Disk Cloning


Disk cloning, also known as disk imaging, is an act of copying the entire contents of a hard disk or partition, including file structure and system files to another blank disk or to an image. It lets a computer user to simply boot the new computer with the cloned disk, as if they were using the original machine. Disk cloning is often also known as ghost imaging.

While cloning the hard drive the partition information, boot sectors, the file allocation table, data files, system state, active directory files, operating system installation and application software etc. are copied directly to the new drive. This is done by copying data straight from one disk to another, wherein the contents of the original disk are written to an image file first and then the second disk is loaded with the contents of that image. This image or cloned disk can be useful both for copying the drive to other computers and for backup / recovery purposes.

Purposes of disk cloning include

Typically, disk cloning is done for archiving purposes, i.e. to restore lost or damaged data during hardware upgrade or disaster recovery or to transfer data into a new disk. Some of its other uses include:

  • System recovery, for example to return a hard drive to its original configuration after your hard drive is crashed or is erased completely due to serious disaster
  • Creating a complete system backup of their operating system, system files and user files
  • To return a system to an original configuration with no personal data before selling or giving a computer away
  • Provisioning a new hard drive with a standard set of software like OS, MS Office suite etc. so that the new hard drive can be used straight away without having to install individual software
  • Recreating the system configuration exactly on a new computer

For example libraries, schools, and cybercafés often restore their computers with cloned disk images to easily manage and protect a large number of machines.

Need for Disk Cloning

Without Disk cloning, a computer user has to create multiple backups of data and files have to be manually installed and moved to a new computer which is time consuming and risky. But a simple disk cloning process allow a user to migrate your entire hard drive data to a new computer faster while minimizing hassle, downtime and manual processes.

NOTE: Just click on the provided link to know the working procedure of hard drive cloning and Imaging software.

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