Disk Clone VS System Clone: Which Should I Choose?

The essay expounds on the details of disk clone vs system clone and provides users some suggestions of which to select and how to safely clone.


By Lucas / Updated on June 12, 2024

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What are disk clones and system clone?

In daily use, both disk clone and system clone can replicate your system information to another device, but the problem is which one is better for your requirements to improve the performance of your computer or update your disk. If you’re in this choice dilemma, this article will explain clearly the differences between disk clones and system clones and give you a perfect solution to reply to both clones.

Disk VS System

1. Disk clone
Disk cloning is a technique that allows you to create an exact duplicate of the target disk, the OS, all data, and installed programs will be cloned to the target disk. Therefore, disk cloning is mostly used as a backup plan to protect data against accidental data loss due to disaster or while replacing a hard drive due to physical or technical damages.

2. System clone
A system clone is a clone of the original operating system. The utility will only copy the system partition and system-related partition(s), such as the EFI system partition and the recovery partition, in this manner. All information required for the system to execute in the destination location, as well as any files stored on system partitions, related programs, drivers, updates, and personalized settings. will be moved.

Disk clone VS system clone: how to choose?

The best type of cloning for you is determined by a variety of criteria.

NO.1: The contents
It is dependent on the files or material that you wish to transmit. If your drive has reached its limit and there is no more storage space available, you can select to move all information to a disk with a larger storage capacity. Or you just want to upgrade your disk from an HDD to an SSD for better performance. However, if you want to only keep using the old operating system on the new disk, then we suggest you choose a system clone.

◤ NO.2: The space size of the destination drive
The size of your destination hard drive is also an indispensable factor you need to consider before cloning. Make sure your target disk has enough capacity to store all data that will be migrated, especially when you are attempting to clone the old disk to a smaller drive.

So, which cloning method you choose is determined by your needs and preferences.

A powerful clone software: AOMEI Partition Assistant

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is a powerful and reliable software to operate disk clone and system clone via simple steps for Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/Vista/XP. You can migrate OS from MBR/GPT disk to MBR/GPT SSD or HDD with its "Migrate OS to SSD" function to help you clone only system, and its “Disk Clone Wizard” feature can clone HDD to SSD of various brands such as WD, Samsung, SanDisk, etc.

By the way, if your system belongs to the Windows Server family, don't worry, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server can perfectly support  Windows Server 2003, 2008 (R2), 2012 (R2), 2016, 2019, 2022, and SBS 2003, 2008, 2011 system, get it if you need!

Both features enable you to easily operate disk clone and system clone. Now, select a clone method and follow the steps with AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Disk Clone from HDD to SSD

First, install and launch your AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Step 1. 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 if the target drive is SSD. 


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


System Clone to the target disk

As the disk clone, you need to install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant first.

Step 1. Click “Clone” on in the top toolbar, and choose “Migrate OS”. This feature also applies to HDD.

Migrate OS to SSD

Step 2. Click “Next” to go on.


Step 3. In the new window, you can see a disk list, select an unallocated space on SSD or HDD, tick the line under the list.

Select space on ssd

Step 4. Adjust the size of the partition being created and click “Next”.

Resize partition

Step 5. Click “Finish” and “Apply” in the upper left corner of the screen to end the operation.


Then you can boot from the destination disk to check if the clone is successful or not.


All in all, disk clone and system clone are based on your specific needs. In these two examples, the destination space is SSD, however, as mentioned in the previous introduction, AOMEI Partition Assistant is also applicable to several common disk types. Therefore, it’s a truly pragmatic multifunctional PC tool, you can use this software to solve various problems of your hard drive, such as "Convert to GPT", "Allocate free space", "Convert file system", etc.

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.