BitLocker – encryption for your drive
BitLocker Drive Encryption also referred to as BitLocker, is an integral feature in Windows operating systems. It is designed to protect your drive from unauthorized access and protect your data, even in the event someone physically removes your drive and attempts to access it from another computer. Unfortunately, if you want to clone BitLocker encrypted disk, as your drive is encrypted, regular disk cloning software may be unable to copy the drive as it can’t access the data.
Free cloning software to clone an encrypted hard drive
In order to clone your encrypted drive, you will require disk cloning software. Clonezilla, a well-known piece of open source cloning and imaging software, is widely used among Windows PC users. Many users have attempted to clone their BitLocker encrypted partitions using Clonezilla, unfortunately, this fails as Clonezilla is unable to recognize or unlock the BitLocker encrypted partitions and clone the drive. So, if you want to use Clonezilla on a BitLocker encrypted drive, then you are unfortunately out of luck! Luckily, AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition a specialist tool from AOMEI can help you easily clone your BitLocker encrypted drive.
AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition is free specialist hard drive cloning software that allows you to clone any encrypted drive without unlocking it.
Normally, we would use Intelligent Sector Clone to clone larger hard drives to smaller SSDs, however, with encrypted BitLocker partitions we use the Sector by Sector Clone tool.
Sector by Sector clone requires the destination drive to have at least the same capacity as the source disk. If your system drive is encrypted on the source disk (the disk you want to clone), you will be able to successfully boot from the cloned drive without needing to decrypt it first.
If you have a smaller destination drive, then you will need to decrypt the source hard drive before you begin the cloning process. If you have lost the decryption password for your drive, you will need to find your BitLocker Recovery Key. If your computer is connected to a Domain, you will be able to ask the administrator for the recovery key. If you aren’t connected to a Domain, you may be able to find your recovery key online or you may have made a backup of the key on a USB drive.
How do you clone a BitLocker encrypted SSD or HDD?
First you must either connect the destination drive (the drive you want to clone to) to your PC through the second drive bay or via a SATA-to-USB adapter. Before you begin the process below you should be aware that all of the data on the destination disk will be deleted when the cloning process starts.
To clone a BitLocker encrypted drive:
Step 1. Download free cloning software and run it. Click on Disk Clone under the Clone tab on the left-hand side.
Helpful Tip: This version only supports cloning a disk with the same partition style, such as, cloning a GPT disk to a GPT disk or an MBR to an MBR disk. If you want to clone a GPT disk to an MBR or migrate an MBR disk to a GPT, you should consider upgrading to AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition.
Step 2. Select the BitLocker Encrypted drive as the Source disk by clicking on it, then click Next.
Step 3. Select a different disk as the Destination Disk (which will receive the cloned data), and then click Next. As we mentioned before, this tool will clone the encrypted disk on a ‘sector by sector’ basis, so the destination disk has to be equal to or larger than the original disk.
Step 4. In the Operation Summary screen, tick Sector by sector clone, click Start Clone to start cloning the encrypted hard drive.
The sector-by-sector method may take a little longer than a traditional hard drive clone as it will also clone any unused space. AOMEI Backupper lets you still use your drive during the cloning process, so nothing will interrupt your work or studies.
As you can see, cloning a BitLocker encrypted drive with AOMEI Backupper is as easy as pie. AOMEI Backupper isn’t just limited to its clone function, it has an entire range of useful features and tools. Most backup software available on the market can’t handle encrypted drives, yet AOMEI Backupper easily provides comprehensive disk backup features for encrypted hard drives! AOMEI Backupper is also able to assist you with backing up your encrypted system, partitions, and files. Why not download it now and give it a go?