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What is a reliable way to clone an internal drive to an external drive from an administrator account on Windows 8.

This involves several steps, some of which I know:

1) Use icacls and/or takeown to get all the proper permissions. Is there a way to make sure you have read access to all files on the drive in one command?

2) Make sure the external drive is mounted

3) Copy C:\ to the drive, probably D:\. What command should I use to copy them? Should I use copy or is something else better? Should I use xcopy

This question relates to one I asked earlier here: Make Microsoft Account a Local Account from the command line?

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Just use disk cloning software. – gronostaj Nov 25 '13 at 21:30
@gronostaj Is there no way to do it from the command line? – sinθ Nov 25 '13 at 21:32
What the heck? Why do you think you would need takeown/icacls to clone a system? What exactly are you trying to do with this clone once you make it? Copy/xcopy are not the tools you should be using at all. – Zoredache Nov 25 '13 at 21:39

The best way would be to do it while the system isn't running, i.e. using some sort of live disc.

The best one I can think of is Clonezilla.

However, @MaXX suggests a pendrive with some linux on it - that would work too, but he omits the useful command: dd, which does a bit-for-bit copy. Check the manpage and do some research if you are interested in that.

If you tell us exactly what you want to accomplish - we can better tailor answers to you. Without knowing more, the best solution will be to clone the entire drive - which requires the system to not be running.

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Would Windows 8 running on a thumbdrive work? (As in, another Windows 8) – sinθ Nov 25 '13 at 22:24
It could work, but if you want a bootable clone, for example, then your best bet is dd or clonezilla, I've never had much success with Windows cloners (at least consumer ones). – nerdwaller Nov 25 '13 at 22:48

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