By Ivy / Last Updated October 18, 2019

Can I clone my boot drive?

“My Lenovo computer with Windows 10 is preinstalled on HDD. My computer run slower and slower recently, so I bought a new SSD. I want to clone Windows 10 boot drive to SSD and make it bootable. I don’t want to reinstall Windows 10 from scratch. Any suggestion will be appreciated.”

disk

What is Windows 10 bootable clone?

The bootable clone is a copy of all files (both visible and invisible) of a drive which has a bootable operating system.

With bootable clone, you can benefit a lot from it:

You can clone hard drive to larger drive with free bootable cloning software if the existing hard drive is in a low disk space state owing to dozens of applications and files. It’s can be used to boot your computer.
Don’t need to reinstall the operating system and applications. You can clone Windows 10 to SSD, if the computer suddenly becomes increasingly slow. SSDs can improve the performance of your computer, because it’s much cooler, lighter, quieter, more durable, and consume less power. More so, it does not contain any removable part. .
Besides, you can prevent unexpected system failure, hard drive failure, virus infected, and more.

Best free bootable cloning software for Windows 10

As mentioned above, you can benefit a lot from the bootable clone. It can help you clone Windows 10 drive bootable and fix low disk space issue, lower speed issue and so on. Now, here comes a question: what is the best free cloning software for Windows 10 boot drive?

On the market, there is a large number of disk cloning software, which allows you to clone disk to larger disk. However, a few tools give you a chance to clone large disk to smaller disk.

Thus, if you just want to replace the hard drive with a large capacity, you can search “cloning software” on the internet and try the one you like. But if you want to clone Windows 10 to SSD or a smaller drive, you are supposed to choose cloning software carefully. I highly recommend you free bootable disk clone software AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Bootable clone Windows 10 to SSD just a moment

Preparations:

Create a system image first, because something unexpected may happen owing to different reasons. The simplest one is human error or operation error.
Resize the original hard drive until the space is the same as or smaller than target drive, because this is the premise of cloning large HDD to smaller SSD.
Prepare a target drive and make sure it can be detected by Windows.

Then, keep reading below to learn how to clone a hard drive and make it bootable.

Step 1. Connect the prepared SSD drive to your computer with encloser or adaptor.

SSD Encloser

Step 2. Download free disk cloning software – AOMEI Backupper, install and start AOMEI Backupper. And then click Disk Clone under the Clone tab.

Disk Clone

Note: If your new hard drive is not enough to save the boot drive and all the installed programs, files, folders, you can only transfer OS to another drive and use the original hard drive as a storage device. To clone the operating system, you can click Clone and System Clone (supported by AOMEI Backupper Professional) in order, and then follow the instructions to finish the rest of steps.

Step 3. Select the current bootable disk as the source disk and click Next to move on.

Bootable Drive

Step 4. Select the prepared SSD as the destination disk and click Next.

Prepared SSD

Step 5. Check SSD Alignment box if your target drive is SSD. It can accelerate the reading and writing speed of SSD drive. And then, click Start Clone to start cloning Windows 10 boot drive.

Besides disk clone, partition clone in Windows 10 is also supported. Please note that cloning system disk between MBR and GPT disks are not supported by the Standard edition. To do that, please upgrade to advanced editions.

What’s more, AOMEI Backupper is a free backup and restore software, which allows you to backup disk, partition, system, even a single file or folder.

How to make cloned drive bootable in Windows 10?

If you ever search “boot clone Windows 10 not working” in Reddit, Microsoft, or other forums, you may find that there are many similar bootable clone error, such as, boot clone Windows 10 just black screen, just keeps restarting, BCD 0*c00000f, blinking cursor, etc.

If these problems happen to you, try the commonly used 2 ways in the following.

Method 1. Check the boot mode of the cloned hard drive.

Enter BIOS settings by a specific key (usually Del for desktop and F2 for a laptop), make sure the cloned drive is in the first boot order under the Boot tab and then check the boot mode for the cloned hard drive. It must be Legacy BIOS if the disk is MBR while the boot mode of GPT disk must be UEFI.

Method 2. Repair the cloned drive using system recovery options.

If the cloned drive won't boot, you could repair it with installation disk or a repair disk.

To perform Startup Repair, you could click Next in the initial screen of Windows Setup, then click Repair your computer and the operating system, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Repair. Then just wait until the process is 100% completed.

If it doesn’t work, you can click view advanced options for system recovery and support to try system recovery options command prompt. Click Command Prompt, then type the following commands in order and hit Enter after each one.

  • bootrec.exe

  • bootrec.exe /fixmbr

  • bootrec.exe /fixboot

  • bootrec.exe /scanos

  • bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

Wrapping things up

Creating bootable clone for Windows 10, you need a trust and reliable free disk cloning software. You could consider AOMEI Backupper Standard. With it, cloning boot drive in Windows 10 becomes easier.

This article only tell you how to clone boot drive in Windows 10 with Disk Clone feature, because this way is free and could ensure secure boot. However, some users report that the used space on the old disk is larger than new SSD and this way does not work for me. In this case, you could choose only clone C drive and boot related partition with advanced version, such as, AOMEI Backupper Pro, Workstation, Server.