Rob has set up a new computer, and he wants to clone his hard drive before he does anything else, so he'll have a backup. Leo says that's a great idea. Windows 10 has its own imaging utility under backup. But there are other solutions:
Sean has four hard drives on his computer. He then removed all the bloatware by reinstalling Windows. But now he has a full SSD and wants to know how to migrate all his settings, bookmarks, temp files, etc. to a larger drive. How can he do that? Leo says it's nontrivial to do this. The key is to make a perfect copy of his home directory. The problem is his Windows Registry. He can't just move that over. Settings for programs and logins are stored there, and he will lose those.
Stuart is a long time user of Norton Ghost. He just put a solid state drive into his laptop, and needs to crate a bootable version. Leo says that it's usually better to use the utility that comes with his SSD. It makes a bit for bit copy of his old hard drive. Western Digital and Seagate both make them and he can probably download them from their websites without having to buy another drive.
Larry recently cloned his hard drive using EaseUS and then used that on his new hard drive. But the SSD he put it on was 250 GB and he can't use the remaining space on it. Can he recover it? Leo says that Acronis can create an image of the drive, keeping the partition. He can use the Windows partition manager to recover the rest of the partition, but if it doesn't work, Larry could try the EaseUS partition manager.
Bill's company has a third party server running Windows 8 Pro and SQL server. He wants to update the hard drive to an SSD, but there's latency issues. Leo says that since he's running proprietary point of sale software, the logjam could be there since they are concerned with piracy. It may mean that he can't just clone the drive and then restore it to the new one without having to reinstall that POS software. But ideally, each drive will come with a drive cloning utility that will make a direct copy that he can run. Once he does, then he can swap them out.
Rick has been getting text messages and his friends are getting text messages from him with a link to a YouTube video on phone hacking. The Apple Geniuses say that's impossible. How can that happen? Has his cellphone been hacked?
Larry is a firefighter and they use a mobile computer GPS utility running Windows. But there's some Panasonic Toughbook laptops that he can't get to work. Leo says that there's a video on how to install it here (YouTube)
The chatroom suggests cloning the hard drives on the ones that do work and then manually inputting the proper activation code. If it works, then he'll know it's a software issue. If it doesn't, then it's a hardware issue.
Scott would like to clone or image his hard drive. Here are some programs that will do this:
Brennan has a 2012 MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion. He also has a 2010 Mac Pro. He uses both for audio engineering. He has everything set up, and he wants to know if he could clone the MacBook Pro and then put that onto his Mac Pro. Leo says he may be able to. He could try making a bootable drive from a USB key and then selecting that when booting up the Mac Pro to see if it works. OS X should be smart enough to install any missing drivers. Otherwise he can always run the OS X installer and reinstall the OS directly
Kenny wants to know how to clone a hard drive. Leo says that usually when buying a new hard drive, it comes with a utility that will clone all the data and put it onto the new drive. That's much better than any third party utility. What's a good drive to buy? Leo recommends Western Digital, but they're pretty much the same now. There's not much to differentiate them anymore.