Unfortunately, you'll be copying all Source HDD content, ie, any OS flaws, etc, to the Target HDD.
You can try to repair your OS on the Source HDD before Cloning with various tools. One method that's popular can be run from a Windows System Repair CD. You can create your own CD within Win 7 or 8 if you don't have one available.
Other tools that scan the OS for problems include the "sfc" (System File Checker) tool from within the CMD console. Here's some info in an MS link:
System File Checker
I'd recommend backing up all of your personal data from the Source to an external USB HDD before proceeding with repair tools. That way, you'll have your essential data backed up before trying to repair your Source HDD Windows OS.
You could try Cloning (after backing up your data) to insure that your newly-cloned HDD will boot into Windows.
Then, if the Target HDD boots up, you can run one of the OS Repair tools that are available online.
If I was choosing one scenario with your current situation, I'd probably do this:
- Backup all personal data to an external USB HDD, or the content that you consider essential to save to the new HDD.
- Clone the Source HDD to the Target HDD. This will also tell you if the Cloning process will run without errors as you have some known issues present on the Source HDD.
- Boot up onto the new Target HDD and see how it operates.
- Run one of the HDD OS repair tools. If that results in an unbootable Target HDD, you'd still have your original Source HDD unaffected by the potential negative effects of OS repair actions.
- Depending on the repair results, you can re-clone and select another Repair tool option and repeat the steps above.
It may be preferable to do a Windows re-install though, since you know that your Source HDD has some OS issues present. I guess it will depend on your personal time availability. Windows re-install's can be time-consuming for PC users. It will depend on how much the user has customized Windows since the original Windows install was completed.
Since you have a Desktop PC, be sure that you don't allow WIndows to boot up after Cloning with both HDD's connected. That can cause what's known as "Disk Signature" collisions which can render both HDD's unbootable into Windows. It can be repaired but it's easier to avoid that potential issue by disconnecting either the Source or the Target HDD before booting into Windows.
Regarding Cloning in general, there's several opinions on how to best Clone a PC but I prefer to Clone without the OS being booted. In other words, you can Clone with a bootable CD (or Flash Stick) so that the actual Cloning tool is running in the PC's RAM and outside of Windows.
You'll need to create a bootable media from your Cloning software product and then you can boot with the CD installed in your CD/DVD Drive, or you can create a bootable Flash Stick to accomplish the same thing.
There are some Cloning tools that can be downloaded to an ISO file then you can create the bootable CD quickly and without installing the actual Cloning Software tool onto your Source HDD.
One of these tools is "Clonezilla". I have this one as a 3rd Cloning tool.
Edited by Scoop8, 26 December 2014 - 09:41 AM.