I have recently noticed a number of posts asking about cloning as a back up strategy so I thought I would comment on a method I reliably use. For years my back up strategy was to simply make a plug and play clone of my C: drive every couple of weeks. I used a DOS based version of Ghost (on a disk or USB device) that worked very well, was simple, did not run from the Windows environment, and did not require installing one of the popular but overly complex bloatware packages (in my opinion). If the destination drive was bigger than the source drive, Ghost would automatically expand the partition to utilize the entire drive. On a couple of occasions over a lot of years it was a wonderful thing having a replacement drive that just needed to be plugged in when my installed C: drive failed. With the advent of W7, Ghost no longer worked as well as it once did. The Ghost clones required a Windows repair using the Windows repair disk to make the clone boot. This added complexity made me lose confidence in the reliability of the backup clones because it was not always reliable when I periodically tested it. I also missed the one step consistently reliable simplicity of Ghost. The following procedure works: It works well, it is easy, runs from a USB drive, is free, and I just thoroughly tested it again to prove it is reliable. It is essentially a much refined GUI version of the old DOS based Ghost. There is a free product called Disc Copy by EaseUS. It boots from a USB device so nothing needs to be installed under Windows. I tested it again today by doing the following: 1. Using EaseUS Disc Copy (booting from a USB memory device), I cloned my 128 Gb Samsung 830 SSD to another identical 128 Gb Samsung 830 SSB. The clone booted indistinguishably from the original and I can see no meaningful difference in any of the benchmarks, boot time, etc. In fact, this is being typed on the clone which will remain installed because I see no reason to remove it. 2. I then cloned the clone to a 1 Tb Western Digital Blue HDD. Again, except for seeing the effects of a painfully slower mechanical HDD as compared to an SSD, it too worked perfectly just by plugging it in. EaseUS Disc Copy, unlike Ghost, will not automatically expand the partition if the destination drive is larger than the source drive. For the purpose of having a ready to use backup safely stored out of harms way on a shelf, this really does not matter. However there is also a free solution to easily fix this. EaseUS also has available a free product called Partition Master Home Addition. The free product must be installed under Windows but the downloaded file is only about 11 Mb so it does not have a big foot print. There is a version that can be purchased for $40 that I think allows running it from a USB device. Nevertheless, very simply, it expanded the partition on the Western Digital 1 Tb HDD clone to include the entire drive. I previously used Truecrypt and found I could not get the procedure above to work reliably. My C: drive is now unencrypted. The Samsung 840 SSD is advertised as having 128 bit AES hardware encryption but it requires a motherboard that supports TPM. I do not yet have an 840 (256 Gb very soon) and my motherboard does not support TPM. In any case, I do not know how well EaseUS Disc Copy will work with this form of encryption. Hope this helps.