How to clone a hard drive

You just got your Windows system in order and now you want a complete backup. You are considering a switch to a larger hard drive or a fast SSD. For such scenarios, the CloneZilla tool comes in handy. This makes it possible to clone your (system) partition or your entire disk.

01 Image & clone

To get an exact copy of a partition or hard drive, you can use both an 'image' and a 'clone'. An image is a single file that stores the entire copy (especially useful as a backup). With a clone, such as we make in this workshop, nothing is written to a separate file, but you make the most literal copy of all bits and bytes on a partition or disk that you can think of: ideal for a ready-to-use backup backup drive that you can deploy right away, or quickly transfer a system to a larger drive or SSD.

02 CloneZilla Live

For our cloning operations we use the free CloneZilla, an open source Linux distribution. Knowledge of Linux is not necessary. CloneZilla has two variants: a live version and a server edition. The live version is sufficient for home use. You will find it here, where you can find the section Downloads opens and Stable releases clicks. For compatibility (with most x86 CPUs), choose at CPU architecture in front of i486. If you plan to burn a live CD, choose iso Bee File type. If you prefer a bootable USB stick, select zip. Confirm with Download.

03 Live CD

Once you've downloaded the iso file, the intention is to burn a bootable CD from it. This is possible, for example, with the free tool CDBurnerXP. Download and install the program. In the main window, choose Burn ISO file. Confirm with OK and refer via the button To leaf through to the downloaded iso file. Make sure there is a blank CD or DVD in the drive, choose the correct drive from target station, leave the check mark at Finalize disc and confirm with Burn disc. After a while, your bootable CD/DVD with CloneZilla is ready.

04 Format Stick

If your system does not have a CD/DVD player, you will have to rely on a live stick. For that, you downloaded the CloneZilla zip file. Insert a USB stick into your PC, open the Explorer, right-click on the drive letter of that stick and choose Format. It File system tune in FAT32, the Cluster size leave you undisturbed. Choose a suitable one Volume name. The check mark at Quick Format can you leave it. Press Start to format. Keep in mind that any data on that stick will now disappear!

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