Clonezilla vs Macrium: Which One to Choose?

Cloning disks are necessary sometimes. Using disk cloning software can make the process easier. In this post, we will discuss two cloning programs: Clonezilla vs Macrium, and make a comparison between them.


By Hedy / Updated on September 27, 2023

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Why do we need cloning software?

In fact, disk cloning is a valuable lifeline in various situations and can be a real savior when your computer is facing problems like system failure to boot or complete failure. Without the safety net of disk cloning, everything from valuable data to complex operating system settings can be lost. However, with effective disk cloning software like Clonezilla vs Macrium, you can recover from this dire situation.

Disk cloning software excels at creating comprehensive copies of hard drives, including partitions, drives, software, drivers, and the entire operating system.

In essence, disk cloning is a versatile and indispensable tool that not only saves your system from the brink of disaster, but also allows you to perform hardware upgrades, simplify deployment, and quickly resolve software-related issues.

Macrium Reflect

When it comes to the realm of disk cloning, Macrium Reflect Free undeniably stands out as one of the premier software solutions available in the market. This versatile tool extends its capabilities beyond mere cloning, offering disk backup and disk imaging functionalities as well.

What sets it apart is the enticing proposition of being a "no-cost solution". Yes, you read that correctly—it's entirely free, granting users access to a plethora of robust features without any financial commitment. This straightforward and no-frills software leverages the renowned Macrium Backup engine to handle data backups, OS cloning, and disk imaging with remarkable efficiency and speed.

However, like any tool, Macrium Reflect Free has its pros and cons. Let's delve into some of its limitations:

Limited to partitions and disks: Macrium Reflect Free primarily allows imaging of partitions and entire disks. It doesn't offer the capability to perform file-level backups or true cloning.
Paid upgrade for folder backups: If you desire to back up specific folders, you'll need to opt for a paid upgrade, which comes at a cost of $70. The paid version, too, confines you to backing up folders rather than individual files.
File location constraints: It's important to note that when utilizing Macrium Reflect Free for folder backups, you must ensure that the files you wish to protect are located within the folder you're backing up.

In essence, Macrium Reflect Free is a powerful and cost-effective choice for disk imaging and basic backup needs, but users seeking more advanced features like file-level backup or true cloning may find it necessary to explore the paid version.


If you're nostalgic for the DOS days and have a deep fascination with command-line utilities, Clonezilla is software tailored to your preferences. This open-source and free utility not only caters to your command line preferences, it also provides developers with the added benefit of customization. Clonezilla is compatible with a range of operating systems, including Chrome OS, Windows, Mac, and Linux.

However, it's worth noting that Clonezilla's user support is somewhat limited, which may cause disadvantages for some. Here are the drawbacks that Clonezilla has:

Emphasis on the command line: Clonezilla relies heavily on the command line interface and mainly caters to system administrators and experienced users. Its complexity can be daunting for the average user.
Basic features of the free version: Although Clonezilla offers a free version, the features of this version are quite basic. Enhanced functionality may require payment.

All in all, Clonezilla is a powerful option for those familiar with command-line utilities and looking for powerful cloning capabilities. Its support for a variety of operating systems and file systems, as well as its open-source nature, make it a compelling choice for those keen on technical customization.

Clone Software Alternative: AOMEI Partition Assistant

Apart from Macrium Reflect vs Clonezilla, another noteworthy option for your cloning needs is AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. This unique cloning tool has a user-friendly interface that simplifies the process. It offers several features such as sector-by-sector cloning, HDD to SSD cloning, and the ability to adjust the disk layout to suit your requirements.

What sets AOMEI Partition Assistant apart is its extraordinary simplicity, saving you the time and effort required for a steep learning curve. You'll find it easy to navigate without having to struggle to find the necessary buttons. Additionally, it offers powerful features comparable to Macrium Reflect and Clonezilla, making it a valuable asset in your cloning missions.

Scroll down to see how to clone one hard drive to another using AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional:

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Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Then, go to "Clone" > "Clone Disk".


Step 2. Then It will pop up a window where you can choose a way to clone to a new drive. The first way is recommended.


Step 3. In the window like the following screenshot, you need to select the old hard drive as your source disk.


Step 4. Choose the new drive as your destination disk and tick the box before Optimize the performance of SSD to align SSD partitions if your target drive is SSD.


Step 5. Here you can adjust the partition size on the destination drive.


Step 6. You'll be prompted by a note about how to boot from the cloned disk after cloning, read it and keep it in mind.


Step 7. You'll return to the main interface. Click "Apply" and "Proceed" to commit the operation.



This page has fully summarized the main differences between Clonezilla vs Macrium Reflect Free. Macrium Reflect Free is tailor-made for basic use, and even the paid version offers what are considered basic features in the world of disk cloning and backup. Its user-friendly interface, facilitates easy navigation and use, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

In contrast, Clonezilla emphasizes command-line options and is more suitable for system administrators or users who like fine-tuning and batch operations. Its versatility extends to multiple operating systems and file systems, but its operation is more complex due to its CLI-centric approach.

Apart from these two cloning software, this post also brings an alternative called AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Which one to choose depends on your specific needs and your comfort level with the user interface and tool complexity.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.