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How Can You Free Ghost Hard Drive in Windows 7/8/10?


Summary: Worry about system failure or system corruption happens to your Windows 7 computer in the future? Why not use the best free ghost hard drive software – MiniTool ShadowMaker or MiniTool Partition Wizard to backup Windows 7 hard disk to protect your OS and data from the unexpected data loss and system issues? Get them right now.

Q: "I've got an HDD that is seriously lagging my comp down, every boot takes longer and has more errors. I need to know how to clone/copy it (it's my boot drive) so that I can place its contents on a new drive I just ordered.

Please, I desperately need to replace my boot drive and I have lots of software on here that I can't get again, I do have another drive with some space on it to maybe store an image to put on my new drive. Would new drive need to be connected to a current system with crashing drive and then ghost/clone it?"

- from tomshardware.com

Are you facing the similar situation? In a nutshell, hard drive failure always happens on your computer because of virus infection, hacker attack, sudden power outage, bad sector, and more. Then, unexpected data loss turns up. For system disk, if the disk gets corrupted, the system is very easy to get corrupted. Nowadays, Windows 7 is still gaining popularity of the worldwide users. Well then, what if your Windows 7 computer fails to start up?

The only thing you can do to fix this issue is to reinstall the operating system unless you ghost hard drive of Windows 7 in advance. In event of accidents, things will become easier: the backup is available to restore system and data. On the other hand, to ghost Windows 7 hard drive to another hard disk can be counted as a good solution for disk upgrade when the system disk is too smaller and older. How can you backup hard drive for your PC? More on this later.

How to Ghost Hard Drive Windows 7

In order to guarantee data security, to come up with a good strategy to do hard drive backup is urgent for many users. For backing up data, the simple and straightforward way is worth mentioning. And here, we will tell you two options to ghost hard disk for Windows 7: image and clone.

① How to Make Ghost Image of Windows 7

This option refers to creating a disk image. Then, what is a hard disk image? To be specific, this way will create a complete copy or snapshot of the contents of your hard drive, and all data will be compressed in an image. Actually, you can ghost more than one image and save them to an external hard drive. When hard drive failure or system corruption comes up, your computer can still go back to a correct status by the restoration from the image you have created.

Use MiniTool ShadowMaker

How can you create a disk image in Windows 7? As far as we are concerned, the most efficient way is to use a piece of free and powerful image backup software to ghost hard drive. To satisfy users' needs, many kinds of corresponding software are developed by many organizations. Thereinto, shoddy software can cost much time to backup Windows 7 hard drive but the result is disappointing. Luckily, MiniTool ShadowMaker is coming to do a favor and avoid this situation.

Get MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition from the following button and install it on your computer for hard drive ghost.

When reading here, you probably ask us why use this ghost drive software. To put it simply, the Free Edition of this program is totally free, reliable and all-in-one for you to create an image of the system, partition or disk in Windows 7/8/10. When it is necessary, the image is helpful to restore system, partition or disk. This imaging software can guarantee your data security to a great extent.

How to create a ghost image of Windows 7 step by step? Let's look at the details.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker you have installed on your computer and click Local section.

local backup

Step 2: Then, this free ghost hard drive software can navigate to the Home page.

Just do as the guide language says:
1. If there is no backup created by MiniTool ShadowMaker, please click SET UP BACKUP button to start data protection right now.
2. If there is a backup, it is time to manage the backup task in Manage page.

Here we take the first situation as an example.


Step 3: In Backup page, you know MiniTool ShadowMaker will ghost Windows 7 system by default: all the system drives required for Windows to run have been checked.

But in this post, your aim is to ghost hard drive. Hence, please enter Source section, select a disk from the following combo box and choose all the partitions on the selected disk. Note that we choose system disk.

recommend Hot article: How to Backup Computer to External Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7

select all partitions

Step 4: After selecting the source drives, you need to go to Destination section. Then MiniTool ShadowMaker offers you two destination path options:

  • This Computer: All partitions in your computer are displayed here. In order to gain a safe disk backup storage, we strongly suggest choosing the partition of an external hard drive or USB flash drive.

    select destination path

  • Shared Folder: Click Add new button, put the corresponding Path, User name and Password in the small pop-out window.

    backup to shared folder

Step 5: After completing all the selections, click Back up Now and then MiniTool ShadowMaker will begin to ghost Windows 7 hard drive by entering Manage tab by itself.

disk backup

tip From the above figure, you can see three small tools: Schedule, Scheme, and Options. Well then, what are the functions of them?

1. Options: After clicking this button, you can make many advanced settings for the Windows 7 hard drive backup, including select one image creation mode, set file size, decide file compression level, add a comment for the backup and more.


2. Schedule: This feature is off by default. If you want to create an automatic backup for the backup image of the system disk, please turn on it. Then, choose one schedule setting when there is a need.


3. Scheme: It is still disabled by default. Turn OFF to ON, and then decide one backup scheme.


attention Attention

When clicking On Event from Schedule, Full and Differential from Scheme, MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition will pop up an interface to tell you these functions are not supported. Actually, in addition, you can see some other features are not included in the Free Edition.


If you need to back up on event or change backup scheme, please download MiniTool ShadowMaker Beta 3.0 for a free trial.

So far, we have told you how to create a ghost image of Windows 7 step by step. While system disk failure or system crash occurs, use the image file you have ghosted to restore your computer to the previous date. How can you restore your PC from an external hard drive? Follow the guidance. If you are looking for one free image backup software, download MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition to start to backup & restore system, partition, and disk at once.

② How to Clone Hard Drive to a New One

In addition to disk imaging, there is another way to ghost hard drive for your computer, that is to clone a hard drive. In simple terms, a clone means a direct copy bit by bit. Like that, all the data on the destination drive is identical to the data on the source drive. Everything (from the PC desktop to the device drivers, or from the OS to the hidden directory files) is copied identically, By this way, all the contents can be directly backed up to another disk. Well then, how can you clone a hard drive?

use Use MiniTool ShadowMaker

For a successful disk cloning, the best effective way is to use a piece of dedicated HDD clone software. It is good news that MiniTool ShadowMaker also offers you a powerful feature called Clone Disk. This feature is also free for Windows 7/8/10 users to clone hard drive of the computer including laptop and desktop to a new hard drive, such as SSD or HDD.

The steps are below:

Step 1: Launch this free hard drive cloning software you have downloaded on the PC. And then, go to Tools page. Just click Clone Disk from many small tools.


Step 2: In the following interface, click the corresponding section to select an original hard drive and a target hard disk.

  • Usually, we ghost Windows 7 system disk to an external hard drive for a safe backup or disk upgrade.
  • Besides, the target disk should be large enough so as to hold all data on the source disk.

clone hard drive

Step 3: Then MiniTool ShadowMaker enters the process page where you can see the rate of progress. And you need to wait for a few minutes, so be patient.

perform clone

Step 4: When the operation is completed, you can receive some information as shown below:
You should make sure either the original hard drive or the target disk is disconnected to your Windows 7 computer. Or else, Windows operating system may mark one disk as offline.


note Nowadays, "how to clone a laptop hard drive" is a common question. How to do it? The laptop only supports one hard disk. So, please connect your target disk to the laptop via a USB cable. Then, do as the above guidance shows you.

After hard drive cloning, remove the target disk. Like that, you complete ghosting your Windows 7 hard drive.

Want to ghost hard drive for your computer by cloning method with MiniTool ShadowMaker? Just get its Free Edition to have a try.

use Employ MiniTool Partition Wizard

MiniTool Solution Ltd. has developed another piece of HDD clone software – MiniTool Partition Wizard which gains great popularity from many computer users all over the world. By means of this all-in-one partition manager, you can manage your disk or partition well. Among its many powerful features, its two features - Copy Disk and Migrate OS to SSD/HD are available to ghost hard drive for Windows 7/8/10. The former is used to clone the system disk as well as a data disk. And the latter can help to clone the entire system disk or only migrate OS drives to another disk. Here we take the former as an example. Just download this free hard drive cloning software to begin to clone hard drive.

Step 1: Go to MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition main interface. Then click Copy Disk in the left action panel after selecting the target hard drive.

copy disk

Step 2: Select a destination disk to store the source contents.

1. Here this disk should be big enough so as to hold all data on the source disk.
2. Moreover, please pay attention to that the cloning process can overwrite the data on the target disk.

select target disk

Step 3: Choose one copy option based on your actual need.

copy option

Step 4: Then some information about how to boot from the target disk will be shown here. Just do it in the event of system corruption.

Step 5: Press Apply to perform all the changes.


Now, you must know much information about how to ghost hard drive in Windows 7/8/10. In this post, we tell you two backup strategies – image and clone.

By means of MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition, it is quite easy to ghost the disk by creating an image or cloning a hard drive to SSD/HD. In addition, you can also adopt another piece of ghost drive software – MiniTool Partition Wizard to clone your disk for backup. Please select a proper way to backup your computer.

Suppose that you have some questions whiling using our software, remember to tell us by leaving one comment in the following zone or writing an email to our support team via [email protected]. Also, the suggestions are appreciated here.