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Cloning vs. imaging a hard drive

I often get asked what is the difference between cloning a hard drive versus imaging a hard drive.

Cloning is the process of creating another single drive which is an exact copy of your original drive. You would clone a drive if you wanted to convert your old mechanical hard drive to a modern solid state drive. It is a one for one copy.

For instance, you would want to make an exact copy of the old drive so that you can simply swap it for your new drive without having to reinstall your operating system and applications. This is cloning.

Imaging a hard drive is when you want to back up your hard drive in case something catastrophic happens to your original hard drive. You can put multiple images on a storage device. It is a one for many copy. This is imaging.

I hope that my explanation clears it up for you.

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