It is relatively straight forward to set a drive cloning providing of course that the drive doesn't have too many issues. For example if a drive has recently had a rebuild (head swap) and the drive is not in a particularly fit state then it won't be such a straight forward clone as there may be scratches on the drive or a couple of damaged heads, so in this situation the drive would need a lot more TLC.
Although most of the time if a drive is stable and is degraded or has been electronically repaired then the cloning process is never too daunting.
There are two types of cloning machines that we use in the lab:
First cloning machine: These ones are basic machines which have DR-DOS version 7.03 installed. These machines are mainly used for wiping but we also use them for cloning degraded drives, logical drives and at a push mechanical drives (if they have had a head swap and then have been powered up with all the heads working).
For the extremely complicated jobs we don't use these machines for cloning them as it would take twice as long to try and correct the errors.
Second cloning machine: These ones are more advanced and use a type of software that can be downloaded on any Windows 7 system with sufficient amount of RAM and a system that has the correct type of PCI express card.
As for cloning on these machines, the cloning process is a lot quicker, a drive can be cloned up to 256MB/s whereas with the first cloning machines you can only clone at speeds of 120MB/s. These machines are also a lot quicker and a lot easier at targeting specific files and folders, this is due to being able to load up the file and folder structure immediately and therefore mapping the files and folders that the customer wants so we can concentrate on cloning them rather than cloning the whole drive and putting more strain on the drive.
We normally use these machines for drives which contain a lot of unread sectors, or mechanically failed drives.