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04-06-2011, 03:53 AM   #1
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Hard drive cloning for pc

The HD on my laptop is about ready to go and I need to replace it. Does anyone know of a good, free HD cloner for PC? I know there are a bunch for mac but am not so sure about one for PC.

04-06-2011, 04:16 AM   #2
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This is not free but worth the $50. I use it for my home PC's
Complete hard disk recovery solution, backup, drive copy, clone and image computer software

It is sometimes bundled with Western Digital drives.
04-06-2011, 04:25 AM   #3
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Actually depending on your OS you may just want to take the time and create a fresh install.

Even if you are 100% sure your current OS, etc. is clean and upt to date there are still little things that may be lurking in which a clone only brings it all over to the new drive.

My suggestion is always if you have the time and software back up the data, create a new install installing/updating each software package one at a time starting with your OS. Once that is complete create an image using one of the various software programs out there.

Then copy over your data. Scanning it before you bring it over then after you bring it over.

For less then $25 you can get a USB cable that you can plug various drives into that are self powered.
04-06-2011, 04:32 AM   #4
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I agree with Aknot - if at all possible I'd do a clean install onto the new drive, and I'd do it PSQ while the old drive is still working so I can copy the data across.

04-06-2011, 04:48 AM   #5
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Unfortunantly I don't have a recovery disk or an install disk nor the money to spend on one. I know that it is the hard drive. The thing has begun beeping at me (not a computer beep but one coming from the harddrive itself, like it is having trouble spinning up) and said that there was no drive to boot from. I restarted and it started up just fine.
04-06-2011, 05:07 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lurchlarson Quote
Unfortunantly I don't have a recovery disk or an install disk nor the money to spend on one. I know that it is the hard drive. The thing has begun beeping at me (not a computer beep but one coming from the harddrive itself, like it is having trouble spinning up) and said that there was no drive to boot from. I restarted and it started up just fine.
At the very least you should start backing up data to CD/DVD/networked drive, etc. as soon as possible.

The programs/OS can always be repalced (at a cost) however pictures you took 6 months ago, letters, etc can not.

I just recently picked up a 1TB external hard drive for $60. I dont know what its like where you are from but we have the regular stores (Best Buy, etc) and then a Microcenter that you can catch all kinds of good deals at.
04-06-2011, 06:17 AM   #7
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Here's one: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/
As mentioned above, if you have any virus or malware in your system it will back that up too.

I agree, you should back important files including photos; at the very least on a USB flash drive. You can get a Sandisk 4Gb for $10 at Microcenter.

Good luck!
04-06-2011, 06:37 AM   #8
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I have been using Norton Ghost over ten years. The version I like is 11.5, not the latest 15, because I can put 11.5 in my Windows PE bootable USB flash drive. But for your need, version 15 is a good choice. It has the rescue boot-disk, very easy to use. I just checked Amazon for the price. You can pay $10 for a used copy to $28 - $50 for a new copy. When you backup, you jusst need the serial number, so I guess a used copy is good too. Just my 2c.

04-06-2011, 07:31 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Clonezilla, Linux based and will clone or create an image file.
I always keep an image of my installed system on a CF card, the data and pics
are copied onto an external drive.
It is free and Linux so it just works..
04-06-2011, 07:45 AM   #10
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Most harddrive companies have cloning software for free.
04-06-2011, 09:15 AM   #11
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I'll also chime in for doing a clean install. Back your files up to an external drive. Actually, you should be doing that anyhow.
04-06-2011, 10:10 AM   #12
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Hi Kenny, if the clean install is not possible than maybe you can try this free soft

Easeus Disk Copy - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com

If you are looking for a cheap backup drive you may check Costco. They require membeship card that is min. $50 a year but maybe you can find someone from your family or friends who already is a member, if you really are on the short budget. The great thing about Costco is their return policy and very good pricing. Any electronics even TV's, computers, cameras etc. you can return within at least 3 months or longer, no questions ask and no restocking fee. So if you buy a portable HDD that doesn't work for you, or for any reason doesn't meet your demands you have comfort of this "extended try period." If you already know what you need than most safe place to look for a deal is of course B&H than Amazon, newegg and J&R. You can buy from Costco online or your nearest location will be probably in Clackamas. Wish you good luck with your laptop.
04-06-2011, 11:05 AM   #13
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Clonezilla looks good, another way of doing it would be Gparted live cd (usb stick) where 1) dump old hd -> new (dd) 2) expand partition(s) on new hd to used all available space (gparted). This works (at least) if the nominal head sectors/track parameters of the disks involved match (they usually do for modern disks @ heads=255, sectors/track=63).
04-06-2011, 04:15 PM   #14
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DriveImage XML Backup Software - Data Recovery Product

Drive Image XML is free for home use.
04-06-2011, 05:19 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevecw Quote
DriveImage XML Backup Software - Data Recovery Product

Drive Image XML is free for home use.
This works well, especially if you are going to clone to a new drive on the same machine, thought there is a bit of a trick to this. Assuming you know what all to do there, I've used this software with great success several times.
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