Normal backups are great but use a tool to copy hard drive contents to another drive is great for an archival or emergency replacement drive. It’s important to backup your data and have it ready to reinstall at a moment’s notice. But what if you want to reinstall everything–programs, settings, updates–all at once? To do this, you will need a copy hard drive. This is often called a “cloned” hard drive or a hard drive ‘image,” which can be a disk or partition on a disk that contains an exact duplicate of the primary drive. Having a copy hard drive ready to go with all of your programs installed is essential for decreasing downtime when recovering a system. This is especially important if your Operating System is older and you would have to reinstall updates requiring multiple reboots.
Copy Hard Drive Suggestions
To Copy your hard drive, try a free program called Easeus Disk Copy. Disk Copy will create an image of the one disk and transfer it onto another disk. This is helpful if you’re moving all of the contents from a smaller drive to a newer, larger drive. Disk Copy is a great option, as it creates a sector by sector copy of your original drive, meaning it will be identical in every way. If the destination drive is larger, the remaining space will be designated as unallocated, so you can later expand it or partition it as another drive.
Copy Hard Drive Software
Follow these instructions to create a copy hard drive using the Disk Copy software by Easeus. Before you begin, make sure the destination disk is installed and is larger than the source drive. All data on the destination disk will be erased, so be sure to backup anything you want to save. Then perform the following steps:
- Download Disk Copy Software from Easeus.
- Burn the DC2.ISO to a a CD or DVD and then boot to it by restarting the computer with the disk in the drive. Note: You may need to go into your system BIOS and set the CD ROM to boot first.
- Select Start Disk Copy 2.3
- Choose Disk Copy, then select the destination drive on the next screen.
This will create an exact copy hard drive that can be restored later. You should consider creating a new drive image at least every six months. You can use the same drive and overwrite the current image. You will want to do this to keep your system up to date with security patches and software that was installed after the last image.
If copying the entire drive seems like overkill, you can partition the main drive into two partitions and create a second partition. In the steps above, simply select Partition Copy instead of Disk Copy to copy the main partition to the clone partition.