on 2014-10-02
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Hello,

Can you please advise me for a cloning software that can clone the whole hdd, and shrink the partitions to smaller drive.  The reason is that we need to migrate a lof of computer to SSD drives, and in most of the cases the original hdds are larger than the SSD.

Thank you,
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Question by:goliveuk
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:rhandels
ID: 40356481
As any question about cloning software i would suggest Acronis.
If you could shrink the partitions is a different story though. I wouldn't shrink a system partition to be honest. A second data partition should be no problem.
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by:George Tokas
ID: 40356492
IF I remember well most of cloning software (I used ghost when I needed to clone) proceed with cloning if there is enough space on the target drive to cover the data to be cloned.
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rindi earned 2000 total points
ID: 40356505
Paragon has a special migrate to SSD utility which is built exactly for that task:

http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/components/migrate-OS-to-SSD/
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by:wakatashi
ID: 40356516
Terabyte Unlimited's "Image for Windows" software is quite excellent, and will do exactly what you need:  http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/image-for-windows.htm

There's some info specific to restoring to a smaller partition here: http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=554.
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by:Eirman
ID: 40356593
Hi goliveuk, If you are looking for a really good and recommended free solution you can't beat Clonezilla
http://clonezilla.org/
http://sourceforge.net/projects/clonezilla/

In your case I think you need the 'Live' version rather than the server version.

As George mentions above, you can clone from a large source drive/partition to a smaller destination drive, provided there is enough space on the destination drive.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40356606
With CloneZilla you can't clone to different sized partitions, or at least not automatically. You would need a lot of tweaking around to do that, and it isn't as easy to use as the commercial tool from Paragon I recommended. Otherwise, I do agree that it is the best free and OpenSource tool available.
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by:Eirman
ID: 40356640
With CloneZilla you can't clone to different sized partitions
I didn't know that rindi.
Will it work from a bigger disk to smaller one, if there is adequate space?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40356653
No, at least not automatically. I'm not sure if you can do it if you set all the options manually, I haven't looked through them all.
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by:akb
ID: 40356732
Easeus Todo backup. There is a free version for home use and an option for cloning to SSD. Easy to use. Clones system while you are booted to the system. Can resize partition.
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 40356984
If you are willing to pay, Paragon is the best around. See Rindi's answer for a link.  I have the premium edition and the suite.  Excellent apps.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 40357096
I use Casper for cloning:
http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/

I run it every evening in the wee hours on several machines to clone the hard drives (a mix of HDD, SSD, and hybrid). It has an intelligent cloning mechanism so that it copies only the necessary tracks. The first run takes a while, but after that, it's extremely fast. It can clone to the same size drive or to a larger one or even to a smaller one, as long as there is enough space on the smaller one to house the used (non-free) space from the larger one. It's not free, but it's reasonably priced and worth every penny. As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with this company and no financial interest in it whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer.

Another well-regarded (also non-free) product is Acronis:
http://www.acronis.com/

I used it previously, but now prefer Casper.

If you're looking for something that is free, I've heard good things here at EE about these two:
http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/

But I haven't tried either as I do all of my cloning now with Casper. Here's a 5-minute EE video Micro Tutorial, Cloning a Hard Drive with Casper, showing how to do it. Regards, Joe
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by:rindi
ID: 40357118
The free paragon backup tool can only be used privately, which I doubt is the case here.
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 40357132
You can get the paragon software for free, but you must be either an ee member with at least 50,000 points (which the OP is not) or one of the following:

Current Technology (OEM) Partner;
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP);
Wilders Security Forums Staff;
IT related blog editor;
Value Added Reseller for which we have a signed agreement on file.

The link for the free Paragon software is:

http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/ptac/register.html

Joe, thanks for the suggestion of Casper - I will check it out.
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Expert Comment

by:Sudeep Sharma
ID: 40357622
You could also try Macrium Reflect Free version to do this.

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

Sudeep
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40358862
you can clone to smaller partitions with the paragon disk manager : http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-personal/

i believe the migrate OS to SSD is also a part of it
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40360182
I should think that if you use the Acronis True Image live CD:

Create an image of the hard drive partition you want to clone - I prefer onto an external USB drive.

Now "restore" that image onto a hard drive / partition of your choosing.

I dont' know that I've done it exactly this way (larger to smaller HDs) but I don't think the program or the *image* care about that.  

If this doesn't work, you could put it on a larger, interim hard drive and then shrink the partition using Parted Magic on that interim drive, and then create an image of that with Acronis and then restore it to the target drive.
Here I'm assuming that you don't want to mess with the source drive at all, right?
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Author Comment

by:goliveuk
ID: 40372443
Paragon Clone OS to SSD seems to be working very well. Thank you
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