Clonezilla is a free program for backing up complete Operating Systems and optionally restoring them to HDD of equal or larger size
- recent releases can also restore to a smaller HDD, provided that the used space is smaller than the new HDD.
It is not well suited to routine data backup, although users data within the partition(s) will be backed up.
Be certain to read the documentation thoroughly before using Clonezilla, particularly if cloning MS Windows system, where the process has many "gotchas"
- try to have the online documentation available on another PC
- read the section pertaining to the proposed clonzilla routine
- the safest procedure with Windows is to create an image of the whole disk on a USB HDD
- the folder containing the image will have adequate metadata to identify hardware to which it belongs
- images contain only used blocks of the source drive and can be a fraction of the size of the source HDD
- the image folder can be copied or moved to another repository, to provide additional contingency
- if required, the image can be restored to the original HDD
- it can also be restored to a replacement (typically larger) HDD
- do not install two Windows system disks concurrently in a PC
- if the PC were booted, Windows would render both systems inoperable and give "Blue Screen of Death"
Clonezilla may be downloaded from
Alternatively, a more general purpose utility CD ISO image containing it may be purchased from