By AOMEI / Last Updated August 6, 2020

Why need to clone hard drive to USB flash drive?

Cloning a hard drive is to clone the content of the hard drive to another location. Lots of people adopt it to transfer OS or data to a USB flash drive or other external storage devices due to different 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 easily get data back after fixing the issue.
● Configure a new PC: Business users will have a set of standard software for use. When you have a brand new computer, you can transfer those software and programs to the new PC without installation.
● Upgrade hard drive: SSDs are much faster than normal hard drives. If you need to upgrade HDD to SSD and have no adapter, you can clone the HDD to USB flash drive firstly, and then copy all data to the SSD from the pen drive.

So how to clone a disk to a USB external drive in Windows 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. Besides, it simplifies the cloning operation with an easy-to-use interface and several options, you can finish the cloning process in a few steps.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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✍Note: The Standard edition works well in cloning MBR drive to MBR USB drive, if you clone MBR disk to GPT USB, or GPT to GPT, or GPT to MBR drive, please use the Professional edition.

How to clone hard drive to USB Flash drive in Windows 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 “All Tools” > “Disk Clone Wizard”.

Disk Copy Wizard

Step 2. 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 to SSD”, 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 10/8/7. And it can be applied to clone disk to SSD/HDD and other internal or external devices.

It is worth mentioning that you need to take the partition style into consideration. If the partition style of the source and destination disk are different, you need to upgrade to Professional Edition, which offers many advanced features, like converting MBR to GPT or from GPT to MBR disk without deleting volumes, partition alignment, etc.