Freeware Disk Cloning Utility?

Discussion in 'Backup and Security' started by seasideheights, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Are there any reliable, free disk cloning utilities out there?

    I figure backing up my drive with just file to file copy won't help if the originial disk crashes.

    What I want do do is if I turn on the computer & the disk isn't working due to hardware failure of the disk, to just pop in my weekly cloned drive (instead of fooling around with my current weekly backup drive) and be up & running in minutes.
  2. Definitely agree! I'm IT illiterate but Acronis was a piece of cake, and it works. I clone my main drive every week now.

    I simulated a hard-drive crash by removing the C drive and replacing it with the cloned F drive, 5 minutes later I was up and running as normal, amazing, no settings or anything to change it just worked.

    If you value your data then it's a must in my opinion!
  3. HOBO


    If your motherboard supports RAID, I suggest installing 2 physical drives and running them in RAID 1 (=mirror) configuration. It is more convenient than making frequent back-ups.
  4. paulxx


    If by any chance you are using Seagate drives, the free seagate disk utility will do it.
  5. Generally speaking, RAID is not a substitue for doing regular backups. However, unless you keep the backups some other place than at home, a flood, fire, or other natural disaster will still take out both your RAID array, and your backups.
  6. Not for the faint of heart, but I use partimage on the Knoppix live CD. I back up my whole hard drive periodically to save me the trouble of doing a laborious re-install of WinXP if I ever need a fresh start.

    It's free and reliable but not user friendly to the non-techie.
  7. Correct.
    If you are going to do Raid 1 then you still need to do another backup if you care about your data. The Raid 1 controller can fail, especially software ones. So you need a good hardware raid controller and two identical drives which definitely adds to the cost. So Raid 1 is the fastest way to get going again if one drive fails, but you can't put your trust in the setup because things can happen to crash or corrupt both drives.

    Whether you use Raid or not you should backup your drive with something like Acronis as well as back up your important data/files on DVD or flash memory which and store them somewhere safe.