How Do I Copy a Hard Drive?

A person can copy files by selecting them, then pressing the ctrl and c keys at the same time.
Hard drive.
Hard drive with case removed.
An external hard drive.
Article Details
  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 09 July 2014
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There are a number of different ways to copy a hard drive, and the steps followed will vary depending on what applications you may have available and what you wish to copy the drive onto. If you are trying to copy one good hard drive onto another, then you can simply connect both of them and systematically copy each folder from one to the other. You can typically speed this process up by using software programs designed to allow you to more easily copy data between drives. If you are trying to copy a hard drive that has been damaged and restore the data on it, however, then you are going to need somewhat more sophisticated software.

The hard drive inside of a computer case, or tower, is the lasting memory within the computer, and all of the files, folders, applications, programs, and data on the computer is stored on the hard drive. In order to copy a hard drive, so that a second drive has all of the same data on it that the first one has, you should begin by considering what type of media you wish to copy a hard drive onto. For a second hard drive, you should establish whether you are going to use two internal drives, two external hard drives, or copy a hard drive from one type to the other.


One of the easiest places to start is by making sure both hard drives are connected to the computer. Unless you have a wireless external hard drive, in which case you would simply need to be sure your wireless network is functioning properly and that you are connected to the device through it. You can then simply copy and paste files, folders, programs, and anything else from one hard drive to the other.

It is also possible to effectively copy a hard drive by creating a backup of the drive on a number of removable media types, such as compact discs (CDs) or digital versatile discs (DVDs). This can usually be done by going into the properties of the hard drive and using an option to backup the drive onto the media. If you are unsure of how to perform this process using the operating system (OS) on your computer, then you may also want to consider downloading a software program that will help you with it.

There are a number of programs that are specifically created to help you copy a hard drive onto another drive or onto some other type of media. These programs are usually easy to use and tend to be fairly inexpensive. If you are trying to access and copy data that has been corrupted, however, you may need to purchase more expensive software or consider taking your computer to a professional for data retrieval.


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