HDClone Hard Drive Copier Review

Posted by Conor O'Neill on Sunday, March 19, 2006


Year: 2006

Version: V3.1 Basic

Author: Miray Software

Platform: Windows

Category: Utility

Publisher: Miray Software

Price: €19.90

**Rating**: 4 out of 5

My Acer 2026 laptop has very few features I don’t like. But one thing which has always annoyed me is the 4800 rpm Hard Drive. It really slowed down an otherwise speedy machine. Ages ago I bought a replacement 5400 rpm drive of the same capacity (80GB) from dabs.com. Not being a complete idiot, I also purchased two 2.5" to 3.5" disk cable adapters so I could plug both the old and new drives into a spare desktop and clone one to the other.

I have always used Maxtor MaxBlast to do this in the past but this time it had serious problems with the source disk and I never managed to do the cloning.

Recently I saw mention of HDClone on Lifehacker and they recommended it as a free solution to cloning hard drives. Last night I assembled a desktop from spare parts, put the two laptop hard drives in it, burned the HDClone Free Edition to CD and booted it up. All looked well and both disks were visible. But when I asked it to clone, it returned with a message saying that the free version only supports copying to a bigger disk, it would not handle same-sized disks and I would need to upgrade to HDClone Basic. Bum.

I went on to the site and realised it was only €19.90 for the Basic Version. Not much more than the bottle of wine I was drinking. I paid via paypal but was confused as to how I got my hands on the software. I mailed the support address and got a reply at midnight their time (Germany)! The mail with the code would automatically follow later. It was in my inbox this morning. Now that’s customer service.

I burned the bootable image to CD and started up the old desktop again. This time, I clicked a few “nexts” and off it went. About two hours later it was done. Worryingly it reported 17 read errors off the source disk but no write errors to the new disk. Maybe this is why MaxBlast had such problems before?

I decided to chance it and plugged the new harddrive into the laptop and all has been well for over an hour (I’m posting this on the laptop). I’ll basically try every piece of software installed on the laptop over the next few days to make sure those errrors had no effect. Obviously I still have the original if anything goes wrong.

In summary, an excellent piece of software which only loses one star because it does not provide a list of the locations of the read errors so I could follow them up. Highly recommended if you need to upgrade your hard drive and don’t have the time to re-install everything from scratch.

Tags: HDClone, Dabs, Acer 2026wlmi, MaxBlast, structuredblogging, LifeHacker

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