By Jessie / Last update November 1, 2022

User Case

“I’ve got a HDD that’s dying, and I just got the new replacement hard drive. I want to move everything over from the dying HDD to the new HDD. I’ve got enough cabling in my PC to have both HDD’s plugged in plus my boot SSD, so what’s the easiest way to go about transferring all the files without paying for anything?

I feel like I’ve got all the pieces of the puzzle, just no idea how to clone hard drive Windows 11.”

If you are like this user and need to migrate your previous data to a new HDD, then please read on for details about how to easily and safely migrate your data to the HDD below.

Reasons for Cloning Hard Drive in Windows 11

Different users want to clone HDD to SSD in Windows 11 for different reasons, but they can be summarized into the following three points.

  • Prevent data loss: If the data on the disk is important, cloning the disk is necessary and convenient. Just like making a disk backup to prevent data loss or corruption.
  • Upgrade or replace the disk: When users want to upgrade their small capacity disks to large capacity disks, or replace old hard drives with new ones, or replace HDDs with SSDs, disk clone can help them do it quickly without reinstalling systems and applications.
  • Data migration: Users can safely migrate all data including operating system, boot files and some other data from the old disk to the new disk and boot them from the new disk.

Best Software to Clone Hard Drive in Windows 11

In order to ensure that you can safely migrate your data without reinstalling system when upgrading or changing disks, many users would like to find a reliable disk cloning software for Windows 11, AOMEI Backupper Professional, for example. It supports cloning hard drive to larger drive as well as cloning large HDD to smaller SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. Here are its brilliant advantages you may use during the cloning process:

  • Easy-to-use: Provide a concise and easy-understanding interface, users just need to follow the page prompts step by step to complete the cloning.
  • Intelligent clone: Under the default mode, it only copy the used sectors and therefore you can easily clone larger HDD to smaller SSD and boot from the cloned SSD successfully.
  • SSD alignment: It can accelerate the reading and writing speed while you clone a disk to a SSD.
  • Live clone: It can operate the disk clone task in the background without affecting the normal use of computer.
  • Sector by sector clone: It will clone all sectors, whether they are used or not.

In addition, you can still use Edit Partitions feature. It allow users to adjust partitions of the destination disk when you clone a small disk to a large one, and ensure you can enjoy full capacity of the destination disk after cloning.

Easily Clone Hard Drive in Windows 11 Step by Step Guide

Make some preparations before cloning hard drive in Windows 11:

  1. You need to connect the target disk to the computer and ensure Windows can recognize it.
  2. If you’re using a laptop, you will need a USB-to-SATA cable or adapter to connect disk.
  3. Remember to backup important files of the destination drive. All data on the destination drive will be wiped throughout the cloning procedure. If you do not backup files before cloning, it will cause data loss.
  4. It is necessary for you to make sure the target disk can fully accommodate the data on the source disk. Otherwise, the cloning process will fail.

Once you have completed these preparations, you can start disk clone with AOMEI Backupper by following the graphic tutorial below.

Step 1. Download and install the software. Then run the program and find Clone -> Disk Clone.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Choose Disk Clone

Tip:

The Professional edition supports cloning both data disks and systems disks from MBR to MBR/MBR to GPT, or GPT to GPT/GPT to MBR. If you only want to clone data disks, you can pick the complete free Standard edition.

Step 2. Select the original hard drive as the source disk that you want to clone, and then click on Next.

Choose Source Disk 2

Step 3. Choose the new HDD/SSD as the destination disk, and then click on Next.

Choose Destination Unallocated HDD

Step 4. If you want to clone Windows 11 to SSD,  it’s recommended to tick “SSD Alignment” to accelerate the reading and writing speed. Then, confirm the details of both disks and click Start Clone.

Disk Clone Preview Align SSD Checked

Notes: 

  • Add unused space to all partitions: the program will automatically add unallocated space to all existing partitions.
  • Manually adjust partition size: you can click on each partition and resize it by dragging the side bar.

Add Unused Space

Step 5. Click on Finish to exit the window when the cloning process reaches 100%.

Tip:

In order to verify whether the cloned disk can boot successfully after being cloned, we can use the following steps to check.

  • First, you should replace the original disk with the cloned disk.
  • Next, enter the BIOS, modify it to the first priority and save it, and then restart the computer.

Change Boot Order

Summary

It is not hard to see from the above that AOMEI Backupper Professional is a good choice for cloning disks when users want to know “how to clone hard drive in Windows 11 easily”. This software is not only safe but also easy to use.

It supports all Windows operating systems and all brand-related disks (HDD, SSD). You can also choose different functions when you need to clone a disk, such as Edit Partitions, SSD Alignment and Sector By Sector Clone. In addition, this software also provide other features, such as system clone, partition clone, etc.