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I am trying to figure out a feasible way to clone my entire C drive to another drive and make both bootable.

I have a 160GB HDD, on which I have created a 20GB primary partition and have installed Windows 7 on it. Now, I have another 500GB HDD, on which I have created a 63GB partition. Now, I want to clone my 20GB C drive to this 63GB partition.

My purpose of doing such a thing is simply to have a backup OS to boot from when my Windows 7 fails on any drive.

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The simplest way would be by making a binary copy, you can do this with an ubuntu live disk and the dd command. Then use grub to chainload the boot menu from Windows. As suggested by kinokijuf you will not be able to browse the cloned copy, but it will be there on the other disk if you ever need your clone, just chainload the bootloader from your other disk.

  1. boot a linux livecd
  2. use dd if=/old-disk/<c partition> of=/new-disk/<newpartition>
  3. Install grub from your livedisk to MBR
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Why downvote this ? This actually works ... – Lucas Kauffman Dec 10 '11 at 14:16
can you explain in a more detailed manner? – Timesking Dec 10 '11 at 14:17

How about Ghost? Hiren's 10.4 is your friend. Extremely easy to do with Ghost.

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I'm curious if you are gunna take the trouble to neg my answer, how about you tell me HOW it's not helpful. Looked pretty damn helpful to me. It IS easy to do in Ghost. – OG Chuck Low Dec 10 '11 at 21:22
I agree, and i'll up vote you back to zero ;) An easy i used this method with my fathers computer. I did a fresh install of XP, then ghost backed up onto a very small slave HD. I then disconnected the slave, and only used the primary disk. This protected the other disk from excessive usage, since power was not even hooked up. When performance got sluggish, I simply would re-hook the secondary drive, and ghost from it back onto the main disk. Unhook the secondary disk again and I just did a full refresh back to stock in less than 10 minutes. – Lee Harrison Dec 12 '11 at 1:15

No, it's not possible. Windows doesn't allow two disks with the same signature.

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can i backup my entire c drive to another external drive and then while installing, i can restore using this backup? – Timesking Dec 10 '11 at 14:16

You can use Windows 7's in-built Backup to do what you suggest in your comment to kinokijuf (image to the other disk and then restore from it during a reisntall).

You can find more info about it in Windows Help (F1), or on Microsoft's site.

You can also setup a RAID1 (mirror) to accomplish having a second disk to keep using, if the one fails.

Depending on you motherboard, it may support this at the firmware/BIOS level. Or you can setup a software-level one in Windows 7 (if you have a version that supports it).

Note: RAID1 is intended for redundancy (fault tolerance), not backup. :)

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