When a hard drive fails, there are many times that I've wanted to clone
the data from the hard drive to a new drive to recover. Even if the
hard drive did not fail to the point of causing hardware problems, it
still could contain bad sectors that might cause issues when moving
data from it to a new hard drive.
There are a few great products that I rely on to clone a hard drive. I
love Acronis True Image because its fast and efficient and seems to do
the job most of the time. However, Acronis will fail to clone
a drive when it encounters bad sectors. Generally it will just stop
completely. So, we have to look at other options. Norton Ghost seems to
have similar issues with bad sectors, as well as Paragon Drive Backup
and even Macrium Reflect has some issues.
The only drive cloning software that has ALWAYS worked when presented
with bad sectors is an open source program called CloneZilla
CloneZilla Live version allows you to create a bootable CD that you can
boot the computer that has the old hard drive and the new hard drive.
Clonezilla will then make an exact duplicate of the old hard drive to
the new hard drive. Afterwards, you can detach the old drive and boot
Whenever I have an issue where I need to clone a drive containing bad
sectors, I rely on CloneZilla
to do the job.
For more step by step examples of how to use CloneZilla and screenshots
of the program, please refer to the CloneZilla
One of the common questions I get is "Will Cloning Software copy the bad sectors to the other drive?"
a bad sector is physically a bad spot on the hard drive that causes the
computer to not be able to read or save data to that spot, there is no
way to copy the bad spot to another drive. Only the data that can be
read and accessed from the old hard drive will be able to be copied to
the new drive. Physical errors on an old drive cannot be transferred to
the new drive.