What is UEFI, do you need specialized imaging and cloning software?
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is a new specification largely used by recent hardware as a replacement to BIOS based Legacy mode. Compared to BIOS, UEFI mode has many advanced features - the most essential of which may be that it support booting form hard drives larger than 2TB by using GPT partition style. Besides, it improves the startup time.
However, as all the new advanced technologies, UEFI does not compatible with some old operating systems (OS) and software. All the 32 bit Windows systems before Windows 8 and 64 bit system before Windows XP do not have support for UEFI.
As a result, if you have a computer with an UEFI motherboard, you may find that some of the backup and cloning software do not work well, and you need to find a UEFI disk imaging and cloning software.
Easy-to-use imaging and cloning software with full UEFI supports
For every user who values data security, the concepts of image backup and clone should be no stranger:
Imaging, usually refers to creating a compressed image file of your source data. This backup file takes less space than an exact copy and facilitates data archiving - you can apply some schedules or schemes to build an automated backup system. However, the backed up data cannot be used without restoration.
Cloning, means to copying the complete content of a hard drive to another drive. The data that has been cloned to the destination disk will remain intact and available, which also means that it will take up more disk space. Also, disk cloning is usually a one-time operation that needs to be operated manually and carefully.
Although Windows Provides the Backup and Restore utility to help you back up computer data and create system image, but there's never a cloning feature, you still need a specialized and professional tool.
Here I'd introduce a disk imaging and cloning software with full UEFI supports - AOMEI Backupper Professional. It works perfectly on Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, and contains all-around backup and clone feature to help you with computer data protection.
>> For backup, it allows you to backup system, partitions, disks, files and folders to any locations that your computer can recognize. It enables you to keep scheduled backup tasks while saving disk space by providing incremental and differential backup technology. In addition, it lets you to restore system backup or disk backup to dissimilar hardware.
>> To clone UEFI GPT disk, it provides 2 ways to transfer system disk to another storage device, System Clone, and Disk Clone. When using AOMEI Backupper to clone hard drive to SSD, you don’t have to worry about the SSD is too small, because AOMEI Backupper allows you to clone large HDD to small SSD as long as your SSD has the capacity for the data on the HDD.
What’s more, it allows you to restore or clone from MBR/Legacy BIOS to GPT/UEFI or vice versa while ensure the destination disk bootable without the need to convert disks. In conclusion, you don't have to concern the firmware (UEFI or BIOS) while doing a clone or restore with AOMEI Backupper.
Simply download the free demo to experience the powerful functionality:
Practice: How to clone UEFI drive with its firmware
As you know, UEFI and BIOS are supported on different types of disks. You can only use a GPT disk to boot with UEFI mode, and MBR disk with Legacy BIOS mode. If you want to clone GPT to MBR disk, make sure the source disk has no more than 4 partitions, because MBR disks only support at most 4 primary partitions. If you want to clone MBR disk to GPT disk, make sure your system and hardware support UEFI.
👉Make the partition style compatible with the boot mode:
The partition style (MBR/GPT) of a disk should be compatible with the boot mode of the computer (MBR for Legacy BIOS and GPT for UEFI).
Before cloning, please confirm what partition style you should use for the target disk. AOMEI Backupper supports cloning MBR to GPT/GPT to MBR without conversion, but depending on the circumstances, you may need to convert the partition style of the target drive to make it the same as the source drive.
To check the current partition style of a disk, just press Win + R to open the Run window -> type "diskmgmt.msc" and hit OK to open disk management -> right-click the disk you want to check and click "Properties" -> then, select "Volume" tab to check the "Partition style".
👉Step-by-step to clone UEFI GPT disk:
1. Install and run the UEFI imaging software. Click Clone on the main interface, and then select Disk Clone.
*If you want to clone or migrate only the operating system, choose System Clone instead.
2. Select the source disk and target disk respectively. Note that all the data on the target disk will be overwritten during cloning. If there's any important data involved, please make a backup in advance.
3. Then it will bring you to the Operation Summary screen. If you want to clone UEFI disk to SSD, check the SSD Alignment option to accelerate its read & write speed, and then click Start Clone to execute the UEFI disk cloning.
👉Other helpful features:
Sector By Sector Clone: Clone all the sectors, including the blank and logically bad sectors. You can tick this option when cloning disk to a larger disk. It will take longer time accordingly.
Edit Partitions: Adjust the partition size of the destination disk.
- Copy without resizing partitions: It will not resize the partition size.
- Add unused space to all partitions: Reallocate the unallocated space to each partition of the target disk, appropriate for the disk size.
- Manually adjust partition size: It allows you to extend unallocated space to any partition as you want.
- Convert the destination disk... (optional): Convert the partition style (MBR/GPT) of the target disk if you want it to be the same as the source disk. You can also leave it unchecked to keep the partition style unchanged.
👉How to boot from cloned drive:
When the cloning is done, you can shut down the PC, replace the old drive with the cloned drive and boot from it.
If you have more than one slot, you can also keep the old drive connected as a secondary drive. Just press the BIOS key (depends on make and model) at startup, and select the cloned new drive as the first boot option. If it can boot into Windows normally, then your cloning is successful, and you can decide what to do with the old drive. For example, you can wipe the old hard drive and keep it for storage.
If your old drive is partitioned with MBR, and your new drive is an GPT, then you should also change the boot mode from Legacy BIOS to UEFI. Conversely, if your source disk is GPT and you want to clone it to an MBR, then you should change the boot mode from UEFI to Legacy BIOS accordingly.
As the best UEFI disk imaging and cloning software, AOMEI Backupper also allows you to restore system regardless of its firmware. You can use it to restore bios based system to uefi based computer without manually changing anything. It just works.
If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.