Part of the Personal computing glossary:

What is disk cloning?

Disk cloning is the act of copying the contents of a computer's hard drive. The contents are typically saved as a disk image file and transferred to a storage medium, which could be another computer's hard drive or removable media such as a DVD or a USB drive.

Purposes of disk cloning include:

  • System recovery, for example to return a hard drive to its original configuration after serious problems.
  • Provisioning new computers before sale.
  • As a "reboot and refresh" option for public computers.
  • Recreating your system configuration on a new computer.
  • To return a system to an original configuration with no personal data before selling or giving a computer away.

Disk cloning is also known as ghost imaging.

Learn More About IT:
> Wikipedia has more information in its entry about disk cloning.
> Wikipedia also provides a comparison of disk cloning software.

This was last updated in July 2009
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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