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This being a new area to me, I'm not even sure on the terminology. Cloning, I believe is the correct term for what I'm trying to do.

I have a machine which has several local and several network drives (all show up in Windows Explorer with their designated letters for separate partitions). I would like to clone them all (everything, including an OS) to an external USB HDD, so I can make copy everything to an identical machine with minimum of fuss.

How would one go about that?

I'm guessing booting from the external HDD and ... ?

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There are quite a few software options for making clones (bit-to-bit copies) of partitions, including free options like EaseUS, Paragon, Acronis, etc. However, I am not sure that they can do bit-to-bit clones of network drives. For those, you might have to do manual copies.

The paid versions could have those features. A quick search suggests that Acronis supports network drives.

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No need to reinvent the wheel. Use dd utility. Primitive, powerful, reliable, free. Available on all linux distributions and also available as dd for windows

Definitely worth a try.

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