By Dervish / Last Updated May 12, 2023

Why need to clone hard drive to USB flash drive?

Clone a hard drive means to move the contents of the hard drive to another hard drive. In other words, it is copying the hard disk. More and more people want to clone hard drive to USB external hard drive for the following reasons:

● Data Backup: Your files and data are vulnerable to viruses and malware. It is wise to clone important data to make a backup. Once these files are lost, you can recover data after fixing the issue.
● Configure a new PC: Enterprise users will have a set of standard software for use. When you have a brand-new computer, you can directly migrate various applications that have been backed up to the USB to the new computer without re-download.
● Upgrade hard drive: The writing and reading speed of SSDs are much faster than HDDs. If you need to upgrade HDD to SSD, you can clone the HDD to a USB flash drive firstly, and then copy all data to the SSD from the USB external drive.

After figuring out why we need to clone SSD/HDD to USB flash drive, then you know how to clone a disk to a USB external drive in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7?

The best clone freeware for cloning hard drive

Here, we recommend the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is one of the best cloning freeware for disk and partition cloning. It enables you to clone a whole disk or a partition to another storage device with ease.

And it provides “Clone Disk Quickly” method allowing you to clone larger hard drive to smaller drive if your USB flash drive is smaller than the source disk. It simplifies the cloning operation with an easy-to-use interface and several options, you can finish the cloning process in a few steps.

Besides, if you only plan to clone Windows operating system, you can try Migrate OS to SSD.

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

✍ Note: If you want to clone the system disk, you should upgrade to Professional edition. But if you plan to clone a data disk, there is no limit on partition style.

How to clone hard drive to USB Flash drive in Windows 11/10/8/7?

Connect the USB flash drive to your computer, and check out the steps to use AOMEI Partition Assistant to clone.

Step 1. Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant. And click “Clone” > “Clone Disk”.

Disk Copy Wizard

Step 2. To choose a disk clone method, “Clone Disk Quickly” is recommended, as it supports copying larger drive to smaller drive, and takes less time than “Sector-by-Sector Clone” way.

Copy Disk Quickly

✍Tip: If you need, you can also choose the “Sector-by-Sector Clone”, which would clone drive with all sectors including bad sectors, whether used or not.

Step 3. Select the hard drive you want to clone as the source disk and click “Next”.

Select Source Disk

Step 4. Choose the USB or other external drive as the destination disk, and click “Next”.

Select Destination Disk

Step 5. You can adjust the size of the partition on the USB flash drive. If you don’t need to, just click “Next”.

Edit Disk

Step 6. Click “Apply” > "Proceed" in the main interface, and view the details of the pending operation, then click “proceed” to execute the operation.


And AOMEI Partition Assistant also can clone only the system partition or another specific partition to another USB/HDD/SSD. And the steps are very similar except for slight differences.

In the main interface, right-click on the partition you want to clone, and select “Clone Partition” and follow the rest instructions to copy partition.

Clone Partition

To clone system partition, you can click “Migrate OS”, also, you can right-click on the system partition and choose “Clone Partition”.

Migrate Os To Ssd


These are all the steps to clone hard drive to USB flash drive in Windows 11/10/8/7. And it can be applied to clone disk to SSD/HDD and other internal or external devices.

With the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant,you can complete the clone easily. More importantly, there are more advanced features are waiting for you to unlock. Such as, convert MBR to GPT for Windows 11, convet NTFS to FAT32 without data loss, and more.

If you want to use these features in Windows Server, you should choose AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.