How to Clone Failing Hard Drive in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7?

How to clone a failing hard drive before it’s totally corrupted? In this post, the best third-party disk cloner will be introduced to help with hard disk clone.


By Michael / Updated on May 12, 2023

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How to clone a failing hard drive to a new drive

I’ve got a storage hard drive that seems to be failing, it is slow to access. I want to clone the drive to my new hard drive. I tried some cloning tools, but they can’t clone a hard drive with bad sectors. Is there a program that let me clone a failing HDD?"

- Question from Tom’s

Why clone failing hard drive?

If your hard drive is failing, you may find your computer becoming slower and slower. Even worse, your PC would show a blue screen, and tell your PC ran into a problem. To avoid data loss, it is necessary to clone the failing hard drive to another place.

Cloning a failing hard drive means transferring the whole data to another HDD, SSD or other storage devices. But most cloning ways can’t read and clone bad sector to a drive. And if the failed disk is the system disk and became unbootable, simple cloning tools can’t help you at all.

The fastest and easiest way to clone a failing hard drive

To copy a failing disk, here we highly recommend the powerful software-AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, which can help you to transfer the whole disk to another disk including operating system, folders, files, bad sectors, and applications in Windows 10, 8, 7. And it is a user-friendly cloning tool, you can finish the cloning process easily.

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This software has been chosen by a good number of people to transfer data due to its many benefits, such as:

It offers high compatibility. It performs well with most Windows operating systems, including Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, and Windows Vista.
It is able to create a Windows PE environment. If the hard drive can't boot up, you can create a bootable WinPE USB to start your PC firstly, and clone the hard drive.
It supports cloning larger disk to smaller disk. Especially if you use a new SSD that usually has smaller capacity, that will help a lot.
It provides Sector-by-sector clone method: This clone way copies the whole sectors to another disk. And it also allows you to only clone the used space, ignoring the bad sectors.

How to clone a failing hard drive in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7?

✍ Note:

● If the drive can boot up your PC, go to the step 2. 
● This software can clone boot disk from MBR to MBR/GPT, or GPT to MBR/GPT. 

● Please make sure the size of the target drive is equal to or larger than the source disk or the used space on it. 

Part 1. Create a bootable Windows PE USB


  • Another PC running with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP

  • Attach a blank USB drive, or CD/DVD to the computer

  • Back up the USB drive, CD/DVD if there are some data on it.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, and click "Tools"> “Make Bootable Media” on the main interface.


Step 2. Choose “USB Boot Device”, and select the prepared USB drive. If you inserted a CD/DVD, choose “Burn to CD/DVD”. And click “Proceed”.


Step 3. Then the program will send a message that the drive will be formatted, click “Yes” to confirm the operation. 


When the Windows PE USB is created, you can plug it into your computer and boot from it.

Part 2. Steps to clone failing hard drive in Windows 10, 8, 7

If the failing hard drive can boot up your computer, you can directly install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant to transfer data from the drive.

Step 1. Connect the new drive with your PC and then, run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Step 2. When you see the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant, select “Clone > Clone Disk”. 

Step 3. Choose “Sector-by-Sector Clone” to clone the whole sectors on the drive, including bad sectors. Or you can just choose “Clone Disk Quickly” to only clone used space.


Step 4. Choose the failing hard drive as the source disk.


Step 5. Choose the new hard drive as the destination disk. If the destination disk is an SSD, please check "Optimize the performance of SSD" to make it perform better.


Step 6. And you can edit the destination disk in this window. When you finish it, click “Next”.

1) Clone without resizing partitions: You’ll keep the size of source partitions.

2) Fit partitions to entire disk: The software will automatically adjust the size of partition to fit the entire disk

3) Edit partitions on this disk: You can resize the partitions on the disk on your own.


Step 7. Then click “Apply” > “Proceed” on the main interface to commit the cloning process.


After cloning the failing disk, you can try to fix the disk via AOMEI Partition Assistant. It can check bad sector on a disk. Just right -click on the hard drive, and click “Advanced” > “Check Partition”.

Try fixing the failing hard drive

If you think hard drive clone is too complex, you might as well try repairing the problematic hard drive first. If it’s can be fixed, then, you can save much time.

1. Check cable connection and power supply. If the Windows PC can’t be recognized by your hard drive, please check the cable and power supply first. Remove the hard drive from the PC and several seconds later, reconnect it to the machine and check whether Windows detects the hard drive in BIOS or File Explorer.

2. Install the hard disk to another PC to see whether it can be detected. If yes, you’d better reinstall the device driver.

3. Fix bad sectors with Command Prompt: Run the utility of Command Prompt and execute a repairing command for all partitions on the hard disk: chkdsk E:/f/r (It will find and fix logical and physical problems for the hard disk. Relace E with the current drive letter)


After running the command line to repair your hard drive, now, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant to check the health of the hard drive

Final words

So much for cloning a failing hard drive in Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7 with AOMEI Partition Assistant. If the failing hard drive can’t be fixed, this tool can also help you to remove the bad sectors from the hard drive. And you can also try those more advanced features of the AOMEI software, such as lost partition recovery, MBR-GPT conversion, and so on.

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.