Many of the questions I receive at RicksDailyTips deal with replacing hard drives and SSDs.
After all, drives go bad and they have to be replaced, and folks are always wanting to upgrade their drives to something larger and faster.
I guess that’s why one of my most frequently asked questions is “How do I clone a hard drive?”
Well, today I’m going to answer that question by briefly describing three drive cloning methods that I’ve written about in the past.
Those three methods range from “free, and slightly complicated” to “not free, but dead-simple“:
1 – The first method I’ll discuss is “free, and slightly complicated”.
Basically, all you do is temporarily connect the new (empty) drive to an unused SATA or IDE connector in your desktop PC or to a USB port with a SATA/IDE to USB adapter, then use a free program called Clonezilla to clone the contents of the old drive onto the new one.
As mentioned above, this method is completely free, but the software isn’t exactly intuitive. This post explains the procedure in more detail.
2 – The second method will cost you a few bucks, but it’s much simpler than the “Clonezilla” approach mentioned above.
A nifty little kit from a company called Apricorn allows you to connect your new drive to your PC as an external USB drive, then use the included software to do the cloning. It’s really easy to use, and it works extremely well. This post has all the details.
3 – The third method of cloning a drive is just a little more expensive than the second, but it is literally as easy as plugging the source and destination drives into a specialized docking station and pushing a “Copy” button.
Cloning the contents of one drive onto another drive just doesn’t get any easier than this! Read this post for all the details.
Bottom line: You have several options for cloning the contents of a hard drive or SSD onto a new drive, and they are all very affordable (starting at $FREE). Which one you choose is entirely up to you!
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