Free hard drive clone software

Hard drive clone means making exact copy of your existing computer hard drive. This will help you to save all computer data as backup and enables you to restore back if something goes wrong with the existing hard drive.

Here I have listed the best free disk clone programs you can choose from.

Macrium Reflect free edition

Macrium Reflect is another disk imaging and cloning software. It comes as free version and commercial. The commercial versions include standard, Pro and Server. The free version is only for home use. It supports disk imaging and disk cloning.

Compatibility: Windows

Features:-

  • Disk image and Disk clone capability
  • Can access images in Windows Explorer
  • Scheduling capability
  • Linux Rescue CD
  • Supports RAID (windows PE 3 Rescue media)
  • User friendly interface

Drawback:-

  • Lucks differential and incremental backup
  • No network support

Drive Image XML (free version)

Drive Image is freely available hard drive clone / image and backup creation tool. The private edition is only for home users which lucks many features than the commercial version. And support is not provided for free edition.

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 & 8 (32bit and 64bit)

Supported media: FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS

Features:

  • Backup drives and partitions to image files
  • Restore images to the existing or different drive
  • Drive to Drive copy is possible
  • Has scheduling capability
  • Explore through images
  • Manual Schedule capability

Drawbacks:

  • Not possible to write directly to CD/DVD
  • Not user friendly interface
  • Limited options to create an image
  • No incremental and differential backup
  • No recovery capability

Documentation: DiskImage hard drive clone software provides support only for commercial version not for free edition. However, there is documentation and FAQ on its website that shows how to interact with the application.

XXClone

XXClone is primarily designed for copying Windows system disk including system files, application and data into another disk. It creates self-bootable disk that can be used in place of old disk without requiring restore process. XXClone is not disk-imaging tool but does the cloning perfectly.

XXClone comes in three versions: XXClone Freeware, XXClone Home and XXClone Pro. XXClone freeware is for everyone but if you want more benefits you need to purchase either the home or professional versions.

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista and 7 (32 and 64bit capable). Windows servers 2000, 2003 and 2008 are supported in the XXClone Pro version.

Features of XXClone hard drive clone software:

  • Clones windows disk to a new larger disk
  • Backup system disk regularly
  • Operates inside the windows environment
  • Employs Windows file I/O Application Program Interface to carry out clone operation
  • Can clone a disk into another file system. Means it clones FAT into NTFS or vice versa
  • Unlike most hard drive clone software, in XXClone the target volume can be smaller in size as long as it accommodate the files.

Drawbacks:

  • Not incorporates most additional features found in disk-imaging programs
  • Doesn’t support Dynamic disk as the target volume

Runtime’s Shadow Copy

Runtime’s Shadow Copy is a mini hard drive clone tool that can copy files and entire drive to another drive. It copies all files including locked and open files using Microsoft Volume Shadow Services (VSS). Shadow Copy is compatible with Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 7 and 8. Anyone can download and use it for free.

The features include:-

  • Copy all files whether they are locked or opened
  • It can run from command prompt
  • Can copy/clone entire hard disk to another and make the new disk bootable
  • Shadow Copy can be automated using batch or task scheduler

The software does not provide any support for this freeware.

Easeus Disk Copy Home Edition

EaseUS Disk Copy is the other reliable partition and hard drive clone software. It comes in two versions: home Edition and Technician Edition. The home edition is only for private and home computer usage.

Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, Windows Server 2000, 2003 and 2008

Features:-

  • Sector by sector disk/partition capability
  • Creates bootable CD/DVD or USB disk to copy the whole disk
  • Creates Linux based bootable disk
  • Can copy, clone or upgrade small old drive to a new larger drive
  • Copy inaccessible data such as deleted or lost
  • Friendly graphical interface
  • Recovery capability but limited options
  • Supports up to 1TB hard disk capacity

Drawbacks:

  • Don’t have backup features (cannot backup single file or folder)

Paragon Backup and Recovery Free

Paragon Backup and Recovery 2012 free edition is among the top five hard drive clone software comes with many features. Paragon’s free edition can create, format and delete a partition. It also supports advanced backup methods such as differential backup. In case of unbootable system, paragon can rebuild new “new recovery” media for the system.

Compatibility:- 2000 Professional SP4, Windows XP Home SP2, Windows XP Professtional SP2 (32 and 64bit), Windows Vista (32 and 64bit), and Windows 7 (32 and 64bit).

Supported files systems: FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, Linux Ext2FS, Linux Ext3FS, Linux Ext4FS

Supported storage media: Hard disks (2.2TB+), SSD (Solid State Drive), Network storage media, CDs/DVDs, BD-R and BD-RE

Features:-

  • Can place backup image to a partition or to a secured place on the hard disk
  • Can create an image of entire disk including system structure
  • Supports differential backup which helps to save backup storage space
  • Restores an entire disk and separate partitions image
  • Creates bootable CD/DVD and USB Flash drive
  • Built in with Recovery Medial Builder
  • Checks the integrity of recovery discs
  • Create, Format and Delete Partitions (includes other partitioning tools)
  • Can add/delete archive to/from the database
  • Supports scheduling

Drawbacks:

  • Can’t restore a single image to multiple computers
  • Can’t backup to FTP/SFTP server
  • Can’t make exact clone of a hard disk on another hard disk

Documentation: Help and FAQ files are included in the free version of Paragon hard drive clone software. Online support is also available; however no complimentary support is for the free version.

Clonezilla hard drive clone software

Clonezilla is free and open source software for Disk cloning and Imaging. It comes in two forms: Clonezilla live and Clonezilla Server Edition, the live version is for single machine backup and restore whereas the server edition used to clone multiple computers at the same time.

Compatibility: All windows OS and MAC OS. Both 32bit and 64bit are supported

Supported File Systems: FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, ext2/3/4, reiserfs, reiser4 and many more, for unsupported files systems it provides sector-by-sector copy using dd in Clonezilla.

Features of Clonezilla clone hard disk software:

  • Clones only used blocks in the hard disk
  • Unattended PC clone is supported
  • One image can be restored to multiple computers (Multicasting)
  • Can clone to USB, CD/DVD or network share
  • The image can be saved on local disk, ssh server, NFS server
  • Backup/restore a partition or whole disk
  • Allows to use USB and CD/DVD to boot and run Clonezilla

Drawback:-

  • The destination drive must be equal or larger than the source one
  • Don’t support differential/incremental backup
  • The image file can’t be explored or mounted
  • Uses DOS mode interface

Documentation: Clonezilla clone hard disk software provides help to users through FAQ/Q&A, email and forum.

G4U

G4U is a NetBSD based hard drive clone tool. It doesn’t incorporate any features other than cloning PC hard disks unlike modern disk imaging programs have. G4U is used to clone hard disk and partition, no other capability.

Compatibility: any operating system is supported Supported file systems: All Microsoft file system

Supported media: IDE, SATA, SCSI, RAID and PCI network cards

Features: To use this hard drive clone software, you should have FTP server and DHCP Server. Since it is DOS mode disk clone program, most people may not go through all the typing and the technical issues.

Minitool Drive Copy

MiniTool Dirve Copy is the other free hard drive clone software. It clones either disk to disk or partition to partition. It utilizes three methods for cloning hard disk: fit partition to entire disk or copy partition without resize or copy partition with minimum size. After finishing the cloning the boot sequence must be configured so that it can start with the new cloned hard drive. That is all MiniTool Drive copy provides no other capabilities.

Supported file systems include FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, VFAT, NTFS, NTFS5

Compatibility: Windows

PC Inspector Clone-maxx

PC Inspector Clone-maxx is DOS based clone hard disk program. It clones/copies hard drives in high speed mode through utilization of the DMA chipset on the motherboard. It only boots from floppy diskette. The program only copies the entire hard disk not individual partitions.

Odin

Odin is a free open source disk imager used to backup hard drive. It runs under 32-bit and 64-bit operating system. After backup you can easily restore back when the need arises. ODIN can run from command line or with GUI.

Compatibility: Windows

Supported files system: all windows file systems

Features:-

  • Backup/restore of volume or complete hard disk
  • Can backup used blocks or all blocks
  • Support compression and verification
  • Can split images files to chunks
  • Can run from USB Flash
  • Support snapshots
  • Useful for automated tasks running from scripts

Drawbacks:

  • No deletion capability
  • Most advanced clone hard disk features are not supported

Effitek Ping

PING is freely available live Linux ISO used to backup and restore partitions or files locally or to the network. PING can backup and restore the BIOS data as well. It claims that more features are built-in with the tool that outsmarts Ghost.

PING clone hard disk software features include:

  • Can burn a bootable CD/DVD or integrate within a PXE/RIS environment
  • Create restoration bootable DVD
  • Partition and Format a disk before installing Windows
  • Supports most files systems
  • Can restore an image on several CD/DVD You can visit their site for more information.

Drawbacks:

  • Don’t have backup features such as Incremental and differential
  • Lacks many advanced disk image features

Acronis True Image WD Edition

Acronis True Image WD Edition is trimmed version of Acronis True Image Home 2009 backup. It makes exact clone/copy of your old disk on new WD (Western Digital) hard drive. It only supports WD advanced format drives.

Compatibility: Windows

Features:

  • Clone hard disk to a new WD drive
  • Erase the source drive after the new WD is successfully created
  • Can backup and store images as a file which can be copied to any attached drive, network share and CD/DVD
  • Can recover images from direct or network attached drive
  • Create a Bootable Standalone Recovery Manager Software

Users can refer the user manual and its website for proper usage of the program.