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Cloning vs Copying Files

Hi! I have a 2.5" 1TB WD Blue drive which I will be giving to my sister. I'll be replacing it with a slimmer (7mm) 1TB WD Blue.

 

Question: which would be faster? cloning or just copying the files over to the new drive?

If cloning, what's a good cloning software?

 

I'll try my best to connect both of them to SATA before the transfer. One's currently on a USB3 external enclosure.

 

P.S.

- not a boot drive, mostly contains media (movies/TV etc.)

- original drive is almost full at around 900+GB

Karamo

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I would clone, but since the drive is full, I would check and copy any files you need. If the drive has programs, you should do a clone since it has the lowest chance of breaking them.

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26 minutes ago, ARikozuM said:

I would clone, but since the drive is full, I would check and copy any files you need. If the drive has programs, you should do a clone since it has the lowest chance of breaking them.

No programs. It's a media storage drive.

Karamo

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I've had bad luck with cloning software, the Samsung migration software has worked well for me, but outside of that the few that I've tried just haven't worked properly, I even had a drive die last week while trying Macrium Reflect. I would highly recommend using a cloning dock such as the Inland GDPD01T, I've used it about 4 or 5 times now after the guys at Microcenter recommended it and it's worked flawlessly every time. There are more expensive options that can clone a half full 1TB to a 500GB if you want that option, this one can only clone to drives of the same size or larger.

 

http://www.microcenter.com/product/486120/dual_bay_docking_station

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If the files are mostly large, the difference in speed should not be too high, so it probably does not matter too much here.

 

As an aside though: For many small files, this can make a significant difference. Copying carries more overhead, since the copy routine has to open a filehandle for each source file, a filehandle for its target, send the contents from the source to the target, and then close both filehandles again (and maybe do some other magic too, like checking for file path uniqueness on the target side, depending on what you're using to copy them). The smaller the files become, the larger the overhead relative to the overall volume of data.

 

If you clone the drive, it can just slurp up all its contents and spew them onto the new drive without having to do any of that extra work (unless the cloning software does something extra, but the utilities I tend to use don't). Downside is that you have to trust your cloning utility as opposed to the OS copy routine (assuming you're going to use that).

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