How to copy the contents of your hard drive

Copy the data of a hard disk to another medium is somewhat tedious, especially when we have a lot of information. So, we have compiled the best ways to do it according to your difficulty, as well as your safety.

As technology advances, it is normal that we change hard drives, or that they deteriorate until the end of their days. Therefore, the need to rescue all the content saved on an HDD or SSD to transfer it to an external HDD, pendrive, etc., increases. Logic pushes us to do CTRL + C and pass it all to the target drive, but is that the best? We see it below.

Index of contents

  • Clone hard drive
  • Programs to copy data
  • Connect both drives to SATA (only for SSD or HDD)
  • Upload it to the cloud: Google Drive, Mega, DropBox, OneDrive …
  • HDD duplicator
  • Copy using CTRL + C and CTRL + V
  • With command console: expert level

Clone hard drive

We recommend his dedicated tutorial on how to ” clone hard disk to SSD “, although we will approach it briefly here because it is an infallible method of copying the contents of the hard disk.

If you don’t know what cloning a hard drive consists of, it is about copying ALL the contents of one drive and transferring it to the other: partitions, boot, sectors, etc. It can be done with an HDD and a pendrive, with an SSD and a HDD or HDD and SSD, for example.

The companies use this method for the speed offered as it replicates all content (including OS installation), which saves us a lot of time processes. So, if you are thinking about how to clone a hard drive, these are the options:

  • Creating a system image in Windows 10. It can be done by following these steps:
      • We open ” settings” from the start menu gear:
        • We are going to update and security Then, we are going to “go to backup and restore”.
          • A new window will open, we select ” create a system image“.
            • Now, we can select where we want to create the image (hard drive, DVD or network location).
              • Hit next and the backup will begin to be created. It will take some time to finish the process, think that it is to copy an entire hard disk.
            • The other option is using specific programsfor this, among which we can highlight EaseUs Backup Free, Clonezilla, Acronis Disk Director, Macrium Reflect, Paragon, AOMEI, etc.

Programs to copy data

On the other hand, there are specific programs to simply copy one hard drive to another in a simplified way. We must say that TeraCopy is one of the most recommended free programs to do both on Windows and Mac. The secret of this program is its special algorithm, which speeds up the copying process.

Then there are somewhat old tools that are used for older operating systems, but their functionality is the same: copy all the data. It is called HDD Raw Copy Tool , it is free and its support reaches up to Windows 8 , although it can work on Windows 10.

There are many more applications for this purpose, but we give you two quick and simple examples that work very well. Also, you will find more functions than just copying the data, but we can clone, migrate or recover data from a broken HDD or with corrupt sectors.

Connect both drives to SATA (only for SSD or HDD)

More than a method, it is a recommendation that should be taken into account to speed up the copying process as much as possible. If possible, it is convenient to connect both drives to SATA to take advantage of a higher bandwidth, but this will only work for those who are going to save the content on another SSD or HDD.

So, those of you who use adapters to convert an internal HDD into an external one , be advised that the fastest way to copy everything is with the SATA connection. Obviously, it will not help you if the destination medium is a USB stick or a CD; Furthermore, converting an external HDD into an internal one is more complicated than doing it the other way around (remove the case, use a converter, etc.).

Upload it to the cloud: Google Drive, Mega, DropBox, OneDrive …

It may not be the cheapest solution for those of you who have a 1 TB hard drive that you want to copy; neither is it a quick fix when we have a not so good connection. However, we think it is a good option for those who use the cloud a lot and have a very good internet connection , which offers a decent upload speed.

The cloud in particular we leave it to you, but Google Drive , Mega , OneDrive or iCloud , for example, have options of up to 2 TB for € 9.99 / month . Unless you have more than 2 TB of hard disk (which is not usual), it may be useful to copy data to your cloud.

In fact, it is a more than viable option in case we do not want to copy the entire hard drive, but only want to safeguard the most important information. If this does not exceed 5 GB , we will not have to pay for any plan.

HDD duplicator

After all, this is another way to copy data from one hard drive to another, but it is more related to cloning . It is a device in which we put two hard drives (the source and the destination) to clone the first in the second.

We recommend this system for those who have problems when using cloning tools because this device allows you to clone a hard drive independently. They normally support SATA and USB connectivity, which is a hoot when we want to use an external HDD as a destination.

The problem is that its price is not cheap, although it works perfectly, hence its more than 1,100 ratings!


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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