Portable app for hot disk cloning a running Windows install #

Tom Ehlert's portable Drive Snapshot has been a longtime favorite for disk image backups, but it does not offer disk cloning.

Another product also from Germany, Miray's HDClone, does; it can clone a running Windows system to another drive via the portable hdclone.exe.

However, HDClone comes in a dizzying array of versions:

all of which (other than the free version) are hobbled with activation schemes; even "Professional Portable", which is intended "for professional use on arbitrary PCs", requires a USB dongle:

Use on any PC to be serviced with a USB token provided by us. The software may be permanently installed on those PCs, but can only be used when the token is connected.

While the free version is saddled with a number of artificial limitations (max copy rate of 30MB/s, no support for USB 3.0 or disks over 2TB, no cloning to smaller disks, etc.), it does offer hot disk cloning of live, running Windows instances without the need to install any software or wrangle with activation.

The problem with activation schemes is highlighted by btesoroni's post Lost USB Token and hit limit of December 2019 (which went unanswered, prompting a followup post the next day, Is this company still in business???? which is also unanswered).

Miray, please stop punishing your customers with activation schemes and learn from Tom's nearly two decades of success with his activation-free Drive Snapshot.

/windows | Jun 14, 2020

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