Author Topic: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.  (Read 396 times)

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Offline ron350

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Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« on: April 10, 2019, 09:45:49 PM »
Need help cloning a Hard Drive.

I made the mistake of buying a refurbished Dell Optiplex 7010 with Win 10 from staples office supplies. Now that I have it I realize that if the HD dies the computer is toast.
I know Corrine and Plodr are saying its about time he purchased something to replace that old XP computer. LOL
So what I want to do is make a clone of the fresh HD before the computer has any thing added or connected to the internet.

Hard Drive in the new computer is a Hitachi SATA 3.0 – 2TB.
I have a good but old Maxtor SATA1.5 – 80GB but will buy whatever is required.

It looks like I will have to buy one of those stand alone HD cloners like in this link but I don’t know any thing about them.
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=sata+hard+drive+duplicator&hvadid=77653075263928&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_p7ft4q91e_e

Any help will be appreciated.


Offline techie

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 11:56:58 PM »
Honestly, I wouldn't bother cloning the the base OS system. It would be just as easy to download a WIN 10 installation media and burn it to a disk. The only reason would be maybe if you bought extra software for it. Even then if it has a registration, you can download and reinstall it.

I would clone a system if you have a bunch of documents, pictures, music, etc., but like I said a base system is just the base OS Win 10, with probably some unneeded add on by the manufacture.

Offline ron350

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2019, 12:42:49 AM »
Techie thanks for the reply but every thing you said I don’t understand.

All want to know is what equipment I need to buy to make an exact copy of my HD.

I know how to take a HD out and put a new one in but that is about it.



Online Corrine

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2019, 01:05:25 AM »
Hi, Ron.  Congratulations on finally moving up! 

Techie is correct.  With Windows 10, you have a digital license or a product key.  So, first see Activation in Windows 10 - Windows Help.  Also see Find your Windows product key - Windows Help.  Since it is an OEM (Dell) device, there will be a product key.  By making note of that important number, should it ever be necessary to reinstall the operating system and you are having problems with the activation, you'll have the "magic number".

As techie also recommended, a good backup of your important files, pictures, etc. is most important.  Backup is one thing but because of the way things have changed, files that I frequently access, I make sure I have a copy stored on OneDrive.  That way, I can access those files from any of my devices, including my cell phone. 

Feel free to ask us questions you may have as you make the adjustment to Windows 10. 



While I was composing, I see you added another reply.  With a bare bones PC with a fresh copy of Windows 10, you don't need to make an exact copy of the HD.  It is easy enough to "Create Windows 10 installation media" following the instructions here:  Download Windows 10.  Keep in mind, however, that unlike the earlier Windows operating systems, instead of service packs every couple of years, a new build of Windows 10 is released twice a year -- in the spring and in the fall.  The current version is 1809 but the next version will be released in May -- the entire operating system so creating a clone of what will soon be an old version won't be all that helpful.  Here are the recovery options for Windows 10:  Recovery options in Windows 10



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Offline ron350

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2019, 01:42:50 AM »
Thanks Corrine

 I can barely open this forum but any other links I can’t open. This is getting worse by the week that is why I am bothering you guys with this.

This computer has NO product key so when the HD dies the computer is toast. This computer came from JOY SYSTEMS not Dell.

I will not install high speed ISP until I can make a clone of the Hard Drive.

This is all easy for you guys but this is causing me some nasty anxiety. Please excuse me for being so slow and stupid.

Offline techie

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2019, 12:12:19 PM »
If it has Windows 10 and it is activated, it has a digital license. If you have to reinstall the Win 10 OS it will reactivate once you are back online, pretty much automatic. Regardless of where you bought the computer. Once it is activated, win 10 will reactivate for the life of the system, even if you have to replace the hard drive and reinstall Win 10.

Offline techie

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2019, 12:37:54 PM »
If you feel that you have to clone it. I would put it online and run all of the updates, to make sure you have at least the latest Version of Win 10. The reason it is running so slow, it's trying to run updates.
What we are saying is in a few years, the Win 10 Operating system you have now would be behind around six Win 10 feature upgrades. If it's a barebone Windows 10 OS now, then it would be better to just do a clean install later if needed.

The only reason I would see to do a clone is if it has other important software already installed.

My recommendation, put it online and run all your updates and use it.

Offline plodr

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2019, 04:35:27 PM »
I am of the opinion that now is the time to learn how to clone a hard drive. If you learn how to do it, before you need it, you won't be under pressure to get it done.
You learn by doing. So if you practice making images, you'll get better at doing it.

Since the clone or image must be on a hard drive that is the same size or larger, look for an external portable hard drive that is at least 2TB in size. Looking at the specs, the Optiplex 7010 originally came with a 250GB hard drive. I looked that up because some computers won't recognize a 3TB or larger hard drive. I'm not sure if yours falls into that category. So to be safe, see if you can find a 2TB external portable hard drive. They might be hard to find.

I found one https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=1E8-0006-00101&ignorebbr=1

I happen to own one of these. (All my external hard drives are Western Digital and all of my drives are 2TB or smaller because we own old computers).

Macrium Reflect has free cloning/imaging software. I don't use it but I hear it is very good.
https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree

If you would need to replace the hard drive, you would replace the internal hard drive then restore the image(s) from the external portable to the new hard drive.


Offline ron350

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2019, 10:15:08 PM »

Offline plodr

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2019, 01:05:41 PM »
That should work. I've never used a "toaster".
I have to image 4 computers so moving a portable hard drive around is easier for my needs.

Offline Aaron Hulett

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2019, 11:34:23 PM »
I've used those hard drive docks before, they work well. Best to power off the computer before putting in or taking out a drive if you want to make sure it'll go right. Yes, there are ways to unmount drives so you can just take it out while the computer is still on, but powering off keeps things on the safe side.

That WD Black should perform well. I use 6 TB versions to back up a server I run at home.

Offline ron350

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2019, 12:44:56 AM »
Thanks for the help guys this might al go wrong like buying a refurfb computer to start with.
I wanted to buy a new Dell XPS but was given some bad advice.

Offline plodr

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Re: Need help cloning a Hard Drive.
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2019, 01:17:21 PM »
I buy refurbed computers and haven't had a problem.