Software required/recommended to clone hard disk?

  buckrogers 08:02 29 May 10


I am purchasing a portable external hard drive to make an exact copy/clone of everything exactly the way it is on my laptops internal hard drive. I have downloaded numerous software and applications which I do not wish to spend hours downloading and installing again should the hard drive fail.
Can someone recommend to me some tried and tested software that works and is straightforward for a beginner like myself to use?
Does Windows OS have this feature built-in? Is there a good, free download available off the net? Or will I have to purchase 3rd party software, Norton Ghost for example?
As I mentioned, in case of hard drive failure I want to be able to have a complete back-up so I can simply restore all the information, preferences and layout etc as I have it now onto a new replacement hard disk.
I am running Windows XP, SP3.

  ronalddonald 08:15 29 May 10

try acronis look on amazon

  mooly 08:22 29 May 10

Acronis... I use it daily to make running incremental backups, starting a new backup off every week.

You never worry again. It's worked faultlessly for me over 3 years.

click here

  Batch 08:26 29 May 10

Like many I use Acronis and am well pleases with it.

However there are free equivalents out there.

Have a look at free Easeus Disk Copy click here, they also have free partition management and imaging tools.

  lotvic 11:46 30 May 10

Free Acronis True Image for Maxtor And Seagate HD owners
MaxBlast 5 click here
DiscWizard click here

Both are Acronis but only usable if you have a Maxtor or a Seagate Harddrive attached to your system.

  lotvic 11:48 30 May 10

should add that you can have other makes of HDD attached as well, it only requires one of them to be either Maxtor or Seagate.

  T0SH 17:41 30 May 10

hdclone comes in various flavours from free to not a great deal of money home users, it clones drives faultlessly the more expensive option you buy the faster is does it :¬)

Cheers HC

  buckrogers 23:34 31 May 10

Great, thanks for the feedback. Noticed Acronis had a mixed review on

  gazzaho 07:03 01 Jun 10

I've used Acronis for a year or so now without problems for doing full disk backups only. A lot of people seem run into problems when using all the bells a whistles the program offers. For system backup I can't fault it, I've restored my system from within Windows and through the Linux based boot disk on several occasions without problem.

I believe Windows 7 has a full system disk backup program built in, I've never tried using it myself so I can't confirm this but it might be worth looking into if you're using this OS.

  kjrider 14:13 01 Jun 10

Try your HD makers website first for any free disc clone progs. I have found the Seagate and the Maxtor ones fine. You can clone upto bigger or down to smaller HDs with ease.

Before you clone, clean up your HD. When you clone, you will clone across all the rubbish and any viruses, etc, if they are present.


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