If you are upgrading your computer and installing a new larger capacity drive, be it an SSD, NVRAM solution, or a traditional hard drive, the best way to copy data from the previous drive is to use cloning software. Cloning is the fastest and easiest way to copy the contents of one disk to another. Here’s the best software to help manage it.
The purpose of disk cloning software
Working at a computer, the user creates and stores a huge amount of information. These can be ordinary photos or videos, programs, games, documents, and much more. If you save all information to an internal hard drive, without using cloud storage or removable drives, you may soon find that your HDD or SSD space is running out.
In fact, the user can create a complete copy of his data, but on a larger or faster disk. To do this, you need special applications for cloning a hard drive. Unlike backing up or creating a disk image (ISO), cloning creates a 100% copy of the original media: basic partitions, structure, and software are preserved.
The newly cloned disk is almost identical to the old one. This means you do not have to re-configure the working environment, activate the system, and restore software licenses. The difference between it and the original media is that the operating system is unbound to the hardware of the computer, but it also becomes unavailable to roll back the system to its original settings while preserving user data and reinstall it in update mode.
Best disk cloning software
There are many applications for cloning. Some, specially designed to perform such an operation – are suitable for inexperienced users who value the simplicity of the process. Other programs have more functionality. In them, creating a disk clone is just one of the many options available. So, there are the following options:
- EASEUS Disk Copy is a simple free application for sector-by-sector cloning of hard drives of any type with any file system. It guarantees one hundred percent identity of the clone disk with the original. With the help of EASEUS Disk Copy, you can clone both the entire disk and individual partitions and even files, including deleted (if they have not been overwritten), hidden and copy-protected.
- Paragon Drive Backup Personal is a multifunctional data backup tool with which you can also create clones of drives. It can be run from both bootable media and from under Windows. It provides many modes of data copying, support for any file system, and a high speed of work.
- Macrium Reflect is another handy tool for creating hard disk copies for transferring to another medium. In addition to cloning, it creates images of partitions and entire disks, which, after recovery, can be mounted in Windows Explorer and used as virtual media. Functional features comprise full and partial disk cloning, creation of images “on the fly” – without rebooting the system, verification (identity check) of ready-made images, the possibility of multi-level encryption of the created images to ensure their security.
- Acronis True Image is a program similar in capabilities to Paragon Drive Backup and, perhaps, one of the most popular of its kind. In addition to backup, he can create clones of a variety of drives with different file systems. Automatic mode assumes that all information from one hard drive (or SSD) will be transferred to another HDD or SSD drive. In this case, the disk to which the data is transferred will become bootable for the system, and all data previously stored on it will be deleted from it.