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How do I easily copy or clone a Windows boot partition onto a new hard drive?

My computer's 1TB hard drive failed not too long ago and I got a replacement from Western Digital. I cannot BOOT this PC in order to clone it to the new hard drive. The PC is an HP Pavilion with Windows 7. The hard drives are both Western Digital 1TB Caviar Green.

To read up on details of the problems my PC was having go here: Hard drive, CPU, or other issue?

Now, I need a way to clone my new hard drive. Since I can't boot my PC, I can't use the majority of the cloning software programs unless I find another computer with space for 2 slave hard drives, since they run as Programs on your computer. I would like to know if its possible to run a clone utility from BOOT. I have searched all over and can't quite seem to find what I need.

I found this post with a list of programs but from I can tell these are all GUI programs and don't run on BOOT.

Is there a hard drive cloning utility that can but ran from a CD that I can select to run at BOOT? That way I could clone my old hard drive to the new one without having to find another PC with enough space for 2 more hard drives.

  • 1
    @techie007, Looks like EASEUS Disk Copy should do the trick after all. Last time I check them out I only saw their Windows backup utility version. But they do have an windows program that creates the bootable CD for you as well. Thanks! A direct link to the download is here: download.cnet.com/Easeus-Disk-Copy/3000-2248_4-10867157.html – UpHelix Oct 7 '11 at 20:09
  • Looks like a dupe to me. – surfasb Oct 8 '11 at 2:59

If your first hard drive failed, you may find that there are bad sectors on the disk that would cause a standard disk cloning program to fail.

I would recommend that download a Linux BootCD (such as the latest Ubuntu Live CD) and use Gddrescue to create an image of the bad drive onto another drive. Gddrescue will scan the drive for all good sectors then go back to unreadable areas and attempt to recover the data from those areas (which takes a long time). Once you have a complete image, you can use dd to copy that over to the new drive.

If you only have the new drive, there is an option to recover the drive data directly onto another drive. You can read more about using gddrescue here.

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