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Pete, Computer Enthusiast
Category: Computer Hardware
Satisfied Customers: 19411
Experience:  Over 16 years of experience in the Electronics and IT industries.
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Ya, I bought a 4TB stand alone drive and want to start

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I bought a 4TB stand alone drive and want to start running back up of my laptop HD. Not sure whether I should 'mirror' or 'clone' and if this backs up all my software as well as my files. Basically were my laptop to die Id like to be able to restore everything, software inclued, straight onto the new one. Can you advise me of the best way to do this?

Hi Mark,

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Pete, I'm running windows 10. would you recommend any particular cloning software? Also if I do it weekly will I have to duplicate the whole drive or can the software identify changes and just update those. I image it must take hours to clone the whole thing.

Hi Mark,

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks very much for your help

You are welcome :)

Don't forget to rate my help, it is how the site rewards me for my time.


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