Best free hard drive clone software

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Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:47 pm

I have a person who had some computer issues, turns out she had windows 7 on a 80 gig drive that was almost completely filled, only about 200MB left. Looks like windows was running out of virtual memory space and locking up. I am going to replace the drive, and just need to copy the whole drive over to a new one, as I don't have the install media and she has stuff she doesn't want to loose...and it isn't backed up. So I need a recommendation of a free, good drive clone software to transfer it over to the new hard drive.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:53 pm

If at least one of your two drives is a Western Digital, the free version of Acronis True Image will do what you want to do. I actually picked up the full version of the Acronis package from Newegg for $15 in a combination deal a few months ago.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:55 pm

I've tried Macrium Reflect Free Edition; I used it to make an image of my 40GB boot SSD, then restore the image's contents to a spare partition on my HDD. Worked fine. :)
http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

I'm very new to backup though, so maybe other people could give some more suggestions.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:57 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:If at least one of your two drives is a Western Digital, the free version of Acronis True Image will do what you want to do. I actually picked up the full version of the Acronis package from Newegg for $15 in a combination deal a few months ago.


The current one is a SATA 80 gig seagate, but I was figuring in replacing it with a 1 TB drive minimum, most likely a WD drive. Seems like it will do the job and fits what I need of being free :D

Have to check the link, but I hope it will let me resize the palty 80g partition for windows.

Yes thankfully it does, looks like you got what I needed JAE, thank you :D
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:13 pm

Another option (in case someone else is reading this) is DriveImage XML, which has a free version. Its only downside is that it doesn't restore to a disk that's smaller than the drive the original image was made from.

Clonezilla is based on Linux and does a pretty decent job as well, but the user interface is less friendly.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:44 pm

Seagate also provides a free drive cloning tool:

http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?l ... 04090aRCRD
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:49 pm

Yeah, IIRC Seagate's is some variation of Acronis as well (at least it was the last time I used it). Acronis rocks.

Linux live CD + dd + gparted will also do the trick, but Acronis (and its ilk) are more user-friendly, especially if you're not a *NIX-head. :wink:
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:57 pm

I recommend clonezilla as well. It is free and pretty easy to use:

http://clonezilla.org/
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:03 pm

ImageX from the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)

Avoids the resizing issues as it is not a sector clone it is a file copy.

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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:06 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:ImageX from the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)

Avoids the resizing issues as it is not a sector clone it is a file copy.

IIRC Acronis does it that way as well.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:17 pm

just brew it! wrote:IIRC Acronis does it that way as well.

Acronis gives you a choice of either method. The nice thing is that if you have a sector clone, it will also resize it to fit a different-sized drive (as long as the actual data volume would fit). It's almost as if Partition Magic had been bolted into the underpinnings of Acronis.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:22 pm

not to hijack this thread, but i need to clone my own drive (seagate) which has unrecoverable sectors, will any of the clone solutions listed above be able to copy what is copy-able(is that even a word?) even with the bad sectors?
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:27 pm

XorCist wrote:not to hijack this thread, but i need to clone my own drive (seagate) which has unrecoverable sectors, will any of the clone solutions listed above be able to copy what is copy-able (is that even a word?)

Hmm, as much as I hate to give Steve Gibson any more traffic, you may benefit from SpinRite.

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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:40 pm

sweet...im gonna give it a whirl...got 3 days before newegg gets my new drive here...so hopefully i can recover whats lost...
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:58 am

Starfalcon wrote:I have a person who had some computer issues, turns out she had windows 7 on a 80 gig drive that was almost completely filled, only about 200MB left. Looks like windows was running out of virtual memory space and locking up. I am going to replace the drive, and just need to copy the whole drive over to a new one, as I don't have the install media and she has stuff she doesn't want to loose...and it isn't backed up. So I need a recommendation of a free, good drive clone software to transfer it over to the new hard drive.

Instead of dinking around with third party image software, use the built in backup to make a system image and create a recovery CD when it prompts you. You can then resize the restored partition afterwards using Disk Management.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:33 am

XorCist wrote:not to hijack this thread, but i need to clone my own drive (seagate) which has unrecoverable sectors, will any of the clone solutions listed above be able to copy what is copy-able(is that even a word?) even with the bad sectors?

If you can get your hands on a modern copy of Ghost (Enterprise Edition on bootable DOS or Windows PE media - not the consumer Ghost that runs in Windows) you can use the Force Cloning switch (-fro) which "Forces cloning to continue even if the source contains bad clusters."
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:41 am

Steel wrote:Instead of dinking around with third party image software, use the built in backup to make a system image and create a recovery CD when it prompts you. You can then resize the restored partition afterwards using Disk Management.

+1. I did this to upgrade my C: drive twice, worked like a charm.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:31 pm

vince wrote:
Steel wrote:Instead of dinking around with third party image software, use the built in backup to make a system image and create a recovery CD when it prompts you. You can then resize the restored partition afterwards using Disk Management.

+1. I did this to upgrade my C: drive twice, worked like a charm.

You kids and your fancy new-fangled Windows 7 Disk Management... back in the day, we had to resize partitions the *hard* way! :lol:
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:01 pm

I can recommend R-Drive Image. 15 day trial so that would let you get the task done.

R-Drive Image is sweet. It's single minded - drive imaging only - not trying to be the Swiss Army Knife.

And it works on Windows 2003 and Windows 2008. Other tools to image Windows Servers are typically $800 or more, but R-Drive Image is $45 or there about.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:29 pm

flip-mode wrote:And it works on Windows 2003 and Windows 2008. Other tools to image Windows Servers are typically $800 or more, but R-Drive Image is $45 or there about.


At least with Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 ImageX is a free solution for it.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:47 am

Ryu Connor wrote:
flip-mode wrote:And it works on Windows 2003 and Windows 2008. Other tools to image Windows Servers are typically $800 or more, but R-Drive Image is $45 or there about.


At least with Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 ImageX is a free solution for it.


I've never used it. The one upside to deploying R-Drive image is that it is the same solution for all my machines. Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows 2008. So there is that advantage.

However, if you're dealing with a single machine, then that does not apply :)
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:21 am

just brew it! wrote:You kids and your fancy new-fangled Windows 7 Disk Management... back in the day, we had to resize partitions the *hard* way! :lol:

LOL thanks for the compliment. I do think I look that young, if I can say so myself :wink:
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:38 pm

I use EASEUS Disk Copy to clone my HDD for backup purposes... I also used it to transfer my system data to a bigger HDD, from 500 GB to 1.5TB :) It is SLOW but it does the job for me...(NOTE: I used the older version, it seems that the new version only supports HDDs upto 1TB...haven't tried the new one)

http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:26 pm

1313andrewx wrote:I use EASEUS Disk Copy to clone my HDD for backup purposes... I also used it to transfer my system data to a bigger HDD, from 500 GB to 1.5TB :) It is SLOW but it does the job for me...(NOTE: I used the older version, it seems that the new version only supports HDDs upto 1TB...haven't tried the new one)

http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/


Monday i going to get my new HD as my current one was producing cli-click sound and i make a warranty claim but my problem come now was

Instead of copy file by file into my backup 2.5 harddisk , is there any software which are free and able to clone my old disk to a new disk ?
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:52 pm

I've always used and recommended Acronis. Work pays for the personal and professional versions. It has saved my ass numerous times. I have tested the "free" versions of various products and never came away happy compared to the flexibility and options of Acronis.

The last version (2011) has had some small to mid-sized issues that have required numerous patches to resolve.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:07 pm

mghong wrote:is there any software which are free and able to clone my old disk to a new disk ?

Yes, Clonezilla - the ultimate best FREE hard drive clone software in the WORLD. Nothing else even remotely comes close!
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:13 pm

just brew it! wrote:You kids and your fancy new-fangled Windows 7 Disk Management... back in the day, we had to resize partitions the *hard* way! :lol:


Yeah, I used to retype all all the code by hand on to my new drive :roll:
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:55 am

thegleek wrote:
mghong wrote:is there any software which are free and able to clone my old disk to a new disk ?

Yes, Clonezilla - the ultimate best FREE hard drive clone software in the WORLD. Nothing else even remotely comes close!



I have a spare USB thumb and another 500GB of external disk , can i use this Clonezilla to do that jobs ??

Any work instructino available ?
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:39 pm

"dd is your friend" Linus Torvalds

dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/dev/hdb1

Straight up block by block clone.
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Re: Best free hard drive clone software

Postposted on Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:19 pm

PenGun wrote:"dd is your friend" Linus Torvalds

dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/dev/hdb1

Straight up block by block clone.

This of course only works well if A) the new drive is at least as large as the old one; and B) the new drive isn't an SSD or Advanced Format drive with partition alignment requirements. I often use this method myself when cloning to a same or larger sized drive. After the clone operation completes, I use gparted to expand the partitions to fill the target drive.

The real beauty of dd is that you can pipe its input/output to normal files to create/restore disk images, or even over a network (e.g. using ssh as the transport) to clone drives between physical machines, between a physical drive and a virtual drive in a VM, etc.

Oh and it is trivial to use for ripping CD/DVD images too -- dd if=/dev/cdrom of=somefilename.iso
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