There are many reasons why you might want to clone a hard disk, although the most normal is because the source hard disk is starting to fail, or because you want to upgrade your mechanical disk to an SSD. In any case, we show you how you can do it independently, by hardware, and without having to use any third-party software.
What do we need to clone a hard drive by hardware?
First of all, it is to see what we are going to need, because we do not fool ourselves, this is not something that can be done without making an investment. We will need a docking for two hard drives, usually with USB 3.0 connectivity, that supports the interface of the devices we are going to use, usually SATA 3. We will also obviously need both disks for the cloning process, the origin and the destination. Make sure that the destination disk has the same capacity or more than the source disk, or cloning cannot be performed.
As for the docking, it is not worth it with the typical one that simply has two sockets for SATA disks and a USB. If we do not want to have to depend on software or even a computer (since, suppose, the main hard disk is bad and the system does not boot, which is why we precisely want to clone the disk) we need a docking that supports the cloning of discs autonomously. But do not be scared, because they are not very expensive and for about 30 euros, we have many models available.
How the cloning process is performed
The first thing to do is place the docking on a solid and smooth surface, and connect it to the electric current. Then, we must look at the instructions in which of the two sockets we must connect the source disk and the destination disk, since although the most common is that the source disk is placed behind and the destination in front, this changes depending on the manufacturer. In some docking, it is also indicated in the slots themselves (Source = origin and Target = destination).
Once we are sure where each one is going, we insert them into their corresponding slots and turn on the docking.
Now you have to wait a few seconds for the discs to boot (usually 10-15 seconds). Some more advanced docking has indicators that will show us the status of the disks, and so we will know if they are ready or not. If we want to be sure, we wait a minute, which is not so much time either. Once the process is ready, they have a button that we will simply press and the cloning process will begin.
Again, in some advanced docking, they even have light signals that will tell us in what state the process is, even with percentages.
Once the process is finished (some docking have acoustic signals (whistle), others simply indicate it with light signals), which can take several hours in some cases depending on the capacity of the disks, we can turn off the docking, take out the hard drives, and proceed to install the target disk , which is now a clone from which we had as origin, in our system.