During this weekend, I suddenly wanted to replace my HP DV9000′s old 150Gb HDD by a brand new Scorpio Blue 640Gb hard drive from Western Digital. But here is the problem: how could I move all the content from my actual hard drive to the new on, including of course the operating system without having to reinstall Windows/Linux? I just had to clone it!
To get this job done, I used a little piece of software called XXClone, as written in the post’s title, it allows you to do a complete carbon copy of a hard drive to a second one. It means of course that all the content of the drive is cloned, including document, softwares and of course, the operating system. It can even transfer the “bootable” characteristic from one disk to another… And, the last but not least, this is a freeware!
Software’s graphical interface is pretty easy to handle and asks on the home screen for your source hard drive and your “target” hard drive, if you search a little bit in the “Cool Tools” tab, you’ll find the option which can transfer the bootable characteristic from the source drive to the target one. In my case, cloning my hard drive took me approximately 3 hours (for something like 140Gb of data) and I’ve been obliged to restore the MBR on my target HDD, I think I’ve done something wrong, certainly ticking a case that I wasn’t supposed to tick.
Anyway, this software does its job, and it does it pretty well, maybe it is not as powerful as Norton Ghost but it works for simple taks and, over all, for free. Please notice that beyond simple cloning, the software can be used to do some incremental backup. I think that this software and a storage server working together could do the same job as cron & rsync on Linux.
XXClone is available for free here but a paid “pro” version also exists, to enable servers support, HyperSync (to get a super-fast cloning), auto-shutdown and lots of other cool options.