5 free and reliable hard disk drive cloning and imaging tools

WRITTEN BY: supportmymoto.com STAFF

It’s inevitable: Sooner or later you’re going to want to recuperate from a catastrophe. You’ll have an previous arduous drive fail and both you’ll lose beneficial information or the machine will refuse in addition. When this happens, for those who occur to have a backup picture or clone of the broken or corrupt supply drive, recovering your information to a brand new drive can be far simpler.

Sadly, retail arduous disk imaging software program, like Acronis Backup and Restore, might not be in everybody’s finances. Whenever you don’t have the finances, what do you do? You a disk imaging utility listed right here, all of which do an admirable job of cloning a tough disk drive at an unbeatable price…free.

A few of these arduous drive cloning apps are extra highly effective than others. Whereas some will do a-bit-for-bit copy, others create a full ISO picture of your operating system. Some are Home windows particular and others don’t care what working system you’re operating. Ultimately, what’s vital is that you just use the device that most closely fits your abilities and desires.

SEE: Software program utilization coverage (TechRepublic Premium)

1. Clonezilla

Clonezilla is considered one of my favourite HDD cloning instruments. This specific tackle the cloning course of is extra like a bootable Linux distribution that may do bit-by-bit copying, and it helps a ton of file programs (together with FAT32, NTFS, HFS+, UFS, NetBSD, OpenBSD, xfs, jfs, btrfs, f2fs, nilfs2 and even LVM2). There’s an unattended mode and multicast assist built-in, in addition to the power to reinstall the Grub bootloader. Clonezilla is likely to be the only strongest disk copy device accessible that doesn’t have a price ticket. And for those who’re trying to clone a number of machines shortly, Clonezilla SE can clone 40 machines without delay. Clonezilla does use a curses-based interface, so some may discover it a bit difficult at first.

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2. Macrium Replicate Free Version

Macrium Replicate Free Version touts itself as one of many quickest disk cloning utilities accessible. This tough drive cloning software program helps solely Home windows file programs, but it surely does it fairly effectively and has a reasonably easy consumer interface. This software program does disk imaging and disk cloning, permits you to entry pictures from the file supervisor, creates a Linux rescue CD, and is appropriate with Home windows. The Macrium free version can also be able to creating differential pictures, do direct-disk cloning, boot backups right into a Hyper-V digital machine, run scheduled backups, do bare-metal restores and may even encrypt backups.

3. DriveImage XML

DriveImage XML makes use of Microsoft VSS to create pictures and does so with the reliability you may not count on in a free device. With DriveImage XML you may create “scorching” pictures from a tough disk already in use. Photos are saved in XML information, so you may entry them from any supporting third-party software program. DriveImage XML also can restore a picture to a machine with out the necessity for a reboot. This imaging software program runs underneath Home windows XP, 2003, Vista, Home windows 7, Home windows 8 and Home windows 10. It’s vital to notice that you just can not use DriveImage XML commercially. To make use of this product for enterprise functions, you need to acquire a license. You should buy a industrial DriveImage XML license for five ($100), 10 ($150), 20 ($200), 50 ($400) and 100 ($500) customers.

4. Mondo Rescue

Mondo Rescue is an open supply catastrophe restoration answer that helps most Linux distributions, in addition to FreeBSD. Mondo Rescue can work with tapes, disks, community and CD/DVD backup locations. You’ll discover assist for quite a few filesystems (equivalent to ext2, ext3, ext4, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS, NTFS and VFAT), LVM (each v1 and v2), software program/{hardware} Raid, and each BIO and UEFI programs. Utilizing this free backup software program, you may again up and restore your information, and even restore to reveal metallic. Mondo Rescue is utilized by enterprise-level organizations like Lockheed Martin, Nortel Networks, Siemens, HP, IBM, NASA’s JPL and the U.S. Division of Agriculture.

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5. Paragon Backup & Restoration Free

Paragon Backup & Restoration Free is for stand-alone Home windows machines, and it does an amazing job of dealing with scheduled imaging. The Neighborhood Version of Paragon is able to scheduled backups (of information, volumes and/or disks), backup technique definition, disk house administration, model management, viewing contents of backups and even recuperate utilizing WinPE. The free model relies on the highly effective professional model, but it surely’s for private use solely. I extremely suggest utilizing the free model to check out the software program. If it suits the invoice, pony up for the total model (and even the server model). Paragon will run on any model of Home windows, model 7 SP1 and newer.

Simply in case

You’ve been on the lookout for a free backup answer that can assist to clone disks. With considered one of these 5, you need to now have that answer in hand. Sure, a few of them is likely to be a bit difficult to make use of and a few may not have all of the options you’re on the lookout for. However every of them ought to can help you clone a supply disk to focus on disk to make your catastrophe restoration plan come to life. With luck, you received’t want any of those titles–however there’s a bit legislation named after a person known as Murphy that may have one thing to say about that.

Honorable point out: Linux dd command

As a freebie, I assumed it worthwhile to say the Linux dd command, which does an amazing job of cloning drives. And better of all, it’s already constructed into the working system.

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You should utilize dd to create a disk picture or a byte for byte copy. Be aware: You don’t wish to run this on a mounted drive that’s in use. Your greatest wager is in addition the machine housing the drive with a dwell Linux distribution, discover the title of the drive to be cloned, and challenge a command like:

dd if=/dev/sdX of=/picture.img

The place X is the letter assigned to the drive to be cloned.

You could possibly additionally do a direct to disk copy like so:

dd if=/dev/sdX of=/dev/sdY

The place X is the title of the drive to be cloned and Y is the title of the drive to deal with the clone.

Different good options?

What cloning instruments have saved you when issues when awry? Share your picks with fellow TechRepublic members.

Editor’s observe: This text was up to date to mirror the present supported working programs in addition to embrace Mondo Rescue and the Linux dd command.

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