Clone Your Hard Drive the Easy Way with Macrium Reflect Free

Cloning a drive makes an exact duplicate of the one you’re using. This comes in handy when replacing a drive with a new one. Macrium Reflect Free is an easy way to clone a drive.

featuredimage clone hard drives

Having an app that can clone hard drives can come in handy quite often. Especially if you’re like me, and add new components to your Desktop PC. Just recently, I got a brand new HDD, which will be replacing my old external one. The question was how can I copy all of my data without losing generated thumbnails, hidden files and other valuable data? Turns out it’s actually just a few clicks away with Macrium Reflect — and it’s totally free.

Download Macrium Reflect Free Version

Macrium Reflect has three versions – Free, Standard, Pro, and Server editions. You’ll find that the free version has more than enough features for what you want to do. Downloading and installing is as simple as ever, and the installed makes no attempt to flood your computer with search engines or other crapware you don’t need.

1 - macrium reflect website download

Starting up Reflect

The first time you start up Reflect it will analyze every hard drive connected to your computer. The analysis simply checks the used file system, available space, and other basic information about each drive and partition.

2 - first launch macrium reflect load

The Interface

The user interface of the program is nice and clean, and it brings the most common features right up front. On the main screen you can see all of your hard drives along with their partitions (if they have any).

3 - main screen interface ui

Clone Your Hard Drive

First, find the disk you want to clone and then click the Clone this Disk button below.

4 - disk clone chose disk

Next click the “Select a Disk to Clone To” link.

5 -clone wizard chose destination disk

Then pick the new hard drive your cloning your current drive to.

6 - selecting destination disk copy to clone to

Notice the checkbox Copy selected partitions when I click “Next”. If the hard drive you will be cloning has partitions, ticking this box will partition the destination hard drive on the next step.

In most cases, you would want to leave that enabled, so just click Next to continue.

7 - wizard first step complete

From here on, you will get a summary of the operations that will be performed. If you did something wrong, you can always go back and reconfigure. If everything is okay, however, click Finish to begin cloning process.

8 - clone summary final step

You might get a warning message about overwritten files, on which you would want to click Continue.

9 - warning dialog final files delete overwrite

And a small tray notification indicating the beginning of the process will pop up.

10 - tray notification popup cloning started

The cloning can take anywhere from a few minutes to hours or days. The amount of time it takes will depend on the amount of data and your hard drive speeds. I copied 260 GB from my external hard drive to my newly-purchased internal one in about 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Cloning a drive makes an exact duplicate of the one you’re currently using. This process comes in very handy when replacing a drive with a new one, like I showed here. Or, if you think you’re drive is about to fail, you might be able to save it before it’s completely out of commission.



  1. Chintak

    July 11, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks for the helpful post.

    Does cloning the OS drive resolve the issue of OS licensing?

  2. Paul Hays

    July 17, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Huh? three versions – Free, Standard, Pro, and Server?! Otherwise, good go!

  3. Mike Scallan

    July 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    CNET download has the “crapware” with it. DO NOT DOWNLOAD!!!!!!!!!

  4. Jerry

    November 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I have an external HD which already has some individual files saved. If I use it as the “target” drive for a cloning, will the information from my internal HD overwrite what’s currently on the external or will the cloned info be zipped (or filed) separately?

  5. mals48323

    June 1, 2014 at 9:44 am

    A very useful article. The author states that “You might get a warning message about overwritten files, on which you would want to click Continue.” Unfortunately when I cloned my C drive, the warning did not appear and I lost the contents of the destination drive. I wish I had understood cloning before attempting it.

    Marcium insists that the warning message will always appear and in my case, it never appears. I reinstalled the software with no success. There is no warning message period. Do others have the same issue?

  6. Ann

    March 23, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    My target drive area says “No Disk Available” even though the new drive is plugged into a USB port. I cannot figure out why or how to fix it.

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