By Dervish / Last Updated March 3, 2022

Why need to clone a hard drive on Windows 11?

Microsoft officially released Windows 11 on October 5, 2021, and more and more users have also upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11. After the upgrade, some users may need to clone hard drives on Windows 11. Why? I have listed some common reasons for cloning hard drives:

Backup data. Cloning a hard disk is actually a backup of the source data. When the data is accidentally lost, the backed-up data will help us retrieve the data and reduce the loss.
✍ Upgrade the hard drive or replace with a new hard drive. Some users may be dissatisfied with the performance of the hard disk, then you can clone Windows 11 to SSD.

So, can Windows 11 clone a hard drive? Unfortunately, Windows does not have built-in cloning software, but we can seek help from third-party software.

An HDD to SSD cloning software on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

To clone a hard drive, what you need most is a powerful clone utility. I recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to you, this is a powerful Windows 11 cloning software with the following advantages:

Support clone hard drive from MBR/GPT to MBR/GPT.
Clone a hard drive without losing data.
The graphical user interface makes it clear to the user at a glance. Even if you don’t have a computing background, you can follow the instructions to complete the cloning operation independently.
Two different cloning methods are provided: cloning the entire sector of the hard drive or cloning the used space of the hard drive.
The cloned hard drive can be started successfully.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Tip: If you just want to clone Windows 11 to a new hard drive, then the Migrate OS to SSD function is enough to meet your needs. Other functions, such as Allocate Free Space from one partition to another, Wipe Hard Drive are waiting for you to try.

How to clone a hard drive on Windows 11 for free

Now, I will show you how to move Windows 11 to another drive with three steps.

Step 1. Connect the target drive to the Windows 11 PC

1. Prepare a SATA to USB interface cable, and use it to connect the prepared hard drive to the Windows 11 PC. After inserting the USB port, make sure that the computer can detect it.

2. If your new hard disk has not been used, please initialize the disk and partition it, otherwise the hard disk cannot be used.

3. It is recommended to clean up the old hard drive and delete unnecessary files to shorten the cloning time.

Step 2. Perform disk clone via powerful clone software on Windows 11

You can complete the cloning according to the following steps:

1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Right-click the target hard drive (here we choose the disk 1) and select “Clone Disk”.

2. In the subsequent window, two different disk copying methods are offered, choose one according to your requirements, and click “Next”.

“Clone Disk Quickly” will copy only used space to another disk.
“Sector by Sector Clone” is to copy every sector, no matter it is used or unused, to another disk, which requires the target disk equal or larger than the source disk.

3. Now, select the Disk 3 as the destination disk and you can tick “Optimize the performance of SSD” if Disk 3 is SSD. Then click “Next” to continue.

4. In this window, you can edit partitions on the SSD drive if you choose “Clone Disk Quickly” in step 2. Also, you can keep the defaults and hit on “Next”.

5. Finally, click “Apply” on the main interface to actually clone HDD to HDD/SSD.

Now, you need to replace the old and new disks.

Step 3. Boot Windows 11 from the cloned disk

After replacing the disk, there is one last step. You need to boot the computer from the new hard drive.

1. Restart your computer and press the shortcut key prompted on the screen to enter the BIOS settings on the initial startup interface.

2. Go to the “Boot” tab and check the boot list. Use the arrow keys to move the cloned SSD to the top of the boot priority list.

Save and exit the BIOS Settings. Your computer will successfully boot from the cloned hard drive.

Change Boot Order


Do you now know how to clone a hard drive on Windows 11? No matter what purpose you clone a hard drive for, choosing AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional will definitely not let you down. If you want to use it in Windows Server, please upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.