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Cloning a drive

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nickyhoward55

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
Hi All,

I know this says im a new user but my old login seems to have been deleted (with lots of posts and info on it!).

Anyway, i have a Hard Drive question id like to check with the pros ;)

I have 3 hard drives in my system.

An SSD as my main C drive, this contains windows 10, program installs and my World of Warcraft folder.
A 1TB thats full of movies and music.
A 2TB which is mainly for games, Steam, Origin, Blizzard stuff etc, but also my gopro footage and some install files, such as iTunes, Office, Teamspeak etc.


Now, just recently the 2TB has stated making some weird noises including random spin ups and clicking noises so ive bought a new drive to replace it (3TB).

Whats the best way to clone my 2TB drive onto the 3TB so it just continues working as it was with the same file paths etc? Ill then disconnect the 2TB and keep it as a live backup.

Thanks

hdds.JPG
 

HankB

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
Beautiful Sunny Winfield
Just how picky are the Windows programs about the data on the failing drive? Here's what I would do (because I'm a Linuxy kind of guy...)

1) Make a USB bootable with the Linux distro of your choice. If you don't have a favorite, go with Linux Mint.
2) Unplug all other drives in your box (as insurance) and plug in the new drive.
3) Boot off the USB and start the 'gparted' program. Use it to determine which of /dev/sda and /dev/sdb is the new drive. I'd write this down because screwing it up is a Bad Thing(tm)
4) Type the command (assuming /dev/sdb is the old drive and /dev/sda is the new one) and DO NOT HIT RETURN
Code:
sudo dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sda bs=1024M
(bs=blocksize for the transfer - bigger means more data read and written in each 'bucket.' if=input file, of=output file)
5) Study the command. Is 'if' really the 2TB drive? 'of' the 3TB drive? Be sure. As soon as you hit RETURN the first thing written is the partition table and recovery is difficult.
6) Hit RETURN and be patient.

For extra credit, add 'progress' to the command so you can track progress.
For even more extra credit, use two instances of 'dd' to maximize throughput. (This variant passes the data stream from one 'dd' process to the other via a pipe so they can operate in parallel. It might help.
Code:
sudo dd progress if=/dev/sdb  bs=1024M | sudo dd of=/dev/sda bs=1024M
(They say 1M is plenty but I have lots of RAM in my boxes.)

When this is done, you have a byte by byte copy of the 2TB drive on the 3TB drive. If you look at it in Windows it will either complain about the partition table or happily make your drive look like a 2TB drive. I don't know if Windows disk management can deal with this but I have very low expectations (based on a total inability to get Windows 10 to format and use a brand spanking new SSD.)

More discussion on 'dd' and alternatives at Stackexchange.

7) Open 'gparted' again and open the 3TB drive. It should complain about problems with the partition table and offer to fix them. Let it fix them. Then select the 2TB partition and tell 'gparted' to resize it to use the rest of the drive. Once that is done, unplug your old drive, plug in the other drives and see if everything worked as desired. :D

Another alternative is to use something like Clonezilla (which probably performs the same steps behind the scenes.)
 

Mighty_Miro_WD

Western Digital Representative
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Hi @nickyhoward55!

The easiest way to clone a HDD is to use a cloning program to create the copy on the other HDD.

Some manufacturers have their own versions of such programs you can use as long as at least one of the drives is from their brand, I guess that's why @LutaWicasa asked you for the brand of the drives. For instance, WD has Acronis True Image WD Edition and a KB article with detailed steps on how to complete the cloning process - you can check them from these links:
Acronis - http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=7rddAP
KB article - http://products.wdc.com/support/kb.ashx?id=ti4JPu

Hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions you may have! :)

P.S. @HankB, awesome guide!
 

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
I cloned my wifes laptop crappy spinner to an SSD using macrium reflect free edition. Absolutely NO issues, and very very painless. I had to resize the main partition as the spinner was larger (320gb) than the ssd (240gb), but that was about 30 seconds of effort; and shouldn't be an issue with your stuff.

Making an IMAGE is different than making a CLONE. An image will be a "copy", but is mostly an archival backup that you can restore from. A clone copies, bit for bit, one hard drive to another. If whatever you have now works, then it will work after cloning.

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx
 
OP
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nickyhoward55

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
What brands are these 2 drives?

Hi all,

Thank you so much for the advice.

The 2TB i have is a Seagate, the replacement 3TB is a Toshiba.

Will it be possible to clone the 2TB onto the 3TB drive without creating partitions? I would rather keep it as 1 drive if possible (though its really not an issue if i dont have too!)

Thanks again.
 

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Just clone the drive lol. You're worrying too much. Use macrium reflect, click the drive you want to clone (it says "clone this drive") and you click the button. Then it prompts you where you want to clone it (the 3tb), then you hit "finished" and it will clone the drive. Remove the 2tb, and your 3tb will assume the identity of the 2tb.

You can expand the partition later in diskmgmt without much of a fuss.
 

t1nm4n

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2005
Location
Texas
Just clone the drive lol. You're worrying too much. Use macrium reflect, click the drive you want to clone (it says "clone this drive") and you click the button. Then it prompts you where you want to clone it (the 3tb), then you hit "finished" and it will clone the drive. Remove the 2tb, and your 3tb will assume the identity of the 2tb.

You can expand the partition later in diskmgmt without much of a fuss.
:bang head

But if he does that I wouldn't of had so much to read and learned a few things on the way. :escape:
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Just plug it in, "copy" (do not move) data over, remove old disk, rename new one to the previous drive letter. DONE. Obviously the c drive must actually be cloned and any others which point to any software installations. If it's just a data disk with a specific letter just copy it and be done with it.
 
OP
N

nickyhoward55

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
Hi all,

Sorry for the delay, my HD arrived faulty so i had to wait for the RMA and the new item to arrive. Anyway, new drive in. Reflect done and it copied ok. I am left with the images below.
I tried to extend the I: drive and it wont allow the rest of the space of the HD to be used. I then created a new volume on the 184.98GB section which worked ok, but i am unable to extend that to the 746.52GB part and i have no options valid for that section all - i cant even create a new volume on it.

Any ideas?


HD1.JPG hd2.JPG
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Why are you showing two unallocated sections? Can you combine them? There is third party software available that extends Windows built in ability to manipulate partitions.
 
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