Cloning a hard drive with Acronis True Image 11 Home



June 6th, 2008

Fitting a new hard drive into a system is a task that most people who can wield a screwdriver and unplug/plug in a couple of connectors can handle. The job is made far easier if you've bought a retail hard drive kit as opposed to the OEM kit (the retail kit will contain screws, cables, drive rails and instructions - pretty much everything you need except the Phillips screwdriver).

However, when it comes to cloning the contents of one drive onto the other, many people get nervous, especially when faced with the prospect of being faced with a system that won't boot up and lost data.

Here I'll show you how to use Acronis True Image 11 (free trial) to clone a drive (True Image 11 can do a LOT more than just clone drives - it's by far the best backup/imaging tool that I've used).

In this piece I'm going to assume three things:

  • That you are running Vista (although the steps will be virtually identical for XP)
  • That you already have Acronis True Image 11 installed
  • That you've already fitted the new drive

OK, let's get started.

First, confirm that the new disk is installed properly and being seen by Windows. Click Start and type computer management into the Start Search box and click on Computer Management, then click on Disk Management under Storage will show you that both drives are being seen:

True Image 11

True Image 11

If you see the drive, you're ready to move on to using Acronis True Image 11. Fire up the application and clock on Disk Utilities:

True Image 11

Click on Clone Disk to start the Disk Clone Wizard:

True Image 11

Click Next on the Disk Clone Wizard screen:

True Image 11

Keep Clone Mode on Automatic, and click Next:

True Image 11

The next screen shows the hard disk structure. Click Next to confirm that this is acceptable (if you only have two drives, this is simple):

True Image 11

Click Proceed if you're happy and ready to go:

True Image 11

Click Reboot if you're ready to go:

True Image 11

From her eon in the process is automatic. Just sit back and be patient while Acronis does its stuff (this process took me some 15 minutes to complete, it could take a lot longer):

True Image 11

True Image 11

Done!

True Image 11

OK, at this point if you're swapping hard drives and are ready to boot up off the new one, disconnect the power to your system, open up your PC and swap the data cables over for the two drives (the small, flat ribbon), close up the PC, reconnect the power and boot up. When the system has loaded up you should see both drives show up in Computer Management. 

True Image 11

Done!

If you no longer want the data on the original drive then you can right-click on the old drive as shown in Computer Management and choose Format ..., and work through the wizard. Remember that formatting is a one-way process, so take care!

Acronis True Image 11 - $49.95 - 15 day free trial

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 6th, 2008 at 14:37 and is filed under PC Doctor Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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