Disk Cloning

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What Does Disk Cloning Mean?

Disk cloning is the process of copying the contents of a computer hard drive to an image file that is used for transfer to another location, per user requirements. Disk cloning is different from standard copy functionality in a computer, as it also copies used and hidden computer files.


Techopedia Explains Disk Cloning

Disk cloning benefits IT organizations and computer manufacturers because it helps save resources by not creating partitions or using software applications or operating systems (OS). It also facilitates mass deployment and provides a high degree of data theft protection.

Disk cloning is used in the following scenarios:

  • Helps restore a hard drive to its original configuration during system recovery
  • Recreates the system configuration in a different computer
  • Facilitates the installation of configurations and settings, in the event of large groups of systems

Disadvantages of disk cloning are as follows:

  • The new hard drive is larger because extra disk space is left out.
  • The image format used is in a proprietary format and can only be accessed by the software in use.
  • Because the process is time-consuming, it is not ideal for frequent backups.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.