There are a plethora of options for backing up your computer, both online and offline, so you shouldn’t worry about losing any of your data. One approach of data security is to create an identical copy of your storage device by using cloning software, called as disk cloning software.
In order to continue using your hard drive without reinstalling Windows or other apps, you can use a disk cloning software to create a bit-for-bit clone of your storage drive onto a new storage drive. Let’s have a look at why disk cloning is useful and what the best cloning software is like so you can accomplish this task with ease.
Why you should clone your storage drive?
Clone the storage drive to make an exact copy of the data or to transfer it to a different storage drive. The second disk can be used to continue working in the event that the first disk fails. A clone is an exact replica of a disk created by a storage drive, which can be used for backup or for moving to another drive. It is easy to switch from a slow hard disk drive (HDD) to a faster solid state drive (SSD) with the help of cloning software.
- Moving to the backup storage is simplified by cloning because there is no need to reinstall the operating system or modify the settings.
- One way to get the same OS on several computers with the same data and settings is to clone multiple storage devices.
- The data on many computers can be backed up and recovered without much effort.
- In order to restore the backup, it is not essential to install the cloning software on the target storage device.
- Cloned data uses more space than other backup methods because it is an exact copy of the original device.
- Data backups cannot be created on the same drive as the original data.
- Full cloning is the only option for keeping up with changes, as differential or incremental copies cannot be created.
8 Best Disk Cloning Software for Windows
Since you now know the advantages and disadvantages of using cloning software, let’s have a look at some of the available options for Windows.
1. Uranium Backup
If you need to back up your personal or company data (photos, videos, documents) on Windows, look no further than Uranium Backup. It is safe, complete, user-friendly, powerful, and versatile.
Versions with extra features and support are available for a fee. The “backup scheduler” feature in the free edition makes it possible to back up your files and folders at a predetermined time every day.
Disk image backups (Drive Image), database backups, and virtual machine backups are only some of the many advanced options available in the commercial versions aimed at professionals and corporations. Uranium Backup is capable of making replicas on local disks, NAS, tapes, FTP servers, the cloud, and any other storage medium you can think of.
Both the free and paid versions provide top-notch security. The latter also includes disaster restoration resources. The starting price of €80 for each plan includes a lifetime license, which is significantly lower than the competition (support and updates are included).
2. Acronis Disk Director
Drive management and cloning capabilities make Acronis Disk Director one of the most complete disk management systems. Only available on Windows, this cloning software is compatible with the Ext2, Ext3, ReiserFS, SWAP, and Linux file systems.
While cloning allows you to manage partitions from the UI, you have full command over which data is cloned. Create new partitions, divide or merge existing ones, and name them without installing any additional software.
If you erase or damage a volume by accident, this program can help you get it back. You can do a lot more with it than simply create a single volume from several drives, convert a disk from basic to dynamic, create bootable media, or optimize drive space.
Plus, I think Acronis Disk Director offers too many capabilities for its price of $49.99 for a single license. But it’s not necessary if you don’t need the advanced disk management functions. If you’re interested, you may try out the trial edition of Acronis Disk Director. While it is fully functional, this version can only handle disk volumes up to 10GB in size.
3. EaseUS Todo Backup
EaseUS Todo Backup is a great option if you need a backup and cloning program in one. Unfortunately, you can only create backup images with the free version; you can’t clone storage disks. The cloning capabilities of the paid version, however, are far superior. You can clone the entire disk, a specific partition, or even the operating system. It’s perfect for switching from a hard drive to an SSD since it offers unique choices for moving the system drive to the new storage drive and booting there.
When it comes to backing up your data, EaseUS Todo Backup is the best option. It is also possible to create a bootable USB device by cloning your existing operating system. Furthermore to cloning, it provides comprehensive backup options. You can encrypt backups of everything from a single file to an entire system.
The same hard drive, external storage device, FTP server, network attached storage device, or cloud service can house both online and offline copies of your data. There is also a fully functional 30-day trial version of the software, which provides access to the vast majority of the premium features at a slower backup/restore speed.
4. AOMEI Backupper
In addition, AOMEI Backupper offers a reliable, free version that handles cloning as well as backups. The free edition supports full disk and partition cloning for backup purposes. There is a pro version available if you want to clone an OS.
When it comes to backup and restoration, the free edition has you covered in almost every way. You can do full system backups, partition backups, file backups, incremental backups, differential backups, and backups of individual sectors.
The free version should be adequate if you don’t need to clone the operating system alone. The commercial version adds the ability to divide and merge backups, synchronize data in real-time, create event-triggered backups, filter file types, encrypt backup pictures, and back up and recover dynamic disks, among other features. AOMEI Backupper is unique in that even the free edition offers customer support (during business days only).
I won’t go as far as to call it the best cloning software we tested, but it is the most feature-rich free option. There are two different versions of Clonezilla, both of which are free source: Clonezilla live and Clonezilla SE. While home users can only clone to a single storage drive with Clonezilla live, businesses can clone up to 40 machines at once with Clonezilla SE.
The program can copy almost any operating system, including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and even Chrome OS. And it works with both legacy BIOS and UEFI, so you can clone MBR or GPT partitions with ease. In case of urgency, the information might be encrypted using the AES-256 standard.
The user interface isn’t the most intuitive, but copying a single disk is simple. Although novice users may find it difficult to clone to multiple computers or utilise multicast.
6. Paragon Drive Copy
Paragon Drive Copy can be used to create an exact copy of an entire drive, a clone of a specific partition, or a clone of the operating system. This program is a subset of Paragon’s main Hard Disk Manager. The cloning features can be purchased separately from the rest of the software at a significant discount if that is all you need.
Using Drive Copy, you can selectively clone your files while leaving the originals alone. Basic partitioning capabilities, such as merging and dividing partitions, are included, and it’s compatible with both MBT and GPT partitions.
7. Macrium Reflect
Macrium Reflect is a good option if you’re just getting started with cloning and don’t want to spend a ton of money. Although it lacks Clonezilla’s power, Macrium Reflect’s free edition is still very complete and straightforward. The free edition can be used for backup image creation and disk cloning, and is available for both private and commercial use. Additionally, a variety of schedule templates are available to assist in backup planning.
Though the free edition is adequate for basic tasks like making backups and cloning entire disks, more advanced features require the commercial (and expensive) paid edition. The most notable improvement in the pro version is the ability to make use of their Rapid Delta Cloning technology.
In contrast to other solutions, this enables the differential backup technique to be applied on cloned storage. Because of this, updating the cloned storage drive does not necessitate making a new clone; rather, Macrium Reflect will just update the new alterations. However, for this feature to work, both disks must use the NTFS file system. In addition, the premium edition safeguards your backups from ransomware and lets you encrypt your data.
8. Iperius Backup
When it comes to cloning, the premium version of Iperius Backup really shines because it lets you create highly-tailored clones of both physical disks and virtual machines. A virtual machine can be copied and then started up. If you want to run your current system risk-free, it’s a good idea to do so in a virtual setting, and this facilitates that.
The software not only facilitates cloning, but also the creation of backup images and their upkeep via differential and incremental backups. Both online and offline storage options are available, as are additional security measures like compression and encryption.
Try out AOMEI Backupper or Macrium Reflect if you’re not familiar with disk cloning. Both include reliable free versions with an easy-to-use interface that make cloning a breeze. Two of the most comprehensive cloning programs are Clonezilla and Acronis Disk Director.