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Top 5 Free and Trustworthy Cloning Tools to Save Your Data

A system disaster is something that we all face at one time or another. It is practically unavoidable. There will be times when your hard drive goes bad or you are unable to boot up your system. In any of these cases, there is a high chance that you will lose important data. If you have a disk image, you can more likely and easier to recover data. Unfortunately, we all do not have the luxury of having expensive disk imaging software such as Restore or Acronis Backup. Does this mean that we cannot do anything without such devices? Are there alternatives to this expensive software? Yes, there are alternatives, and they are free in this regard.

There are a good number of free applications that can clone your hard drive and protect you from the stress and untold depression of losing valuable data. It is essential to mention that some of the apps are more comprehensive than others. There are some that create a full ISO file of the running system while others only copy your data. Additionally, some functions only on Windows devices but other apps can work on any platform. Therefore, when choosing a cloning tool, you should select the one that best fits your needs and capabilities.

Let’s get straight to these free and reliable cloning tools!

1. Clonezilla

This is the best free cloning tool. It has a unique cloning process that involves something like the bootable Linux distribution with the capacity to copy data by bits. In addition to this, it also supports numerous file systems. Clonezilla features in-built multicast support and unattended mode. In fact, it can be described as the most powerful free disk cloning tool that is available in the market. The Clonezilla SE edition has the capacity to clone up to forty machines at the same time. This is the ideal choice for those individuals who are looking for a tool that can quickly clone multiple machines. If you are using the program for the first time, you may find the interface a bit difficult to navigate but as soon as you get a hang of it, you are good to go.

2. Macrium Reflect Free Edition

Macrium Reflect Free Edition is a self-acclaimed top disk cloning tool available in the market. As a matter of fact, it is said to be one of the fastest. The only thing is that it is compatible only with Windows 7 and Windows Vista. However, it does an excellent job and it is pretty easy to use. This tool has a simple and user-friendly interface, and it does a good job of disk cloning and disk imaging. This means with this program, you can easily access your images from the file manager and create a Linux rescue CD.

3. Runtime Live CD

Runtime Live CD allows the users to boot their desktops into full-blown Linux distribution where they can explore numerous other tools to help them clone their drives and back up data. It is important to mention that this program can boot most desktops, especially Knoppix-based systems. Some of the recovery tools you can access through Runtime Live CD include DiskExplorer, NAS Data Recover, GetDataBack Pro, Captain Nemo Pro, DriveImage XML, RAID Recovery for Windows, Disk Digger, and others. With Runtime Live CD, you have everything you need to carry out successful cloning or backup. It is important to note that you need to burn a Runtime Live CD to a bootable USB drive and then restart the computer from which you want to clone the information.

4. Paragon Backup and Recovery Free

This tool is designed for Windows machines that are stand-alone. It really does an excellent job of taking care of scheduled imaging. There is a free version and a pro one. The free tool is similar to the pro version. The only thing is that the first one is meant for only personal use. You should actually try it to understand how great it works. If this free version completely suits you, you can go ahead with the pro one. It is important to mention that there is also the server version that businesses can explore. It may interest you to know that Paragon is one of the very few recovery and backup software titles that carry the label of Windows 8.

5. DriveImage XML

If you are looking for another free but highly reliable disk cloning tool, DriveImage XML is a great choice for you. It utilizes Microsoft VSS to develop an image and does a great and reliable job of it, especially considering the fact that it is a free tool. The users can easily create ‘hot’ images from a disk that is already in use. When using this program, your images will be stored in XML files, which means that you can access them from any third-party software that is supported. This tool has the capacity to restore images to a machine without requiring a reboot. It is important to point out that DriveImage XML runs with Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2003.


The list above covers the best free and trustworthy backup solutions that you can use for your disk cloning. Understandably, the interface and the usage of some may be challenging. Some of them even may not have the specific features you need. However, each of them offers everything you need to clone your valuable data to another hard drive and get the recovery process into action. Yes, your desire is to never use any of these cloning tools, but accidents do happen. Therefore, it is better to know about them before the issue appears than running around when you actually need to use one.