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I saved lots of money and headaches by cloning my old hard drive before it died

Updated on October 24, 2013
HD Clone 4.3 Free Edition
HD Clone 4.3 Free Edition
Western Digital Hard Drive
Western Digital Hard Drive
SATA Cable
SATA Cable
SATA Cable Connections On A Typical Motherboard
SATA Cable Connections On A Typical Motherboard
Dual Hard Drive SATA Power Supply Cable
Dual Hard Drive SATA Power Supply Cable
Desktop Computer System
Desktop Computer System

My old Windows Vista Home desktop computer’s hard drive was rapidly dying.

Note* I am a pharmacist and blogger; not a computer repairman or guru.

The problem

The hard drive was making clicking and crackling noises as the computer was powering up. It also made similar noises as programs and data were being accessed. I knew from too many past experiences that it was just a matter of time before it would “crash.”

I dug around on the Internet and on YouTube and figured out that I could clone the old hard drive myself and save $200 to $300 and lots of downtime using HD Clone 4.3 Free Edition ; not to mention all of the time looking for original program disks and old passwords and settings, etc.

Whenever I replaced an old hard drive in the past it would be three or four days before I had it near to what it was before the crash.

I ordered a new Western Digital Hard Drive from and waited 4 or 5 days for it to arrive. I left the computer running; because I was afraid to shut it off.

The new hard drive arrived on Saturday, which gave me time to work on it without interruption.

Downloaded HD Clone 4.3 Free Edition

I downloaded the cloning software to my desktop and; with trepidation, installed the new hard drive in an available slot on the old computer.

After it was installed and recognized by Windows a clone was made of drive c on the second hard drive; just as directed on this YouTube video. This video was recorded a couple of years ago. The current version I downloaded and used is version 4.3.

It is not necessary to change any of the “jumpers” with SATA hard drives. Don’t worry if you don’t know about “jumpers.” It was before your time.

A new SATA Cable

I plugged the new SATA Cable into the motherboard in an available slot, next to the old one; connected the power cable into to the new hard drive using an open fitting on the old power cable and crossed my fingers.

There were now two hard drives in the computer box.

The computer booted up on the old hard drive. I copied the old hard drive to the new one. After the copying process was completed, I checked the new HD and saw that all of the programs and files seemed to be intact.

Taking the plunge

With that I took a plunge of faith by removing the cable and power from the old hard drive and then rebooted using only the new one. Much to my amazement everything was where it should have been; no PTSD.

It felt so good to shut it down, knowing that that everything was now “OK.”


I was able to clone my old hard drive to a new one and didn’t lose any data or programs. It cost me less than $60 to have a practically new desktop computer system.

There are other free cloning programs out there. This one was recommended by people I trust. Now I can recommend it as well.

The most satisfying part was that, after I had pulled all of the information together on the Internet, I was then able to do the rest by myself.

How to clone a hard drive on a Windows computer


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