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Windows 7: Best way to duplicate contents of a hard disk


17 Nov 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 
Best way to duplicate contents of a hard disk

I have a portable USB hard disk that I put all my documents and photos on for years, now I bought another portable HD and want to copy all that's on the first onto the new one, do you recommend Windows copy/paste or is there a better way od software to do this?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Nov 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello netadict,

Sure, a simple copy and paste of all content to the new one would work great. The easiest way would be to right click on the old drive's icon in "Computer", and click on "Copy", then paste on the new drive's icon.

Be sure to only "copy" and not "move". This way if something (ex: power failure) should interrupt the file transfer, it will not potentially corrupt the files.

Hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #3

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
Brinks method is fine (cheap and simple) but if you have a lot of files / directories it's easy to miss something.

I'd recommend getting some decent backup software (you should always have some mechanism for backing up and restoring your computer in case of system failure / hard/software failure / spy / malware removal etc etc).

Then just use "Clone disk" - these software packages usually have a Disk cloning option on them.

Cheers
jimbo
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17 Nov 2013   #4

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

Thank you all for your suggestions.

Jimbo, yes I use Macrium Reflect to clone my PC hard disk and restore whenever problems occur. It's great! But can I clone a portable HD onto a different sized portable HD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #5

Vista Ultimate X64/ Windows 7 Dual-boot
 
 

Yes...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Depends what you mean by clone. It used to mean a direct sector by sector copy, in which case the destination has to at least as big as the source. If you mean a copy of the used sectors, then the destination only needs to be at least as large as the used space on the source. Most partition managers will do a copy of that kind for you. There are a few good free versions, Aomei Partition Assistant, MiniTool Partition Wizard, Easeus partition master, paragon pm free, Eassos partition Guru ( bit complex for beginners) etc.

Best way to duplicate contents of a hard disk-aomei-partcopy.jpg

Free Partition Manager - AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2013   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Macrium is the same. The target partition only needs to be big enough to hold the data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2013   #8

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

So Macrium will do the job, great! Thank you all for your input
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 Best way to duplicate contents of a hard disk




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