ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Step By Step: How To Replace Your Hard Drive But Keep Your Windows, Files And Settings

Updated on August 5, 2012

It is quite common for users who want to upgrade their system to have a hard time deciding over what to do with their hard drive; they would like to replace it with a newer, faster one (maybe an SSD drive) but they find it hard to reinstall Windows, all games, all programs, files and settings. On the other hand, keeping an old, maybe overused hard drive on an upgraded system isn't very smart either, because it will be slowing the whole system down and not allowing it to show its real potential.

That's where hard drive cloning comes handy; with various software solutions, a computer user can clone the whole hard drive or partitions of it into another hard drive, so the system is ready to boot with the new drive, without need for new Windows, programs installations and more. The process is not very hard and it is surely worth the time invested on it.

In this guide we will show how it can be done through CloneZilla, a freeware program which is based on DRBL, Partclone and udpcast, through Debian environment. CloneZilla allows low level cloning of all data in the partitions, as well as their restoration later on. Most important feature of CloneZilla is support on almost all filesystems, even legacy ones, for example NTFS, EXT2/3/4, ReiserFS/4, HFS+, UFS and VMFS. For the supported filesystems, block copy technique is used, while on the unsupported ones (about 0.01% of the market) there is only sector to sector copy. Additionally, there is support for GRUB, something which allows cloning of systems with dual-boot operating systems, for example combinations of Windows and Linux distributions.

Get the Live CloneZilla distribution from www.clonezilla.org, you can opt to choose any version but better prefer the latest Stable one. You can download an ISO which can be burnt on DVD or "installed" on a bootable USB hard drive; you will find a guide about how this can be done in my relative hub. The process is easy and fast.

Install Clonezilla in DVD or USB and connect the new hard drive on your motherboard. Do not remove the old hard drive yet, else you won't be able to copy its contents.
Start Clonezilla by setting your computer to boot from USB or DVD, depending on where the application has been passed on. The starting page of CloneZilla is not different from other Linux distributions.

Before the graphical environment is started, you will be asked for your preferred language and your keyboard keymapping. Choose Default. Start Clonezilla and select "device device work directly from a disk or partition to a disk".

In the next window, you are presented with two possible choices; "Beginner Mode: Accept the default options" and "Expert Mode: Choose your own options". You better opt for Beginner Mode. Since you want to copy the whole drive into a new one, choose "disk_to_local_disk"

Now you need to select the two hard drives which will be involved in the copy. You will also need to note which is the source and which is the target. If there are only 2 hard drives connected on your motherboard at this moment, choice will be even easier. Click at Enter.

CloneZilla will perform some final checks and alert you that the target drive data will be erased. This is normal, since the old drive is copied on the new one. Type Y to accept it and move on. You will also be asked on the partitions and bootloader, but other than that, you will have to wait till the copy is done.

A Matter Of Time!

On your screen you will be shown the current copy speed and the progress in percentage %. The time that is needed is relevant to the speed of the two hard drives, their capacity and files size. When you receive the Success message, you need to power off your system, remove the old hard drive and connect the new one at the same port. You are now ready to boot into the new hard drive.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • boosters profile image

      Sandeep Rai 

      5 years ago from India

      Thanks for the nice hub.. recently i am planning to replace my HDD

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)