Cloning any HDD, (hard disk drives)
This is for HOME PC's, only
The reason we clone are 2 fold, A Newer larger HDD or a SSD (smaller ?) or want to have a hot spare ready to run if the one you spin goes belly up?
This page is W10 centric, but W7 is the same rules.
There are many pitfalls, and over 20 cloner programs sold now (even disk imaging software can do this)
There are some programs that work that are free of cost.
Some new SSD come in the box with a free license key to a famous brand clone software.
Most freeware programs are crippleware. (Best is to own full blown Backup and recovery and cloning tool.)
Farstone Drive clone free 11 the makers site is now off line. (my link here is the free version still online) ( when done remove Farstone or it will nag you with "buy me now messages", (in the startup files)
The other program that can work is MINI-TOOLS Partition Wizard.(direct link to maker) use Copy + Disk Image.
I always run www.virustotal.com on all applications I down load, (utilities )
If you want to use the fast sector copy method, you need to Defrag the drive first then use Windows Disk manager (+right click shrink volume) next. (but will only work if you can get total sizes below the SSD size)
There are disk IDs and system IDs and GUID/ UUIDs. ( W10 seems to not worry this, or corrects it so fast I can not see it do that)
Make sure you do not mix up , source and destination. (okay?)
I have used this many times (20?+), with no issues, even on w10-64bit.
The key fact here is do not check this box above in red.
For most folks just copying a HDD to SSD above, and then removing the old drive, and bingo the new drive boot perfectly. (fast copy (sector) only works if target drive is same or bigger size)
Be sure to swap drive 0 and 1 before booting the PC.
Or try it first with the new SSD drive 0 , then add the old drive as drive 1 (2nd drive) and erase it later. (or just park it for back up, on a shelf)
Took me about 1 hour to clone 24GB W10 disk (zero added data, it was clean fress disk and OS to test it)
There are many products (programs) to run now. Seen here.
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)
* 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.
The only hard part, of Cloning, is issues with SSD. I will list them and the cure for each. (in order)
EXAMPE: Given an old HDD is size 500GB, and new SSD is 120GB (w10 only needs 22gb fresh, load) (spec. is 20)
In all cases I make sure the new drive is blank, if not I run DBAN on it, I also test both drives running smart utilities for errors, (crystaldiskinfo)
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 2 . 5-9-2017 (all my opinion, no body pays me to spam there products ever.) revised 7-3-2018 for web links dead.