How to clone hard drive?

How to clone hard drive? What are the tools we need for the process? In this article, we will answer these questions and discuss more about basics of cloning hard drive and the methods we use to copy the existing computer hard disk to a new one.

What is hard drive clone?

Hard drive clone is transferring/migrating the whole contents of one hard disk and its partition to the other hard disk. You can have the exact replica of the original disk using disk clone method. Actually, we can use the normal way of copying files, however, the difference is that the standard copy won’t make the new disk bootable and doesn’t include the hidden and inaccessible system files.

But what if you want to upgrade the existing hard drive to the new larger disk? It is obvious that after some time you will be forced to upgrade the old drive to a larger disk as both operating systems and applications are getting bigger in size. And having a computer with large capacity hard disk is vital for frequent update and installation of new software.

Therefore if you want to upgrade the hard drive; there are two ways to do the upgrading. You either hook the new hard disk into the system and install the operating system and all the applications from scratch or find a way to copy/clone the entire hard drive onto a new one and make it bootable. No question that you will surely choose the second option. The method will save you from lots of hassle by making the exact copy of your old system drive that has the same file structure.

When cloning a disk, all the files including the operating system, partitions, data, programs, preferences, disk labels, setting and everything on the old disk will be copied to the new disk. This way you will start working on your PC right away after cloning the old to the new one.

Clone hard drive – purpose

As we have already discussed above, need of larger hard disk space is one of the reasons for disk cloning. But there are other additional reasons for disk cloning, here I have listed some of the main ones:-

- Make a copy for other computer

Making a copy of hard drive that will be used to distribute to multiple computers is the other purpose of disk cloning. For example, let us assume that your company bought 20 new computers that should be formatted and installed with the necessary operating system and programs. Formatting and installing each computer is time consuming and boring. Using hard drive cloning method, you will simplify things a lot.

Just format and install all the necessary applications on one of the hard drive. Then using disk clone software such as Acronis True Image, Norton Ghost or other clone software, you make copy of the first installed disk to the other disks. In this way, within short period of time you will finish the installation and make ready all the computers for work.

Note that the destination computers you are going to install should have identical hardware (such as brand, model, motherboard etc) with the original (source) computer. Otherwise your newly cloned hard drive won’t start at all. Also it is always good to check that the source disk is error free before cloning.

- Backup and System Recovery purpose

Though this is not the main method of backup, you can make backup of the existing disk using clone hard drive method as well. As a computer user you should always backup your data no matter what. In addition to this essential strategy, you can implement disk cloning method. If something goes wrong with the existing disk, you can easily restore your PC from the cloned drive and continue your work without getting into much trouble.

- Restore to factory default

Restore factory default means the setting that the computer had when purchasing or the setting that was configured by the manufacturer. Furthermore, you can make it to restore back to its original configuration state whenever the computer restarts or something goes wrong with the system. Particularly, this method is beneficial for internet café owners.

Clone hard drive – methods

To clone hard drive, you need to install good cloning software such as Acronis True Image, Paragon, Norton Ghost or other trusted clone software.

To start the cloning, you must first install the new hard disk in your computer. Most computers have extra space to accommodate additional hard disk or you can use the CD drive cable for this purpose. You will power back the CD drive after you finish the cloning. Also you can use USB external hard disk or create an image that will be recovered to a new disk later on.

After you finish the installation of the new disk, turn on your computer and start the cloning process using the clone software you install.


As we have discussed in the above article, using clone hard drive method we can easily transfer the whole contents from old disk to a new large size disk without reformatting and reinstallation of programs. If you find this article is helpful, you can share it to others. For further information you can search more on the web.

You might like these