By Ivy / Last update December 22, 2020

What is Shadow Copy Cloner for?

Shadow Copy Cloner can help you to copy all files and directories from one NTFS partition to another one. At the same time, you still can use it to create a bootable backup of your system volume for quick recovery including your programs, documents, pictures, and the Windows registry.

This software uses Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service to backup your partition or system drive, which can generate a point-in-time ‘frozen image’ of your source drive in advance. You can make subsequent updates later after you make an exact copy of your hard drive. And it will only update the changed files, so you do not need to spend much time on it every time.

How to backup system drive with Shadow Copy Cloner?

Step 1. Download Shadow Copy Cloner, install and launch it. Then, click Use Trial if you do not pay for it.

Step 2. Select the source drive and then the target Drive from the pull-down list subsequently.

Clone Hard Drive

◒ To successfully backup your source drive, you need to make sure your target drive with the same capacity of your source drive at least.
◒ To customize the task, you can select any setting listed below.
◒ To exclude certain files or directories, click Add to mount the data you don't want to backup.

That's all for how to use Shadow Copy Cloner to make an exact copy of hard drive, but there are limitations you need to know:

  • The first backup is really time-consuming, for example, it takes about1 hour to copy 8.19GB data.

  • It only backup partition with NTFS file system.

  • It only supports backing up to internal hard drive and external hard drive.

  • It does not backup hard drive with multiple partitions, so you can only backup one partition every time.

Well then, is there any easier way to backup system drive in Windows 10/8/7? The answer is yes, you could use the best free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard to do so. It supports full backup solutions, including file backup, system backup, disk backup, partition backup. It allows you to backup system/disk/partition formatted with all file system, such as, NTFS, FAT32, EXT2, etc. Also, it's compatible internal hard drive, external disk, USB drive, network drive, and more.

Easier way to backup system drive in Windows 10

Here you will use Shadow Copy Cloner alternative software - AOMEI Backupper Standard to create a system image backup for Windows 10. Also, this way is still applicable to Windows 8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. Before you start any operation, please make some preparations:

  • Prepare an external disk or other storage devices to save the system image as long as it can be detected by Windows.

  • Click the download button below to install AOMEI Backupper Standard on your computer.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Now, let's get started to backup system drive with AOMEI Backupper Standard. Detailed steps are below.

Step 1. Launch the best free backup software for Windows 7/8/10 - AOMEI Backupper Standard, then you will see its deep-blue interface. Click Backup and System Backup subsequently. Then, it will automatically select the operating system (OS) and boot-related partition(s) required to start Windows.

System Backup

Note: If you want to make exact copy of hard drive, you could consider using "Disk Backup" that will include everything on the disk, such as, operating system, installed programs, personal data etc.

Step 2. Click where the arrow point and select the prepared drive as destination. You can backup system to external hard drive, network drive, OneDrive etc.

Select Destination

Step 3. Click Schedule and select daily/weekly/monthly backup and full/incremental/differential backup. Please note the scheduled differential backup is available on AOMEI Backupper Professional at least. After that, click Start Backup to begin the backup process.

Schedule Settings General

◒ Except for daily/weekly/monthly backup, there are two specific schedule backup solutions, namely "Event triggers" and "USB plug in". You can use "Event triggers" to backup system on system shutdown. While for "USB plug in", it's a unique feature for USB drive, you can use the detected flash drive to automatically backup system.
Incremental backup or differential backup: Both features can help you backup entire system drive and then only track its changes, which save you much time and effort.
◒ It's suggested to create a bootable media in advance, so you can restore the system image in the event of a disaster.


Shadow Copy Cloner can help you create a bootable backup for system. But it will be better if you use the best free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. It is more compatible, and supports different storage devices and file systems. And its schedule backup makes this task simple and effecient.

In addition, it is still a disk clone software that can help you easily and quickly migrate operating system to SSD, clone hard drive to larger drive, clone large HDD to smaller SSD, move system reserved partition to another drive etc. And the cloned drive can be used to boot your computer directly without restoring the system or disk image first. Please download the software for self-exploration.