By Dervish / Last Updated June 25, 2021

Why clone OS to new hard drive?

Suppose that you have spent a lot of time on building a personalized system with a lot of licensed applications and custom settings, and you are very satisfied with the performance of the current system. Unfortunately, your system might crash due to some reasons; It’s not a matter of whether your system will be crashed; it’s a matter of when.

Therefore, in order to avoid the possibility, it is recommended to clone your operating system to another new hard drive. Afterwards, you can enjoy the benefits as follows:

▪ You don’t have to reinstall operating system and all applications when you upgrade hard disk from old and small one to new and large one.
▪ You don’t need to install OS and programs again after the OS crashes someday; you can just clone your OS back to the hard drive.
▪ You can keep the cloned new hard drive as a system backup for later use.

Try the free OS cloning software: AOMEI Partition Assistant

How to clone OS to new drive without reinstalling Windows 10, 8, or 7? It is can be tough sometimes because it is unlike copying common data. You cannot clone operating system by simply Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V. If you do that, there are great chances that you will have to reinstall from scratch otherwise it won’t work as they do in the old hard drive.

To copy OS to new hard drive and make sure it is able to run successfully, it's recommended to try a professional OS cloning program such as the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It comes with the "Migrate OS to SSD" feature, which can clone only the operating system and its related partitions to a new drive. And its "Disk Clone Wizard" enables you to clone all content, including the operating system, all other applications, and files from the old hard drive to a new HDD or SSD without losing data and boot failure. 

Note: The free edition only enables you to transfer OS from MBR disk to MBR disk. If you need to clone OS from MBR to GPT, or GPT to MBR/GPT, please upgrade to the professional edition. And after OS clone from GPT to MBR or MBR to GPT, it is necessary to change boot mode from UEFI to BIOS or BIOS to UEFI.

✍ Download the freeware and take a look at the following step-by-step guide.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Two methods to clone OS to new hard drive with secure boot

In the last section, we introduced that AOMEI Partition Assistant offers “Migrate OS to SSD Wizard” and "Disk Clone Wizard" options to help clone Windows 10, 8, 7 to new hard drive. This guide will illustrate how these two funtions work.

Before you do:
OS cloning needs to be performed under PreOS Mode so a reboot is required.
If there are other applications running on the OS partition, AOMEI Partition Assistant will inform you to close those applications or to execute this operation under PreOS Mode.

Method 1. Clone only OS partitions to new hard drive 

To clone only system and system-related partitions to a new drive, choose Migrate OS to SSD Wizard. 

Step 1. Click "Migrate OS to SSD" on the left side under Wizards. In the pop-up window, click "Next" to continue.

Migrate Os To Ssd

Step 2. Choose an unallocated space on the new hard drive, and then click "Next" to go on.

Select Disk Space

Step 3. In the pop-out window, you can resize the partition, assign a drive letter to it. Click “Next” to proceed.

Resize Partition

Step 4. A helpful boot note will appear. Read it and click “Finish”.


Step 5. Click “Apply” in the main interface to execute the pending operation.

Method 2. Clone OS hard drive to new hard drive  

Or you can choose clone the entire operating system hard drive to new SSD or HDD via "Disk Clone Wizard". Then, you can keep not only operating system but also all kinds of programs on the new disk.  This feature offers the two different clone methods for your selecton: "Clone Disk Quickly", only cloning the used space in the source partition and supporting resizing partition in the process. The size of unallocated space in the destination disk should be equal or larger than the used space in the source partition. "Sector-by-Sector Clone", copying all sectors no matter whether it is used or not. The size of the unallocated space in the destination partition should be equal or larger than the source partition.

Before you do:
② OS cloning needs to be performed under PreOS Mode so a reboot is required.
③ If there are other applications running on the OS partition, AOMEI Partition Assistant will inform you to close those applications or to execute this operation under PreOS Mode.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Then, go to "All Tools" > "Disk Clone Wizard".

Disk Clone Wizard


Step 2. In the pop-up window, choose the partition copy method. Here we choose "Clone Disk Quickly" for example. And then click "Next" to continue.

Select Clone Method

Step 3. Choose the operating system hard drive as the source disk and choose the new drive as the destination disk. If your destination disk is an SSD, you need to check the option "Optimize the performance of SSD". Click “Next”.

Source Disk

Target Disk


Step 4. In the "Edit Disk" window, you can resize partition to fit the new hard drive. Click “Finish”.


Step 5. When you back to the main interface, you can see there is a partition marked as "Clone of C". Click Apply to execute the progress.


No matter which way you choose to clone operating system to new hard drive, to boot from it after clone, you have to restart your computer, enter BIOS, change boot order and make the new hard drive as the first boot device. Then you will be able to boot computer from the cloned disk.

Change Boot Order


Now, you should know how to clone OS to new hard drive and boot from it successfully after clone. The recommended  cloning freeware also supports cloning a specific data partition to another disk with the “Partition Clone”. Besides, it can move partition, merge partition, make bootable media and more. If you are running Windows Server OS, switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, please.