If we want to make an identical copy of a hard drive, we use hard drive clone software to carry out the task. Hard drive clone is important particularly when we want to upgrade the existing small size drive to a larger new disk. This method will save us from installing and configuring the new hard drive from scratch. You just use the clone hard drive program to transfer all the files including operating system and application programs and start work on it as soon as you finish the cloning.
Here I have listed popular hard drive clone software. Most of the applications are freely available. And some of them have an advanced cloning version as well which can be purchased with affordable price. Generally the free versions have limited functionality when we compare with commercial versions.
Acronis True Image is one of the top disks imaging software with many features bundled with the package. Other than cloning entire hard disk or selected files, it can backup all files to any storage devices and restore backup easily. Secure data deletion is also supported. If you buy Acronis, you are not only buying hard drive clone software but a program that incorporates all the benefits that the best disk image software should have.
Compatibility: Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7 and 8 both for 32bits and 64 bits
Supported files systems: FAT16/32 and NTFS Supported storage media: Hard disks, Network storage media, CDs/DVDs, USB, Firewire and PC storage devices
Additional features of Acronis True Image hard drive clone software:
Drawback:- Not compatible with Mac
Documentation: It has well documented and easy to follow tutorials and user’s guides. It is worth to try this hard drive clone software. Since it offers a trial version, you can download and see it yourself before purchasing the full version.
Norton ghost is the popular disk imaging software improved in every side comparing to the old versions. The latest Norton Ghost 15 comes with additional features such as cold imaging, Blu-ray Disc support, ThreatCon integration. It particularly clones entire hard disk or specific files and folders successfully.
Compatibility: Windows XP Home/Professional, Vista (all editions), Windows 7 (all editions)
Supported files systems: FAT16, FAT16X, FAT32, FAT32X, NTFS and Dynamic Disks Supported storage media: Hard disks, Network storage media, Blu-ray, CDs/DVDs, USB and Firewire Devices
Documentation: Norton has so far the best tutorials and guides for its products. Anyone can use Ghost hard drive clone software using the guide that is provided with the software without outside help. More manual are also provided its website.
WinSuite is all-in-1 PC utility software that features several maintenance tools in a single package. Means if you buy this program, you not only purchase hard drive clone software but other PC maintenance tools such as data recovery, PC speedup, password recovery, data protection, PC health check, etc. WinSuite 2012 can be grouped into clone hard drive program because it can clone disk and partition to another disk or partition.
Compatibility: Windows XP, Windows Vista and 7 (32 and 64bit)
Documentation: Provide one-year free technical support and answer questions within 1-2 hours. WinSuite 2012 is 90-day Guarantee product. If you are not satisfied with the product in 90days, they will refund 100% of your purchase.
Macrium Reflect Professional is the commercial version of hard drive clone software. It adds many features when we compare with the free versions that include file backup, disk space management, backup scripting, recovery capability, and encryption.
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7
Supported storage media: Hard disks, Network storage media, CDs/DVDs, USB drives and Firewire Devices
Documentation: Like other hard drive clone software, Macrium Reflect provides help guide and tutorials on its website so that users can follow through each step when cloning.
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 is supported in the XXClone Pro version.
Easeus Disk Copy Technician edition hard drive clone software is designed for IT professionals, system administrators and technicians so that they can provide service for their clients. Not much difference with the home edition but it comes with some more benefits such as unlimited usage within a company, provision of technical services to clients and free tech support.
Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, Windows Server 2000, 2003 and 2008
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