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

Not actually a question per-se but what cloning software do people use?

I will personally be using it in support and recovery enviroments - involving replacing faulty hard drives, upgrades and backups of drives connected using IDE, SATA, RAID and USB. Partition and Filesystem types shouldn't matter. I have been doing this for many years already; with my older software.

I'm still using an old version of Ghost (4.7c) I previously streamlined into a bootable Windows 98 setup CD with a bundle of other testing tools. Obviously this was before i discovered Hirens Boot CD., yet i've continued to use it as Hiren's alternatives are not as good.

I have a situation coming up where i'm going to need to clone a
RAID 0 volume 2TB in size from 4xSAS drives to a RAID10 6xSATA 
4TB volume and i don't think my Ghost is going to be the 
best/fastest option...

I notice Hirens doesn't actually contain Ghost anymore - but i know there are many other options such as: G4L, Clonezilla, Gddrescue, Acronis Trueimage, Paragon etc. But i have almost no experience with these - last time i tried Clonezilla it failed to make the partition bootable and took forever.

What are peoples experiences with these and others?

And now for the kicker...

Alongside the situation highlighted above, I ideally need a program capable of cloning from damaged drives (read/recover bad sectors and continue after encountering), with options to create image files (rather than just source:destination), able to read drives plugged into USB, that is multi-threaded (to maximise read/write speeds) and can take advantage of newer (read: SATA2, SAS & RAID10) technologies. Copying over a network (image file to/from a network share) would also be an advantage if coupled with gigabit/fibre speeds.

marked as duplicate by ChrisF, Mokubai, studiohack Dec 7 '11 at 17:18

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Nice link here of other cloning software, experiences? :) – HaydnWVN Dec 7 '11 at 13:57
  • I've now used Trueimage a number of times and i'm happy enough so far... :) – HaydnWVN Dec 19 '11 at 9:26

Most cloning software will not recognize RAID-0 or RAID-1 since you need drivers, Acronis is the best solution, it recognize many RAID drives, many options. if you want to clone windows 2008 or 2003 then you need the business version, for windows 7/XP/2000/etc then you can use Acronis True Image Home 2012, it has the option to "Ignore bad sectors". Page 79 on their guide: http://download2.acronis.com/u/pdf/TrueImage2010_UserGuide.en.pdf I do not suggest cloning when you have bad sectors, unless you don't have an other option.

Acronis will do all the rest, clone over the network,usb devices, to image file, etc.

  • Regarding RAID - i've cloned easily before, as hardware RAID is setup then Ghost will read it, thanks for the TrueImage heads up. I'll try it before i buy :) – HaydnWVN Dec 7 '11 at 17:03
  • Used TrueImage Home (included on Hiren 11.1) last night for troubleshooting a PC and although i like it (and it was very quick!) it's still not as clearly labeled/well laid out when selecting a source as i'd like... It's aimed a bit too much at Users rather than Administrators with it's Wizards, but i'm guessing Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 is more what i'm looking for...? – HaydnWVN Dec 8 '11 at 11:42

On Mac I use Carbon Copy Cloner and love it. If you have bad spots on a drive you should use Spinrite to repair it first. PartImage sounds good but I haven't played with it much.

  • 'Usual' faults i come across are actually due to bad disks and i doubt repairable, then again i've got a stack of old drives it might be worth trying it on. Thanks for your suggestion! I've used Ghost before to clone a Mac drive for someone, and it worked! :D – HaydnWVN Dec 7 '11 at 15:24

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