Cold Clone V.S. Hot Clone-Differences between Hot and Cold Cloning

Cold clone V.S. hot clone, which one would you like to choose? If you want to know the differences between hot and cold cloning, read this post and learn how to do a hot clone in Windows.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Cold clone V.S. hot clone

Nowadays, when some users buy a new disk and wish to use it as a system disk, cloning the current disk or doing an OS migration would be a great idea to avoid reinstalling the system.

But, do you know there are different types of cloning?

There’re two types, cold clone, and hot clone. In this part, we’ll do a brief introduction of these two clone types and the differences between hot and cold cloning.

▶ About cold cloning
Cold clone is also called cold migration which refers to the fact that when migrating to another computing node, the computer is in a state of downtime during this period, that is, it needs to be shut down and restarted to complete the migration.

With cold migration, you can optionally move associated disks from one data device to another, requiring a reboot to work.

About hot cloning
Hot cloning or live migration is a form of cloning that occurs in the operating computer, whether it’s a real or virtual machine. It allows you to clone the system and disk without disrupting the workload or stopping any ongoing programs.

It's very beneficial for diagnosing VM issues without taking the machine offline. You may use it to take a snapshot of your virtual system, then diagnose, analyze, and solve the problem. The issue is that it only duplicates the transaction at the start. If you regularly add new files or make modifications throughout the copying process, they will not be included.

So, for users, the biggest difference between clod clone and hot clone might be rebooting the PC or not during the cloning progress.

How to do a hot clone in Windows

If you choose the cold clone, you will be unable to access your computer or any data on it until the operation is completed. However, if you utilize a hot clone, you can perform anything on it without disrupting the process. In light of the lost productive hours for employees and management, a hot clone is a preferable option.

If you only wish to move your operating system, we recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. The "Migrate OS to SSD" function of this tool employs a hot migration approach to assist you in migrating your operating system from the current drive to the destination disk. Thus, you may use your programs and use your computer as usual while this software migrates your operating system to the destination drive.

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The operation is quite easy for everyone, you only need some clicks, and the whole task will be done.

Step 1. Connect the target disk to your computer and ensure it can be detected; install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Then, click "Clone"> "Migrate OS" and click "Next" to continue.

Migrate OS to SSD

Step 2. Choose an unallocated space on the target disk as the location. If there is no unallocated space, you can check “I want to delete all partitions on disk 2 to migrate system to the disk” and then click "Next".

Select destination disk

Step 3. In this window, you can resize the partition and modify other information (including location, and drive letter) of the partition on the new disk, of course, you can also keep default settings.

Resize partition

Step 4. A note about how to boot OS from the target disk will show up, keep it in mind and click "Finish" to continue.


Step 5. You’ll back to the main interface where you can preview the result of the operation. To commit it, click “Apply” and “Proceed”.


After that, your new disk will become your system disk now.

Tip: If you not only wish to keep OS but all programs and data, you can try the disk clone function to duplicate your disk.

Final words

The answer to cold clone V.S hot clone depends on your needs. If you don’t mind temporarily stopping the working to migrate OS and then rebooting your PC to finish the migrating job, you can choose cold clone. But if you’re running some programs that you can’t interrupt, you can try a hot clone.

AOMEI Partition Assistant is a practical Windows disk and partition manager. You can not only migrate OS or clone disk but also convert file systems without formatting, move installed programs or folders, and convert to GPT/MBR without data loss. What’s more, it has the Server Edition for the Server device users and the Unlimited Edition for business users to manage many computers efficiently.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.