How to Clone a Hard Drive from a PC or Laptop without Formatting It – Step by Step

clone a hard drive from a pc or laptop

Buying a new hard drive for a computer can be a synonym for tedious procedures to keep all the information from the old hard drive. The word ” format ” causes panic, and talking about formatting a hard drive is no exception.

There will always be easier and more viable alternatives to transfer all the information . The downside of these shortcuts is that you need to use a program. Most of these programs have limited functions, leaving the most important ones for a Premium version.

I need to clone my hard drive!

All the information on your main hard drive , all the programs and drivers, can be transferred to the new hard drive, so that you can install it without having to configure and install all the programs from scratch. However, it is important to count and make a copy of your files on your hard drive , in case that drive becomes damaged.

To carry out this procedure, you must take into account a series of requirements:

  • Your original hard drive, with all your installed programs and saved documents.
  • The destination hard drive. It must be of a capacity greater than or equal to the source hard disk.
  • It is not enough that you have a pendrive with a minimum space of 2GB .

Step-by-step cloning

With all the tools you will need to clone the hard drive of your desktop or laptop computer, it is time to start the procedure:

Step-by-step cloning

First phase: Preparation

  1. Both hard drives must be connected , if your Windows computer does not detect the external hard drive you can try reconnecting and restarting the PC. For computers there are mechanical hard drives, that is, those that are installed through the SATA connection, there are also hard drives with adaptation to connect through USB inputs.
  2. Download Tuxboot . This is one of the few free programs that will allow you to clone your hard drive.
  3. Tuxboot is where the pendrive comes into action, since the installation of this program will install the Clonezilla program , which will turn the pendrive into a bootable device.
  4. Once the program has started, select the ” On-line distribution ” option in which you will also select the clonezilla_live_stable and current options .
  5. At the bottom of the program window, you will get the Type section , in which you will select the USB Drive option , and in the Drive section , select the letter with which the USB pendrive connected to the computer or laptop is identified.
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  • Press OK and wait for the process to finish.
  • Second phase: Cloning

    Once Tuxboot and Clonezilla have prepared the pendrive as a boot device, follow the steps below to start cloning the hard drive:

    1. Restart your computer or laptop and press F10 or F12 , which will allow you to choose the boot device. Choose the option to boot from the pendrive (USB). Upon selection, another menu will appear.
    2. Select the first option that will appear on your screen, you can identify it by Clonezilla live .
    3. Another menu will appear, select the language .
  • Another window will be displayed asking for the keyboard map. In this part you are not going to do anything , just press the enter key .
  • Another window to choose if you want to start Clonezilla or put in shell login, choose Clonezilla .
  • Once Clonezilla is started on your computer or laptop, choose the option device-device Disk / Partition to Disk / Partition, which should be the second option in this new window that will allow us to perform the cloning.
  • The next window will prompt you to choose between default cloning or expert mode. It would be advisable to leave everything as default to keep the default values ​​of the source hard drive.
  • The system will ask you if you want to check the copy. You can do it or skip it, it is your choice.
  • A new window will show you a series of options about the partition table. In this step, it is recommended to use the same partition as the source disk .
  • View a summary of the procedure. Type the letter “Y” and then press Enter . This will confirm the action.
  • It will ask if you want to clone the bootloader. Like the previous step, type “Y”, then press Enter .
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    And ready! It is a matter of time for the system to finish the cloning procedure. Once this procedure is completed, the system will ask you to turn off the computer or laptop, so that you can change the hard drive and restart your computer.

    Learn how to easily extend hard drive partition volume in Windows 10 here.

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