By AOMEI / Last Updated April 28, 2020

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 hard drive without reinstalling the OS again on the new disk? It is can be tough sometimes because it is unlike copying common data. You cannot clone OS 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 transfer OS to new hard drive and make sure it is able to run successfully, you had better try a professional OS cloning program such as the free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It comes with the “Clone Partition” feature, which can clone partition to another hard drive no matter it is a boot or data partition. Besides, another feature named “Migrate OS to SSD” is also recommended for transferring OS to SSD/HDD. Download the freeware and take a look at the following step-by-step guide.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Guide: Clone OS to New Hard Drive Step by Step

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

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.

Option 1. Clone OS via “Clone Partition”

This feature offers the two different clone methods for your selection: "Clone Partition Quickly", only cloning the used space in the source partition and supporting resizing partition in the process. The size of unallocated space in 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:
Only an unallocated space can be selected as the destination space.
OS cloning needs to be performed under PreOS Mode so 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.

Step1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition. Then, right click on the system partition and select "Clone Partition".

Clone Os Partition

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

Select Clone Method

Step 3. Choose a destination space on your new hard drive. If your destination disk is an SSD, you need to check the option "Optimize the performance of SSD". Click “Next”.

Select Destination Space

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

Resize Partition Os

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.

Apply Os Partition Clone

Option 2. Clone OS to new hard drive via “Migrate OS to SSD Wizard”

If you follow the above steps, you will receive a pop-up small window (after step 3) to remind you that you'd better use the "Migrate OS to SSD" feature to realize copying the system partition to the destination disk. Now, we will show you how this feature works.

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.

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 OS cloning freeware also supports cloning whole system disk to another disk with the “Disk 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.