When I bought my PC, it came with an 160 GB hard disk which has now become smaller for my increasing space requirements. I use some online storage services like Google Drive, Wuala, Spideroak etc., but still there is always some need of local hard disk space. So I had to buy a new larger Western Digital 750 GB hard disk. But now came a problem, if I replace the old hard disk with the newer one, I had to re-install Windows all over again which is a painful experience and takes many hours. Fortunately, there is XXClone – a freeware application that allows you to backup your Windows system hard disk from right inside Windows itself.
XXClone enables you to create a clone of your hard drive on another disk and use it for backup or emergency recovery. The backup disk can be set bootable, allowing you to simply switch hard drives and run your system from the cloned drive if disk failure or other problems force such a measure, or if you want to upgrade to a new hard drive.
You can download XXClone from their website. The download is about 6 megabytes in size and comes in form of an installer package. After the installation, you can run it from its Start Menu shortcut (or Start screen in Windows 8). The XXClone window shows up with a very easy user interface. You have to select the source hard disk volume and the target hard disk volume. The free version of XXClone has only one operation mode (/backup1). After selecting these hard disk volumes, you can click on the Start button to start the cloning process.
There are some advanced options like setting an alternative wallpaper in the Windows installation of the target volume. This feature sets a different wallpaper for you in the target hard disk. There is option for using HyperSync algorithm which makes copying process faster. You can also shutdown the computer once the cloning process has finished. Under the Cool Tools section, there are many utilities which can make your life easier, for example, a tool to make the target volume bootable, a tool for cloning the volume ID (serial number) and more.
XXClone is a very easy to use cloning software for Windows. Unlike many other free cloning software like Clonezilla or PartImage, XXClone does not have a complicated user interface. Anybody can use it to clone hard disks without any trouble. It allows you to clone between FAT and NTFS file systems. It supports USB disks, ATA and SATA drives.
You can download XXClone from http://www.xxclone.com/.