Sunday, July 24, 2011

Simple disk cloning with EaseUs Disk Copy

gddrescue is a really powerful disk cloning tool, but the fact that it runs from terminal means it's quite scary to a lot of people. It's also more prone to mistakes by the user. When it comes to disk cloning software, a GUI-based solution helps us to visualise what we're doing better.

That's where EaseUs Disk Copy comes in handy. This free tool comes as a bootable CD so it works regardless of the operating system you have installed. The downside? It comes packaged as a Windows executable.

EaseUs Disk Copy
Fortunately, the executable is just a program that allows you to burn the bootable disc image direct to CD, create a bootable USB key, or even to export it as a ISO CD image for burning with your software of choice. Once it's on a CD or USB key it no longer depends on Windows.

Copy mode selection screen
Using Disk Copy is straightforward. Just boot from the CD and you'll be brought to a wizard interface. There's only really two options: disk copy and partition copy. In most cases, disk copy is what you want. If the software doesn't detect at least two hard disks, then the disk clone option is disabled.

Disk cloning in progress
The disk cloning is a simple three step process:
  1. Select the source hard disk.
  2. Select the destination hard disk.
  3. Confirm, then wait while the disk cloning is progressing.

During source and destination disk selection, you even get to view of the partitions on the selected hard disk (but not the contents) to help you decide which is the correct hard disk.

That's about it. Simple.