I am now on my 3rd Surface Book (Windows 10) in the last year due to two prior failures of the Book. Each time I get a replacement machine from Microsoft, I need to spend parts of 2-3 days reloading my software packages [things like Adobe Acrobat, MalwareBytes, Google Chrome, an Access database] and all my files, my desktop icons, set up all my preferences (task bars, home page menu, individual quick access toolbars for Outlook, Word, Powerpoint, Excel), printer settings and software, etc., and then make a new recovery drive. This is all tedious and I never quite get back to where my system was operating before the Book crashed. I would like to know the best way to clone my hard drive and all these preferences, drivers, software updates, etc that any up-to-date machine has, so that if I lose use of the machine once again, all I need due is to copy the cloned drive w preferences loaded onto a new machine and then update with files from regular backups. I have some older WD 500 MB hard drives that I can wipe clean as the home for my clone drive. What is the best way to do all this and how do I need to set up the file structure/format (NTFS or ?) of my destination hard drive?
See if the following links helps
I believe NTFS will be the best option.