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birchlake
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Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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New member, first post here, great resource.

I am working a friend with her Dell Inspiron 620 Desktop computer; 3.5 years old.  The hard drive is beginning to fail, but computer is still operating fine at this time. 

I have recovery media ordered and on the way via Dell out of warranty support in the event that the drive fails catastrophically before I get to it.  But instead of using this recovery media, reloading the OS, drivers, all applications, customizing, etc.  I am considering "cloning" the current hard drive while the original hard drive is still operational. 

I have never cloned a drive before, but my understanding is this would be the procedure. I purchase a new identical replacement hard drive (found one 3.5 Sata 1TB size) and also purchase an external USB enclosure for the new drive, connect the new drive via USB cable, launch the cloning software, then install the cloned drive into the computer when cloning is complete?    

Any downside to "cloning" vs reloading the OS?  Any recommendations of any free cloning software I should consider using?   Cloning especially appeals to me as this is a small business computer, highly customized.  Getting this computer back to it's current status the long way is certainly doable, but I'd like to do it the easiest way possible.  

Thanks in advance for the help folks...... 

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8 Platinum

RE: Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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New member, first post here, great resource.

I am working a friend with her Dell Inspiron 620 Desktop computer; 3.5 years old.  The hard drive is beginning to fail, but computer is still operating fine at this time. 

I have recovery media ordered and on the way via Dell out of warranty support in the event that the drive fails catastrophically before I get to it.  But instead of using this recovery media, reloading the OS, drivers, all applications, customizing, etc.  I am considering "cloning" the current hard drive while the original hard drive is still operational. 

I have never cloned a drive before, but my understanding is this would be the procedure. I purchase a new identical replacement hard drive (found one 3.5 Sata 1TB size) and also purchase an external USB enclosure for the new drive, connect the new drive via USB cable, launch the cloning software, then install the cloned drive into the computer when cloning is complete?    

Any downside to "cloning" vs reloading the OS?  Any recommendations of any free cloning software I should consider using?   Cloning especially appeals to me as this is a small business computer, highly customized.  Getting this computer back to it's current status the long way is certainly doable, but I'd like to do it the easiest way possible.  

Thanks in advance for the help folks...... 

birchlake

There is no need to buy an external enclosure, just install the drive to be cloned as the secondary, all you need is a SATA data cable, there is a spare SATA power connector already inside the chassis, for an additional HD.

The easiest method that I prefer, is to clone the existing hard drive to the new one, that will also, transfer all the applications and programs.

You need a imaging utility, similar to True Image Home 2016.

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage

Acronis will resize the transferred partitions to match new hard drive's size.

I have also found AOMEI free version of Backupper to be excellent and have been using this with great success with Windows 8.1 and 10

http://www.backup-utility.com/free-backup-software.html

Hard drive manufacturers, also have their own free cloning software available, but this can be used only with their hard drives.

First, install the new drive as the secondary and image the existing primary hard drive to it.

After cloning, immediately shut the system down, switch the data cable [SATA port 0] to the new drive, making the new hard drive the master and see if the system boots correctly.

Boot the system with only the new hard drive connected.

Remember to leave the original drive disconnected, until the new hard drive is working to your satisfaction.

Before cloning a hard drive, be certain that the existing drive has no corruption or virus on it, as these will be transferred to the new hard drive.

As already mentioned, a second SATA data cable will be required, there should be a spare SATA power connector inside the case.

Bev.

 


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14 Replies
8 Platinum

RE: Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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New member, first post here, great resource.

I am working a friend with her Dell Inspiron 620 Desktop computer; 3.5 years old.  The hard drive is beginning to fail, but computer is still operating fine at this time. 

I have recovery media ordered and on the way via Dell out of warranty support in the event that the drive fails catastrophically before I get to it.  But instead of using this recovery media, reloading the OS, drivers, all applications, customizing, etc.  I am considering "cloning" the current hard drive while the original hard drive is still operational. 

I have never cloned a drive before, but my understanding is this would be the procedure. I purchase a new identical replacement hard drive (found one 3.5 Sata 1TB size) and also purchase an external USB enclosure for the new drive, connect the new drive via USB cable, launch the cloning software, then install the cloned drive into the computer when cloning is complete?    

Any downside to "cloning" vs reloading the OS?  Any recommendations of any free cloning software I should consider using?   Cloning especially appeals to me as this is a small business computer, highly customized.  Getting this computer back to it's current status the long way is certainly doable, but I'd like to do it the easiest way possible.  

Thanks in advance for the help folks...... 

birchlake

There is no need to buy an external enclosure, just install the drive to be cloned as the secondary, all you need is a SATA data cable, there is a spare SATA power connector already inside the chassis, for an additional HD.

The easiest method that I prefer, is to clone the existing hard drive to the new one, that will also, transfer all the applications and programs.

You need a imaging utility, similar to True Image Home 2016.

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage

Acronis will resize the transferred partitions to match new hard drive's size.

I have also found AOMEI free version of Backupper to be excellent and have been using this with great success with Windows 8.1 and 10

http://www.backup-utility.com/free-backup-software.html

Hard drive manufacturers, also have their own free cloning software available, but this can be used only with their hard drives.

First, install the new drive as the secondary and image the existing primary hard drive to it.

After cloning, immediately shut the system down, switch the data cable [SATA port 0] to the new drive, making the new hard drive the master and see if the system boots correctly.

Boot the system with only the new hard drive connected.

Remember to leave the original drive disconnected, until the new hard drive is working to your satisfaction.

Before cloning a hard drive, be certain that the existing drive has no corruption or virus on it, as these will be transferred to the new hard drive.

As already mentioned, a second SATA data cable will be required, there should be a spare SATA power connector inside the case.

Bev.

 


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Forum Member since 2001
I am not employed by Dell

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rdunnill
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RE: Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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Any downside to "cloning" vs reloading the OS?

Probably not, and you'll be assured of keeping all your files. And it's definitely the easiest way to move to a new storage device.

birchlake
1 Nickel

RE: Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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Bev and Rdunnill, thanks for the quick replies!  Looks like "cloning" will definitely be the way to go.  I've been wanting to learn how to do this anyways.    

Bev, great information about a secondary HDD slot inside the 620.  That will save me from buying an HDD enclosure.  I'll likely purchase the SATA data cable then before digging into this repair.  Is there a particular type of SATA cable that  I'll need (any particular cable specs) to connect up this new drive?  IE: what exactly do I search for? Is it male to male, male to female, right angle, etc.  Or is it the same connector on each end?  Thanks!

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8 Platinum

RE: Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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birchlake

You could open the chassis and check the SATA data cable to the primary SATA HD.

Basically you need an 18/24" SATA data cable, that has one end with a 90* connector.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812816030&cm_re=sata_cables_for_hard_drive-_-1...

Unfortunately Dell does not has any documentation for installing an additional hard drive in the Inspiron 620 available

Maybe the discussion HERE can help.

Bev.

 


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birchlake
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RE: Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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Bev,  Thanks for this information.  I think I now have the information I need to tackle this.   

It might be a few days or so before I have the time to get it done, but I will be sure to post back how the "cloning" went!  

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RE: Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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birchlake

Bev.

 


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birchlake
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RE: Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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Just a quick update to the cloning the 620 hard drive.  I did a little research and found there are a few companies that offer cloning hardware with a one click clone button. Put source hard drive in slot A, put target hard drive in slot B, press "clone" button, wait a few hours and it's done.  Clones bit for bit the entire source hard drive.

Along with the ability to clone, it gives me a hard drive enclosure to work with which I have been wanting.  So I bought a "Cable Matters" clone box. Looks like a small toaster.  $45 on Amazon. Supports both 2.5" and 3.5" SATA and SSD drives (not IDE).  Clones at USB 3.0 speed.    Worked perfectly; not one hitch.  

I knew there was hardware like this, but I didn't know that it was available at this low of a price point. I've since used it to clone another friend's laptop hard drive as she was scrapping the computer and it worked perfectly on that one too.  So two for two.  Pretty cool!  

Anyway, mission accomplished.  The new hard drive is in the 620 desktop and working great.  

Thanks for the help here folks.....

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8 Platinum

RE: Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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birchlake

Appreciate the useful heads up on the clone box.

Bev.

 


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jjdevilliers
1 Copper

RE: Cloning the Hard Drive on Inspiron 620 Desktop

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Hi,  will it work if I clone to a different brand drive of similar type and size or does it have to be exact same model?  My PC is out of warranty so it does not matter for me.

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