Disk cloning can copy all data including system-related files from the source disk to the destination disk. You may want to clone the disk in Windows 10 due to various motivations:
◥Upgrade disk without reinstallation
Bothered by slow boot speed or low disk space, you may want to upgrade a traditional HDD (hard disk drive) to a faster SSD (solid-state drive) or replace a small SSD with a larger one. To avoid the reinstallation of OS and apps, it’s wise to clone the hard drive.
◥ Clone disk for backup
It’s impossible to promise that your HDD/SSD drive won’t be damaged or infected with a virus forever. Through cloning disk, you can get a copy of the source disk; even your original disk is corrupted, you can still access the data on the cloned hard drive.
How to clone disk to another one? Although you can create system backup image, this method is too complicated to work for everyone. To complete disk clone on Windows 10 or 11 easily and safely, it’s necessary to turn to a disk clone software.
Free download disk cloning software for Windows 11, 10, 8, 7
There is a great number of free cloning software for Windows 10, 8, 7 and the newest Windows 11 operating systems in the market. Among these tools, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is highly recommended due to the highlights listed below:
It can clone all partitions, including hidden boot-related partitions, ensuring that you can boot from the target cloned disk afterward. This is very important for the cloning OS disk as if some system-related partitions are missed out in the cloning process, the target disk can be unbootable.
✎Flexible copy options
It can satisfy different disk size copy demands. With a Clone Disk Quickly option, you can clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD. It also allows Sector-By-Sector Clone, which enables you to clone a hard drive with bad sectors. In addition, it supports cloning only Windows 10 system-related partitions (data partitions not included) with Migrate OS to SSD feature.
It’s with a concise and user-friendly graphic interface and step-by-step wizards, enabling you to use it effortlessly even you are a green hand. Besides, you can preview the result of your operation. If you are unsatisfied, you can cancel the operation easily by clicking theUndo button.
What’s more, this great disk clone software can align SSD partitions to improve its performance when you duplicate the hard drive to SSD. Now, you can free download this disk cloning software on Windows 10 or other systems, install and launch it.
After cloning Windows 10 hard drive to SSD, to boot OS from the cloned disk successfully, you need to remove your old drive or enter BIOS to change the boot drive.
Tutorial ▏How to use this disk cloning software on Windows 10
With this free cloning software for Windows 10, you can achieve hard drive replacement or SSD upgrade without reinstalling just within a few steps. Let's see how to use the free disk cloning software to complete a disk copy.
▶ Before cloning disk in Windows 10:
1. Back up the destination disk before cloning if there are important files on it.
2. Please install the second hard drive on Windows 10 PC. If there is no extra slot for the target disk, you need to prepare a USB adaptor.
3. If the disk is brand new, don't forget to initialize the disk and set the partition style(MBR or GPT) as the same as the old disk.
Step 1. Run the free hard drive cloning software and click "Clone" > "Clone Disk".
Step 2. In the pop-up, you can two ways to clone a hard drive: "Clone Disk Quickly" and "Sector-by-Sector Clone". Usually, the first way is recommended.
▸ Clone Disk Quickly – clone used space on the source disk, allowing you to clone the disk to a smaller one as long as the destination disk’s capacity is not smaller than the used space on the source disk, which takes less time. ▸ Sector-by-Sector Clone – clone every sector to the target disk, requiring that the capacity of the destination disk be larger than or equal to the capacity of the source disk, which takes a longer time.
Step 3. Disk 1 has been chosen as the source disk by default. Here, you need to choose the destination disk to contain all data of the source disk.
Note: If you clone disk to SSD, please tick "Optimize the performance of SSD" to align partitions.
Step 4. In this window, you can adjust partitions on the destination disk.
Step 5. You’ll return to the main interface, click “Apply” and “Proceed” to execute this task.
✦ Boot Windows from the new disk after cloning
If you cloned Windows 10 to a new hard drive and want to keep both the old hard drive and the new hard drive, you need to restart the PC and change the boot order so that Windows starts from the new hard drive:
Step 1. Restart the computer and enter the "BIOS" setup.
Step 2. Use the arrow keys to go to the BOOT tab, the system devices appear in priority order.
Step 3. To give the new hard drive a priority in the boot order, you can move it to the top of the boot order list.
FAQs about disk cloning software
✍ Is there any disk cloning software for Windows 10?
AOMEI Partition Assistant is definitely a good choice, it provides flexible cloning methods to meet users' different cloning needs. Even, it can clone a hard drive from a bootable USB when you cannot clone a disk directly from a physical device.
✍ How do I clone a disk with disk cloning software?
All in all, only three parts are required to clone a disk. First, connect the hard drive to the PC and make sure it can be detected. Then, use disk cloning software to complete the cloning task. Finally, boot Windows from the new hard drive.
✍ What is the best disk cloning software?
There are many disk cloning software on the markets, such as Acronis True Image, Clonezilla, PMacrium Reflect, Paragon Drive Copy Professional, etc. However, most software has limitations under certain special conditions. In contrast, you will find that AOMEI Partition Assistant is the best for you.
Wrap things up
From what has been discussed above, it can be easily concluded that AOMEI Partition Assistant is a fantastic free disk cloning software for Windows 10. Actually, it is featured with many other useful functions like extending the C drive without data loss, converting NTFS into FAT32 without formatting, converting disk between MBR and GPT without deleting partitions, testing disk speed, etc. If you are running Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012(R2)/2008(R2)/2003, you can turn to the Server Edition.