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Windows 7: What is the best free cloning utility available?

11 Nov 2013   #1
zombiecmh

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP 1
 
 
What is the best free cloning utility available?

I know normally that you get what you pay for. But Ive had some great results with free programs in the past (Adaware, AVG, winRar, etc, etc).

So what are your thoughts on some of the free cloning software out there?

A little background - this is my first time trying to clone on my own. I'm going to be cloning from a 250 GB hard drive, to a 1 TB hard drive via a usb enclosure. The only partitions I have are the C:\ drive & the recovery.

How I understand it, this clone will be an exact copy of my exiting drive right? As in once I swap out the drives, aside from increased storage, I wont notice any difference.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2013   #2
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

The free version of Macrium Reflect is popular with many people on these forums for cloning and imaging. I've used it for both and use the Pro version now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2013   #3
zombiecmh

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP 1
 
 

Thanks Lady Fitzgerald.
I'll probably stick with the free version for the time being. The free version will let me do a full backup of my home PC, right? Are there any limits to the size of the clone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2013   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Not as far as I know. I've done a little over 1TB of data on a 2TB drive to another 2TB drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2013   #5
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Quote:
The only partitions I have are the C:\ drive & the recovery.
If your PC came witn Win7 preinstalled, it's likely you also have a third partition -- the one used to boot the OS. Check in Disk Management to see if it is there. It may not show up in Windows Explorer.

When you clone the disk, make sure this third partition is included, otherwise, the PC will not boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2013   #6
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
Quote:
The only partitions I have are the C:\ drive & the recovery.
If your PC came witn Win7 preinstalled, it's likely you also have a third partition -- the one used to boot the OS. Check in Disk Management to see if it is there. It may not show up in Windows Explorer.

When you clone the disk, make sure this third partition is included, otherwise, the PC will not boot.
When you clone a disk with Macrium Reflect, you have to clone the entire disk (you can't just clone a partition) so all partitions will be included. Imaging, on the other hand, is partition selective so, as you stated, you do have to make sure you include the boot partition when imaging just the C: partition. When using Macrium Reflect, all partitions will display.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2013   #7
zombiecmh

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP 1
 
 

Thanks so much for all your help on this. I havent had a chance to read the guide that was posted, but between that & your help here, I think I have it.

My other big question, since someone mentioned windows being pre-installed. This computer came with Windows 8 & the optional windows 7 downgrade. It's been a few long months, but Im 99% sure I was asked what I wanted to use on my first boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 What is the best free cloning utility available?




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