How to Clone your Hard Drive With Clonezilla

While there are loads of programs on the market to create a backup of your data, there are not too many when it comes to cloning your hard drive. That’s where Clonezilla comes in. Here’s how it works.

Clonezilla is a free piece of data recovery and disk cloning software that creates a ‘live’ image that can be copied to a USB flash drive or external hard drive in case of a data disaster. Using the program can be a little tricky, so here's a step by step guide on how it works. Firstly, you need to download Clonezilla from their download page - elect ‘zip’ if you want to install it to a USB flash drive or ‘ISO’ if you want to create a DVD with the software on. Once you have your bootable USB, download Tuxboot to your machine, run the software, and follow the instructions on-screen. To create a bootable DVD from an ISO, Windows has built-in support for this. Once you’ve got either a bootable USB flash drive or a DVD with Clonezilla burned onto it, you’re ready to begin cloning your hard disk drive.

Connect the drive you want to clone your current drive to up to your machine, taking care to remember that it needs to be of a larger capacity than the internal drive. Insert your Clonezilla USB drive or DVD, and boot up your computer. Clonezilla will load, and you’ll need to press ‘Enter’ to continue. The wizard will first ask you to choose your language, and you can use your machine’s arrow keys to move up and down to select the one you want. You then want to select ‘don’t touch keymap’, and then ‘Start Clonezilla’. 

Clonezilla will then ask you to choose its operating mode; a device image or a “device device’ (i.e. A copy). We’ll focus on the latter, which allows you to clone either the entire hard disk drive or a partition to your external drive that you have connected. There are several modes, running from ‘Beginner’ to ‘Expert’, but we’d recommend Beginner as it works just fine. If you change your mind, at this point, you can choose “exit”. The Clonezilla wizard will then as you how you want to clone your disks; the entire drive (the simplest option), or one partition of the drive. Clonezilla will ask you to choose which disk you’d like to clone – this is most likely going to be the local C drive. If you’re unsure, check the drive capacity on the left hand side.

Finally, you need to choose a target disk, and this will be the external hard drive you connected to your machine earlier. Clonezilla will ask you what you want to do the drive has been cloned; you can either reboot or shut down. Now, you will be asked if you want to clone the local disk’s boot loader or not. The program will now collect information regarding the original drive’s paritions, and will copy file systems using a program called Partclone, which will launch automatically. Once completed, your machine will either reboot or shut down.

And there you have it – a complete clone of your computer or laptop’s hard disk drive.