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What is bit-by-bit copy?
Bit-by-bit copy means to copy all areas of a computer hard drive or other storage devices. It replicates all sectors including blank sectors and logically bad sectors, so it is also called sector-by-sector clone. The data stored on the cloned drive is identical to the data on the original drive.
Through bit-by-bit copy, you can:
▪ Upgrade your old hard drive to a new drive without reinstalling the operating system and all your applications.
▪ Get a replica of your computer’s main drive which can be put into use directly in case of hard drive failure.
Since bit-by-bit copy is useful, how can you complete the task?
Get the best bit-by-bit copy software for free
As Microsoft hasn’t ever included a tool for making an exact copy of a hard drive in Windows, what you need is reliable bit copy software to achieve the goal of bit-by-bit copy. AOMEI Backupper Standard, the best free disk cloning software for Windows, comes to help.
It offers you two clone modes: Disk Clone and Partition Clone. You may use it to clone either an entire disk or a specific partition.
It provides the Sector by sector clone feature that enables you to run bit copy for a hard drive. If you don’t enable this feature, AOMEI Backupper will run intelligent sector clone by default, which is very helpful to clone large HDD to smaller SSD.
It is embedded with the SSD Alignment function. If you are cloning disk to an SSD, you can use this function to optimize SSD’s performance and prolong its life span.
All Windows PC operating systems like Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported.
How to use the bit copy software for disk copy
In this part, I will show you how to use this bit by bit copy software on Windows 10. Before you start, you need to do some prep work.
- Check sector size. Cloning disk sector by sector requires the logical sector size of the source and target disks to be same, or the cloning process will fail. Therefore, you need to check logical sector size of both disks before cloning. To do this, you can follow the instructions below:
Type msinfo32.exe in Windows search box and press Enter.
In System Information window, navigate to Components > Storage > Disks.
Find the source and destination disks and check their sector size in the Bytes/Sector line.
- Check disk capacity. Sector-by-sector clone will copy every sector on the source disk no matter whether it is used or not, so the destination disk must be equal to or larger than the source disk.
- File backup. All the data in the destination will be deleted in the cloning process, so you must backup files on the destination drive in advance.
▶ Detailed steps of cloning a disk bit by bit
Step 1. Download, install and run AOMEI Backupper.
Step 2. Click “Clone” on the left pane and select “Disk Clone”.
✿ The Standard version only supports cloning a data disk. If you want to clone a system disk, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional.
✿ If you want to clone only OS, you can select “System Clone” (advanced feature).
Step 3. Select the source disk that you want to clone and click “Next”.
Step 4. Select the destination disk to store the cloned data and click “Next”.
Step 5. Tick “Sector by sector clone” to enable bit-by-bit copy. Tick "SSD Alignment" to improve the performance of SSD disk if the target disk is an SSD. Confirm the operation and click “Start Clone”.
Step 6. To boot from the cloned system disk, you need to change boot order in BIOS or just replace the source drive with the target one.
With the right bit copy software, you will save much time and efforts when performing bit copy for a hard drive. In addition to the clone feature, AOMEI Backupper owns the backup, restore and sync functions. It can help you sync files from PC to WD My Cloud when you encounter WD Sync not working. Go for this tool at once!