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Cloning copies the complete contents of one drive—the files, the partition tables and the master boot record—to another: a simple, direct duplicate.
Imaging copies all of that to a single, very large file on another drive. You can then restore the image back onto the existing drive or onto a new one.
The best option for you is cloning - this will allow you to restore everything, software included, straight onto a new hard drive.
You can use the following excellent software which is free:
Macrium Reflect allows you to do differential cloning, so it identifies the changes and only updates those.
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