Can you Use Computer While Cloning Hard drive?

This article will introduce you the best clone method that allows you to use computer while cloning hard drive. Keep reading to get the detailed steps.


By Hedy / Updated on June 5, 2024

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Can I use my computer while cloning?

"Hey guys. My bro purchased me an additional 1TB hard drive so I am gonna set it up. However, before, I want to backup my current 1TB hard drive to my backup 1TB hard drive through US. However, the process takes FOREVER (11 hours). So, I would like to know if I can use my source HDD while cloning it through USB to my backup drive?"


Choose clone method: hot clone or cold clone

No matter you want to make a backup of your hard drive or upgrade your disk to a larger one or a faster SSD to get better computer performance, when you intend to clone your hard drive, you will face two clone methods: hot clone and cold clone. The way you choose will directly affect whether you can use computer while cloning hard drive. To select a better clone method, you can read the following context to learn more about the differences between hot cloning and cold cloning.

Hot clone means the clone process occurs in a running computer no matter it's physical machine or not, which allows you to clone your hard drive without disturbing the working tasks or shutting down the running programs. Moreover, you don't need to reboot your computer during the process.

Cold clone, on the contrary, refers to the clone needs to performed when the computer is in the state of downtime, which disables you to use your computer while cloning your hard drive. Besides, you will be required to get into Windows PE mode or a boot CD during the clone process.

All in all, hot clone is more favorable due to its efficiency and productivity. If you adopt hot clone to back up your hard drive, you are allowed to use your computer while cloning.

Best cloning software for hot cloning: AOMEI Partition Assistant

As we can see, hot clone should be your best clone method if you want to use computer while backing up, however, not all cloning software are featured with such clone function, so your main task is to find a reliable and reasonable software like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to perform hot clone. This software shows its strength in hot cloning for the following aspects:

❥ User-friendly interface and operations. It has a clear and concise interface to guide you how to operate step by step. Even you are a computer novice, you can easily follow the prompts to finish the corresponding operations.

❥ Various clone methods. It's featured with disk clone, system clone, and partition clone. According to your own needs, you can choose to clone the entire hard drive, only clone Windows OS, or just clone any one of partitions on your hard drive.

❥ Multiple clone settings. During the clone process, you are able to make advanced settings on the new disk, like editing partitions, optimizing SSD performance to make full use of your disk.

Now, come to download the software demo version and see how to use computer while cloning your hard drive in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP and Vista.

Free DownloadWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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A step-by-step guide on hot cloning

Step 1. Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Click "Clone" in the main interface, and select "Clone Disk".


Step 2. Choose the hard disk that you need to clone as the source disk and click "Next".


Step 3. Select another drive as the destination disk, and then click "Next".


Step 4. Then, you can check the source and destination disk in the next window or change to "Sector to Sector clone", and click the "Confirm" button to continue if there is no problem.


Here, you can also click the "Settings" button to adjust the partition size on the destination disk or tick "4k alignment" to improve the reading and writing speed of the SSD. 


Step 5. After returning to the main interface, check the pending operation and click "Apply" and "Proceed" to commit the operation.


During the clone process, you can zoom out the window and continue to use your computer with the clone keeping running on the background. What you need to pay attention to is that the new system data generated during the process won't be included into the clone.


Can you use computer while cloning hard drive? Of course you can! Hot clone provided by AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional allows you use your computer and clone hard drive at the same time. As a powerful partition manager, AOMEI software has many other useful functions: test the speed of hard drive, convert system disk from MBR to GPT, move folders from C drive to D drive, and so on.

In addition, there are AOMEI Partition Assistant Server for Windows Server users and the Unlimited Edition for business users to manage their partitions better.

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.