Disk cloning is a category of utility software that copies the contents of one computer hard disk
drive to another or into an image file. This "clone disk" is sometimes referred to as
ghost Imaging. Often, the contents of the first disk are written to an image file as an intermediate step, and the second disk is loaded with the contents of the image. This
"clone disk" procedure is also very useful when moving to a
clean larger capacity disk.
There are a number of notable uses for "clone disk" "clone
HDD" software, including:
Reboot and restore - a clone HDD technique in which the disk of a computer is
automatically wiped and restored from a "clean", master image
that is in full working order without viruses.
Provisioning new computers - "clone disk" utilities can be used to provision
a standard set of software so that a new user is ready to go straight
away with a complete clean hard drive loaded application suite and does not have to waste time
installing individual applications.
Hard drive replace or upgrade. An individual user may use "clone disk" utility to
replace or to upgrade to a new clean and typically larger hard disk drive.
Full system backup. The "clone disk" utilities can be used to create a
rather comprehensive backup of the operating system and other installed software.
System recovery. The "clone disk" technique can be used to restore a computer to its
clean and original factory software configuration.
Transfer to a different user. A system sold or given to another person
may be reset by reloading a known clean "cloned image" that contains no personal files or information.