Safe software: Clone Hard Drive in Windows 11, 10, 8 And 7

Clone hard drive is necessary if you need to replace the new hard drive. This page will show you how to clone a hard drive on Windows 11, 10, 8 and 7 without losing data.

Dervish

By Dervish / Updated on May 27, 2024

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Why clone hard drive?

Clone hard disk is the process of migrating all data from one hard drive to another hard drive. In other words, it is a copy of the old hard drive. Cloning a hard drive keeps all data intact and saves a lot of time and effort compared to a fresh installation.

Usually, people want to clone hard drive in Windows 10 or Windows 11 for the following reasons:
 Replace Hard Drive with SSD for faster reading and writing speed.
 Replace the failed hard drive with a good one.
Transfer all data from one hard drive to another for backup.

Hard Drive Speed

What do you need to prepare for cloning hard drive?

 Before cloning, we need to do some preparations to make sure that cloning can be worked successfully.

▶ Download partition magic to clone hard drive

To clone a hard drive to SSD or HDD, excellent cloning software is necessary. I suggest you use AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, which is the market-leading cloning software on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.

It is not only completely useful but also very easy to use, which is very suitable for beginners. It provides two cloning methods: Clone Disk Quickly and Sector-by-Sector Cloning. The former only clones the used space on the hard drive, while the latter clones all sectors on the hard disk.

In addition, it has many other popular features. For example, merge partitions to extend the size of partitions, wipe hard drives for reuse, convert data disk from MBR to GPT, and more.

Try It FreeWin 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download
★Tips:
If the PC you are going to clone cannot start normally, you can even clone hard drive from boot.
If you are running with Windows Server, you can turn to Server Edition, which is designed for Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012(R2), 2008(R2), 2003 users. 

▶ Install the new hard drive

Then, you need to connect the new hard drive to the computer. Here, we take install M.2 SSD as an example:

If your computer has only one M.2 SSD slot, connect it to the computer via an M.2 SSD to USB adapter and make sure it is connected correctly.

If your PC has multiple M.2 SSD slots, do the following:

◥ How to install M.2 SSD on the desktop

Step 1. Use a screwdriver to open the case. Once you find the location of the M.2 slot, insert the M.2 SSD.

Install M.2 SSD

Step 2. After inspection, replace the cover.

Open It

◥ How to install M.2 SSD on the laptop

Step 1. Use a screwdriver to remove the laptop back cover.

Remove the Back

Step 2. Find the location of the M.2 SSD slot, insert the M.2 SSD into the corresponding connector, and make sure the connection is firm.

Insert SSD

Step 3. Set screws. Then install the back cover.

Reinstall the Computer Back Cover

▶ Initialize the hard drive

After connecting the hard drive to the PC, you need to initialize the hard drive if it is new. Otherwise, it will not be recognized by Windows.

Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant first. After opening it, right-click the new hard drive and select "Initialize Disk".

Initialize Disk

Step 2.  To avoid changing the boot mode, set the partition style (MBR or GPT) to be the same as the old hard drive.

Choose Disk Style

How to clone hard drive and boot from it successfully

In this part, I will show you the specific steps of cloning hard drive to SSD with AOMEI Partition Assistant. 

Warning: All data on the destination disk will be erased during the clone, so please back up anything required before clone.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, click the "Clone" main tab and select "Clone Disk". (You can also right-click the Disk you want to clone and select the "Clone Disk" tool to run disk clone.)

Disk Copy

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

Copy Disk Quickly

Tips: To make a bootable disk clone, please select the system drive of the current computer with Partition Assistant installed as the source drive.

Step 3. Select the destination disk to put the data of the source disk on, and then click "Next".

Select Destination

Step 4. Then, you will enter the Confirm interface where you can check the source and destination disk. After all is set, you can click the "Confirm" button to continue.

Edit Disk

In lower left corner of the window, you can click the "Settings" button to adjust the partition size on the destination disk. There are three options for you:

  • Clone without resizing partitions: all partitions will be cloned to the target disk as the original partition size. It is available when the target disk is larger than the source disk. If it is smaller, this option will be grayed out.
  • Fit partitions to entire disk: all partitions will be cloned to the target disk and take up its full capacity according to the original partition size proportion.
  • Edit partitions on this disk: you can change every partition size on the target disk as you need.

After finishing the adjustment, please click "Save".

Save

Step 5. You can preview the disk cloning operating by viewing the "Pending Operations". To commit the "Pending Operations", please click "Apply" and "Proceed".

Apply

Step 6. The cloning process will start and you can check the cloning process.

Proceed

If cloned the system disk, you should boot Windows from the new hard drive. If there is only one slot, you can boot the computer after replacing the old hard drive with a new hard drive. But if you want to keep both the old hard drive and the new hard drive, you should change the boot drive.

Select Boot Drive

FAQs

Does cloning a hard drive copy the OS?

Certainly! When you clone an SSD, you copy all the data from the original drive, including the operating system (OS), installed programs, files, and configuration. The process produces an exact copy of the source drive on the designated SSD, guaranteeing seamless transfer of everything including the operating system.

Is it a good idea to clone a hard drive?

Cloning a hard drive is generally safe, especially when using third-party applications to perform the task. However, choosing traditional tools to clone a hard drive may carry the risk of misconfiguration, which may lead to file loss.

Can I clone a hard drive and use it in a different computer?

Of course, your cloning software must accurately copy all partitions and handle any differences in drive size between the old and new drives to ensure a successful transfer.

Conclusion

This is how we do to clone hard drives to HDD or SSD easily and safely. No matter whether you need to upgrade to a larger storage capacity, safeguard crucial data, or seamlessly transfer your system to a new drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant always provides a reliable solution. You can download it to try more advanced features like resizing/moving partitions, recovering lost data or partitions, bypassing administrator passwords, etc.

Dervish
Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.