backing up a HARD DRIVE.
Cloning and imaging both creates an exact copy of your hard drive. All of its partitions, files, master boot record and everything else on the hard drive, but there is a difference between cloning on imaging.
Cloning a hard drive creates a copy of everything on the hard drive onto another hard drive so you’ll have two identical hard drives. Reasons for you to do this is for example that the old hard drive is breaking down & you need to replace it. By copying everything onto the other hard drive you can replace it without having to re-install windows. The down side to cloning is that you can only have one copy per hard drive.
For more about cloning: Wikipedia.org.
While explaining what Cloning does I think that I have partially explained what Imaging is. Imaging a hard drive is creating a big zip file. Instead of needing one hard drive per back-up you can place more then one image on a hard drive. It will compress everything on the hard drive into a single, compressed file. Don’t forget tho this file will be huge.
For more about Imaging: Wikipedia.org.
cloning or imaging
It depends on the situation you’re in, but both could be useful. Should your hard drive crash or fail? all you need to do is replace the crashed drive with a clone and you’ll be up and running.
An image has to be installed onto the hard drive before it can be used. The advantages of an image is that you can save more backups with different settings, programs, or files.
creating a clone or image
You can find several software programs to create a clone or image on google.
In all honesty i’m not going to name one program because I’m not going to promote a single one since there are several programs with their advantages and disadvantages.
Here is a list on wikipedia.org