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Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by exscentric, Dec 7, 2006.
Does anyone know how to clone a hard drive, system and all? Without software, or free software?
I think you could probably use a live Linux CD and use the "dd" command from a command prompt.
Look for a program called ghost...
However, if you can put both drives together you can just copy all the files, one that is done you just make the one you copied to bootable.
In a former job, I used Ghost all the time and I've used it to clone the boot partition of my laptop. Are you looking to make a backup with Ghost?
I was going to try ghost but when I set it up to copy it all on a laptop it said it was going to take several days to do it. I wasn't sure it would take the hidden system files with it either.
Ghost will clone both hidden and system files.
How big is the partition you want to clone? It took about an hour to ghost my laptop's boot partition, which was in the neighborhood of 20GB. The biggest problem I had was copying the ghost files, 8.8 GB total, to my desktop. I think it took a couple of hours to copy those files.
Just buy a new hard drive and install then boot to your choice.
Or just back up what is important to you.
DVD writers are great.
The one I tried was about 20 gig of info on a 30 gig drive.
The one I'm wanting to do now is 200 gig on a 250 drive. It is running quite nicely for a change and I really hate to have to reinstall everything.
May did ghost out and give it a try on this machine.
I used Ghost to move everything from my wife's old hard drive (40 gig) to her new hard drive (160 gig). Ghost performed perfectly, and even resized the partition for me.
Make sure that you tell it to copy the MBR or it won't be bootable.
Thanks guys, I couldn't think of MBR or boot partition. I don't know why ghost would say it will take days except to set an expectation that you won't keep messing with it while it does it's thing.
You could always add the new big drive and move all your big files over to it . . . keep your bootable partition fairly small for speed.