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Disk Clone VS Disk Image

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jul 17, 2024 • Filed to: Take Data Backup • Proven solutions

Whenever there is a discussion about making copies of a hard drive, two terms are always in mind that are disk clone and disk imaging. Are you wondering what is disk image and disk clone? Well, both technologies can create a detailed record of your hard drive.

Also, both can be used to take back up a drive or replace an old or failed one to drive with a new one. However, it’s crucial to note that neither of them simply copying and pasting data.

Dsk image vs disk clone

These two techniques offer the almost same feature but still are different in many ways. In this article, we will discuss what is disk image is and what is the difference between a disk image and a disk clone.

Part 1. Define Disk Clone and Disk Image

Before we describe the difference between clone and disk image, let’s first know what each of these options is all about:

What is Disk Imaging?

What is disk image

Disk imaging is the process that compresses the hard drive data, including the operating system, in the form of an image. It also has the information required to boot the operating system.

Further, the disk image stores all of the information needed to restore specific disks or partitions exactly same when the image was taken. You can store the disk images into the external storage device. It offers you various options to restore an image.

It is a reliable way to back up your system in no time.

What is disk cloning?

The process of copying complete data of the hard drive is known as cloning. In this data is copied from one drive to another drive without compressing the files. A disk cloning software allows you to create a copy of one hard drive onto another hard drive at a time. For instance, you might want to clone HDD to SSD in Windows 10 or Mac.

Part 2. What Are The Differences Between Disk Cone And Disk Image?

Disk imaging and disk cloning are very powerful techniques that can help you with changing systems by taking backup of the hard drives. However, despite a lot of similarities, they are different in many ways.

Let’s take a look at the difference between disk imaging and disk cloning!



Here are the pros and cons of disk imaging and drive cloning:

Disk Imaging

Drive Cloning


· Create an exact replica of the contents of a hard disk

· Deliver the images of a hard drive over a network of one or many systems simultaneously

· Resize individual partitions of many file systems

· It copied the data directly to the target location

· A cloned system drive has the operating system that can be mounted as a new drive


· Lack of knowledge of file systems allows copying hard disk block by block, which can take a long time

· Offers little recovery from errors during image generation

· The best hard disk image software is commercial and expensive

· A clone needs more space

· You can't create a differential or incremental clone

· Only one disk clone can be stored at a time

Part 3. Which Is Right for Your Choice?

Now, you might be wondering which one is better to use – disk imaging or disk cloning?

Well, they both are bet under different circumstances. Somewhere you find disk imaging a great option, while for others, you should choose disk cloning. Let’s discuss the scenarios to choose between disk imaging and cloning!

Scenario 1: Backup operating system on multiple computers

When you are running out of disk space, you wish to upgrade your system to a new flash drive from your old hard drive. Normally, you reinstall the Windows operating system along with various programs. Instead, you can use disk imaging, and it can directly put data on your flash drive in less time.

Now, if you have many systems at the office where you want to reinstall the operating system, disk imaging is the best option.

Scenario 2: Failing hard drive, you need recovery

Say your old drive is failed and not working. In this case, it needs immediate replacement. So, you are planning to buy a new hard drive and move the data from the old drive to the new one. In this scenario, disk cloning is the best option as compared to disk imaging.

It is because disk cloning is faster than disk imaging. Moreover, imaging a failing drive is not so easy.

Scenario 3: Overall backup of hard drive

When you go for cloning, you can save one copy per drive. Each time you desire or need a new clone, you need a new drive.

On the other hand, disk imaging allows you more than one backup option. The best part is that the images won’t take much space. So, if you need overall backup, then disk imaging is a great choice. You can take multiple backups with imaging, but with cloning, you need a separate drive for every clone.

Bonus Tip: Best Disk Clone Tool - Wondershare UBackit

If you want to clone your hard drive, or SSD, UBackit can be the best tool to help you achieve that. Wondershare UBackit is a professional tool that can make your disk cloning process practical and safe. And just a few simple clicks will make the disk be cloned successfully. It comes with a 30-days free trial option too. Here we will show you how to clone disk with Wondershare UBackit step by step:

Step 1. Launch Wondershare UBackit

After downloading and installing the program, launch it and find the Clone option from the sidebar. Then click Start.

select clone

Step 2. Select Clone Disk

Now, you need to select the disk you want to clone, as the screenshot shows. Then, click Next to continue.

select source disk

Step 3. Select Clone Destination

After that, choose one place where the disk will be cloned to. And please ensure that the destination disk has enough space to save the cloned one.

select destination

Step 4. Confirm the Process

When the source and destination disks have been selected, there will be a popup notifying you that all the data on the destination disk will be erased. If you're okay with that, then click Continue. Now, UBackit will start the disk cloning process.

popup shows up

Step 5. Complete Disk Cloning

It will take a few minutes or seconds to complete the process, which depends on the size of the source disk. Once it completes, you will receive a notification like the screenshot shows.

complete disk clone


We hope that from the above article, you have come to know what is disk image is or what is the difference between clone and disk image.

Both disk imaging and cloning are necessary services. You can use any of them according to your need. If you need a backup of the drive, then disk imaging is good, or if you need to recover the hard drive, cloning is a great choice.

So, understand the scenario and get benefits from disk imaging as well as cloning to ease your work.

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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