By Lily / Last update October 31, 2022

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Can you transfer data from one hard drive to another?

“I have a 1TB HDD at the moment and I just purchased a 6TB HDD. I have programs and a bunch of other stuff on the 1TB HDD. Can I just copy paste to the new one or no because they contain programs and not just movies and pictures etc?”

Just like this user, you may need to copy data between two drives when upgrading to larger hard drive. Also you need to move data from one hard drive to another if you plan to replace HDD with SSD or backup files on one hard drive to another.

It is easy to transfer a small number of files by the copy and paste method. What if there are large groups of files to transfer? What if the drive you are going to copy contains various programs or even the operating system? Your computer may fail to boot due to some hidden files missing if you still use the copy and paste method.

Then, how to copy a large number of files from one drive to another efficiently and how to copy programs and OS correctly? Just keep reading.

Best hard drive copy software for Windows 11/10/8/7

Specialized hard drive copy software can save you from tedious work of copy and paste and ensure a bootable OS after transferring. AOMEI Backupper Professional, the best hard drive transfer software, comes to help. You can take advantage of the following two features to accomplish data transfer between two internal/external hard drives:

1. File Sync

  • It enables you to move plenty of files between two drives simultaneously.
  • You can also transfer files from PC to PC, sync two NAS devices, sync local folders to a cloud drive, etc.

2. Disk Clone

  • It will copy all data on the source drive including the programs and operating system to the destination drive, so you can use them on the new drive without reinstallation.
  • You can clone all kinds of disks, including internal/external hard drive, HDD/SSD, SATA/PCIe disk.

All Windows PC operating systems like Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported. Download and install AOMEI Backupper right now. Then, learn how to transfer data from one hard drive to another step by step in the next part.

Download DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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How to copy data from one hard drive to another easily

There will be two ways described below. If you are moving files such as documents, pictures and music from the PC hard drive to another drive, you can turn to Way 1. If you are transferring files along with programs and operating system to a new drive, you may resort to Way 2.

◑ Connect the target hard drive to your computer if you are moving data to an external drive and make sure it is detected.
◑ Backup files on the target drive before you try Way 2, because all the data in the destination will be overwritten in the cloning process.

Way 1: copy files from one hard drive to another

1. Launch AOMEI Backupper. Click “Sync” and select “Basic Sync”.

Basic Sync

2. Name the task so that you can distinguish it from other sync tasks. Click “Add Folder” to select the folder(s) which you want to synchronize from the source drive.

Add Folder

3. Select another drive as the destination path to store the synced folder(s).

Select Sync Destination

4. Click on “Start Sync” button to begin transferring files from one hard drive to another. After the operation is finished, safely disconnect your drive.

Start Sync

>> Options: you can write a comment for your sync task so that you can figure out the specific sync contents. You can also enable email notification here.
>> Schedule Sync: you can set the sync task to run periodically. There are five modes provided: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, and USB plug in.

Way 2: copy hard drive to another hard drive with everything

1. Run AOMEI Backupper. Click “Clone” on the left pane and select “Disk Clone”.

Disk Clone

2. Select the original hard drive on your PC as the source disk and click “Next”.

Source Disk

3. Select the destination drive you have connected to your PC and click “Next”.

Destination Disk

4. Confirm the operation and click “Start Clone” to begin copying a disk to another disk.

Operation Summary

>> Edit Partitions: you can choose to resize partitions on the destination disk or not here.
>> SSD Alignment: it will improve the reading and writing speed of the SSD. Use this option if the destination disk is an SSD.
>> Sector by sector clone: it will clone every sector on the source disk whether it is used or not, thus costing more time. It requires the destination disk to be equal to or larger than the source disk.

5. After the cloning process is finished, you need to change boot order in BIOS or replace the source drive with the cloned one to boot from it.


This page shows you how to transfer data from one internal/external hard drive to another in the top two ways. Besides data transfer between two drives, AOMEI Backupper also enables you to backup multiple drives in Windows 10/8/7. Don’t hesitate to give it a try!