|Cloning any old Windows boot drive to a newer drive and for sure to a new SSD or M.2 NVME drive.
(lots of ways to fail seen here)
Or do the image backup way.
The reason we clone are 3 fold,
Cloning has been simple and easy for over 25year using simple HDD and simple good ole' MBR partitions. ($5 for the software to do it cheap and fast)
Then UEFI+GPT+TPM was born, adding huge complexity (can) to such 20 year old simple act, of cloning.
Minitools partition wizard is good choice.( I do like it)
Many free apps are infected with McAfee or Avast malware loads or game demo , and no WARNING whatsoever, and is now illegal this practices, by GDPR laws and now USA NIST.GOV rules.
It is true now (thank Deity) that hiding malware or demo preloads is officially illegal. (if the first install page shows an X box for sideloaded McAfee(cle) then ok.)
The software has been evolving fast since 2015 Windows 10 64bit release and UEFI entanglements vast. (read this as buy the newest one or fail)
If MS Bitlocker is on you must turn it off, or any cloning will fail.
I have special tools I use to find out of some errant application has sideloaded MALWARE loads (seen mostly on the free versions) and use REVo Uninstaller 4 to erase all this malware crap.
The goal here is for the new disk (target) to boot and run normally.
Good reports Seen here.
I like this list best at GIZMO's
Steps to take: ( I use a LSI-9211 RAID card (HBA mode and flashed) plugged into a PCI-express slot) I can clone any disk to any disk, SATA HDD to SAS too. (or the reverse) (even SAS to SSD or M.2 NVME)
After down loading the new CLONING application, to clone we test it first this way before installing it.
I have no lasting recommendation on the best cloner, sorry. (dispite doing it for 25 years)
I do have one hint on cloning to any smaller drive, is to use Diskmanager, to shrink the source drive to just below newer drive size, so that first thing.
Pitfalls: Lots: (in no order , just list) (Most folks tell you to back up data first from a bad HDD is a whole other non related topic , as seen here)
W10 needs room for all updates possible and restore point space. ( you need room for lots of Restore points)
32GB is not enough ever, 60 to 64GB is marginal , 100GB up sure runs good. ( What I do is buy a 128GB SSD drive that is SATA-III spec'd and bench marks are super fast)
Or better if you PC can boot to M.2 NVME card, bingo best.
Windows also uses space for regressing windows. (like back during the free w10 update mess) windows.old (see below how to erase this folder)
In most cases GPT partitioned drives are never a problem, only UEFI +TPM and drive encryption turned on. "trusted platform module , a chip"
Steps, (all?) (I will assume Source drive is C: and Target is E:, but there is no rule I must be booted to any Source drive to clone it, in fact doing so is the harder way!)
Keep in mind that UEFI wants to ,stop cloning dead, by design +TMP, and now to deal with this is mine field of issues. (one way is to regress and turn it all off first so the HDD boots say in GPT mode or old MBR)
Microsoft Activation does not trip dead, if you only upgrade to SSD, if online it trips to activated in seconds at first SSD bootup.(If at all) "read this section here as what might happen" I have no inside tracks at MS.
This is what I call a secret, some is what I've learned the hard way some is from MS and some is rumor but we all know MS makes the rules up and can change them like new socks.
Windows trips the Activation bit when more that 1 thing is changed. (or upgraded)
The hit rate on each device, and weighted importance is a MS closely guarded secret. (no order below)
W10 free upgrade (few years back) failed to warn me, you can never change the MOBO. (note that now w10 is dead, as is my commuted w7pro, a $120 theft by MS.com) fool me once,.....shame on.....
Note the new rule, you can't challenge the activation lacking a live.com MS account that I will never have. (this one NEW rule will send me back to linux fast)!
I will never use others CLOUDS, I have my own cloud servers. Nor use MS CLOUD ever.
* Processor & Serial Number and even BIOS serial codes.
* IDE Adapter (chip ICH10? This most times is a new MOBO) (I just swapped and old X99 to Z270 mobo) W10.
* Hard Drive Device and VSN or UUID.
* RAM Amount Range (gee, folks don't add more memory? a true dumb idea if true)
* Display Adapter (GPU/VIDEO card etc) (my guess it reads the ROM in the Card, using int13 calls.
* Optical Drive CD/ DVD or BD. ( I think this is not valid now , as many PCs now have no drive here) (flagged as rumors)
* SCSI Adapter (SAS) see IDE above, same deal. Can be onboard or added in to PCI-express slot.
* Network Adapter (NIC card) Most PCs this is onboard chip (on MOBO) (I'd hope it does not use this or the WIFI MAC address but that too is private serial number inside your PC a fact)
* Mother board changes, or even some BIOS upgrades? (like going to UEFI BIOS upgrade radically)
Do know that having a HDD mirror backup on the shelf is totally ok, with an identical UUID/GUID, if its identical it will run and stay activated, ( I dont think MS trips activaton on HDD serial numbers , deep in side HDD internal roms nor with different UUID)
Many folks do that, want just a backup drive parked, with all apps loaded and ready to rock. (parked means power off, not used, and motor not spinning and for sure 5vdc/12vdc to the drive OFF)
The lesson here making any large hardware changes, or upgraded, is to change parts 1 at a time. (reboot each time and check activation ) then change part #1.
I have also moved a SDD S10 from PC#1 to PC#2 100 % all parts inside alien now, but the 1 drive, and it activated. (had to call the hot line) (the old PC was scrapped for parts)
Too many connections with 2 identical drives online at once, and Windows goes mad. (If you ever see this, you will NEVER want to see this again, I PROMISE)
There is no lack of bad cloning failures, on the web.
HPA HORRORS: (legacy Bull or other alien HDD) "the cure is ,so erase this pig" first.
There is one other cases (horror) that one can run across with GigaByte(tm) motherboards that flat refuse to clone.
It puts on this very hard to remove, alien format for (BIOS Recovery?) or some such rot, and will max. pain if you have it on your HDD, as seen here, Called The HPA HORROR.
If using used drives as a target HDD this are not from a real Windows PC you can also get in to big trouble, we erase them with a low level eraser program.
Run DBAN. or like me KILLDISK
The device has on firmware listed version nor does the maker offer a download to upgrade this very buggy firmware.
My proof is they all work the same , same firmware interactions with the human and same failures and limits.
It is a SECTOR copying device. (not smart in any way) I think it goes nuts with 2 or more partitions. (we all know MBR is limited to 4 partitions max so this is not why, and any HDD with bad sectors are never used, ever.)
The purpose of sector copy features is super fast speed clones. (but has lots of limitations)
I ran over 25 tests on it and fails to copy even a simple w7 disk. ( Rules: target disk larger, and fully erased with Killdisk.ex and then fully tested with HDsentinel and SMART tests pass and freshly loaded W7-32bit to MBR .)
The only tests that would pass is 1 MBR parition with 1 movie mkv file 2GB sized) this works, but not w7 nor w10 ever using many disks, even SSD source disk to target 2 times larger 320GB HDD.
All installs were real microsoft ISO installed windows, and not OEM with hidden partitions called Recovery or like HP_tools, etc, all are pure simple MBR installs.
Sector copies get it all even bad data , deleted (marked as) files, the problem is on bad HDD with no more spare clusters the HDD SMART brain, knows the data you are copying is bad, and if you sector copy some programs (clone) will do odd things at the read error flag bad.
This is why the Police use special forensic pograms that copies it all sector by sector blind. (What your software really does, who knows?) The other pit fall is 512/bytes against new 4096/byte sectors, this will get you.
It does work as a simple drive USB interface, no problems but cloning , NO!
End pain box, above.
Next up is Windows 10 image backup , for free! And is round about way to clone, non direct.
It does a system image and is an exact snapshot of your entire Windows installation, including app settings and data.
If you run that MS application dry run you can see how big of space you need to backup. (I like Acronis back up better)
Click Control panel , then buckup and restore. (then Image) if confused learn what to do at microsoft.com no need to echo known facts here.
Should you ever need to restore your MS system image backup, start by
making sure that the drive containing the backup image is connected to
Or run this great product.( a more powerful product even allows 1 or some number of files lost only, recovered)
Below I am cloning an OS offline, the source is not booted so is off line, if you think about that, the job is 10x more easy.
I have done this 100s of times since 1995. (using vast numbers of cloning applications)
What does work and is robust as can be is this software below;
This is what I use and works on all drives , sas, sata and ssd and hdd. all drives. This clone was a success.
With this Puppy: (for doing OFF line clones, the faster and safer way)
The best cloning hardware on earth is this, called HBA , Host BUS adapter. The fan is my invention. So cooling is max. HDsentinel is the best for testing HDD fully. (does SAS best of best)
Parting shot: It is said to copy encrypted disks (I avoid them like the plague) is to turn off encryption fully on the HDD (wait all day ?) then clone the disk. (sounds easy, but Is IT?)
If using full blown UEFI-GPT+TMP-chip systems , talk to your cloning software maker for help on these difficult systems.
version 6: 2-19-2019