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I remember ten years ago cloning Win installation by copying all the files from HDD to another HDD using a bootable CD software. Then in the recovery console doing fdisk / mbr, to fix the master boot record so that the new HD can boot the old system.

My question is this still the normal way to do it with Win7? Also what are the available utilities today that I can use on the bootable CD?

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You want to do an exact copy, like a deployment? There is imagex which will create an image. There is sysprep if you need it. There is Ghost, Clonezilla, Acronis which will do a direct clone. Depends what you are trying to accomplish. – Matt Jun 22 '12 at 20:47
You could even use dd to do it if you're good with a command line. – Chris Harris Jun 22 '12 at 20:48

To clone a partition, you can use any partitioning software that you want (Gparted, Acronis, Windows (though that will mean you cannot copy the active partition)).

For the bootloader part, install a windows installer disk, and run the following commands:

  1. bootrec /rebuildbcd
  2. bootsect /nt60 D: /force /mbr
  3. Make sure the partition is set as active
    1. diskpart
    2. select <disk number>
    3. select <partition number>
    4. active
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Any particular product from Acronis? – Registered User Jun 22 '12 at 21:03
Disk director I think. To be honest though, that recently caused me problems, so I would recommend using Gparted – soandos Jun 22 '12 at 21:04
OK I'll use the Gparted, Thanks! – Registered User Jun 22 '12 at 21:05
Any idea about a software that supports RAID10? Gparted did not fulfill the expectations. – Registered User Jun 22 '12 at 23:27

Yes! You can still do it. You can use Imgburn to do it.

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If I had to do this, I would plug the new hard drive into the old system with an external enclosure, then boot the system from an Ubuntu Live USB or CD (as much as I hate Ubuntu, it's the easiest option available) and run dd to clone the old drive to the new drive (assuming that the new drive is larger than or equal in capacity to the old drive).

This eliminates the need to fix the MBR.

After cloning the drive, if the new drive is larger than the old drive, I would use GPartEd (included with Ubuntu as last I checked) to expand the cloned partition to fill the drive.

Further information on drive cloning with dd
Ubuntu Live USB information
Ubuntu Live CD information

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With Windows 7 you do not need any separate software; it has disk imaging tools built in. This is a good tutorial on how to create and restore images of your hard drives:

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Good luck with that one – Registered User Jun 22 '12 at 21:08
up vote -2 down vote accepted

The initially accepted answer did not work for me and so I have to post an answer myself.

After trying(and failing) few tools, I have ended up downloading Ultimate Boot CD

  • Burn the image
  • Restart PC into BIOS and verify that the boot device order is set to [first boot device] - CD-ROM
  • Restart the PC and it should boot into the Ultimate Boot CD
  • Chose [HDD]
  • Chose [Hard Disk Cloning]
  • Chose [CopyWipe]
  • Set the source HDD and the target HDD with an [expand] option (Use F6 to view the partitions)
  • Start the copy process.

  • After the files were copied to the new HDD, shutdown and disconnect the old HDD

  • Replace the Ultimate Boot CD with the Win 7 instalation CD and boot up into Win 7 installation
  • Chose [repair installation](enter image description here)
  • Click OK when prompted and restart.
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