There are plenty of great services that can back up your files, but sometimes you need something a bit more bulletproof. Maybe you’re migrating your Windows installation to a new hard drive, or maybe you want a complete 1-to-1 copy in case anything goes wrong. In those cases, your best bet is to clone your hard drive, creating an exact copy that you can swap in and boot up right away.
Some backup services, like IDrive and Acronis, have disk-cloning features built in, supplementing to the normal file backup. We’ll be using some free tools designed specifically for drive cloning in this guide, though. If you want a true backup solution with supplemental cloning features, check out one of the paid options. But for one-off clones (like if you’re migrating your OS to a new drive), these tools will be all you need.