How Do You Clone a Hard Drive?

To clone your hard drive, you need a program or utility that can transfer your data and a place to put all of the data. This process can take several minutes or several hours, depending on the amount of data being moved and the speed of the drives.

  1. Find a cloning program

    There are a number of cloning programs that can be found or purchased. Many come with additional options. Make sure that the program you get is for creating clones, not images. Images are similar to clones in that they have a copy of your data, but an image must be extracted for use, while a clone is an exact copy of what you're using.

  2. Find space to store your clone

    A clone of your computer is basically a copy of everything that your computer is, including hidden drives, startup files and more. In order to store everything, you must have a storage space at least as large as the one in your computer. This can be a bare hard drive exactly like the one in your computer or an external hard drive.

  3. Clean up your hard drive

    Once you have a cloning program and a storage space, you want to clean your files so that your cloned drive is tidy. Delete unwanted media files, uninstall programs you don't use anymore, run your antivirus program, defragment your computer and complete any other process designed to clean up your hard drive.

  4. Clone your hard drive

    Connect your storage device and activate your cloning equipment according to the directions given. Make sure that all programs are shut down so that you don't risk corrupting the cloned copy.