Q: Can SyncBack make an exact copy of my hard drive?
SyncBack can copy all of your files (including locked files if you are using SyncBackSE or SyncBackPro), but cannot make an exact copy of your drive. SyncBack is designed to copy your important files, e. g. your pictures, documents, music, etc. You can always reinstall the operating system and any programs, but you cannot recover your files unless you've made a backup. With SyncBack making a backup of those files is very quick and easy.
To make an exact copy of your drive you must use "disk imaging" software. With disk imaging, the entire disk (the parts that are used) is copied bit-by-bit. This means the copy will take up a lot of disk space, and take much longer to copy.
Your Windows operating environment is constantly changing. Programs are installed, updated, uninstalled, and settings are changed. Many important security specific applications are also regularly and automatically updated. Anyone who users their computer to connect to the Internet should have in place Anti-Virus, Firewall, and Anti-Spyware programs, all now available from within the Windows operating system. These issues, combined with the much longer, costlier (more disks), and less convenient (more time consuming) disk imaging process inevitably means that for the average user, disk imaging is carried out far less frequently than the kind of backup SyncBack delivers.
Because disk imaging makes an exact copy of your original drive it also means that any virus or malware infection on the original drive (as well as any other problem) will also be there in the backup image. When you restore from that image then you\'ll be reinfected and have the same problems. Microsoft itself recommends a clean installation:
SyncBack copies all your important files in a fast, up to date, and reliable manner. Windows and programs can be reinstalled, your files cannot.