How to Mirror a Computer

By Michael J. Scott

Most people have gotten into the habit of backing up their pictures and music, but what if you need to make a perfect copy of your computer's hard drive? You can't just copy the data over--system files will not copy properly. You must create a mirror image of your computer's hard drive. Acronis True Image Home allows you to create a perfect image of your computer in a few steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Acronis True Image Home
  • External hard drive at least as big as your source computer's hard drive

Step 1

Download and install Acronis True Image Home to the computer you want to mirror. the company offers a fully functional, 15-day, free trial if you are just looking to mirror your computer once, and it typically runs around $50 to purchase the program.

Step 2

Connect an external hard drive to the computer you wish to mirror. Wait for the drive to be recognized by your operating system. The backup hard drive must be at least as big as the source hard drive on your computer if you want an exact mirror image of your computer. Make sure the external drive is recognized.

Step 3

If you external hard drive is not formatted or is formatted as FAT32, use your operating system's disk formatting utility to format the drive as an NTFS drive. This will prevent large chunks of data from being split up due to FAT32's 4 GB file size limitation.

Step 4

Open Acronis True Image Home and select "Tools & Utilities" and then " Clone Disk."

Step 5

Select "Automatic" from the "Clone Disk" window. This will open the "Clone Disk Wizard" window.

Step 6

Click on your source disk--i.e., the disk you want to mirror. After selecting your source disk your will be asked to select your destination disk. Select the external hard drive.

Step 7

Select "Proportional" when you are asked to select the partition transfer method. The will open the "Clone Disk Summary" window.

Step 8

Click "Proceed" and your computer will reboot. When it boots back up, Acronis True Image Home will take control of your PC and begin copying your data to your external drive. Mirroring a drive can take a while, so allow your computer time to complete the task. When the process is over you will have exact copy of your old hard drive on your external drive.

Tips & Warnings

  • Create mirror images of your hard drive periodically. They will come in handy if you need to upgrade your hard drive or if your old hard drive crashes.