Cloning A Drive? Which App To Use?

AnxiousGuy

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Mar 9, 2016
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Hi guys, I need an app that can make a clone of my Windows 8.1's internal HDD.

It needs to be an app that I can download from the Microsoft Store so that I can be certain that it doesn't contain malicious code. I'm very nervous about installing 3rd party apps from websites!

Thanks!
 

dork_police

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Jul 25, 2011
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Hi,

If you want to Clone your drive, I would recommend Ghosting your Hard Drive, which makes a block for block copy of your disk, this you can do using either Hirens Boot CD (there are a few HD Clone tools included under Hard Drive tools), or you can download Symantec's Ghost Solution (you might have to fill out a form to be able to download the trial - don't know how good the Trial version will be compared to the paid version.).

https://www.symantec.com/products/threat-protection/endpoint-management/ghost-solutions-suite

P.s. I have used Hirens Boot CD quite a few times already to clone - works like a dream (for me atleast).

A full list of what is included in the Latest Hirens Boot CD: http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

Check it out, and let me know if you have any questions, regards
 

dork_police

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Do you want to use the second drive as a Backup, or do you want to replace your drive? - If you just want a Backup incase of Failure, then sure the Windows Backup is good enough.
 

AnxiousGuy

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Okay. I've never used the in-built Windows 8 Backup software before so after I create the image of my Windows 8's internal HDD how can I check that it actually worked?
 

dork_police

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Tell your Windows "Restore from Backup" - Windows put the backup into a different format.

Again, the question still stands, do you simply want to have a Backup?
 

giantbucket

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another option is to make a LIVE USB of MiniTool Partition Wizard, which you can use on any machine and it isn't installed anywhere except on the USB stick so you just boot from that. copy and play around with partitions as much as you like. you only need a 256meg USB stick, which you can probably find at the dollar store.
 

AnxiousGuy

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Of course I want a backup. I'm just trying to choose which backup method is easiest and the safest. Isn't the built-in Windows Backup fine in terms of safety and reliability?
 

giantbucket

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the built-in works great and it's free, but you need to make a special recovery USB drive (or a CD if using Win7) which is a pain in the butt. but it works. and it's free. and it's native.

other tools let you be more selective - for example, maybe you only want to clone ONE partition instead of the entire disk. windows only does a full disk, including the partition table, so it's not possible to clone a 100G partition from a 2TB HDD onto a 120G SSD, even though 100 fits onto 120, because windows also needs to allocate space for the rest of the crap up to the 2TB mark. other tools are more flexible.
 

giantbucket

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not sure about Pro, but on 8.1 regular yes you do. it's a small bootable utility that allows Win to recover the system image from another drive onto your new/replacement drive.

MiniTool Partition Wizard (free) can be installed, and then you can clone the partition you're using WITHOUT needing a separate USB stick. it'll reboot, keep the code in memory, and do what needs to be done. OR you can create a Live USB to use it on ANY machine and ANY operating system.

to clarify, i'm referring to the System Image / System Restore function, which clones your operating system with all installed programs etc. a BACKUP can be just a direct copy of your personal files. terminology should be clear here.

the Win8.1 USB needs to be at least 256Meg (and i have some "256meg" that are just a hair too small)
the MiniTool Partition Wizard Free 9.1 USB needs to be around 150megs, so a 256meg is perfect.

in either case, the USB gets WIPED to install the code, so you can't say "hey, i have a few megs here on this drive, i'll use a piece of that". no dice. has to allocate the entire USB stick.
 
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