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best program to clone hdd


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#1 nadelaney

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 09:10 PM

Am running winxp SP3. Am rebuilding a computer and want to clone the primary (boot) drive to a larger hdd. I have it hooked up on a different computer as a usb external ide drive, and have the target drive also hooked up as a usb external sata drive. So, although hdd1 is a boot drive, it is not currently being used as boot... but I want to be able to clone it to hdd2 and put hdd2 into the re-built machine and boot from there.

What is the best software to clone hdd1 to hdd2 ? By best, I mean: easy enough for a reasonably intelligent person to understand, not more than $25-$30, and is able to make an EXACT duplicate (i.e., copy ALL settings, info, etc - including being able to run programs that are serial or volume id sensitive.)

I'd prefer simple: e.g.: not to have to burn an iso onto a cd or boot from a cd/usb to use the software, or recover the MBR with some other tool when all is said and done.... In other words, is there a program that can REALLY make an EXACT copy (including volume id, etc) of the original hdd in a fairly straightforward way?

I don't mind have to go back and enlarge a partition (since I'm copying from a smaller drive to a larger) but I'd rather the instructions were relatively simple. Also, I have programs that I can't find any more - written by friends, etc - that I want to keep using. Just can't reinstall them. AND, I have a version of Office 2003 that works perfectly well and IS legal, but I lent the disks to someone who disappeared with them - so no way to re-install. So I'm looking for software that is the most likely to give me an exact duplicate of the original drive.

I apologize if this belongs in another forum, but "other software" seemed like the most appropriate. Also, I have googled and read a great deal, but most information pertains to cloning a drive that is being used - not one that WAS used and is temporarily connected through usb.

Thanks, much for any/all information.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:07 PM

There are any number of free programs available to clone a drive.

There is no "best" program for such...a program either does it or it doesn't do it, IMO.

EASEUS Partition Master Home Edition freeware. - http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm

Louis

#3 nadelaney

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 12:28 PM

Thank you for the reply. I read so much, I made myself crazy - and didn't know if there was one program superior to others for my specific situation (cloning from one external drive to another - but also being sure the serials are carried over...)

Thanks again. I'll give Easus a try.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 12:28 PM

If unhappy with it...just try a different free cloning program.

Any program that clones...produces an exact copy of the hard drive/partition on the selected destination.

Louis

#5 nadelaney

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 10:40 PM

I ended up using the WD version of Acronis. No problems.
Thanks for your kindness and your advice.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 10:38 AM

Glad you resolved it, happy computing :).

Louis




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