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All I'm trying to do is clone one WD 3TB GPT drive to another identical drive. One is internal, one is attached with a USB 3.0 dock. I'm copying from internal to external drive.

  1. Macrium Reflect Free doesn't recognize either of the 3TB drives.
  2. DriveImage XML will see both drives (if run as administrator), but will not list the USB 3 drive as a target drive when it's time to pick the target drive.
  3. Ease US free edition doesn't support over 1TB.
  4. Paragon's software doesn't seem to support drives the use GPT.
  5. Clonezilla runs on a live CD, so I'd have to shut down my computer for hours while it copies the drive.

I just cannot believe that something so incredibly simple as cloning one drive to another can't be done, because software can't handle > 2TB GPT partitions or USB 3.0 connections. I'm absolutely baffled that such a basic operation isn't included in an operating system like Windows 7 (like how it can't mount an ISO, even though Microsoft distributes everything as ISO [Windows 8 supports it finally]). It's sad.

BTW, The only "killer app" I could find to clone my HDD to SSD was "Paragon Migrate OS to SSD", which copied my OS, shrunk the partition, and aligned the partition properly for SSD with like 2 clicks. I swapped in the new drive after about 11 minutes of copying, and it booted on the first shot, even though I cloned it with a windows update restart pending. I was impressed.

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I ended up just using robocopy to copy the files. Ran into an error copying "System Volume Information", which I didn't run into when copying other drives with "System Volume Information", so I just excluded the directory. I'm still looking for a lower-level copying solution that's faster than copying individual files, as the title of the question states. – Triynko Sep 24 '12 at 19:47
I found a great (non free) drive copying tool from Miray Software called HDClone. There is a free version, but I think the author gimps the data transfer rate to 20 MB/s. It can image a system drive that is in use without issue. It also has options for re sizing the destination partition if the disk you are copying from is a different size than the destination. I would give that a try next time you need to accomplish this task. – Richie086 Apr 10 '13 at 20:26

The problem is that you are probably copying the C: drive. The C: drive contains an active swap file and/or hibernation file. If this were an non-system drive the solution would be much easier. Even with these file removed Windows still considers the drive as a "system" drive.

from a command prompt you could: chkdsk /x d:

This will dismount a non-system drive, but a system drive it will just fail. After that "acronis true image" or similar should be able to copy the drive.

Honestly, running partedmagic bootable CD overnight is probably the simplest.

If you repartitioned your hard drive into 2 partitions the second partition could be copied easily.

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Yes using a live CD is much easier. You could leave it overnight while you're sleeping. Or if it's necessary then you may do some other thing such as web surfing, file opening... in the live CD's OS – Lưu Vĩnh Phúc Sep 24 '13 at 7:08

I would give HDClone from Miray Software a try. It supports both GPT and MBR. I tried the free version and I was able to clone my Windows 7 install without booting into a shell or anything like that. It supports auto-resizing of partitions if the two disk sizes don't match. I liked it so much that I ended up purchasing the standard edition and I use it all the time at work (I'm a system administrator).

Here is the product webpage

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