By AOMEI / Last Updated October 22, 2020

Why clone hard drive in Windows 10?

Cloning hard drive is a process of migrating all contents from one disk to another so as to make a complete 1-to-1 copy of the old hard drive. And everything such as OS and apps on the cloned hard drive can load up and work as they did in the original disk so that you don't need to reinstall the operating system and other programs. The following reasons can explain well why you need to clone a hard drive in Windows 10/8/7.

  • Upgrade your current small old hard drive with a bigger new hard disk to get more space.

  • Replace the failing hard drive with a good one to avoid data loss caused by disk failure someday.

  • Transfer all data from one disk to another effectively for a handy backup rather than copying them file by file manually.

Freeware for cloning hard drive in Windows PC

How do you clone hard drive in Windows 10? The most convenient and effective way is to use a reliable hard drive cloning software. Here we would like to share you with the freeware AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It has the “Disk Clone Wizard” feature, specially designed for cloning a hard disk in all editions of Windows 10/8/7 and Windows XP/Vista (32-bit and 64-bit). Moreover, it has the following advantages:

Clone bigger hard drives to smaller SSD/HDD with the ‘Clone Disk Quickly’ method, only cloning the used sectors on the source disk.
Clone deleted/lost files to the destination hard drive with the ‘Sector-by-Sector Clone’ method.
Support making bootable media so that you could perform such operations without loading up the operating system.
Support cloning only Windows 10/8/7 partition to SSD/HDD via the “Migrate OS to SSD Wizard”.
Support SSD partition alignment, which can help improve the new SSD's performance if you clone hard drive Windows 10 to an SSD.

Steps to clone hard drive in Windows 10 free

Now, this part will take “how to clone a hard drive with Windows 10 on it” as an example to teach you how to clone hard disk with the freeware.

Please note:
①For cloning a system hard drive with Windows OS installed on, the free edition only enables you to clone MBR to MBR disk. If you are cloning MBR boot disk to GPT disk, GPT boot disk to MBR disk, or GPT to GPT, please upgrade to Professional edition.
②For cloning non-system disk, the free edition supports cloning MBR to GPT, GPT to GPT and GPT to MBR.
③All data on the destination disk will be erased during the clone, so please back up anything required before clone.

Step 1. Install and open the freeware. Choose "Disk Clone Wizard" under ‘All Tools’ on the left-hand menu.

Tools

Step 2. Select “Clone Disk Quickly” or "Sector-by-Sector Clone" and then click ”Next”.

Copy Methods

▸Clone Disk Quickly allows you to only copy the used space on the disk.
▸Sector-by-Sector Clone allows you to copy all the sectors of the disk whether they are in use or not.

Step 3. Choose the hard drive you want to clone as the resource disk (e.g. Disk1, the boot hard drive) and then click ”Next”.

Source Disk

Step 4. Select the destination disk (Disk 2) and click "Next". If you are cloning hard drive in Windows 10 to SSD, tick the option “Optimize the performance of SSD” to improve its read and write speeds.

Target One

Step 5. If you selected the “Clone Disk Quickly”, here you can resize partition on the target disk. Then click "Next".

Edit

Step 6. Read the subsequent boot note if necessary. Then click "Finish".

Note

Step 7. Click "Apply" and "Proceed" to commit the pending operation.

Apply

Since we are cloning a hard drive with a system/boot partition, the operation will need to be completed using ‘PreOS Mode’. After the clone, if you want to boot computer from the cloned drive, you may need to change boot order in BIOS or replace old hard drive with the new cloned one.

Change Boot Order

Conclusion

With the assistance of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition, you will be able to quickly and efficiently clone your drive in Windows 10/8/7 without losing any data. This free but professional software also doubles up as the perfect partition manager and comes with many other amazing functions: clone a partition to another drive, merge partition, move partition, convert MBR and GPT without deleting partitions, wipe hard drive and partition completely, etc.

If you want to clone Windows Server hard drive and enjoy other great features, switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server instead.