Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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hlewton
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Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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I have a new hard drive the same size as the one the Windows 10 boots to and operates from. It is hooked up in the computer and shows up as F: drive. Right now it is totally blank but I can access it and see there is nothing on it. I have contacted a company about using their software to create an exact duplicate of my OS drive and then replace that drive with the duplicate. They skirt around this question, at least so far they have. I am wondering if I made this duplicate and then installed it as the C: drive, would this then boot up the machine and have the very few apps that is currently on it function without having to reload anything? If anyone know the answer to that, please let me know.

Now here is another question I have and the only thing I can find on the NET suggests that additional software is necessary to "clone" the drive as I am wanting to do. So, since both my C: drive and this F: drive are connected and can be accessed in the same machine and since they are both 500 GB HHDs, can I just do a straight copy from one to the other using Copy and choosing C: and choosing F: drive as the destination disk?
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hlewton

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StuartR
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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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If you 'clone' your existing C: drive to this external drive, and then swap the drives, then everything should continue as normal with no need to reinstall any software.

If you just copy files then this will not be enough. You need to make an exact copy of all partitions, even hidden and system partitions which are not normally accessible to you and which can't be simply copied to the new drive.

Here is a simple guide to cloning hard drives that you may find helpful.
StuartR


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hlewton
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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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Thank you. I will look that over.

I purchased 4 copies of Macrium Reflect 8 a few months ago but this machine in question here is not one that has any license. Also, I don't intend to use this machine after the cloning is completed so I hope I don't have to purchase another copy to get this done. I may have to contact Macrium to see what the best option I have is.
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hlewton

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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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In that link he uses Macrium Reflect and says it is free. I am going to follow his exact steps and hope it works. BUT, the last time I used Macrium Free it balked when I tried to copy the image I created to another drive. But that time the drives were not both connected in the same machine or even at the same time. Again, thanks for the reply and the link.
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hlewton

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hlewton
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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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Well another bust. First I don't believe there is any such thing as Macrium Reflect Free. At least I could not find it at the site the article linked me to. However, I did download a 30 day trial and managed to get, what Macrium said was, a successful clone. Once I got that message I turned the machine off and put that clone in place of the C: drive and tried to boot it to Windows. 3 times I tried and 3 times it booted immediately into the BIOS. I gave up. Not sure if there is anything else I can do with this clone other than format it and store it somewhere for future use.
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stuck
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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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The last time I cloned a disk was so I could replace a conventional HDD in a laptop with a SSD. I did it as follows:
1) Removed the HDD from the laptop
2) Connected it to an unused SATA connection on the motherboard my desktop PC
3) Connected the blank, but formatted, SSD to another unused SATA connection on the motherboard my desktop PC
4) Booted the desktop PC
5) The two extra drives appeared in File Explorer
6) Launched Macrium Reflect Free and cloned the HDD to the SSD
7) When the cloning finished, shut down the desktop PC
8) Removed the HDD and the SSD
9) Put the HDD on a shelf
10) Fitted the SSD into the laptop
11) Powered up the laptop and enjoyed the experience of it booting in seconds rather than minutes.

If that smooth process was not your experience then, rather than giving up, why don't you give the two disks to the guy that builds your PCs and get him to do it for you?

Ken

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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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stuck wrote:
13 Feb 2023, 18:21
The last time I cloned a disk was so I could replace a conventional HDD in a laptop with a SSD. I did it as follows:
1) Removed the HDD from the laptop
2) Connected it to an unused SATA connection on the motherboard my desktop PC
3) Connected the blank, but formatted, SSD to another unused SATA connection on the motherboard my desktop PC
4) Booted the desktop PC
5) The two extra drives appeared in File Explorer
6) Launched Macrium Reflect Free and cloned the HDD to the SSD
7) When the cloning finished, shut down the desktop PC
8) Removed the HDD and the SSD
9) Put the HDD on a shelf
10) Fitted the SSD into the laptop
11) Powered up the laptop and enjoyed the experience of it booting in seconds rather than minutes.

If that smooth process was not your experience then, rather than giving up, why don't you give the two disks to the guy that builds your PCs and get him to do it for you?

Ken
I thought about that having him do it but I was trying to learn from this computer and I actually have no use for it after that. It is the one I gave up on trying to run DOS and since I had the extra HDD thought I'd see how well Macrium Reflect worked for me. As mentioned, I had no luck. I just am confused as to why, since Macrium said it was a successful clone.

I don't think it would make any difference, but after reading your post I did a search for Macrium Reflect Free since I could not find anything free at the link I used except a free 30 day trial. The only download I found for Macrium Reflect Free was at a tech site called Major Geeks. Is that where everyone gets it?

Just let me ask this also, my two hard drives were both in the same computer hooked up with SATA connections and it is a desktop PC. Both the C: drive and the F: drive appeared in Windows File Explorer. Don't you think that is a good setup to try to make a clone of the C: drive? I don't see how it could be much better. However, what I did notice was that after the drive was cloned it then appeared in Windows File Explorer as G: drive. Do you think that could be a problem?
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hlewton

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stuck
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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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hlewton wrote:
13 Feb 2023, 20:05
...search for Macrium Reflect Free since I could not find anything free at the link I used except a free 30 day trial...
I can't remember where I got my copy of the free edition but I'm fairly sure it would have been from the Macrium website. I suspect it's not longer there though because recently Macrium announced that they are retiring the free edition.
hlewton wrote:
13 Feb 2023, 20:05
...my two hard drives were both in the same computer hooked up with SATA connections and it is a desktop PC. Both the C: drive and the F: drive appeared in Windows File Explorer. Don't you think that is a good setup to try to make a clone of the C: drive?..
Yes, if I wanted to clone my working C drive to a new disk that's how I would do it, plug the new drive into a spare SATA port, boot the machine then run Macrium Reflect and use the 'clone this disk' feature for Disk 1.

That was the option you chose wasn't it? You didn't just select the C drive on Disk 1 and, in the 'Actions' dropdown under it, chose 'image this partition only'? If so, the having fitted the new drive, double check all the cable connections.

Oh wait... You are trying to take a working copy of one PC and get it working on a different machine aren't you? You're not actually doing what I was doing, which was cloning a HDD to an SSD so that I could swap the HDD for the SSD. If so then the hardware differences between your source and destination are likely to be why the clone won't work in the destination PC. If the source is a modern machine it probably boots using UEFI whereas an old machine is likely to boot using BIOS. I don't think you can get round that one even if you tried the alternative approach of taking an image of the source and restoring it to the new machine.

Perhaps someone else here who knows more about hardware and clones and images can offer better advice but I still think your best bet is to speak to the guy that builds your machines. Perhaps if you offered to pay for an hour of his time he would spend that hour teaching you about these sort of things?

Ken

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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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Restoring an image to a PC with different hardware is possible, but you would need to use imaging software that knows how to do this. It won't normally work to just clone a drive because of the need for different drivers and different BIOS/UEFI types.

Try using your favourite search engine to look for restore windows image to different hardware for more information about how to do this with various products.
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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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stuck wrote:
14 Feb 2023, 10:16

Yes, if I wanted to clone my working C drive to a new disk that's how I would do it, plug the new drive into a spare SATA port, boot the machine then run Macrium Reflect and use the 'clone this disk' feature for Disk 1.

That was the option you chose wasn't it? You didn't just select the C drive on Disk 1 and, in the 'Actions' dropdown under it, chose 'image this partition only'? If so, the having fitted the new drive, double check all the cable connections.
I believe I did everything exactly as you mentioned. Last night I uninstalled Macrium Reflex 8 30 day trial and downloaded the free edition from Major Geeks. I then deleted all the partitions and reassigned the drive as F: Drive. Then I used the Macrium Reflect Free to clone the disk again. Again, it said it was a successful clone, but again, the drive changed from F: to G: drive on the cloned disk. That seems strange to me but I didn't see any option that I could change to make it remain F: drive. It was late and I didn't try it yet.
stuck wrote:
14 Feb 2023, 10:16
Oh wait... You are trying to take a working copy of one PC and get it working on a different machine aren't you? You're not actually doing what I was doing, which was cloning a HDD to an SSD so that I could swap the HDD for the SSD. If so then the hardware differences between your source and destination are likely to be why the clone won't work in the destination PC. If the source is a modern machine it probably boots using UEFI whereas an old machine is likely to boot using BIOS. I don't think you can get round that one even if you tried the alternative approach of taking an image of the source and restoring it to the new machine.
Ken
No, I am only trying to clone the new drive and then replace the drive in the same machine because the drive that is the C: drive now is probably at least 8 years old and the drive I am trying to clone is only a few months old as far as how long I have owned them.

I am not sure what program that computer builder uses but if it is Macrium not sure he'd get any different results than I'm getting. I may end up having him do it if I decide I'm keeping the computer instead of giving it to a local charity, which was my original intentions intil I got off track with the whole MS-DOS thing.
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hlewton

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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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StuartR wrote:
14 Feb 2023, 11:01
Restoring an image to a PC with different hardware is possible, but you would need to use imaging software that knows how to do this. It won't normally work to just clone a drive because of the need for different drivers and different BIOS/UEFI types.

Try using your favourite search engine to look for restore windows image to different hardware for more information about how to do this with various products.
Thank you but I am using the same machine and just trying to replace the C: drive that is in it now.
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hlewton

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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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hlewton wrote:
14 Feb 2023, 14:24
...just trying to replace the C: drive that is in it now.
Oh, so a simple swap just as I did. In which case, I'd double, double, check that the new disk is properly connected to the same SATA port as the old one was plugged into. Perhaps it's opening the BIOS because the power on self test (POST) couldn't find the new disk??

Ken

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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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stuck wrote:
14 Feb 2023, 16:16
Oh, so a simple swap just as I did. In which case, I'd double, double, check that the new disk is properly connected to the same SATA port as the old one was plugged into. Perhaps it's opening the BIOS because the power on self test (POST) couldn't find the new disk??

Ken
:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: Success. I just booted to the cloned drive and it opened exactly as does the original C: drive. I am prone to say Macrium Reflect Free succeeded where as their full 30 day trial version failed BUT there may be an additional factor that I forgot about.

When I first got the external 3 1/2" floppy drive to try to use DOS, this computer would not boot when it was connected even before I placed it first in the drive boot up sequence. However, for the last week or so, even if it was connected the computer did boot. Last night when I made this clone, I took that floppy out of the USB port and left it out. So maybe that was the reason it booted up today. I guess I could put it back in and try to boot again but I think I'll leave well enough alone.
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hlewton

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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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Hurrah!

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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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:cheers:
stuck wrote:
14 Feb 2023, 17:09
Hurrah!
Thanks to you and Stuart's help.
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hlewton

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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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Not sure I contribute much, but well done anyway
StuartR


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Re: Make an exact copy of Win 10 hard drive

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StuartR wrote:
14 Feb 2023, 22:35
Not sure I contribute much, but well done anyway
Everything helps and is appreciated. :cheers:
Regards,
hlewton