Backup or Hard Drive Cloner

Data storage is paramount in today’s world. What most of us don’t see are the drives that hold the information and data that we hold so dear. If you have a little experience with computers, you have no doubt dealt with hard drives before.

When transferring from an old drive to a new one, there is an important question to ask: To backup or to clone? As it turns out, there are benefits to both, so let’s check out the comparison between the two.

Replacing an Old Drive

The entire reason to consider hard drive cloners in the first place is because you are moving from an old drive to a new one. Even though drive technology continues to improve, there are natural limitations to be had. So, from time to time, the need to switch out an old drive for a new one comes into the equation.

Old drives require replacing for one of a few reasons. The first is that the drive is simply old. Older drives are more prone to failure and need replacing. You may also want to upgrade from a hard disk to a solid-state drive. The latter has no moving parts and is less prone to failure. Whatever the case, you want to make sure that any stored data remains safe on a reliable drive.

Drive Cloner

Let’s first start by looking more closely at hard drive cloners. When it comes to copying over an old drive, there are partitions. Each has its own information on it, typically one with the operating system and another with all of the files that we see in the hierarchy.


There is a lot to like about using a hard drive cloner. For starters, you get an immediate, exact copy of the drive you are cloning. There is no need to mess around with structure or ensure that all of the necessary files have been copied. It also contains the individual partitions.

There is also less time spent moving things around. A cloned system, so long as it has the operating system within, can be mounted right to the machine and booted immediately. The process, as a whole, is much quicker and easier to perform.


Though it is a 1:1 copy, a clone will need to have more space available than the previous drive. That’s because the target disk will create partitions immediately. A differential or incremental clone is also not possible. Moreover, only one version of that duplicated data may be stored on a drive at one time.


You may also backup the drive without doing a total copy. You can backup selected drives as a whole or narrow it down to specific backup files. Imaging is largely the same, creating a backup of all the data into one single file. That said, any changes made after the imaging will not be included in that backup.


There is only one file in a backup. You won’t have to worry about several files at one time. Even better, so long as the disc you are transferring to is big enough, you can make multiple backups. The file itself can be compressed and made smaller to take up less space. It is great for projects where multiple save points are needed.


The only downside here is that you need backup software to restore the data or system to the previous point. Once again, if any changes are made between backups, they won’t be reflected unless another backup has been created. You don’t require as much space as a cloner but the save isn’t as comprehensive.

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