User Case: Can I clone my Windows 7 to new hard drive?
"I suspect that my current OS (Windows 7) hard drive is likely to fail soon. So I want to know how to transfer my OS to a new hard drive as I am not keen on repurchasing another copy of Windows for a new hard drive. Another issue is that I may not have the original Windows 7 installation CD. Ideally, I want to clone Windows 7 to new hard drive without CD, and without reinstalling everything, not only Windows but also other programs such as MSOffice, Lightroom, etc. How do I go about achieving this?"
Why clone Windows 7 OS to new hard drive?
There are many reasons why you might need to clone Windows 7/8/10/11 to a new hard drive.
►Make a system backup: cloning Windows 7 to a new hard drive is also an effective way of backing up the operating system, so that you can quickly and easily swap the original hard drive out for the clone when it fails. This helps avoid the need to completely reinstall OS and other software.
►Easily upgrade old hard drive: no matter whether you want to upgrade small Windows 7 hard drive to a larger disk, or upgrade to an SSD drive from Windows 7 HDD, cloning disk can make such an upgrade as easy as possible.
►Use the customized Windows 7 on another computer: get a new computer and want to use the customized Windows on the old computer? Just cloning the Windows 7 system to the new hard drive and install it on the new computer.
In such cases, you will probably want to clone Windows OS onto a new hard drive instead of performing a clean installation.
Best software to clone Windows 7 to a new hard drive
So how can you transfer Windows 7/8/10/11 partition to new hard drive easily instead of reinstalling Windows operating system and other installed applications on this partition? By far, the best way is to use professional disk cloning software like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. It is designed for Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11/XP/Vista (32/64-bit) users.
For cloning Windows 7 to new hard drive, it provides 2 methods:
“Disk Clone Wizard”: this method can clone the entire system hard disk, including the Windows partition and other data partitions, to the new HDD or SSD drive.
"Migrate OS to SSD Wizard": this way will copy only Windows partition or drive to another hard disk.
No matter which way you choose to transfer Windows 7 from one hard drive to another new hard drive, you can boot from the destination disk successfully afterward. Moreover, you can align SSD partitions after clone if the destination hard drive is an SSD drive, which can further optimize SSD performance. Or schedule defrag HDD to optimize the disk performance when the destination disk is an HDD.
How to clone Windows 7 to new hard drive step by step?
In this part, we will show you how to migrate/clone Windows OS from one disk to a new hard drive in detail.
- Make a backup of the original system drive via AOMEI Backupper in case that some unexpected and uncontrollable issues occur during the Windows migration.
- Verify that there is unallocated space on the target disk, which should be equal to and larger than the used space of the Windows partition.
- If you are planning to transfer Windows OS from the MBR disk to the GPT disk, check whether your motherboard supports UEFI boot mode, since you need to change the boot mode from Legacy BIOS to UEFI after the migration is completed. The vice versa is also true.
Option 1. Clone only Windows 7 partition to new hard drive
If you want to only transfer Windows 7 partition to new hard drive, you can use the "Migrate OS to SSD Wizard".
Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. You will get disk partition information as the picture below. Then, click "Migrate OS to SSD" on the left side under Wizards column.
Step 2. Choose an unallocated space on the destination disk (SSD or HDD) as you need in the window, and then hit "Next".
Step 3. You could keep the default settings or modify the information (including size, location, and drive letter) of the partition on new disk.
Step 4. Here is a note about how to boot from the new hard drive then. Click "Finish" after you read it.
Step 5. You will be back to the main interface where changes preview will be displayed. Click "Apply" button to commit the "Pending Operations" in order to execute the migration operation.
Option 2. Clone whole Windows 7 disk to new hard disk
If you want to copy both Windows 7 partition and other data partitions to a new hard drive, please choose “Disk Clone Wizard”.
Step 1. Click "All Tools" and then choose "Disk Clone Wizard".
Step 2. Choose a method to clone Windows 7 hard disk to new hard drive and click "Next".
- ①Clone Disk Quickly: clone only used space to the target disk, so the new hard drive can be smaller than the total space of the source disk, but must be larger than its used space. This way allows for cloning larger disk to smaller disk.
- ②Sector-by-Sector Clone: clone all sectors to the destination disk, no matter whether it is used or not. So the target disk must be larger than the source disk.
Step 3. Choose the original Windows 7 hard disk as the source disk.
Step 4. Then choose the new hard drive as the destination disk. If it is an SSD drive, tick “Optimize the performance of SSD”.
Step 5. If you select "Clone Disk Quickly" above, you can edit partition size on the destination disk as you want.
- ①Clone without resizing partitions: keep the default partition size on the source disk, and the rest space on the destination disk will turn into unallocated space.
- ②Fit partitions to entire disk: divide the destination disk into several partitions according to the original partition number and size on the sourced disk.
- ③Edit partitions on the disk: you can change partition size based on your actual requirements.
Step 6. A boot note will appear as well. Read it carefully and click "Finish".
Step 7. Click "Apply" and then "Proceed" to commit the pending operation.
How to boot Windows 7 from the new hard drive?
After cloning Windows 7 to another new hard drive, you need to restart PC and change boot order to make Windows operating system boot from new SSD drive, do as following:
Step 1. Restart your computer and enter “BIOS” setup.
Step 2. Use the arrow keys to go to the BOOT tab. System devices appear in order of priority.
Step 3. To give the new hard drive boot sequence priority, you can move it to the top of the boot sequence list.
Step 4. Save and exit the BIOS setup utility.
- If you are cloning Windows 7 from MBR to GPT, or GPT to MBR, you also need to change boot mode from BIOS to UEFI or UEFI to BIOS.
Wrap things up
So, with AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro, you can easily clone Windows 7 to new hard drive. Same steps could be applied to transfer Windows 111/10/8/8.1/XP/Vista to SSD/HDD. Most importantly, this functional software comes with many other amazing features like converting boot disk between MBR and GPT styles, recovering lost/deleted partition, enlarging system drive without rebooting computer, splitting a large partition into several smaller one and more.
To move Windows Server to a new hard drive for disk upgrade or replacement, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server can meet your requirements best.