Do You Still Use Xcopy for HDD Clone? Here is An Easy Way!

If you are not familiar with Xcopy for HDD cloning, here is an alternative for easily cloning hard drive.


By Irene / Updated on September 22, 2023

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If you have a need to clone a drive, you might want to try Windows' built-in tools, such as Disk Management and Command Prompt as your initial options. Among these, Command Prompt stands out for its popularity, primarily because of its wide compatibility, including the use of command lines like Xcopy for HDD cloning. However, this method may not be suitable for everyone. Why? To explore the answer, let’s see how it works.

How to use Xcopy for HDD cloning?

Step 1. Launch Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator".

run as administrator

Step 2. Enter the following command: "xcopy c:\ f:\ /s /e /h /i /c /y" and then press "Enter." This command will copy all files and subdirectories, including empty ones, hidden and system files, from drive C to drive F. Remember to adjust the drive letters according to your specific setup.

xcopy command line

Explanation of the parameters:
/s: Copies directories and subdirectories, excluding empty ones. Omitting this flag restricts xcopy to a single directory.
/e: Copies all subdirectories, even empty ones.
/h: Includes hidden and system files in the copy.
/i: Instructs xcopy to treat the destination as a directory.
/c: Forces xcopy to continue copying even if it encounters errors.
/y: Prevents xcopy from prompting for confirmation when overwriting existing files at the destination.
When using Command Prompt for drive cloning, you're copying files and folders, not the whole drive or partition.
Please notice that the source and destination drives should use the same file system. If they are different, you should change the file system (for instance, from FAT32 to NTFS) before.

Try an easy alternative to clone hard drive

However, the method described above can be difficult, particularly for beginners, and carries a significant risk of data loss and system crashes due to CMD's interaction with system files. Besides, Xcopy for HDD lacks the capability to clone system files and boot records, which can limit its usefulness for specific tasks.

For comprehensive hard drive cloning, especially when migrating an entire operating system, specialized cloning software with advanced features may be a more suitable option. A program like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can serve as a viable alternative method. Let’s see its powerful features when cloning hard drive:

Powerful features of AOMEI Partition Assistant for cloning:
✍ This software can support clone both an entire hard drive or a single partition.
✍ The inclusion of the Hot Clone technique that ensures a seamless cloning process without the need to restart your computer.
✍ Compared with Xcopy method, this tool can migrate only the operating system.
✍ You can count on this program to support all types of file systems and partition styles. Whether you're utilizing FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, or require cloning between MBR and GPT, it's compatible with all.
✍ It offers a range of cloning methods, allowing you to select the one that aligns best with your specific needs.
✍ This tool provides Server Edition for Windows Server users.

Download Pro Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Choose "Clone" from the top pane and select the "Clone Disk" option.


Step 2. Select a disk clone method as you like, Here we recommend "Clone Disk Quickly" which clone only used space for another disk.

• Clone Partition Quickly (file by file): This method only copies all existing files from the source partition to the destination disk.
• Sector-by-Sector Clone (complete copy): It will copy both existing files and lost/deleted files to the destination disk, and even support cloning bad sectors.


Step 3. Choose the source disk and click "Next".


Step 4. In this step, you can select another drive as the destination disk and then click "Next". You can also tick "Optimize the performance of SSD" to carry out SSD 4K alignment.


Step 5. In the new windows, you can resize the partitions on the new drive. Select the one you like and click "Next".


• Copy without resizing partitions: The source disk configuration will be copied on the new disk with the same partition size.
• Fit partitions to the entire disk: The partitions on the source disk will occupy the entire destination disk.
• Edit partitions on this disk: It allows you to adjust the size of the partition manually, and change the size as you like.

Step 6. After reading a note about how to boot from the cloned disk, click "Finish" and then click "Apply" to commit the operation.


If the cloned hard drive contains OS and you want to boot from it, don't forget to change the boot order to set the cloned disk to the first option, or you will meet the "cloned SSD won't boot" issue.


Xcopy for HDD cloning may not suitable for everyone. If you are looking for a better alternative, AOMEI Partition Assistant can be a nice choice. Apart from this, it can also be good in computer management. You can use its App Mover, PC Cleaner, Allocate Free Space functions to extend drive space. 

Irene · Staff Editor
Irene is an Editor of AOMEI Technology. She devotes herself in giving insightful thoughts on common computer problems with simple and clear guidance. Irene loves to help people solve problems and explore more solutions on relevant issues. She loves reading, singing and travelling.