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Best cloning software for Windows 7 (Physical System Drive)

Posted on 2016-08-14
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
What is the best cloning software free or pay...  I need to clone my system drive and I want to make sure its flawless.  Anyone have good recommendations?

Current Drive
Crucial M4 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC 7mm Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CT128M4SSD1

New Drive
Mushkin TRIACTOR SATA III 2.5 SOLID STATE DRIVE MKNSSDTR480GB
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Question by:mystikal1000
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 250 total points
ID: 41755472
I use Casper to clone:
http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/

I run it every evening in the wee hours (it utilizes the Windows Task Scheduler to schedule jobs) 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. I've used it many times to do a one-time clone from a current drive to a new drive, in recent years often from an HDD to an SSD, and also from a smaller SSD to a larger SSD. My most recent clone, just this week, was from a Crucial m4 512GB SSD to a new Crucial MX300 275GB SSD. It's not free, but it's reasonably priced and worth every penny.

Two other well-regarded (also non-free) products are Acronis and Macrium:
http://www.acronis.com/
http://www.macrium.com/

I used Acronis previously, but now prefer Casper.

If you're looking for something that is free, I've heard good things here at EE about these (some may be free only for non-commercial use — check the licensing terms for each):

Clonezilla
DriveImage XML
EaseUS Disk Copy Home
Paragon Backup&Recovery Free

But I haven't tried them 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. 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. Regards, Joe
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 41755509
Watch out on the free stuff,Easeus dumps crapware on your system when you install it.
Free is a relative term.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 41755520
We use Symantec Ghost for this at all our clients.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 125 total points
ID: 41755967
i use the paragon software for some time now - also the free versions
so +1 for para - aha -gon
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41758738
@mystikal1000 - Thanks and I was happy to assist.
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