How to Clone Disk without Rebooting? 

It’s annoying to reboot computers many times during the clone process. This post will tell you a safe and easy way to clone disk without rebooting. Read the detailed step and have a try by yourselves.


By Hedy / Updated on June 5, 2024

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User case: Can I clone disk without rebooting?

"Does anyone know of a utility that will clone my hard disk (2 NTFS partitions) to another (external) disk, without me needing to reboot during the process? I was about to use Acronis True Image but it tells me it will have to reboot twice. I'd rather not have to do this, so does anyone know any tools that will clone disk without reboot or am I being unrealistic here?"


As we all know, disk cloning is the best way to upgrade to SSD or back up the main disk to another internal or external disk. The correct clone method and reliable cloning software can keep the system and data safe during the whole clone process. However, it's reported that many users are required to reboot their computers again and again while cloning, which is such an annoying thing. 

Can you clone disk without reboot? Of course, you can. As long as you select the right clone method and software, you can absolutely copy the hard drive without restarting the Windows OS. 

How to clone disk without rebooting?

The following content will demonstrate the differences between two clone methos in the first place and then introduce you a reliable utility to help you clone disk without reboot easily.

▶ Part 1. Choose the suitable clone method: Cold clone VS. Hot clone

Generally speaking, hot clone and cold clone are the most popular clone methods that many users apply in daily copy. But most of them may not know their specific differences well, so they will choose one at random, which is likely to lead them to reboot their Windows repeatedly while cloning. Let's see what the difference is.

Cold clone means you have to complete the clone when your computer is offline and you are required to get into Windows PE mode to operate the clone operations. In other words, you are not allowed to use your computer until you reboot your PC after the clone finishes.

Hot clone, also called live migration, is a clone way that occurs in a running operating system. That means you don't need to stop what you are doing at the moment while the cloning process is also going on.

Further to say, the biggest difference between cold clone and hot clone is that the latter lets you access your data while cloning your hard drive, and more preferable, you are able to clone disk without rebooting. To this end, if you intend to copy your disk to another as a backup or speed up your computer, hot clone should be your top priority.

▶ Part 2. Choose the reliable disk cloning software: AOMEI Partition Assistant

After choosing the clone method, you need a practical and powerful tool that supports the hot clone feature. Compared with other similar tools in the market, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is always welcomed by an increasing number of users for its prominent functions presented as below.

Various clone features: Apart from cloning the entire disk that including your system partition and other partitions on it, you can choose to only clone Windows OS via “Migrate OS to SSD” feature and clone any partitions you want to back up via "Clone Partition" feature.
Great compatibility: For Windows system, this software supports almost all the Windows edition, like Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP and Vista. For partition style, it supports cloning system or data from MBR to GPT and vice versa, and between two MBR or GPT disks as well. So you don't need to worry about data loss.
Advanced optimization options: During the process, you will be given different options to optimize your destination disk, like resizing the partitions on it, or making SSD 4k alignment to accelerate the read and speed speed of SSD.
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A step-by-step guide on how to clone disk without rebooting

Here we bring you the detailed tutorial teaching you to clone disk without reboot via this software safely and easily:

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".


Note: Please pay attention to that all partitions on the destination disk and all the data stored on it will be deleted and wiped. So, if the data is useful, please make sure you have mirrored it in advance.

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. In the main interface, click "Finish" and then click "Apply" to commit the operation.


Further reading: How to boot from the destination disk

If you clone the data drive, you can directly use it after the disk is installed on your PC, while if you clone the system disk and want to use the cloned hard drive, you need to restart the computer, enter the BIOS and change the boot order.

Change Boot Order


As long as you choose the correct clone method, you can clone disk without reboot. From this page, you are recommended a safe and simple disk cloning and partition management utility - AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to perform hot clone. In addition, it can help you manage your partitions more efficiently and effectively, for instance, you can change MBR to GPT without data loss, convert file systems without formatting, and move folders from C drive to D drive to get more free space, etc. What's more, if you are a Windows Server user, you can try Server edition.

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.