Can anyone recommend a different CD bootable utility I might try to clone a hard disk drive?

I've so far failed to perform the seemingly simple task of cloning the contents from a small hard disk drive onto a larger one.

Apparently Hitachi (target) doesn't offer a bootable utility for this. But, that's okay because Western Digital (source) does!

Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools 11.2 for DOS (CD)

But, when I boot from its CD, it immediately reports that it now doesn't have a SATA CD driver?!?

blah blah blah

Virtual disk drive : C: (128 Kb, 512 bytes, 512 entries)

CD-ROM Device Driver for IDE/ATAPI, Ver 1.5 rev.016
Copyright (C) 1997.  All rights reserved.

**Error:  No CD-ROM drive found, please check power or cable.
**Error:  IDE CD-ROM device driver NOT installed!!

Caldrea DR-DOS 7.05
Copyright (c) 1976, 1998 Caldera, Inc.  All rights reserved.

A:\> echo off
NWCDEX.EXE Version 2.18 CD-ROM file handler.
Copyright (c) 1992, 1997 Caldera, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Driver not found: 'generic'.
A:\NWCDEX.EXE requires a Driver name to be specified.
Invalid drive specified
Command or filename not recognized
Command or filename not recognized
Command or filename not recognized
Command or filename not recognized

Well, there is a floppy version:

Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools 11.2 for DOS (Floppy)

So, I pried a floppy diskette drive from an old computer, hooked it up, created the boot disk, rebooted the PC, and it failed too!

Starting Caldera DR-DOS...
Can't load BDOS kernel file: A:\IBMDOS.COM
System halted.

I reformatted to try again, but then I then couldn't create the disk.

Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools - Diskette write-protect tab must be closed.

The tab was closed. I toggled it and retried several times. I even tried different diskettes. Same error each time. I guess my ancient floppy diskette drive must be broken.

Can anyone recommend a different CD bootable utility I might try to clone a hard disk drive?

Update: I've salvaged a second floppy disk drive from an old computer. It also insists that the diskette's write-protect tab is open. Windows will format it, so it's Western Digital's issue.

Update: Perhaps it's a problem with Windows Vista. I was able to create the floppy diskette with Windows XP.

Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools diskette was created successfully

8 Answers 8


The canonical commercial example is Ghost; good open-source alternatives include FOG or Clonezilla.

(Also useful to know is you can make a bootable DOS USB key with the HP Drive Key Boot Utility. Never touch a floppy disk again.)

  • Clonezilla is great - and free!
    – Jes
    Aug 6, 2009 at 20:41
  • Clonezilla is the wait to go. Vote up.
    – djangofan
    Aug 11, 2009 at 21:44
  • Clonezilla worked for me! Aug 28, 2009 at 16:26


Mount the destination drive read-write, then if the origin drive is SDB, run "dd if=/dev/sdb of=/mnt/sda/drivebackup.img". Or, even better, "dd if=/dev/sdb | gzip -9 > /mnt/sda/drivebackup.img".

Or try these instructions: http://bhavesh.freeshell.org/cloninghd.html

  • 2
    sysresccd.org or any other linux livecd will do... Jul 2, 2009 at 22:01

See this thread..


Acronis works pretty well for this. They even offer a pluggin for BartPE I think, so you can boot off the BartPe CD and do your clone from there.

  • 1
    Acronis themselves supply that plug-in but, for what it's worth, I've never been able to get it to work. Jul 2, 2009 at 22:12
  • 1
    We use it all the time...works nicely. IIRC we just dropped it in like other plugins.
    – Adam Brand
    Jul 2, 2009 at 22:13

Read above - the other guy got it working on Windows XP - I'm off to try that now. But it is time WD updated it given that Windows 7 is just around the corner


Yea, I tried on XP after and it didn't work. shocker :-P


For upgrading HDD jobs like this I use DriveImageXML on a UBCD4Win disk.

I have the upgrade process detailed in my Admin Wiki:

Note: It can also be used in conjucntion with mapped networked drives.

Steps from my Wiki:

  • Boot the target box with the UBCD4Win disc.
  • Run DriveImageXML.
  • Backup all partitions on HDD A one by one to either a seperate disk or mapped drive.
  • Remove HDD A.
  • Install HDD B.
  • Re-create HDD A partitions using Windows disk manager to new desired sizes. Restart if needed.
  • Restore backups using DriveImageXML. It will allow you to restore the files to a larger HDD.
  • Run FixMBR to repair the MBR.
  • Attempt to boot into your OS.
  • If you cannot boot into your OS try safe mode then recovery mode.
  • Examine the disk manager to make sure everything is correct.
  • You may need to reboot after booting into the OS because of drivers or Windows not recognising the partitions. Just keep fixing any partition problems in the disk manager.
  • Test that the machine works and functions as it should before giving the OK.

This method is only suitable for smaller to larger HDD drive upgrades. DriveImageXML will not restore to a drive that is not identical or smaller in size. It is highly suggested that the new drive be larger in all cases

Doing this with DriveImageXML may seem like it has an extra step involved but the process allows you to have a reliable backup during which is important.

Gotcha: DriveImageXML is not able to backup hidden partitions. It also only supports NTFS and FAT file systems.


From Sumanji at Overclockers UK Forums:

I'm trying to make a bootable diagnostic floppy and the stupid thing keeps telling me that the write-protect tab on the disk is open (it isn't!) - same error on 4 different floppy disks. ... WD you SUCK at writing software


Related question: Clone all drive partitions?

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