The question is regarding Windows 8.1,

I have 1 old hdd of 500GB and 1 new hdd of 1TB.

The 500GB drive has two partitions on it, one for Windows, one for data.

I need to clone everything, exactly as it is, partitions and data from one drive to the other, so Windows is able to run from the new drive.

What tool/application should I use for this, and it is possible at all?

  • What you are loking for is called 'disk duplication' or 'disk imaging' software. – user416 Mar 18 '16 at 12:16
  • Thank you! Do you have any suggestions regarding that kind of software, from the top of my head I've heard of Norton Ghost and Acronis – nick064 Mar 18 '16 at 12:21
  • 1
    There are "live CDs" for that which I'd prefer (no running system on the disks you want to duplicate makes duplication much safer), and make the entire task completely OS independent. Check e.g. Clonezilla, OSFClone, SystemRescue w/ partimage, GpartED w/ partimage … Which one to chose also depends on whether you need a GUI, or are satisfied with command-line tools. Neither did you specify how much money to invest, or if it must be free :) – Izzy Mar 18 '16 at 12:59
  • Thank you so much, I'll look at the solutions you outlined - a live cd does sound more elegant. The tool I need has to be free, GUI's make things more comfortable for me still. – nick064 Mar 18 '16 at 13:48

Look for clonezilla. It is what we use at my company. You can do it to multiple drives at once. It copy's everything down to bad sectors even. Very thorough. Also it's free

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What you're looking for is Disk Image Backup. Windows has this feature built in so you don't even have to download anything.

Disk Image Backup basically creates a completely identical copy of a system (this can include multiple hard drives and multiple partitions) and puts it on a hard drive.

Look up this tutorial How to Create a System Image in Windows 7, 8, or 10.

What you have to do is:

  1. Create a System Repair Disk (you need an empty DVD for this)
  2. Create a System Image on the 1 TB drive.
  3. Boot frtom the System Repair Disk.
  4. Select System Image Recovery from the options menu.
  5. Follow the instructions.
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I’ve done exactly what you asked when I rebuilt a Windows media server and upgraded the disk drive. I used Casper, a product I’ve been using for a number of years. I’ve used it for desktop and laptop drive swaps.

Casper provides:

• Total PC Backup Protection — creates a complete copy of your Windows system hard disk, including the operating system, applications, photos, music, email documents, calendar, preferences, settings, and more. With Casper, you have peace of mind knowing that you are prepared for any data disaster whether your drive has failed, files have become corrupted or you have regrets about that new operating system.

• Fast, Complete Backups — maintains a complete, instantly bootable backup replacement or image file backup for your system in the same amount of time required by other backup and disk imaging software to perform a partial or incremental backup. With Integrated Scheduling and the ability to run entirely in the background, Casper makes any time right for a backup.

• Effortless Restoration — provides easy, one-step support for restoring a failed Windows system disk from a backup. Casper automatically locates available backups, you choose which backup to restore, and then Casper does the rest. Casper will even seek out your backups from multiple locations.

• Rapid Recovery — eliminates downtime in the event of a hard disk failure or corruption by producing a bootable backup that can be used as an immediate and permanent replacement for the failed hard disk. Casper can even produce a fully bootable copy of a Windows system drive that can boot and run directly from an external USB drive†.

• Absolute Confidence — makes a bootable backup of a Windows system that can be tested immediately after its creation by simply configuring the computer to boot from it — completely eliminating any worry about the integrity of the backup. And Automatic Copy Verification ensures a Casper backup has not been corrupted during the imaging process by faulty RAM, a defective cable, failing disk or bad controller interface.

• Easy Upgrades — quickly duplicates a drive to another drive without requiring a laborious and time consuming backup and restore process. Casper makes it extraordinarily easy to safely and securely upgrade your system to a larger hard disk for increased capacity or to a new Solid State Drive (SSD) for improved system performance.

• Simple to Use — ensures you will not need to be a professional computer technician to use Casper. Clear, easy-to-follow wizards guide you through the entire process step-by-step, while features such as SmartSense™, SmartStart™, 1-Click Cloning™ and Integrated Scheduling automate the backup process so that your backup is kept current without having to give it a second thought.

And, requires…

• All 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows® 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista®, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 Professional1,2,3

• 500MB available hard disk space

• 512MB RAM (1GB or more recommended)

• Backup device (additional internal or external hard disk drive)

Casper offers a trial version and is less than $50 US.

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