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How Can I Clone a USB Connected HDD

This is a discussion on How Can I Clone a USB Connected HDD within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. My older laptop's HDD is on its last leg. It's from an HP and has partitions and software tools in


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Old 05-22-2020, 10:58 AM   #1
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Question

My older laptop's HDD is on its last leg. It's from an HP and has partitions and software tools in them that I want to retain. So, I need to clone the drive before it completely dies.

I bought a couple of external drive cases with SATA to USB connections, which is all I really needed. One for my old drive and the other for the new drive to clone to. I connected them both to my other laptop and they were both recognized. I found some freeware, Macreum Reflect, to perform the cloning, unfortunately, it did not recognize my old, now USB connected, HDD as a drive to choose to clone, only as a drive to clone to.

Does anyone know of another piece of freeware that is up to the task as I have described? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:57 PM   #2
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Put the older drive back in the older laptop. Make sure the old drive is recognized in the old computers Bios.
On another computer Make a USB Rescue Boot key of Macrium Reflect. Attach the new drive via USB and the USB Flash drive. Boot off of the USB Flash drive in the old laptop, and it should recognize both drives.
A caveat is that if the old drive is Failing, then it will probably not complete the clone.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion.

I probably should have mentioned that the drive is failing to the point that it takes 5+ hours to boot up and I have to do the old hold down the esc key right after powering on, hit F11 (System Recovery), get to the command prompt and run CHKDSK /R (That's 3 of the 5+ hours right there). After that it's HP's turn and it does the "Scanning and Repairing Drive" routine (another half hour +). After that the Windows "Circling dots" taunt me for almost another hour. Windows Login eventually shows up and that takes about 45 mins to finish booting Windows. And that's before trying to actually use anything.

I know, I know, but I just don't have the resources I use to. So, Hail Marys are a fairly frequent thing in my life.

Anyway, thanks again and sorry for taking up your time for what will most assuredly turn out to be an enormous failure. It just kills me that, otherwise the machine is still cherry, including a recent upgrading of the WiFi card to 802.11ac which also added Bluetooth 4.0.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:03 PM   #4
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Be aware that the more you work with a failing drive (ie) 5+hours to boot. The closer that drive gets to total failure. Try cloning it one time, if it fails, then it's probably not going to work again.
As for your old laptop, just get an SSD drive which will give it a lot more life. HDD and SSD prices have come way down in price lately.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:17 PM   #5
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Definitely. When I noticed it had stopped responding I shut it down and only booted it up to see how bad the situation was and to take the notes on steps I'd had to take to get it booted and the amount of time for each. I even took it out of the laptop and put it in an antistatic bag just in case, you never know.

I started the process you suggested and noticed it was from a Windows XP thread. I just realized it's been years since I've asked for help. I had to change the OS in my profile from XP to Windows 10 (For both laptops, although the older one with the problem was originally XP and I did the various upgrades so even though they're both "Windows 10 machines", I occasionally notice remnants on my older laptop, differences in context or right-click menus, whatever the vernacular is these days. Things like that. I've been off the front lines since '99. So, I'm quite a bit more than just rusty.

At any rate, now that it's clear I'm dealing with Windows 10 would you have steered me to different links?

I'll most likely be fine with what you've already provided, it being the same software and me just using the newest version and latest (earlier today) update, so far the only difference with Macrium Reflect has been essentially non-existent. It's step 2 that, though easy enough to complete, did cause me to pause, however briefly, when it started mentioning formatting the USB Drive with multiple partitions and formating in each. But, I'm presuming YUMI will be navigatable. Though I can't promise I won't need any more assistance.

Thanks again for your response and time.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:18 AM   #6
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The Link i attached is from the Windows 7 forums
Here is a more updated link, just follow along and create your bootable Macrium Reflect USB Flash drive. https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/di...g+rescue+media
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:44 AM   #7
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YUMI is asking me to select which Linux Distribution I want to use. Any preference, I have no Linux experience.
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:32 PM   #8
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Download the ISO image. Do not use Yumi, use Rufus in my signature to burn the USB Flash drive.
Then put the flash drive into the troubled computer. Then boot off of the the USB Flash drive with your External drive attached and choose the internal as your Source drive and your External drive as the Destination/Target drive.
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Old 05-31-2020, 06:33 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of your help. Unfortunately, no matter what I do I can't get this laptop to boot via USB while the internal HDD is connected.

It boots just fine via USB if the internal HDD isn't connected. It boots via USB if I have an old 250 GB HDD connected via another USB conector and MacriumReflect even identifies the drive as a source to clone or image.

I can even get it to Boot via USB with, not only the 250GB HDD connected via USB, but also with the internal drive removed and connected to the third USB connector.

However, MacriumReflect will only identify my old, beat the hell 250GB HDD as a source and NOT the internal HDD now also connected via USB.

Also, I had to enable Legacy Support otherwise I quickly get "Boot Device Not Found".

I've got things happening when they shouldn't - an HDD connected via USB identified by MacriumReflect as a source for cloning/imaging (just not the drive I need) and things not happening when they should - not booting from a bootable USB drive when the internal HDD is connected despite all BIOS/UEFI Boot Order settings set, not just with USB at the top, but also OS Boot Manager at the bottom(in UEFI Boot Order menu) and Notebook Hard Drive(in Legacy Boot Order menu).

I think I'm done. Something doesn't want me to succeed with this endevor so, I'm going to take the many hints and just forget about the whole damned thing.

Thanks again for your help and the time you spent providing it.
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Old 06-01-2020, 02:24 AM   #10
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The problem is that some of your drives boot to UEFI while another drive boots to Legacy. If your Macrium Reflect flash drive boots via UEFI but the drive you want to clone works in Legacy, then that won't work. So, if you set the computer to Boot Legacy with the HDD, and it boots to the HDD you are trying to clone, then you have to make an MBR Flash drive of Macrium using Rufus, in my signature.
But if you threw in the towel, that's ok. Just copy that info the next time you want to tackle it.
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Old 06-01-2020, 02:17 PM   #11
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I made and have been using an MBR Flash Drive with Macrium using Rufus.

Not 10 minutes after I posted my prior comments. I was looking at MacriumReflect and realized it has a Refresh button/ability. This allowed me to get the laptop booted via USB and then add the, formerly, internal HDD via USB, click Refresh and have it show as a Source drive. Then repeat the process with other USB connected HDD and have it show up as Target drive.

As always, thanks for the help and for keeping me sane. Well, mostly sane anyway.
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:55 PM   #12
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Sounds like you got it sorted. If so, please mark this thread solved in he Thread Tools at the top.
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