By Bryce / Last Updated March 11, 2022

Can you clone a hard drive to an external hard drive?

“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!”

Hard drive cloning software for Windows 11/10/8/7

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. 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 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!

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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. In the main console, go to All Tools under Wizards > Disk Clone Wizard.

Clone System Disk

Step 2. On this page, you need to choose a copy method. Clone Disk Quickly is recommended as it takes less time. If you need to clone all sectors including unused sectors, Sector-by-Sector Clone should be your choice.

Clone System Disk Quickly

Step 3. Here, choose the system hard drive as source disk. Then, click Next.

Select Source Disk Clone System Disk Full

Step 4. Choose the external hard drive as your target disk and click Next > Yes.

Select Target Disk Clone System Disk Quick

PS.: If the destination disk is SSD, you can check to Optimize the performance of SSD to align SSD partitions.

Step 5. In this window, you can adjust the partition size on the destination disk or you can leave it alone.

Clone System Disk without Resizing

Step 6. You’ll return to the main console of this program and you can preview the result of this operation. If you are satisfied, click Apply and Proceed.

Apply Proceed Clone System Disk Quick

✔ 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 disk into basic without data loss, and so on.