How to clone a hard drive from a PC or laptop without formatting it - Step by step

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Craig Zacker
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They will always be there easier and more viable alternatives to transfer all information. The downside to these shortcuts is that you need to use a program. Most of these programs have limited functions, leaving the most important ones for a Premium version.

I need to clone my hard drive!

All information on your primary hard drive, all programs and drivers, can be transferred to the new hard drive, so you can install it without having to configure and install all the programs from scratch. However, it is important to count and make a copy of the files on your hard drive in case the drive gets damaged.

To perform this procedure, you need to take into account a number of requirements:

  • Your original hard drive, with all installed programs and saved documents.
  • The target hard drive. It must have a capacity greater than or equal to the source hard drive.
  • It is not enough to have one pendrive with a minimum space of 2GB.

Step-by-step cloning

Now that you have all the tools you need to be able to clone your desktop or laptop hard drive, it's time to start the process:

First phase: Preparation

  1. Both hard drives must be connected, if your Windows computer does not detect the external hard drive you can try to reconnect and restart the PC. For computers there are mechanical hard drives, i.e. those that are installed via the SATA connection, there are also hard drives with adaptation for connection via USB inputs.
  2. Download Tuxboot. This is one of the few free programs that will allow you to clone your hard drive.
  3. With Tuxboot this is where the pendrive comes into action, as installing this program will install the program Clonezilla, which will transform the pendrive into a bootable device.
  4. Once the program has started, select the option "Online distribution" in which you will also select the options clonezilla_live_stable e current.
  5. At the bottom of the program window, you will get the section Market, where you will select the option USB drive, and in the section  Unit, select the letter with which the USB key connected to the computer or laptop is identified.
  6. Press OK and wait for the process to complete.

Second phase: Cloning

Once Tuxboot e Clonezilla have prepared the pendrive as a bootable device, follow these steps to start cloning the hard drive:

  1. Restart your computer or laptop and press F10 or F12, which will allow you to choose the boot device. Choose the option to boot from pendrive (USB). Once selected, another menu will appear.
  2. Select the first option that will appear on your screen, you can identify it by Clonezilla live.
  3. Another menu will appear, select your language.
  4. Another window will appear requesting the keyboard map. In this part you will do nothing, Awards simply the Enter key.
  5. Another window to choose if you want to start Clonezilla or enter the shell login, choose Clonezilla.
  6. Launched Clonezilla on your computer or laptop, choose the option device-device Disk / Partition to disk / Partition, which should be the second option in this new window which will allow us to perform the cloning.
  7. The next window will ask you to choose between default cloning or expert mode. It would be advisable to leave everything as default to preserve the default values ​​of the source hard drive.
  8. The system will ask you if you want to check the copy. You can do it or skip it, it's up to you.
  9. A new window will show you a series of options on the partition table. In this step, it is recommended to use the same partition as the source disk.
  10. View a summary of the procedure. Type the letter "Y" and then press Enter. This will confirm the action.
  11. You will be asked if you want to clone the bootloader. Like the previous step, type "Y", then press Enter.

It's ready! It is a matter of time for the system to finish the cloning procedure. Once this procedure is complete, the system will ask you to shut down your computer or laptop, so that you can change the hard drive and restart your computer.

Find out how to easily extend hard drive partition volume in Windows 10 here.

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