What Do You Know About Hot and Cold Cloning of Virtual Machines?

What do you know about hot and cold cloning of virtual machines? This article will show some knowledge of hot and cold cloning and how to do a hot clone in physical PC.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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What is hot and cold cloning of virtual machines?

Many IT businesses benefit from the use of virtual machines. Once a virtualized work environment is set up, the services providers need to maintain the system operationally, no matter which tool has been chosen, Hyper-V or VMware, as its primary virtualization platform. One of the considerations that such IT consultants may assist the organization with is the selection of hot and cold cloning technology to be used throughout the shift.

▶ Basic info about Cold Cloning
Cold clone or cold migration means migrating to another computing node while the computer is in a state of downtime during this period. So, users need to be shut down and restarted to complete the migration.

You can optionally move associated disks from one data device to another, requiring a reboot to work.

▶ Basic info about hot Cloning
Hot cloning, also known as live migration, is a type of cloning that happens within the operating system. Because the physical server remains operational during the move, workflow is not disturbed, resulting in fewer expenses in terms of lost productive hours for employees and managers. Active usage throughout the process, on the other hand, means that certain files may change after the disk image has been produced but before the transition has been completed.

Both physical and virtual machines can use cold cloning and hot cloning to transit disk or OS from the source disk to the target device. The only difference for you is that the cold cloning needs to reboot the PC to finish the task while the hot cloning doesn’t need that. You can migrate your disk or OS during working.

Do a hot clone on a physical PC or virtual machine

Since hot clone doesn’t ask users to reboot the PC, many users prefer it to cold clone. They can run working programs during the cloning, all tasks won’t be interrupted.

Then, how to perform a hot clone on your PC or virtual machines? If you only want to do a hot clone for OS, you don’t need to follow the complex steps of the guides you searched online. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, one tool is enough.

It’s a Windows disk/partition manager for Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP, and if you need it, there’s Server Edition for Windows Server system supporting Server 2022/2019/2016/2012(R2)/2008(R2)/2003(R2) and Windows SBS 2003/2008/2011.

The “Migrate OS to SSD” function in this tool can move OS from source disk to target disk with the hot clone method in physical PC or virtual machine. So, you can keep your programs running and migrate OS simultaneously. And the most important thing is, that the operation is quite user-friendly for all users.

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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 space on the target 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.

◤ Note: You can also clone the whole disk with the Disk Clone Wizard.

Final lines

After looking through this post, you know hot and cold cloning of virtual machines. Hot clone can be used in both physical and virtual machines, and it is the perfect choice if you want to clone a system or disk while the server is running or without interfering with any workload. AOMEI Partition Assistant is a practical tool that not only allows you to migrate OS or clone disk, but also to convert file systems without formatting, move installed programs or folders, and convert to GPT/MBR without data loss.

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.