How to Clone Disk While Running Windows Safely and Easily

If you are eager to clone disk while running Windows, the software AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can help you a lot. It supports migrating only OS or clone system disk while Windows running.


By Dervish / Updated on August 24, 2023

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Can I clone a hard drive while Windows is running?

Yes, you can clone disk while running Windows. Most of the time, we need to do this mainly based on the following points:

Users can continue working while cloning hard drives without wasting time.
If something unexpected happens, the user can terminate the clone in time.
Avoid rebooting into Windows PE mode or PreOS mode after cloning, making the cloning more convenient.

Market-leading software: Clone disk while running Windows without losing data

Although there are many cloning software on the market, most of them need to perform the cloning in a shutdown state or reboot Windows after the cloning is completed. This makes the entire cloning process inefficient and cumbersome.

To make the cloning process more convenient and simple, the software AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can help you a lot. Its built-in Disk Clone feature provides Hot Clone technology, which means that users can clone drive while Windows running, and there is no need to reboot after the clone completed.

It is worth mentioning that Clone Disk allows you to clone the entire target disk to a new disk, including the OS and personal data. But if you just want to migrate OS to HDD/SSD, you can try Migrate OS to SSD feature, which supports moving only Windows system related partitions to new disk without reinstalling.

Please download the clone software to see how to clone disk when running Windows 10, 8, 7, and 11.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

▶ Part 1. What to do before cloning disk?

Please initialize the SSD first if it is brand new.

②  Install the new disk to desktop or laptop. If your electronic device has only one disk slot, you may need a SATA to USB adapter to connect it.

SATA Cable

You need to note that the partition style must be compatible with boot mode (UEFI and Legacy BIOS). To avoid changing the boot mode after cloning, you'd better keep the partition style of the new disk consistent with the partition style of the source disk. So, please convert to GPT or MBR if necessary.

▶ Part 2. Clone disk while running Windows step by step

Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant. Then, run it and click Clone -> Clone Disk.

Copy Wizard

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


Clone Disk Quickly allows you to adjust the size of partition on the destination disk and supports cloning larger disk to smaller one.
Sector-by-Sector Clone allows you to clone all sectors on source disk to destination disk.

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

Source Disk

Step 4. And choose new disk as the destination disk. If the destination disk 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 and Proceed to submit the operations.


Step 7. When this is done, you can continue to use Windows. And When the clone is over, Windows will not reboot.

▶ Part 3. Boot from cloned disk successfully

If it is a data disk, you just need to install it on the computer to use it. But for the system disk, if you want to boot Windows from the cloned disk. You must restart the PC, enter the BIOS and change the boot order to boot the computer from the cloned disk.

Change Boot Order


As you see from what has been discussed above, this is the full guide of cloning disk while running Windows. With the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro, you can clone system drive when Windows running.

Besides that, there are more advanced features are waiting for you to unlock. If you need to clone disk while Windows Serve running, you should switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

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.