Cloning any HDD, (hard disk drives) (or any boot drive to a newer boot drive)
This is for HOME PC's, only

The reason we clone are 3 fold, 
  • A Newer larger HDD or a SSD (smaller ?) upgraded for speed!.
  • or want to  have a hot spare ready to run if the one you spin now, goes belly up?
  • Or reloading W10 from scratch, will kill dead, 100+ applications on said PC and worse all the licensed software APPS are now dead /locked up or crippled in Demo mode.
This page is W10 centric, but W7 is nostly the same rules.

Farstone Drive clone , is now dead, there support page ended in JAN 2018 (says  (I like it and it still works v11)but...
The other program that can work is
MINI-TOOLS Partition Wizard.(direct link to maker)  use Copy +  Disk Image.(I like this App, but loads McAfee as malware) (I can be deselected on the fly at install time)
They don't use the word CLONE, only Migrate.

There are many products (programs) to run now. Seen here.

I like this list best at GIZMO's

I have acid test for applicatations of any kind and the below is specific.
  • It Passes the test.
  • Does not ask me for my email ever or address/phone or birth date  ) Is this GDPR safe?
  • Allows me to install my APP , in my K:(program files) HDD,  never ever on my C:/SSD. ever .
  • Runs for 30 days free ,and clone mode is not crippled, H3LL even a week, free. (all I need is 1hour)  Minitools runs with no end date.(its free but  but the McAfee is so wrong)
  • Will clone a hdd. (duh?) actually does it. (correctly and boots)
  • Does not load extra  malware as many do. (more DGPR fodder, I bet)

Pitfalls: Lots:
  • If PC newer?, turn off UEFI, Safeboot and fastboot. now.
  • Make sure the HDD is defragged first, then shunk to new SSD size using any partition tool you want. (run CCleaner on too) or you will  see, error "target drive too small"
  • Having  a GPT HDD and your old old clone program is clueless what to do.?
  • Cloning any bad HDD to anything else. Run Crystaldiskinfo (free) C6 = 0 never higher.
  • Cloning infected HDD to anything else (why copy pure H3LL anywhere)
  • Not having  128GB or larger SSD as targetWindows 10 does not run on 30.60GB drives now ;well not for long.... (bloat ware endless and worse every day forward, windows never gets smaller, ever)
  • Forgetting to tell BIOS what drive needs to boot, (not the old one now.)
  • One more,  the M.2 drive on mine can not be in card slot 1, or SATA 1 port is dead, (mobo limits only)  The cure is simple, move the m.2 to slot 2. and clone HHD port 1 to m2 new,slot 2. (this is  PCI-express lane sharing restriction)
W10 needs room for all updates possible and restore point space, mine is huge, I use RevoInstaller and every install does  restore point save, and your recovery partitions take space, 2GB?
Windows also uses space for regressing windows. (like it did back during the free w10 update)

Steps, (most) (no spoon feeds by me)
  1. Backup data you can't lose, (gee you would already know to do this and have every day or  ever week, what ever your personal risk tolerances are.... and no 2 folks are the same,.. just  saying....
  2. CCleaner done.
  3. Defrag done.
  4. BIOS if UEFI turn off fastboot and safeboot now. (turn back on later if you want )
  5. Run CrystalInfodisks,  Parametge C6 must not ever be greater than 0 zero, or the HDD is BAD ! (means on deaths row, think cancer, and know that is true) never clone DEATH anywhere.
  6. Run your favorite cloner now. C: to say E:
  7. Unplug old drive C:
  8. Insert new disk even to same port SATA.
  9. In BIOS make sure boot orders is like you want,  C: is there, or on top.(faster)
  10. Boot PC and its done
  11. No need to reActivate windows 10.

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)
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 fool me once,.....shame on.....
Note the new rule, you can't challenge the activation lacking a 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.\
What I did is nuke all 5 w10 freeupgrades here (family) and bought  5 site license,  W10 pro.  (not more BS rules like that again)
* Processor & Serial Number
    * IDE Adapter (chip ICH10? This most times is a new MOBO)
    * Hard Drive Device and VSN  or  UUID.
    * RAM Amount Range (gee,  folks don't add more memory?  is this Silly or what?)
    * 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)
    * 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)
    * Mother board changes, or even BIOS upgrades?

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 is change (upgrade) parts 1 at a time.

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 erase  this pig" first.
There is one other cases (horror) that one can run across with GigaByte(tm) motherboards
It puts on this very hard to remove, alien format for (BIOS Recovery?) or some such rot, and will be only 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 Windows PC you can also get in to big trouble, we erase them with a low level eraser program.

version 3:  5-9-2017  (all my opinion, no body pays me to spam their products ever.) revised 7-3-2018 for web links dead.
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