How to Clone a Hard Drive?

What is the cloning of drive?

A cloned hard disk drive is a precise copy of the original, including the operating system and all the files it requires to boot up and run. Simply bear in mind that cloning a drive and backing up your files are different:

Backups copy only your files: When you back up to an external hard disk drive or to the cloud, you’re developing duplicates of your files, however that backup cannot operate as an independent drive on its own. Mac users can carry out backups with Time Maker, and Windows likewise offers its own built-in backup utilities.

Cloning copies everything: A cloned drive is precisely the same as its original one. If you put a cloned drive into a computer, you’ll be able to begin it up and utilize it usually.

Some backup services, like IDrive and Acronis, have built-in disk-cloning features, supplementing the regular file backup. We’ll be utilizing some free tools designed particularly for drive cloning in this guide, though. If you desire a true backup solution with supplemental cloning functions, take a look at the paid alternatives. But for one-off clones (like if you’re migrating your OS to a new drive), these tools will be all you require.

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1. Connect Your Secondary Drive

For this process, you’ll obviously require two drives: the source drive (with the data you want to clone), and the destination drive (where you’re cloning that information to). If you have a desktop computer and both drives are installed internally (or you’re simply cloning to a USB external drive for backup), fantastic! You’re ready to continue.

If nevertheless, you’re using a laptop with only one drive bay, you’ll require an external SATA-to-USB adapter, dock, or enclosure to connect your bare drive to the computer. When you have actually connected your drive, you can go through the cloning procedure, then detach it and set up the drive internally. In most cases, your destination drive will most likely need to be as large as, or larger than, your source drive.


2. Windows Users: Clone Your Drive with Macrium Reflect Free

Windows users have lots of excellent cloning tools readily available, but we’ll be utilizing Macrium Reflect Free. It’s complimentary, easy to use, and widely liked by many, so it’s hard to go wrong. To set up Macrium Show, download the Home Use installer and start it up.

It’s simply a tiny tool that will download the real installer for you, based upon the kind of license you desire. Pick the temporary folder for these files– or just put them in my Downloads folder– and click the Download button.

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Once it’s ended up, it’ll automatically launch the Macrium setup wizard, which you can click right on through– the default alternatives must be fine for our purposes. You can safely delete all the installer files from your Downloads folder as soon as the wizard has actually finished.

3. Start Cloning Process

Open Macrium Show and you’ll see a breakdown of the disks linked to your computer system. You have 2 primary options: you can straight clone one disk to another, or create an image of a disk. Cloning permits you to boot from the 2nd disk, which is great for migrating from one drive to another.

Imaging, on the other hand, enables you to keep as many full, one-to-one copies of your source disk as the destination’s space will permit, which works for backups.

Select the disk you wish to copy (making certain to inspect the leftmost box if your disk has numerous partitions) and click “Clone This Disk” or “Image This Disk.”


4. Select Clone Location

In the next window, choose your destination disk– the one that will house your newly copied data. Note that this will remove all information on the disk, so beware which one you pick. If there’s any old data on it, you may want to select it and click the “Delete Existing Partitions” button up until the drive is empty. If you’re cloning to a larger drive, you’ll want to click the “Cloned Partition Properties” button at the bottom of this window and extend your main partition to fill up the whole space of the disk.

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5. Schedule Your Clone

The next page will ask if you want to arrange this clone, which works if you wish to routinely image your drive for backup functions. I’ve avoided this, given that I’m just doing a one-time clone. On the page after that, you can likewise conserve the backup and its schedule as an XML declare safekeeping, however, I have actually unchecked that choice for the exact same reason– I’m only doing this when for now.

6. Boot from Your Cloned Drive

Lastly, Macrium Reflect will begin the cloning process. This can take some time depending on the size of your drive, so provide it time to do its thing. If you cloned your drive, you must be able to boot from it now by choosing it in your BIOS. If you’re imaging your drive, you can really keep the 2nd drive connected for future image backups.


7. Now Finalize your cloning and it’s done.