Announcements
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! We want to thank all of our
volunteers for all the hard work they do! Join us in celebrating!
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
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.  
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!