Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Replacing hard drive with a cloned copy

  1. #1


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8 Pro

    Replacing hard drive with a cloned copy


    I am running Windows 8.1 and it appears that my hard drive needs to be replaced. When the machine is turned on, frequently there is a slight screech and I feel it’s best to replace the hard drive.

    How do I make an exact bootable copy of the hard drive on a new hard drive and simply replace the drive with the new drive without having to reinstall Windows 8.1 or other programs and without affecting any of the files currently on the machine? If cloning software is required, are there any free programs I can download?
    Last edited by MikeSA; 16 May 2014 at 13:30.

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  2. #2


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    I know of no free image backup software to restore to dissimilar hardware.

    Two good programs are Acronis True Image 2014 Premium or Macrium Reflect Pro. I have used them in the past.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    1) If you are transferring to different machine :

    you might get away with it. 7 and 8 can cope if the hardware isn't too different.

    Software isn't always needed for that.

    Give it a go, if it doesn't boot up, you are no worse off. I could probably adjust the system hive manually, I have done it a couple of times.

    2) If you are just replacing the HD on the same machine:

    you don't need to make any adjustments, it will be fine.

    There are plenty of free programs that will do a clone, or an image, which you can then restore to the new HD.

    Aomei Backupper is the best free one, there is also one from paragon, macrium, easeus, etc.
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  4. #4


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    You can get the Apricorn Notebook hard drive transfer kit. Or use something like ToDo Workstation if going from a larger drive to a smaller sized one or vice versa. I found that ToDo works great.

    Right now the Crucial M500 240GB SSD is going for $120 at Newegg.com. ToDo Workstation is $40 at EaseUS com.
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  5. #5


    I think the thread below might help you understand of what you need to accomplish.

    How to Migrate OS to new Hard disk.

    I hope that information would be useful.
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  6. #6


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    For a laptop it's straight forward -- simply connect the NEW HDD to the laptop via a USB==>Sata connector and use any imaging program to copy the disk.

    (Even easier -- if you can handle Linux boot any Live Distro from USB / CD and simply type in

    SUDO dd if=/dev/sda of=/output device (target) bs=16384K conv=noerror,notrunc

    Go away have a beer, glass of whisky, or whatever -- takes a little while - but it copies the entire drive including MBR etc.

    Simply now fit the new drive and boot.

    If it's a new INTERNAL HDD and you only have ONE HDD it's a bit more complex if you can't connect the drive externally.
    You have several methods here --depending on whether you can connect BOTH HDD's to the computer at the same time.

    Fit 2nd Disk and copy either with something like CLONEZILLA or use the Linux Live distro with the DD command -- to see what the devices are simply type SUDO fdisk -l on the Linux console (command line).

    After the copy disconnect Bad disk and you should be fine to boot etc. In the event of boot NOT working simply insert windows install disk / recovery disk and go for repair system. That should fix boot errors (but the DD method seems to be the most reliable method even if it isn't the fastest).

    Clonezilla is another good freebie for copying disks.

    Clonezilla - About

    For Linux distros use any Live CD - Linux mint is probably the easiest and will work straight out of the box
    Main Page - Linux Mint

    For a USB==>sata cable get something like this. (Pic shown).

    (note if you re-partition the new disk you can keep the OS separate from Data etc -- always a good idea. For re-partitioning GPARTED is a good system -- you can either download a bootable stand alone version or again using the Linux Live CD simply type SUDO gparted and you've got a nice graphical partition manager that can adjust partitions etc. The Linux DD command can also copy partitions -- instead of say dd if=/dev/sda choose say dd if=/dev/sda1 or whatever the partition number is (use fdisk -l to list the disks / partitions).

    the DD command and clonezilla need the TARGET disk / partitions to be at least the same size as the source - however you can re-size afterwards. I wouldn't re-partition your source HDD if you suspect it's going bad - get it copied first. If you have an external USB then image it to that before starting. Then if it goes wrong we can recover easily.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails satausb.png  
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  7. #7


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    Not always Jimbo. I went through three days of finding the correct tool to rescue data off of a failing drive. I finally ended up using my drive that I had in a USB/eSATA case and ToDo Workstation to pull the data. The disc that came with the Apricon kit would not do it, along with the adapter in that kit.

    It comes down to mostly trial and error with each case. All due to not every situation is going to work the same as the last one or next one.

    If I recall. I went through six different tools to finally get ToDo to do the job.
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  8. #8


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    I think the OP was looking for suggestions -- mine is using easily available freeware -- if it's a question of DATA RECOVERY then that's a totally different issue and different tools are needed. EASUS is paid for software which possibly is OK - however if I'm paying for software I'd go for the much more robust ACRONIS package - it also has the advantage in that you can create incremental backups too and UNIVERSAL restore (can restore to different hardware) -- but this is another topic.

    Apart from the 4.00 USD cable the solution I proposed can be used with 100% FREEWARE. Your Apricorn thingy is around 30 USD + tax !!! (I'm getting too stingey in my old age to pay out 30 USD for a bit of plastic with a piece of wire attached !!!).

    Cheers
    jimbo
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