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Contributor I

Best App For Cloning a Win7 Machine?

Time for me to do a much-delayed full backup of an old machine. I want to do bit-level cloning, if possible. I'm willing to pay for a good piece of software to make this happen. Advice? Suggestions? (Other than, "ditch the old system, you dinosaur," of course. heh.)

4 Replies
Community Champion

Re: Best App For Cloning a Win7 Machine?

Did you really want "bit-level" cloning, or do you just need all the files there and for the drive to be bootable?  I have a few options, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. 

 

  1. Forensic drive cloning.  Expensive, guaranteed "bit-by-bit" copy.  Original drive remains "forensically-sound".  Think courtroom evidence.
  2. Many USB dual-drive enclosures have a similar "offline-copy", but for less than $50.
  3. Linux has a "dd" command that does a bit-for-bit copy from one hard drive to another (or to a file), taking into account such things as block sizes.   Does require hardware (such as a USB enclosure) so both drives can be mounted simultaneously.  
  4. VMWare has a free converter that will migrate a physical machine to a drive image that is usable in VMware, including their free player and their workstation product.  Copy is not bit-for-bit as it installs conversion and vmware management tools.
  5. When I purchased my SSD, it came with a free windows app that copied with resize, so you can move to a larger or smaller drive (obviously not bit-for-bit).
  6. If your goal is to simply not lose access your old files, install something like one-drive or dropbox to backup the files first to the cloud and then to your new machine.  
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Contributor I

Re: Best App For Cloning a Win7 Machine?

Rock on-- great info, thanks!

 

Yeah, I should have been more clear: I got an external drive (USB) that's twice the size of the current HDD, and want to move everything (files, bootable OS, drivers, etc.) to the external, such that I can either boot from the external, or re-clone another HDD from the clone in case my current primary fails. I just wasn't sure which app to use to make that happen. And I don't want to use cloud, because pushing all that data up, then pulling it back down, would be a time constraint and an unnecessary duplication of the data across the line-- I like tangible, local solutions.

Viewer II

Re: Best App For Cloning a Win7 Machine?

I used Parted Magic (which has Clonezilla)...

https://partedmagic.com/

 

 

Contributor I

Re: Best App For Cloning a Win7 Machine?

Awesome-- thanks!