By Ailsa / Last Updated August 28, 2020

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Why Clone Hard Drive in Windows 7?

Disk cloning is the process of making an exact copy of all the data stored in HDD or SSD, including Windows 7/8/10 operating system, installed programs, all personal files, and system settings, etc. There are some circumstances that you might clone hard drive SSD or HDD in Windows 7/8/10:

  • Insufficient disk space: when your computer facing the low disk space, you could free up space with disk cleanup tool, remove unnecessary files, etc. However, the best way to fix this problem is add another hard drive or clone smaller disk to larger disk.

  • Computer running slow in Windows 7/8/10 all of a sudden. This symptom may imply your RAM or disk drive space is running out, or the old hard drive that you have to replace with another new HDD or SSD to improve the computer performance.

  • Upgrade Windows 7/8 to Windows 10. It’s better to clone hard drive in Windows 7/8 before upgrading Windows 7/8 to Windows 10 to make an alternative backup for your current files in case something bad happens to your computer.

  • Other issues like ransomware, virus, or accidental deletion.

Hence, how to clone Windows 7 hard drive easily and safely? let’s find out in the following content.

Before Cloning Hard Drive in Windows 7

There is something you should prepare clone Windows 7 hard drive:

1. The computer running the Windows 7 operating system.

2. A new hard drive or SSD as the destination for cloning Windows 7 hard drive. There is no need to be larger than the original Windows 7 hard drive, but it should be enough to hold all the data saved in the original one.

3. SATA to USB adapter cable: to connect the new HDD or SSD if need be.

For a desktop, you need a power cable and data cable to connect the new drive in your computer as a secondary drive.

You may need an external hard drive enclosure and SATA-to-USB adapter to connect the new HDD or SSD externally if the laptop only has one hard drive bay.

Sata Cable or Hard Drive Enclosure And Cable

4. Screwdrivers. To swap the old Windows 7 hard drive with the new HDD/SSD after cloning finished.

5. Get the free hard drive cloning software download in Windows 7 computer.

How to Clone A Hard Drive in Windows 7 Efficiently?

During cloning Windows 7 hard drive, best free disk clone software for Windows 7 - AOMEI Backupper Standard will clone all the partitions on the hard drive including system drive (typical the C:\ partition), recovery partition, system reserved partition, EFI system partition and other partitions on the source disk, and all other files safely and quickly.

After downloading AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it. Connect the new HDD or SSD with Windows 7 computer via host or SATA to USB adapter and ensure it can be detected by Windows. Then clone hard drive Windows 7 easily with AOMEI Backupper Standard.

#1. Clone HDD to SSD in Windows 7

Here come the detailed steps to clone Windows 7 hard drive to SSD:

1. On the home console, select the Clone tab, and choose the Disk Clone feature afterward.

Disk Clone

2. Select the Windows 7 hard drive as the source disk to clone, and hit Next >>.

Select Windows 7 Hard Drive

3. Choose the SSD as the destination to save everything from Windows 7 hard drive, and then press Next >>.

Select Larger SSD

Tip: You will get an alert to delete or overwrite the existing partitions on the destination (SSD), Press OK to continue, or click Cancel to backup critical files first, then clone hard drive in Windows 7 according to the steps.

4. Check SSD Alignment to optimize the reading and writing speed for destination SSD.

Check SSD Alignment

5. Press Start Clone >> to clone HDD to SSD in Windows 7 easily and safely.

Helpful tips:
✍Edit Partitions: It’s a premium feature that enables you to resize the partitions on the destination disk, like add unused space to all partitions, manually adjust partition size, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or other advanced editions to enjoy.

Edit Partitions

✍Sector by sector clone: It will clone all sectors in Windows 7 hard drive whether it is used or not. And it will take a longer time.
✍If you are going to clone MBR to GPT disk, try this with AOMEI Backupper Professional or other full versions. Because the AOMEI Backupper Standard only supports clone MBR to MBR disk, clone GPT to a GPT disk.
✍All the above steps apply to Windows XP, Vista, 8, 8.1, and 10, all editions (32-bit and 64-bit) as well.

Wait for a while, the cloning time depending on the data size on the source disk, the larger the data capacity, the longer time will be.

#2. Clone HDD to HDD in Windows 7

Typically, you may want to clone HDD to a larger one to gain more free storage space, If it does, just follow the above steps listed to clone HDD to SSD except for the Step 4.

Boot from Cloned HDD or SSD

After disk clone finished, do the process listed below according to your needs:

If you cloned boot drive in Windows 7:

1. Shutdown your Windows 7 computer.

2. Boot from the cloned SSD/HDD.

For Desktop: Enter BIOS to set up the first boot device is the cloned SSD/HDD, and then restart to boot normally. Or use screwdrivers to take out the original Windows 7 boot drive, and swap in the cloned SSD/HDD, and then boot your computer from the cloned SSD or HDD.

For Laptop: Use screwdrivers to take out the original Windows 7 boot drive, and swap in the cloned SSD/HDD, restart your computer to boot from the cloned SSD or HDD.

You may need to change the boot mode from Legacy to UEFI if you cloned MBR disk to GPT disk, change UEFI to Legacy if cloned GPT to MBR disk.

Moreover, your Windows 7/8/10 hard drive could be failing due to bad sectors, and AOMEI Backupper is available to clone failing hard drive to skip bad sectors easily.

If you cloned data disk in Windows 7:

Due to the Windows 7 support has been ended, if you want to use the data disk on another computer, you could take out the data disk and connect it to your new computer.

Or if you want to clone smaller Windows 7 data disk to a larger one, follow the cloning process of cloning HDD to HDD. And then connect the larger disk contains the data you need to your current computer.

Summary

As shown above, it’s a piece of cake for AOMEI Backupper Standard to clone hard drive in Windows 7, 8, 10. It’s not only disk cloning software but also free backup software. You could also backup Windows 7 hard drive to external hard drive and then restore Windows 7 disk image to the new SSD/HDD.

If you just want to clone Windows 7 to larger hard drive without reinstalling Windows operating system or installed programs, you could try system clone feature, it’s available in Professional or other full versions. Besides, you could clone hard drive with command prompt if you’re an IT expert.

For server users, who running Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019 (including R2), SBS 2003, 2008, 2011, Please try AOMEI Backupper Server.

If you would like to deploy image to unlimited computers simultaneously within same LAN in your company, please try AOMEI Image Deploy.