Windows 10: Hard Driving Cloning Question Solved

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  1. Posts : 9
    Windows 7 and Windows 8
       02 Jul 2015 #1

    Hard Driving Cloning Question

    I am looking to upgrade a computer in my office to Windows 10 once it comes out. This computer needs to have its hard drive replicated. Currently we have two option to clone the hard drive, hardware based and software based cloning. Has anyone tried either method of cloning? Which method do you use and how successful was it? We would like to know before purchasing either hardware to clone or software if we can only use it on Windows 7/8 and not Windows 10.

    Thank you for your help.

    Hardware Based Cloning:
    No need for a computer. Allows for perfect 1 to 1 replication.

    Software Based Cloning:
    Needs a PC. Relies on a computer to perform cloning. May be hard drive specific (ex: WD to WD and Seagate to Seagate)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    02 Jul 2015 #2

    Not quite sure what you mean by hardware based or software based cloning. Usually you buy a new hard drive and you use software to clone your old drive to the new drive. You usually get software cloning software from the manufacturer of your new drive. If this is not the case there are plenty of good programs out there to buy, Acronis or Paragon to name just two.

    Buy a hard drive or solid state drive from a well known manufacturer, and you probably won't have any problems. The software will tell you if it will run on Windows 7/8 or 10.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 276
    Windows 10 Insider Program, Linux Mint 19, Arcolinux, MX-17
       02 Jul 2015 #3

    alkaufmann said: View Post
    Not quite sure what you mean by hardware based or software based cloning.
    See link for example of cloning w/o computer.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    03 Jul 2015 #4

    Do you usually clone whole drive or just the C partition?

    Do you try to have everything on one C partition or do you usually allow windows to create the extra 350 mb junk partition? Previously when installing dual boot partitions, I have just unplugged the other drives when installing, and using bios to select boot os.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    03 Jul 2015 #5

    allow windows to create the extra 350 mb junk partition?
    It's not "junk"! It's the boot partition -- on BIOS formatted drives. And on UEFI drives, there are several partitions that are needed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    03 Jul 2015 #6

    Google "Macrium", does a clone or image...its free!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 9
    Windows 7 and Windows 8
    Thread Starter
       10 Jul 2015 #7

    Since no one here has attempted to answer my questions. If someone has actually tried cloning a hard drive with Windows 10, can you PLEASE share your results.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    10 Jul 2015 #8

    The link to the hardware based cloning device you posted is still using software to clone, it just doesn't require a PC in the middle. That it does 1:1 replicas of drives doesn't make it special, lots of PC cloning software does that too. The only reason to get that thing that I can see is if you were a field tech making site visits...maybe? No one here would use such a thing so you are probably just confusing people with the "software vs. hardware" cloning terminology - that's not really how to describe it.

    There is some software that drive manufacturers ship with their drives that, for licensing reasons, they restrict to their brand of drives. Most of them are just OEM versions of common clone packages. It's not an inherent limitation of "software" cloning in 2015.

    The answer to your question is get Macrium Reflect 6 - if you are doing this for personal/home use the free version is fine, otherwise pay for the license - and use that. It works fine with Windows 10 (and Windows 8, 7, Server, etc.). I have cloned several systems with it and restored a few as well - like many posters here it is my go-to backup solution when I am installing new preview builds. It will do a complete clone of a hard drive, recovery partitions and all, if you want, or just specific partitions, up to you.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9. Posts : 9
    Windows 7 and Windows 8
    Thread Starter
       10 Jul 2015 #9

    Thank you ixian for the answer. Yeah, I know it still requires "software" when doing hardware based cloning but in my case it is simpler to go with the hardware since it is in a business setting. This will primarily be used in the field when bringing back a hard drive to my corporate headquarters is not necessarily an option or may take longer than necessary to get a system up quickly. Again, thank you so much for your answer as I was hesitant to purchase the hardware before hearing from someone that they have successfully cloned a drive on Windows 10.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    10 Jul 2015 #10

    In theory any setup like that would be OS independent; it shouldn't matter what is on there. For that matter most PC based solutions are that way if you build a recovery drive and boot them off USB/DVD in to their own environment. Things can get a little squirrely when there are big changes (like the shift to UEFI from BIOS) but that's over with for the most part.

    Windows 10 didn't change anything on that front, at least that's important for cloning - still has UEFI and legacy bios support, still NTFS, etc. If it clones 8.1 it should clone 10.

    Don't forget about Bitlocker; if it's turned on you'll want to turn it off. Some programs claim it doesn't matter for sector copying but I've never found that to be the case, especially with more recent SSD's that have hardware AES assist - Bitlocker essentially gets tied to the drive. Doubly so if the PC has a TPM chip and it's active. You'll want to turn it off (decrypt), clone, then turn it back on with the new drive. This, however, is not new for Windows 10, it's the same for 8 as well.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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