Solved - Can Clone A Hard Drive While It Is in Use?

If you are confused about can clone a hard drive while it is in use in Windows 10, you can refer to this post. It will tell you the detailed process of clone disk while Windows running.


By Dervish / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Can clone a hard drive while it is in use?

Nowadays, more and more people are wondering can clone a hard drive while it is in use by another application. This is because if the computer restarts while cloning the hard drive, it will interrupt your work, making it less productive and taking a long time.

In fact, cloning a hard drive is a good choice as a backup and upgrade disk. But whether a user can clone a HDD while it is running on Windows depends on the cloning software you use.

Usually, most cloning software on the market uses Cold Clone Tech, which means that the computer will reboot when the data is cloned. In this way, the user cannot use it while the hard drive is performing a cloning operation.

If you want to clone a hard drive while it is in use, you need to choose to clone software with hot clone.

How can clone a hard drive while it is in use in Windows 10?

Some users may want to ask can I use my computer while creating a system image? Yes, you can create a system image while Windows is running. But creating a system image is too complicated.

To clone a hard drive when it is running easily, I highly recommend you to use AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. This is a market-leading all-in-one disk partition management software that has been loved by users since its launch.

Its built-in Disk Clone feature provides Hot Clone Tech, it allows users can clone a hard drive while it is in use, and you don’t need to reboot the computer into Windows PE mode or PreOS mode after the clone is completed, making the cloning process more convenient.

In addition to that, if you just want to clone the OS to another drive. "Migrate OS to SSD" is also a good method, it supports migrating all data related to the Windows system to the target drive, and other data is left on the source drive.

Please download this tool to see how can clone a hard drive while it is in use by another application.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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▶ Part 1. What you should do before cloning a hard drive?

If the target disk has not been used, please initialize it first.

Install the new SSD to your desktop or laptop. If your electronic device has only one disk slot, you may need a SATA to USB adapter to connect it.


As we all know, the partition style must be compatible with the boot mode (UEFI and Legacy BIOS). In order to avoid changing the boot mode after cloning, you’d better make the partition style of the hard drive as the same as the partition style of the source drive. So, please convert the hard drive to MBR or GPT if necessary.

▶ Part 2. Start clone a hard drive in detail

Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro. Then, run it and click Clone -> Clone Disk in the left pane.

Copy Wizard

Step 2. Choose a clone method in this window. Generally, we recommend the Clone Disk Quickly and click Next.


Step 3. Choose the old hard drive as the source drive in this step and click Next.

Source Disk

Step 4. And choose new hard drive as the destination drive. If the destination hard drive is SSD, you can check“Optimize the performance of SSD” and click Next.

Target One

Step 5. In the Edit Disk window, you can resize the partition to fit the new disk and click Next.


Step 6. Finally, click Apply to submit the operations.


You can clone a hard drive while it is in use. And after the clone is completed, Windows will not reboot.

▶ Part 3. Boot from cloned hard drive without issues

If you clone only data, you can use it directly after the hard drive is installed. If you cloned the system drive, please enter the BIOS and boot computer from the new drive.

Change Boot Order

Final words

As you can see from the above, this is the full guide on how can clone a hard drive while it is in use. With the help of the AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro, you can do it easily and safely.

Last but not the least, if you want to clone disk while Windows Server running, you should switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server which can help you solve the various disk problems timely and flexibly.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.