Looking for a fast standalone hard drive duplicator

Posted on 2015-02-15
Last Modified: 2015-02-16
Hi, I would like to find a fast hard drive duplicator.  I work with forensic hard drive guys sometimes and their duplicators take about 2 hours for a typlical 1t hard drive.  The one I bought a few yeards ago would take days if not weeks for that process.  

I don't need it for forensic or data recovery reasons, just imaging and backups.  Sometimes I'm not in the mood to crack a case and boot off a ghost drive.

Any recommendations?
Question by:Dan
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 40611242
If you want it to be really fast then you need an eSATA box but your PC must have an eSATA port.
If not then you need a USB3.0 external docking station. Lots of them are on sale.
This one looks good:

Accepted Solution

ChopOMatic earned 500 total points
ID: 40611269
If you want to get the speeds you're seeing your forensic guys get, you'll probably have to get a forensic duplicator. I don't know that for a fact, but I do see that when I start researching non-forensic duplicators, I don't see speeds advertised, lots of talk about USB 3.0, etc. etc.

A modern forensic duplicator will get you 5-7 GB/minute when going from SATA3 (6Gbps) to SATA3, and you're only gonna start bumping that 7GB/minute number when at least one of the drives (source or target) is an SSD. I routinely image 1TB drives in three hours.

I've gone through a lot of these boxes over the years, and my recommendation for getting into that speed level would be one of the boxes from They have some pretty basic models that still have the speed, but not the elaborate feature-set that causes me and my fellow forensicators to dump $2K-$3K per unit.

Another option if it doesn't have to be a standalone device, is to take a look at X-Ways Imager, which you can find at I've had a couple buddies claim to get faster speeds using this software on a decent desktop computer than they do with the standalones.

Author Comment

ID: 40611440
ChopO, I couldn't find any cheaper ones on the voom site, is there a link you have?  I emailed them.
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Expert Comment

ID: 40611646
Well, cheap is relative in this stuff. I'm pretty sure you can get Voom's Hardcopy 3P for somewhere ~$1200. Still a bunch of bucks, I know. I have one in my field kit I've been lugging around the world for years. If I'm wrong and they're now getting $1500+, I'd definitely go with a Ditto instead. I have several friends using them and they absolutely rave about how they love them.

CRU Ditto Kit

This little unit sells for <$300. They claim "up to 5.4 GB per minute" but my gut and experience says that's SSD to SSD and any other configuration is probably gonna yield in the 2GB - 3GB per minute range:

SyStor One-to-one HDD Duplicator

Are you buying this for an IT department or personal use?
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 40611792
Software duplicator cannot be fast. Forensic duplication means sector per sector duplication and this is a time consuming process. Means one sector read and one sector is written. Now imagine how many sectors 1TB HDD has and you get the speed that your drives+software allow.
Anyway, you said you need this for backup and imaging, then a standard duplicator with a drive copy software should be enough for you.
If you do not have 1TB data on these drives the cloning process will not take over 2 hours.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40612760
OK as ChopOMatic pointed out there is a fast stand alone drive cloner, but it's not cheap about 1,700, and it also is solution for forensic and data recovery.

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