By Delia / Last update April 6, 2022

Why Clone Laptop Hard Drive

Hard drive cloning means to transfer all data including operating system, data drive, personal files, customized settings, etc. from one hard drive to another SSD or HDD. The main point of this is to replace the disk for better performance or capacity, without losing the previous data nor reinstalling Windows.

More specifically, whether you are using Dell, ASUS, Samsung, HP, Seagate or Acer, you may want to clone laptop hard drive to another drive in following conditions:

  • Replace HDD with SSD to enjoy better performance.
  • Upgrade your old hard disk drive to a new one.
  • Replace your small hard drive with a larger one.
  • Create copies for your laptop hard drive as a backup.

clone laptop hard drive

How Can You Clone Laptop Hard Drive Simply

It's not difficult to transfer some files from a hard drive to another, the really tricky part is the operating system - you have to deal with complex boot files, settings and hidden files. And since Windows lacks a complete cloning feature, the closest option might be creating a system image and then restoring it to the new SSD, which is quite laborous and error-prone.

To save your effort, you could to turn to a reliable third-party cloning software, AOMEI Backupper Standard. This freeware has made a name for itself among millions of users with its powerful features and easy operation.

In terms of cloning, it provides Disk Clone and Partition Clone for free. In the event of cloning laptop hard drive to SSD, the software allows 4K partition alignment which is used to improve SSD’s performance. With the intelligent mode, you can even clone hard drive to smaller SSD.

For laptop users who have no way to connect target disk to laptop, this software also offers complete backup & restore features to restore Windows image to SSD.

This software supports Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. Download it to have a try:

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step-by-Step Guide: Clone Laptop Hard Drive to Another Drive

Preparations: since the majority of laptops have only one disk bay that is occupying by internal hard drive, you may need to prepare an SATA-to-USB cable or hard drive enclousure to connect the target disk to laptop. If you have two disk bays, install the disk properly. If you have no SATA-to-USB cable, please refer to the next solution.

Note: The destination disk will be overwritten after cloning. So please backup files you care most in advance.

Step 1. Connect the new HDD to your laptop via USB cable. Install and launch the laptop disk clone software on your laptop. Go Clone > Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

♦ If you want to transfer only OS to another drive, you can use System Clone (available in Professional edition)
♦ The Standard edition supports all data disks and MBR system disks. If you want to cloning system disk from/to GPT, you will need to upgrade to Pro edition.

Step 2. Select the source disk on your laptop.

Select Source Disk

Step 3. Select the destination disk.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. Confirm the operations and then click Start Clone.

Start Clone

Step 5. Disconnect the second hard drive on completion. Shut down your laptop and disconnect all peripherals. Remove battery and replace the old hard drive with the new one. You may need #1 or #0 screwdriver to uninstall the frame.

Step 6. Install everything back and start your laptop. The familiar logo ought to be appeared.

More useful features:

  • Edit partitions the destination disk: edit partition size and drive letter, assign unallocated space on target disk. Requires the support of Pro edition.

  • Sector-by-sector clone: clone every section from the source disk to target disk. This requires the target disk to be equal to or larger than the source disk. This option will make edit partitions unusable.

  • SSD Alignment: if you are cloning disk to SSD, check this option to improve its reading and writing performance.

  • If the source disk is GPT style, you can only clone up to 3 partitions to the target disk at a time. Left partitions can be cloned with Partition Clone.

Transfer Laptop Hard Drive to New Disk without USB Cable

Sometimes, the direct disk to disk clone method may fail due to connection or battery problem. If you fails in that way or you don’t have an SATA-to-USB cable, check this way out.

Preparation: you need to prepare an USB drive or CD/DVD disc with more than 13 GB in size. Install and run AOMEI Backupper.

Step 1. Create Bootable Drive

Insert the USB drive or CD disc to laptop. In AOMEI Backupper, click Home > Tools > Create Bootable Media. Follow the wizard to create a bootable drive.

Create Bootable Media

Step 2. Create Image for Laptop Hard Drive

In AOMEI Backupper, click Backup and then Disk Backup to create disk image. You can save image to external drive, network share or another USB drive. Just make sure you can access it from WinPE boot drive.

Disk Backup

Step 3. Restore Image to New Drive

Shut down your laptop and remove the battery manually. Replace internal hard drive with target drive on laptop. Insert the bootable drive you’ve created and power on. Enter into BIOS by pressing Del (F2 or another specific key) to change boot priority to the bootable media.

Once logged in, you’ll see AOMEI Backupper immediately. Go Restore and then click "Select Task" to start the restore operation. Follow the wizard to complete restoring. Finally, remove bootable drive and restart your laptop.

Select Task

Tip: For detailed steps with screenshots, please refer to SONY laptop hard drive upgrade.


Two ways on how to transfer laptop hard drive are introduced above. One is to clone laptop hard drive directly, and the other is to transfer all data via Backup & Restore method. Choose the most suitable way based on your situation. In fact, except for cloning hard drive on laptop, you can clone desktop hard drive using the same feature. 

What’s more, this software still support replacing hard drive in ASUS laptop, and other computer brands, such as, Lenovo/Dell/HP/Toshiba/Samsung/Acer. In addition, it's also the best way to backup laptop. It's recommended to keep this software on your computer to protect your system and data persistently.