This project has moved. For the latest updates, please go here.

Cloning encrypted hard disk

Topics: Technical Issues, Users Discussion
Dec 5, 2015 at 8:58 PM
Edited Dec 5, 2015 at 8:59 PM
I have a 2TB hard disk with 2x1TB encrypted partitions, one of them being a system partition.
Now I need to clone this hard disk sector by sector to another identical one.
My questions:
1) Is encryption an issue? Can I use ordinary cloning softwares?
2) Can you recommend a good cloning software?
Dec 7, 2015 at 3:33 AM
Hi Jalexm,

To answer your question, you can definitely clone a drive with system encryption on it. Both drives will have identical encryption on them.

As far as software, I tend to boot my computer into Linux using a live DVD and then use "dd" from the command line. That way the hard drive isn't in use by the OS and it's safe to clone. That's about the most versatile method, though it's not really user friendly. Once you learn dd, though, you'll never want to go back.

Another option, and one I have grown fond of, is a hardware cloner. These used to be used primarily by IT shops to clone drives for deploying large numbers of users. Nowadays you can buy a two-drive docking cloner for $20 on eBay or AliExpress. Drop both drives in and press a button. But my laptop is fairly easy to get the drive out of, so this may be more or less easy for you.
Dec 7, 2015 at 1:08 PM
1 TB for the system? wow.

You did not mention what your OS ist - Online-Backups (The backup of the system that is currently running) depend on the OS, obviously.

dd is nice, but always be sure to double-check source and destination :)