How to Clone One Hard Drive to Another Hard Drive

By Jack Busch

When transferring data to a new computer or backing up your entire hard drive, the best method is to clone one hard drive to another hard drive. A cloned hard drive contains the exact same data as the original, and is an excellent way to restore your computer to an original state in case your data becomes corrupted. The process is simple and can be done using free software.

Use Shadow Copy

Step 1

Download Shadow Copy. (See "Additional Resources," below, for a link.) Once the download completes, install the program by double-clicking the downloaded file.

Step 2

Run Shadow Copy. In the "Copy from" field, click the "Folder" icon to browse. Choose the drive you would like to clone, then click "OK."

Step 3

In the "Copy to" field, click the "Folder" icon to browse and select the destination drive. Check "Copy subdirectories," then click "Copy."

Use XXCLone

Step 1

Download and install XXClone. (See "Additional Resources," below, for a link.)

Step 2

In the "Source volume" menu, select the drive you would like to clone.

Step 3

In the "Target volume" menu, select the drive to which you would like to copy.

Step 4

Check "Back up the entire volume by copying all the files from scratch," then click "Start."

Tips & Warnings

  • These are just two programs that can clone your hard drive. See "Additional Resources" for more options.
  • Ensure that the destination drive is the same size or larger than the source drive.