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How do I clone Windows hard drive to external hard drive?

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I want to clone my entire internal Windows hard drive to an external hard drive, and have it bootable and fully function on the external. I am not looking to mearly create a recovery drive, I want everything not simply the recovery partition.


I have been getting things needed lined up to do this. A few days ago, I found via the Help menu how to do this - but for the life of me, I have just spent hours and can't find how to do that now. All I can find no matter what search terms I use is how to make a recovery drive. That simply a 16 GB volume, but I saw a few days ago that to do the entire hard drive on my machine, it woudl be 98 GB, and I now have an external hard drive to handle that, with a 110 GB volume to do it to.


I plan to go up to Windows 10 at some point, and I want a full Windows 8.1 hard drive on the side, and want to be able to erase Windows 10 and clone back over from the external drive - so I have everything there. I otherwise have no install disk, so if I go up to Windows 10 and don't want it, I can't get back to 8.1 -- the problem of downloading OSs, or using only what the machine came with, instead of having a full install disk.


In Mac, you have to actually clone if you want it bootable. I don't know if that is or is not necesary in Windows, maybe simply copying is all that is needed, or maybe I have to do it with a disk image, or??? (Mac has invisible files that are necessary to the boot that do not come over in a copy, you must do a clone to get them.)


Anyway, how do I accomplish this on Windows 8.1? I have now gotten the hard drive all set up, parttioned, formatted, ready to go - and I can't go.


Thanks for any help.



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Google Easy Gig IV--I have used this successfully for ages.It clones everything seemlessly and the new drive is perfect..

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EDIT 2: Alert. EX Gig download and the installer are both putting malware on the computer. I got an alert from Windows Defender when it downlaoded, and again right after I opened the installer - which started installing something even before I proceeded to install the application, which I then did not install. Next time I tried to use my Firefox browser, I could not get on the Internet, and it tried to get me to install yet something else.


I did a full Restore to get rid of it. But beware of this software.


So, I'm back to the original question: How can I clone my entire hard drive over to an external hard drive? I did see something a few days ago where there is a function built into the OS to do that - but I can't find it any mre. I am not talking of making a restore disk, that is merely the small restore volume, and I want eveyrting so I can clone back as wanted or needed to reinstall my OS.


End Edit 2.


OK, thank you joerooty. I'm getting that now. I will have to see if it will clone the statrtup drive itself.


But I saw a way to do it a few days ago with the OS, something in the OS that provides for doing that, not just the recovery volume. How do I find that? That seems preferable. I can use this application you recommend if it will do the startup drive and if I can't find that stuff in the OS.


I see I have to buy EZ Gig. So, I woudl still prefer to again find the pane in the OS that provides for cloning over the drive to an external drive. So ths Ez Gig might be a backup, but I would still prefer if someone could point me to where to find the pane in the OS to do it.


Also, I see the website says:


EZ Gig IV is only compatible with Apricorn's latest upgrade products, including DriveWire, EZ Upgrade, SATA Wire and Velocity Solo.


So then does that reference to only their products mean it won't work with another external hard drive? AND, does it mean it will clone only to SATA?! Mine is a 320 GB external IDE drive! My internal is SATA.




EDIT 1: Gee, I just finished the download, and Windows Defender is immediately identifying Ex Gig as malware!


I also found a forum where it says yes, you have to buy it for $25, and it also requires a SATA to USB cable! I just have a regular USB plug on one side of my cable, and the other side connects directly to the hard drive with a IDE connection. So, will this software for some reason clone ONLY to a SATA hard drive?!

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If you force windows to recognise the USB hard drive as a non-removable hard drive, then there shouldn't be any issues. How you would do that I'm not too sure as I haven't done this before, but this page may be of help -

Theoretically, you would set the registry key, clone the hard drive, and then hopefully the registry key that you set would let windows boot off the now non-removable hard drive (even though it's actually a USB hard drive)

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