The cloning functionality within Macrium Reflect™ allows you to make an exact copy of the source disk. The target disk does not need to be the same as the source and can even be larger or smaller in size, as long as it is big enough to accommodate the data on the source. This is done in Reflect by using the drag-and-drop interface. Since it is not possible to have two identical disks complete with identical disk identification numbers running on the same system at the same time, Reflect automatically reassigns the disk ID of the target system. You will also find that the drive letter assignments change on the target system since once again, it is not possible to have two C: drives on the same system. However, once the original disk has been removed from the system, the drive letter assignments should settle down. If they are not as you wish, they can always be reassigned using the Windows Disk Manager.

Uses of cloning

The word 'clone' often gets confused with backup and imaging. From the point of view of making a backup of your system to that you can recover individual files or restore your system in the even of failure, cloning is not the best way forward and it is recommended to make images of your system and then run subsequent incremental or differential backups to save disk space. Cloning is ideal if you have a mission critical system that you can not afford to go down for any length of time. Installing the system on one disk and data on another and then making a clone of the system disk means that in the event of failure of the system disk, you can simply swap it out for the clone and the system should be back up and running straight away. Since there is no concept of incremental or differential backups within the cloning world, any clone of a disk containing live data, would become obsolete quite quickly.

Please note that when cloning a disk, the entire contents of the target disk including partition information will be deleted and replaced with the contents of the original disk.