How Long Does it Take to Clone a Drive?

How long does it take to clone a drive? Why does sometimes it take so long to clone a drive? In this article, you will get the answer and learn a safe method to clone hard drive faster.


By Hedy / Updated on June 5, 2024

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How long does it take to clone a drive?

Nowadays, cloning a hard drive is common to see. You might want to upgrade to SSD or a larger drive to speed up your computer, or you just want to clone a drive as a backup. No matter which situation you are in, you may be curious about "How long does it take to clone a drive?" It will be hard to give you an exact answer because it is determined by a number of factors. Generally speaking, the time it takes to clone a hard drive depends on your cloning speed and data size.

Let's make an assumption. If your cloning peed is 100 Mb/s and you want to copy a drive with 500GB data on it, in such case, about 90 minutes will be spent on the cloning process. Further to say, cloning the same 500 GB drive but at 50 Mb/s would double the cloning time to nearly three hours. Therefore, it's easy to understand that the faster the speed is, the shorter the clone will take, and the larger the size of the data is, the longer it will take.

However, you may encounter a "cloning hard drive takes forever" issue, causing you to spend several hours or even longer cloning a hard drive. Here is a live example:

"I am planning on cloning my hard drive to an external SSD as it is running so slow. I notice that the cloning speed starts fast but then stuck at 15% for about 5 minutes. How long does it take to clone a hard drive? I have been working on this issue for hours. Is it going normally? How can I make it faster? I am open to any suggestions. Thank you very much."

Why does cloning a drive take so long?

But why does it also take so long to clone a hard drive when your data is little and clone speed is fast, this is because there are many other factors that may affect the speed of cloning, you may be inspired by the following contents.

✦ The USB connection has slow speed. If you are cloning your computer to an external hard drive or SSD, the health of the USB cable will affect the speed of cloning. When the port is not in good health, the disk will be slow to read and write.

✦ Your computer configuration is too old. If you don't update your computer configuration to the newest, it will certainly slow down the copy of hard drive. Thus, it's not a bad idea to upgrade your computer to Windows 11, the newest Windows operating system.

✦ There are bad sectors on the source disk. During the cloning process, it will take a longer time to recognize and clone the contents on the bad sectors. That's the possible reason why the clone sometimes stucks or even fails.

✦ There are read/write issues on the target disk. If the destination disk is not new or it has been used for a long time, it has the risk of read/write speed issues, directly influencing the cloning speed. Therefore, you'd better format the target disk before using it to guarantee the good state of the disk.

✦ The cloning tool you apply doesn't work. If the cloning utility you selected is not professional enough, it will also lead to a slow cloning process.

How to clone a drive in a fast and safe way?

Considering so many factors, is there any way to help clone a hard drive faster? Luckily, a powerful cloning software named AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is highly recommended to you to let you clone your drive in a fast and safe way. It enjoys a good reputation in cloning hard drives for the following remarkable merits which can also be performed to solve some problems shown during the process.

High compatibility: This software supports multiple Windows editions, such as Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, and Vista.
Hot clone: Compared with the cold clone, hot clone allows you to clone in a running computer, so you can continue to handle the current task without shutting any running programs.
Intelligent Clone method: You can copy only the used space of the source disk to the destination and edit partitions while cloning to save time and space.
SSD 4k alignment: If you select SSD as your target disk, you can perform this feature to improve the read and write speed of SSD.
Free DownloadWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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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.


Just wait a while, everything on your original hard drive will be migrated to the new disk. When you choose to boot from the cloned hard drive without reinstalling everything and keep enjoying your old system, programs, etc, which seems like nothing has changed. By the way, you can wipe old hard drive as a data disk.


How long does it take to clone a drive? Now, you have known the answer and learned the most common causes of the slow speed in cloning hard drive as well as how to clone a drive quickly and safely. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional plays a critical role in it and you can download this software to enjoy more useful features: only clone Windows OS or system partition according to your needs, move folders from C drive to D drive, and so on.

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.