Clone Internal Hard Drive to External Hard Drive within 6 Steps

Want to clone interanl hard drive to external hard drive for backup? Refer to this post to realize how to clone internal disk to external disk in Windows 11/10/8/7.


By Bryce / Updated on June 12, 2024

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Can you clone internal hard drive to an external?

“Hello! I have a computer with Windows 10 hard drive. I’m unwilling to suffer from data loss caused by events like hard drive failure, thus I want to clone the Windows 10 hard drive to a USB external hard drive for backup. Is it possible? How can I clone internal hard drive to external hard drive in a success? Thanks for your help!”

Can you clone a hard drive to an external hard drive? The answer is obvious. People choose to clone  internal hard drive to external hard drive for various reasons, such as:

★ Internal hard drive to external drive copy is helpful for data security. Compared with back up internal hard drive to an external drive, it saves the process of restoring, if an event happens.

★ Internal hard drive to external drive copy is beneficial to disk upgrade. Cloning to an external SSD helps users migrate everything to a new disk. The advantages of SSD can certainly improve the computer performance.

Best hard drive cloning software for Windows 11/10/8/7

It will be fairly easy to clone one hard drive to another if you find out an appropriate hard drive cloning software. Here I recommend you AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, which can clone the whole OS hard drive (hidden partitions included) or certain specific partition to external drive in Windows 11/10/8/7. With Clone Disk Quickly copy method offered, it supports you to clone Windows hard drive to a smaller disk, but the capacity of the target disk should not be smaller than the used space of OS disk.

You can also use its Migrate OS to SSD function to clone only OS-related partitions. It is worth mentioning that this hard drive cloning software is with user-friendly graphic interface, thus you can operate it without obstacles.

Step-by-step: How to clone internal hard drive to external drive

Before cloning:
● Connect the external hard drive to your computer and make sure that it can be recognized by Windows.
● Backup necessary data on the external hard drive as this operation will erase all data on the destination disk.
● Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Or, you can download its demo version to have a try!

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Then, you can have a closer look at how to clone internal hard drive that Windows installed to an external drive via this hard drive cloning software – AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, click "Clone" in the main interface and select "Clone Disk".

Disk Copy

Step 2. Choose the hard disk that you need to clone as the source disk and click "Next".

Copy Disk in Windows 10 Quickly

Step 3. Select the destination disk to store the data on the source disk, and then click "Next".

Seleect Destination Disk

Step 4. Then, you can check the source and destination disk in the next window or change to “Sector to Sector clone”, and click the "Confirm" button to continue if there is no problem.

Edit Disk

Here, you can also click the "Settings" button to adjust the partition size on the destination disk or tick "4k alignment" to improve the reading and writing speed of SSD if the target disk is an SSD drive.


Step 5. At last, click "Apply" and "Proceed" in the main interface to start cloning the hard drive.


✔ Reboot is necessary for this operation as it needs to be performed in PreOS mode.
✔ If you choose Sector-by-Sector Clone, you’ll not be allowed to adjust partition size during the cloning operation.
✔ AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is compatible with Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7; To clone disk in Windows Server, you can employ AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Last but not Least

With AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, you can clone internal hard drive to external drive within few clicks. Actually, it is featured with many other useful functions like recovering deleted partition on external hard drive, converting dynamic disks into basic without data loss, and so on.

Bryce · Staff Editor
Bryce is an editor of AOMEI Technology, he covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He would like to spend all time on reaserching computer problems. He is a very cute boy.