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How-To: Clone Windows Hard Drive with Macrium Reflect
By: Codex-M
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    Table of Contents:
  • How-To: Clone Windows Hard Drive with Macrium Reflect
  • Preparing your computer

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    How-To: Clone Windows Hard Drive with Macrium Reflect - Preparing your computer

    (Page 2 of 2 )

    The following should be done before proceeding with the rest of the steps:

    1. Scan the computer for viruses, malware and spyware. Use reputable antivirus software such as Kaspersky, Eset Nod, Bit defender or the free Windows live care online scan: http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/default.htm. This is important, because you need your clone to be as clean as possible from any infection.

    2. Install or update any important programs (optional).

    3. Do a soft backup of the very important files first. This is insurance against a failed backup, and against the defective drive failing completely or becoming unbootable.

    4. Clean your browser cache and temporary files. It is recommended that you use CCleaner: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

    5. Perform disk clean up. Go to Start -> My Computer, right click on the hard drive -> Properties, and under “General,” click “Disk Cleanup.”

    Run the CHKDSK (Check Disk) command to correct file system errors

    If you are cloning a defective hard drive, Macrium reflect will not successfully clone it if it contains file system errors caused by a defective drive sector. This means that you need to correct this issue before cloning the drive.

    To do this:

    1. Go to Start -> My Computer.
    2. Right click on the defective hard drive -> Properties -> Tools.
    3. Under “Error-Checking,” click “Check Now.”
    4. Check both “Automatically fix file system errors” and “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.”
    5. Click “Start.”
    6. Windows will prompt you to restart your computer to start the check disk process. Restart your computer.
    7. The disk checking process will take a long time; some will take up to five hours. This is normal; do not interrupt.

    Once it restarts after completion, proceed to the next section.

    Execute cloning process using Macrium Reflect

    Go through the following final cloning steps:

    1. Connect a USB external hard drive (should be greater than the size of your defective hard disk) to your computer.

    2. Launch Macrium reflect.

    3. Macrium reflect will scan your computer for attached hard drives; make sure the attached external hard drive is detected. You can determine this by either its model or hard drive size.

    4. Go to “Backup” -> “Create Image.”

    5. In the Create Backup Wizard, click Next.

    6. Macrium Reflect will ask you what hard drive to clone. To clone Disk 1 (the entire hard disk, not just the partitions), check Disk 1. This will automatically check all the partitions under it. For example,

    7. Click next, and it will ask you for a “Backup Destination.”  Since you connected an external hard drive to your computer, select “Local Hard disk,” and under the drop down, select the path to where you would like to save the clone. You can even assign a folder, as shown in the screen shot below:

    In the above screen shot, the image will be saved in the external hard drive (Drive F) inside the Diskimagewithoutsysprep folder. Make sure that “Use the Image ID as the filename” is checked.

    8. Click next, and then click “Advanced.” You need to set the following important settings.

    Under Compression:

    • Compression level – Medium (Recommended).
    • Select “Make an exact copy (clone) of the partition(s)."

    9. Finally to start imaging, click Finish.

    The entire disk imaging process can take from one to six hours depending on the size and complexity of your existing hard drive.

    IMPORTANT: Make sure only Macrium Reflect Free Edition is running on your Windows computer. Do not run other programs or open any applications while the imaging process is going on. Wait until the image has been completed, and then restart your computer.

    The disk cloning is now complete. In the next part, you will learn how to restore a disk image to a newly-installed hard drive on your Windows computer.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.
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