Clone a SSD to a HDD?

I have an Adata SX900 SSD (128GB) as my primary hard drive, and a 1TB Seagate Barracuda HDD as my secondary drive.
Running Windows 8.1.
If I wanted to clone my SSD to the other HDD what software (prefer a freebie of course) would be OK for that?
Basically, just want to have the ability to restore the SSD in case of malfunction.
If the current SSD should die, can I bung in any other SSD anyway, and then restore from the clone, or must the new SSD be the same as the first (now dead) one?
Never tried this before, and I'm sure some of you will be doing this all the time.

geek_gettinggrey, May 25, 11:39 am

What i use, free, simple, easy to use and just works. Just make sure you burn a Linux disk when asked.

geek_wayne416, May 25, 11:57 am

macrium reflect can take an image of the drive as a file.
Another one I use is driveimage xml, but that takes images of individual partitions

geek_king1, May 25, 11:58 am

Can't remember which program I last used to do cloning, but it could have been either an AOMEI or an EaseUS program.

geek_r.g.nixon, May 25, 1:33 pm

win7U i think has this feather built-in?

geek_acura, May 25, 1:38 pm

Windows 7 and 8 but not 8.1.

geek_wayne416, May 25, 1:49 pm

Way to go M$.

geek_acura, May 25, 1:52 pm

Cloning ability in both 7 and 8 is well hidden so not found by average users and i think they realize there are better alternatives so dropped it.

geek_wayne416, May 25, 1:58 pm

Many thanks.
The main thing is now that if I clone the SSD, I don't want the newly made clone (on the HDD) to become the primary.
I did read online about some folk cloning HDD's and then finding that their original OS and files were buggered, and that Windows now wanted to start from the cloned version, not the original.
Possible operator error though.
Just found that my SSD came with Paragon Partition Manager software supplied with it. Useful or dodgy?

geek_gettinggrey, May 25, 3:34 pm

Paragon makes good software. Just check what it can do - I'm not sure about cloning.

geek_r.g.nixon, May 25, 3:39 pm

Why would you place clone on same drive as OS, drive fails you loose everything.

geek_wayne416, May 25, 3:45 pm

Not sure why some folk would Wayne.
I want to clone from SSD to HDD.
Two completely separate drives.
I just don't want to end up with Windows figuring that I now wanted to use the cloned version and not the original (you can never really tell with Windows sometimes).
Just found that Paragon free version doesn't clone, but full version does.

geek_gettinggrey, May 25, 4:15 pm

Hubby says try 'terabyte unlimited'

geek_nice_lady, May 25, 4:35 pm

Imaging with Macrium you clone to a drive but windoiws wont boot from it. You can open the file to retrieve stuff but thats it or i think double click it to run but thats set up with type of file made when you make image. You normally just put new HDD in computer, plug in drive with image, put dvd in drive, set computer to boot from DVD linux disk you made and when that loads find image and run. Its all over in a few minutes.

geek_wayne416, May 25, 4:38 pm

Am I right in thinking you don't want to clone the drive but just make an image of the SSD and save that image on the other HDD so you could restore later if the SSD fails?

geek_loud_37, May 25, 5:49 pm

Yes, just download from link i gave, install and have a look at it and the help section before you do anything. Easy to use and i have never had a problem restoring. Can go from 8.1 back to Vista and back to 8.1 in about 1 hour using it. I image my drive about every 2 months and delete old image incase anything goes wrong.

geek_wayne416, May 25, 6:02 pm

Yes, just for a back up for that dreaded day when an SSD fails.
I have a heap of graphics programs that are PITA to re-install, so thought that a clone (or image) saved now would mean I wouldn't have any re-install issues.
But I thought a clone was better because it also copies over hidden files, and a back up (image) doesn't.
Is that right?
What's the best, clone or image?

geek_gettinggrey, May 25, 8:13 pm

If you image, when you run image computer is returned to 100% of what was on the HHD, partitions, OS, programs,folders and files at image creation as far as i have found. Edit to add this using Macrium, don't know with others.

geek_wayne416, May 25, 8:29 pm

Bit out of my depth here but cloning a drive to me means if you clone a 500 Gb drive the clone will be 500Gbs, put in computer and it boots from it as old one, if you image same the image will only be say 100Gbs, only the meat so to say. Could be wrong.

geek_wayne416, May 25, 8:46 pm

clone is a disk to disk operation - overwriting the target disk
image is a disk to file operation - dumping an image file of the entire source disk on a separate target hard disk

geek_king1, May 25, 8:46 pm

There you go. answered.

geek_wayne416, May 25, 8:48 pm

I use the linux PING tool. I installed it on a separate bootable partition on an external HDD, so I can just boot from that, and select to store the file on the other partition of the HDD. Easiest way is to burn it to a CD and boot from that, it will give you options regarding compression (so your 500GB partition will be much much smaller), and where you want to save.

Here is a link.

geek_emmerson1, May 25, 9:56 pm


geek_hakatere1, May 26, 6:18 am

What I did when I set this computer up is use the SSD as my primary drive (installed Windows 8.1).
Then I installed all my other programs (Photoshop, Lightroom, Photomatix, Avast, Malwarebytes, etc, etc), on to the secondary drive (the 1TB Seagate).
So if I loose the SSD I 'only' lose Windows.
Now if I clone or make an image and the SSD dies one day, and I put in a new SSD (but probably a different make, and a larger capacity), what happens then?
Will the clone/image I want to put back on to the new SSD be happy or will Windows recognise that it's not the same make/model SSD and grumble about it?

geek_gettinggrey, May 26, 12:11 pm

sometimes windows will want to reactivate but not often, other than that it should be ok.

geek_king1, May 26, 12:25 pm

OK, thanks.
I should mention that I also have a 1TB external HDD that I will be using as the target disc (I won't be sending the clone/image to my secondary HDD).
I only mention that in case someone now comes along and says that I should use an external HDD.

geek_gettinggrey, May 26, 12:42 pm

rather than tying up a whole disk I usually just take an image file and dump it on a hard disk. It does mean though that you either need another pc available at the time to restore the image to the new hdd, or use a linux live cd as mentioned above.

On the subject of installing applications to a separate HDD - in some ways you actually increase your risks since when the application HDD fails it might make a real mess of windows and cause grief when trying to reinstall the applications that windows thinks is already installed. Some applications will be more problematic than others eg AV.

So really you should be creating a backup image of the applications HDD as well

geek_king1, May 26, 12:53 pm

Hi king1.
Yes, good idea. I'll do that too.
I only installed my programs to a different drive for space reasons.
Only a 128GB SSD, so I kept that just for Windows.
It was $$ decision mainly. Couldn't afford a bigger SSD at the time.
It has worked well, and Windows starts nice and quick.

geek_gettinggrey, May 26, 4:48 pm

Only 128GB? Pure luxury! Try a 40GB SSD. requires close supervision and maintenance!

geek_r.g.nixon, May 26, 5:15 pm

Right then. When I were a lad, we 'ad operatin' system, utilities, games, programs (real programs mind, not them that call themselves programs these days), and all't the data on 1.44MB!

geek_emmerson1, May 30, 10:48 pm

Diskettes? Luxury! When I were a lad, I used to boot up the Data General machine (at work) with a roll of punched tape! Then there was the big 128KB of RAM machine (IBM360/40) which booted from Hollerith cards.

geek_r.g.nixon, May 30, 11:31 pm

You can install a s***load of programs along with windows on 128GB .

geek_ross1970, May 31, 8:28 am

IME after 4 or so clones using various s/w. Windows crashed. I had to reinstall it. Heard similar experience from others that I know personally.

If you are staying with a HDD or a SSD that should be fine but not from one to the other.

geek_rayonline_tm, May 31, 3:35 pm

Hubby had cloned from SSD to HDD, and vice versa plenty of times. He says if cloning TO an SSD you really need to run an alignment tooll after

geek_nice_lady, May 31, 5:59 pm

Thanks folks.
Will probably go the disc image way for both the SSD and HDD (I have 'another' external HDD to store the images on).
I appreciate you all taking the time to answer.

geek_gettinggrey, May 31, 6:52 pm

Shadow Protect backup for desktop. download a 30 day free trial. makes an image, to an external drive. updates the image incrementally probably in seconds for a 128GB SSD. also has a good range of reports success / failure.

Immensely more featured, easy to use, and quicker than the free options.

geek_black-heart, May 31, 6:56 pm

Yep, I remember a distribution of linux on a 1.44 floppy which also included a browser and even some space left to download data from the web. About 1993?

geek_bwg11, May 31, 8:40 pm

I use Casper to create a bootable image from my 256 SSD to a 1 Tb HDD. Then I disconnect the HDD. I re-image every 2 weeks.

geek_fishb8, Jun 1, 3:06 pm

I've always used trueimage, simply take the image, store it where it fits, when needed, restore it - trueimage does not care about the disk size or type or a change in size etc, it is a partition image, it restores the partition, does like to have a partition in place to overwrite but if none it will create one and move existing partitions to make room for it
like you I have one disk/partition for the system and most other data programs installed elsewhere - remember though that everytime you install a new program you need to update the system image, cos there will be hooks etc to dlls that will not be present on a restore if you don't
trueimage will only write the image to other than the drive being imaged, you can commit that to multiple drives after it is completed

geek_skin1235, Jun 1, 3:32 pm

I clone my C:\ drive the same now. Used to be weekly, but have found now, I tend to forget. Like the Dr, I use Image For Dos - Terabytes Unlimited.

geek_hakatere1, Jun 2, 10:01 am

Redo Backup and Recovery is so simple that anyone can use it. It is the easiest, most complete disaster recovery solution available. It allows bare-metal restore. Bare metal restore is not only the best solution for hardware failure, it is also the ultimate antivirus: Even if your hard drive melts or gets completely erased by a virus, you can have a completely-functional system back up and running in as little as 10 minutes. Goto and enjoy.

geek_techexpress, Jun 2, 10:14 am

Aomei backupper is the only software that provides free-of-charge ???Universal Restore???, a must for cloning system to dissimilar hardware to prevent blue screen error. (from the comments here
Redo isn't mentioned.

geek_r.g.nixon, Jun 2, 10:38 am

I downloaded and installed a couple of products (not all at the same time) just to get a look at them.
I liked the look of Aomei best.
It images or clones. Lets me make a Windows or Linux boot disc.
So, that's what I've gone with.
Aomei Backupper Free.
Imaged both the SSD and the HDD onto an external HDD (which may not be a good idea, but can always attach it internally if I have to).
So far I'm happy. Now if I don't like the Windows 10 update I can go back to 8.1 fairly easily.

geek_gettinggrey, Jun 4, 7:15 pm

Yes, you must have been around for a year or two as well.

geek_bwg11, Sep 11, 11:22 am

Share this thread