What Is Disk Clone?
Disk Clone (also called Disk Copy) accurately copies one hard drive to another. All things on the original disk (system, applications, files/folders, documents, videos, etc) as well as all settings (partition number, file system, etc) will be copied to the destination disk.
The Disk Clone function is particularly useful in the following situations:
Upgrade your drive to a new one with a higher capacity when your system disk is running out of space.
Migrate all data from your old HDD to a new SSD so as to improve computer performance.
Make a duplicate of your HDD/SSD as a backup.
How to Clone a Disk in Windows 10/8/7 via AOMEI Backupper?
AOMEI Backupper is a third party utility which owns not only the backup & restore features but also the clone function. It enables you to backup and restore system, partition/volume, disk as well as file/folder. It also allows you to perform disk clone, system clone, and partition/volume clone.
To perform disk cloning for free, you can use the free version of AOMEI Backupper – AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition. Here, we will use AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition as an example to show you how to run Windows disk clone step by step. Before we start, you may download, install and open AOMEI Backupper.
Here are the detailed steps about how to run disk clone:
1. Select ‘Clone’ from the left-hand side menu and then select ‘Disk Clone’.
2. Select the source disk that you want to clone. Click ‘Next’.
3. Select the destination disk to which the source disk will be cloned, and click ‘Next’.
Warning! The destination disk will be formatted and all of the existing data will be overwritten! Backup important files beforehand.
4. Preview the information of your source and destination disk. In the lower-left corner, set desired advanced settings as follows:
a) To adjust the size of the partitions on the destination disk, you can select the ‘Edit Partitions’ option. The following three options are available:
Copy without resizing partitions: Do not make any changes to the partition sizes. If you use this option, there may be some unallocated space on the destination disk after disk clone. In this case, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant or Windows Disk Management to resize or allocate drive letters for the unallocated space.
Add unused space to all partitions (available in paid editions): The destination disk partitions will be automatically resized to fit the entire disk, appropriate for the disk size. This feature is especially useful for disk clone from a smaller drive to a larger one. All partitions on the source disk will be automatically resized in the same proportion to fit the entire disk space. As a result, you can use the entire destination space.
Manually adjust partition size (available in AOMEI Backupper Professional or higher editions): Manually adjust the partition size by dragging a slider bar. With this feature, you can simply select and modify the size of every partition as your requirements.
b) Sector by sector clone: Copy all sectors of the source disk to the destination disk whether in use or not. The destination disk size must be equal to or larger than the source disk. Usually, to save destination disk space, there is no need to tick this option. Unchecking AOMEI “Sector by sector clone” will only clone the used part of the source disk, so the room required on the destination is smaller. Yet, the data or system is still intact and the system remains bootable after cloning.
c) SSD Alignment: If your destination disk is an SSD (Solid-State Drive), we highly recommend you check this option for optimizing the performance of the SSD.
5. Finally, click ‘Start Clone’. Wait for the process to complete and then click ‘Finish’.
To learn more about disk clone, see: How to Clone a Hard Drive or SSD.
To ensure the destination disk is accessible after cloning, you should install the target disk internally after cloning. Note if the source disk and target disk are of different types (one uses MBR mode and the other uses GPT mode), you have to modify the boot mode in BIOS/UEFI when you boot from the target drive.
If the destination disk is locked by other programs or applications, then Backupper will request the computer to be restarted so as to execute the disk clone operation in “Restart Mode“.
If “Sector by sector clone” is selected, the “Edit Partitions” option is unavailable. and for encrypted disk, Backupper will use the “Sector by sector clone” mode by default.
If there are non-NTFS or FAT32 partitions on the source disk, Backupper will use “Sector by sector clone” mode to clone these partitions.
The time to complete a disk clone task depends on the size of the source disk. Besides, the following aspects can also influence the operation speed: USB connection, bad sectors on the source or target disk, old computer configuration, etc.
The Standard Edition only supports cloning system disk from MBR to MBR. If you want to clone GPT system disk to MBR, migrate MBR system disk to GPT, or move GPT system disk to GPT, you could consider upgrading to higher editions.
Disk Clone doesn’t support dynamic disks. Please use System Clone or Partition Clone options to clone a dynamic disk.