Last updated: July 3, 2022
Hard drive failures are among the most annoying for the user. They are even more so if we have not made a recent backup.
If one of your hard drives makes funny noise or has been contaminated with malware, then it is best to plug in an external recovery hard drive containing TestDisk software and make a clone your disk before the latter completely lets go.
TestDisk is a French software for Windows 10, free and open source that will help you repair or recover as much data as possible from a defective hard drive. This program allows you to make a bit by bit copy of the hard disk. This copy will be an identical clone of the disk, which means that you can recover all the files from it, even those that have been deleted.
If your hard drive contains your OS, you will have to dismantle it to try the recovery on another PC. Above all, you should not manually copy the failed disk files under penalty of overwriting data or accelerating the decay of your gear.
Clone Windows 10 hard drive
In previous articles, we have already seen how optimize Windows 10. Here we will see how clone hard drive Windows 10 and once the image is created, we will see how to access files and restore them to another PC.
Step 1: download and install Testdisk
To begin with, it is therefore necessary download Testdisk here which has the particularity of running on all operating systems (Windows 10, MacOS and Linux).
TestDisk does not require any installation. Unzip the archive and place the folder in the hard drive or USB key that will be used to accommodate the data.
Remember that if your hard drive or the partition to be recovered is 120 GB, the image will be 120 GB even if your hard drive contains more than 70% free space.
Then run Testdisk_win.exe.
And do Create then choose the partition to save.
Find your disk size using your disk or check the disk properties for your operating system. For month it will be C: / (Disk / dev / sda).
Step 2: select the partition to clone
The following concerns the choice of the type of partition. In principle the default value is the correct one, because TestDisk performs an auto detection. In my case, it tells me that my partition table is of type "Intel".
Then there you have the choice. If you want to recover deleted data you will have to choose Analysis, but for this scenario, everything is explained in the official tutorial here. I just want clone hard drive Windows 10 to then recover the data on this image which will not be destroyed. So I select "Advanced".
At this point, it offers me the partitions of the disk. Nothing to do with Swap, I directly select the Windows 10 partition, the one with the largest size (Size). And I select Image Creation. I validate by pressing the Enter key on my keyboard.
Step 3: Select the hard drive backup location
You will then have to choose the location where you will store this disk image.
Use the right / left arrows to navigate in the directories and press C when everything is OK. The image will be copied.
If the software crashes, it will resume where it was. The process took almost 20 minutes for a 20 GB hard drive. There it's finished. I could clone my hard drive et image.dd is on my backup drive.
Step 4: read the contents of the backup
But what to do with this file? To explore and read the contents of this file, simply open your image.dd with Testdisk. To do this, right-click on the .dd file and select open with Testdisk.
But you can also open it with the 7-Zip File Manger. You just have to right click then open with ... and find the 7-Zip software in your hard drive.
The .dd file will then open as an archive and you can recover the files you wanted to save from certain death! You can also open this .dd file with PhotoRec.