Originally Posted by jefro
"I don't want to brick my data by using unsafe methods."
EDDY1 posted an alternative to using a file based copy. As with dd and almost every other program there are many issues.
And This would be my go to method under most circumstances. Every once in a while though I run into clients who want to upgrade their hard drive but do not wish to re install because they lost their installation media for program "X" or "Y". Not much you can do in these situations except clone the drive.
I lost all the data of a past client trying to clone with Drive Image XML and the situation has really scared the shit out of me since. Worst feeling ever in the context of business. Ive had success before using clonezilla and other image utilities but I just don't trust anything to do a direct clone properly.
So ideally the best thing to do is backup data with a standard file copy and then clone the drive. Even though cloning seems to be haphazard at best, I'd still be interested to know what you guys think is the safest method. In my experience, Clonezilla has proved to be fairly efficient although occasionally I've ran into snags with hardware detection.