If your PC is aging, or that it is subject to frequent outages then we recommend that you copy your hard drive and back up all your data and your operating system. This way, if a significant malfunction occurs then you will be forearmed against any loss.
If you want to change your traditional hard disk drive (HDD) to a SSD (solid-state drive to boost your PC’s performance and/or increase your storage space, then clone a hard drive is essential.
In this tutorial, we will explain the various techniques that are available to you, some are free, others are not.
Can we clone a hard drive in Windows 10 ?.
Microsoft has never integrated tools to make an exact copy of a hard disk drive that includes the Windows operating system.
To copy the original HDD, which includes Windows and hidden elements, such as the partition table, you need tools or software specific to this task.
Use a docking station to clone a hard drive.
The simplest option (but most expensive) is to buy a docking station that copy
the HDD. You just insert your two drives (the original and the new one), and duplicate all of your data.
On Amazon, you will find, for example, the station SATDOCK2REU3 of StarTech (USB 3.0) 80,60 €. It accepts the HDD standard in the format of 3.5 or 2.5 inches with interface SATA.
If you have an old IDE drive, you can equip yourself with an adapter, such as the SAT2IDEADP of StarTech, it is 28,99 € sur RueduCommerce or 20,99 € on Amazon France.
Note, however, that most of these stations only work if your new drive is the same capacity (or greater) than the old one.
This can pose a problem if you want to upgrade to an SSD and increase your storage space.
Clone a hard drive with a software.
To clone the contents of a hard drive without spending too much, use a piece of software. There are free programs, but you will quickly find that they are limited, and they will not do what you need, and you will end up paying to get their full version.
Be aware that you can also use kits to upgrade (SSD upgrade). They are supplied with a USB to SATA adapter and a cloning program, it allows you to copy the hard drive of your laptop on the SSD.
If you’re looking for a cloning software free, then the best is Macrium Reflect7 (English).
Otherwise, among the fee-paying programmes containing more features, we suggest that you Acronis Disk Director 12 (the upgrade costs 29.95 € and its purchase is 39,95 €) or Drive Copy 15 Professional Paragon (29,95 €).
It deals with the duplication of your data, migrating your operating system, it also supports copy-on virtual machines, like MS Hyper-V, so that you can work with older software incompatible with Windows 10.
Tips for cloning your hard drive.
Each program that we offer is based on a wizard, which proposes, among other things, to select the source and target drives, and clone the entire disk or only partitions.
Some programs give you the option to include or exclude files and folders in the cloning process. If you want your new HDD starts as the former, then we strongly recommend that you copy all of its contents.
Finally, if the software prompts you to verify if the procedure went well, then we recommend you to do so.