What's the best way to clone a hard drive?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by MrDinky, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. MrDinky


    I have two hard drives and two CD burners. My C: drive, which contains XP and my stock related info (about 10 gig total) is about to take a dump. I'd like to buy a new drive, copy all the info, use that as the new XP boot drive and trash the old one but I know that's easier said than done. What's the best way of doing this?

    Thanks in advance for any info.

  2. The hard drive manufacturer should have a good utility for this. I just bought a new seagate hard drive and cloned the old one with the new one as the boot drive. Seagate website has a download section with a complete configure and copy utility.

    Make sure there is an installation utility for whatever you are buying first.
  3. Catoosa


    What brand of hard drive do you now have? I use WD's free hard drive tools to duplicate my hard drives as my normal way of doing my system backups every few days. I have several hard drives I keep on the shelf to rotate my backups.
  4. nkhoi


    that remind me matrox drive come with clone software, it clone the old drive to the new in no time.
  5. I don't mean to spoil the party, but it's my understanding you
    can't clone a harddrive with XP. You can make a ghost image, but
    I don't think that's what you're wanting to do.
  6. GOOD INFO HERE (if you want to use norton ghost)!!!!

    i recently bought a new computer and copied my old hard drive that has win xp pro on it.

    first of all, i'm good with computers. after my first attempt using norton ghost to clone the drive, when i tried to boot off the cloned drive, WINDOWS WOULD HALT.

    for a while i was really stumped. it wasn't the jumpers or anything. i kept searching the internet for help and i eventually found A VERY SIMPLE FIX.

    the problem is, if you use ghost and don't use a specific command line switch, when it clones the drive, i think ghost assigns the wrong drive letter to the drive and windows won't boot.

    here is where i found the solution:

    in case you don't know how to do the switch, connect both drives to the same computer. run ghost and go to ghost options. under "ghost command line" add the switch "-FDSP" with no quotes. NOW CLONE THE DRIVE AND IT SHOULD BOOT.


    I have no experience with this product, but saw it in a new Dell circular today. maybe it will help you.

  8. MrDinky


    Catoosa, I'm using IBM and Quantum HD's, it's the IBM that's going out. Neither came with a cloning tool at the time, but maybe it's standard in today's hard drives. I've had these two forever!

    Just curious, are you using external drives and USB to do your backups?

    Thanks to everyone else who answered as well. I'll look for the HD to come with transfer software. Has anyone successfully cloned a bad hd with an XP install and got it to work ok?

  9. MrDinky


    Just curious, did you do this on an XP boot drive and get it to work ok?

  10. saxon


    I would suggest that you check out a utility called Casper XP. It makes an exact (bootable) copy of your hard drive. I use it all the time to copy to a backup drive, and I've never had a problem.

    Here is the C/NET link:


    And here is the manufacturer link:


    I'm even beta testing for them, and the beta version includes a scheduler, which I have set to run every night at 4:00am.

    When I wake up in the morning, I have a fresh, complete copy of my HD on the backup. So if the primary goes down for any reason, I could just replace it with the backup and be rolling again in minutes.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, this is a 10...really.

    #10     Jul 5, 2003