How to Clone a Hard Drive

Plenty of great services may again up your records data; however, generally, you want one thing a bit extra bulletproof. Perhaps you are migrating your Windows installation to a brand new drive, or maybe you desire a full one-to-one copy if something goes wrong. In these circumstances, your greatest wager is to clone your onerous drive, creating a precise copy you possibly can swap in and boot up straight away.

Some backup companies, like IDrive and Acronis, have built-in disk-cloning options, supplementing conventional file backup. We’ll be utilizing some free instruments designed particularly for drive cloning on this information, although. If you need a real backup resolution with supplemental cloning options, look at one of many paid options. However, for one-off clones (like should you’re migrating your OS to a brand new drive), these instruments will likely be all you want.

Join Your Secondary Drive

For this course, you will clearly want two drives: the supply drive (with the information you need to clone) and the vacation spot drive (the place you are cloning that information to). When you’ve got a desktop laptop, and each drive is put in internally (otherwise, you’re simply cloning to a USB external drive for backup), nice! You can proceed.

If nevertheless, you are utilizing a laptop computer with just one drive bay, you will want an exterior SATA-to-USB adapter, dock, or enclosure to attach your naked drive to the pc. As soon as you’ve got your drive related, you possibly can undergo the cloning course, then disconnect it and set up the drive internally.

Generally, your vacation spot drive will, in all probability, have to be as massive as, or bigger than, your supply drive. If not, you will have to free up space in your supply drive and shrink the main partition down to suit.

Home windows Customers: Clone Your Drive with Macrium Mirror Free

Windows Users: Clone Your Drive with Macrium Reflect Free
Image sourse: PCMag

Home windows customers have plenty of nice cloning instruments accessible; however, we’ll utilize Macrium Reflect Free. It is free, straightforward to use, and extensively cherished by many, so it is onerous to go mistaken.

To put in Macrium Mirror, obtain the Residence Use installer and begin it up. Only a tiny instrument can obtain the precise installer for you, primarily based on the kind of license you need. Select the nonpermanent folder for these records data—I put them in my Downloads folder—and click on the Obtain button.

As soon as it is completed, it will mechanically launch the Macrium setup wizard, which you’ll be able to click on proper by way of—the default choices ought to be advantageous for our functions. You may safely delete all of the installer records data from your Downloads folder as soon as the wizard has completed.

Begin Cloning Course of

Start Cloning Process
Image source: PCMag

Open Macrium Mirror, and you may see an in-depth record of the disks related to your laptop. You’ve got two foremost choices: you possibly can instantly clone one disk to a different, or create a picture of a disk. Cloning means that you can boot from the second disk, which is nice for migrating from one drive to a different one. Imaging, alternatively, means that you can retailer as many full, one-to-one copies of your supply disk because the vacation spot’s house will enable, which is beneficial for backups.

Choose the disk you need to copy (ensuring to examine the leftmost field in case your disk has several partitions) and click on “Clone This Disk” or “Picture This Disk.”

Select Clone Vacation spot

Choose Clone Destination
Image course: PCMag

Within the subsequent window, select your vacation spot disk—the one that can home your newly copied information. Observe that this may erase all information on the disk, so watch out which one you select. If there’s any previous information, you may need to choose it and click on the “Delete Current Partitions” button until the drive is empty.

If you’re cloning to a bigger drive, you will need to click on the “Cloned Partition Properties” button on the backside of this window and prolong your foremost partition to refill your entire house of the disk.

Schedule Your Clone

Schedule Your Clone
Image course: PCMag

The following web page will ask if you wish to schedule this clone, which is beneficial to picture your drive for backup functions frequently. I’ve skipped this since I am simply doing a one-time clone. On the web page after that, you may as well save the backup and its schedule as an XML file for secure maintaining; however, I’ve unchecked that possibility for a similar cause—I am solely doing this as soon as for now.

Boot From Your Cloned Drive

Boot From Your Cloned Drive
Image source: PCMag

Lastly, Macrium Mirror will start the cloning course. This may take a while, relying on the dimensions of your drive, so give it time to do its factor. In case you cloned your drive, it is best to have the ability to boot from it now by choosing it in your BIOS. If you’re imaging your drive, you possibly can truly preserve the second drive related for future picture backups.

Mac Customers: Clone Your Drive with SuperDuper

Mac Users: Clone Your Drive with SuperDuper
Image source: PCMag

In case you’re on a Mac, we advocate SuperDuper for all of your cloning wants. It is free, easy to make use of, and has been around for years. Obtain the app, open the DMG file, and double-click on the icon to put it in. (Do not drag it to your /Functions folder such as you would most Mac apps; double-clicking on it ought to set it up to your laptop.)

As soon as put in, open SuperDuper, and you will be greeted with its straightforward, intuitive interface. Within the first menu, after “Copy,” choose the supplied disk you need to clone. Within the second menu, choose the vacation spot disk you are cloning too—this may absolutely erase the drive-in that second menu, so be sure there is not something vital on it! Once you’re prepared, click on the “Copy Now” button. The method will start. (Yeah, it is that straightforward.)

Finalize Your Drive Clone

Finalize Your Drive Clone
Image source: PCMag

This may occasionally take some time; however, you might have two selections when it is finished. If you wish to exchange your Mac’s inner drive with the brand new drive (say, should you’re migrating to a bigger drive), you possibly can open up your Mac and swap these now, then boot up as regular.

If you wish to boot your cloned drive from USB, you can maintain the Possibility key as your Mac begins up and choose it from the boot record. Your cloned drive will likely be within the precise state your laptop was in throughout the cloning course, and you’ll proceed to work without skipping a beat.

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