UEFI boot vs BIOS boot
Recent computers use built-in UEFI main board instead of BIOS. UEFI system adopts hard drives initialized with GPT partition style, which allows users to use disk space beyond 2TB, supports faster booting process and more security features etc. Meanwhile, Intel plans to remove legacy BIOS by 2020 and it may be a trend in the near future.
Now, let's get the basic. Both UEFI and BIOS are firmware interface for computers, acting as a middleman between firmware and operating system. But the UEFI boots faster than BIOS thanks to EFI system partition. This partition stores all information about initialization and startup in the .efi file, as well as boot loader programs for the operating system, so UEFI disk can directly boot the operating system and save the BIOS self-test process.
In BIOS, it will load and wake up the computer's hardware components, then use boot loader to initialize Windows. And it must run in 16-bit processor mode, and only has 1MB space to execute, which make the initializing and booting process much slower.
Why clone UEFI disk?
Although UEFI disk has more advantages of BIOS disk, you still need to clone disk UEFI in some cases. Here are the main reasons why you need to clone EFI disk.
You want to replace the UEFI disk with a large disk.
You want to clone UEFI HDD to SSD to get better performance.
You want clone GPT UEFI disk as a backup.
The UEFI disk is falling.
Whatever the reason, you definitely prefer a quick and easy way to clone UEFI disk without the need of reinstalling Windows and programs. To make it, UEFI disk cloning software is needed and AOMEI Backupper Professional is recommended here.
Best UEFI disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Professional
AOMEI Backupper Professional is powerful disk cloning software that can do UEFI disk clone as boot drive or data drive. Meanwhile, you don't need to convert MBR disk to GPT, or convert GPT to MBR before cloning because this software will take care of this process automatically.
So far, this is a challenge for most disk cloning software, but AOMEI Backupper can solve it easily. This is one of the main reasons why you should choose AOMEI Backupper. Besides, AOMEI Backupper can do more for you.
Clone UEFI disk to larger hard drive without leaving unallocated space. With the help of "Edit Partitions" feature, you can add unallocated space to all partitions or manually adjust the partition size.
Clone UEFI disk to SSD easily and make it bootable. For most users like you, you may know that SSDs have better performance than HDDs, but SSDs are more expensive and smaller. Therefore, it's necessary for disk cloning software to clone larger GPT disk to smaller SSD.
Improve SSD performance to reach peak. It offers "SSD Alignment" to improve the read/write speed of an SSD while cloning hard drive to SSD, and prolong its life span.
What’s more, the cloning process will be running in the background and it won’t interrupt you using the PC. Check the next part to see how to clone UEFI hard disk.
How to clone GPT UEFI disk to SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7
You can use AOMEI Backupper Professional to clone UEFI disk to SSD with the following steps, even for a novice. This software has a very intuitive interface, so users can understand it easily and quickly.
Prepare a blank disk with right form factor and interface as destination. Most laptops have 2.5-inch drive with 7 or 9.5mm thickness, and different interfaces, such as, SATA, PCIe, IDE. Just check your laptop manual for sure.
Check the used space of UEFI disk via disk management and make sure that the destination disk can contain all of the data on source disk.
Prepare SATA-to-USB adaptor, dock, encloser or SATA cable if your laptop or desktop only has one slot.
Keep a copy of the system or the whole disk. If you have done an in-depth research online, you may know there are many examples of SSD won't boot after clone. To help you out, a backup is necessary.
Download UEFI disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Professional 30-day free trial and install it. This version only supports cloning UEFI disk in Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP. If you are using server-based operating system, such as, Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019 and its R2 version, AOMEI Backupper Server will be a better choice.
Here is an example of cloning GPT disk to GPT SSD:
Note that this software will only clone used sectors to target disk, thus, you can clone HDD to SSD in Windows 10 or Windows 11 successfully, even smaller one. Please be sure the target disk has enough space to hold all the data on the source disk.
1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Professional, click “Clone” and “Disk Clone” in order. If you intend to transfer OS to another drive, you can use “System Clone” instead.
2. In the next screen, tap the original UEFI/GPT disk to mark as source disk and click “Next”.
3. Select the SSD you want to clone to as the destination disk and click “Next”.
4. Tick "SSD Alignment" to accelerate the reading and writing speed of the destination SSD. Click “Start Clone” to start the Windows UEFI disk clone.
⚘ You could click Edit Partitions at the bottom left to fully use the space on the destination SSD if you are cloning disk to larger disk. You have 4 options in the following.
- Copy without resizing partitions: It will not resize the partition size.
- Add unused space to all partitions: It will reallocate the unallocated space to each partition of the target disk, appropriate for the disk size.
- Manually adjust partition size: It allows you to extend unallocated space to any partition on the destination disk you want.
- Convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT: It helps to convert the partition style of the destination disk if it is different from the source disk.
Both MBR and GPT are two different disk types for data storage. And you can check its disk properties in Disk Management if you don't know clearly. The overall steps are below:
- Press Win + R to open the Run window. Then, type diskmgmt.msc and hit OK to open disk management.
- Then, right-click the disk you want to clone and select Properties in the pop-up window.
- In the Properties window, select the Volume tab and confirm the partition style. It can be MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table).
- Similarly, check the disk partition tyle of the destination disk. If it is still MBR, you don't need to convert disk type. If not, please tick the Convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT or vice versa, depending on their disk type.
⚘ Sector By Sector Clone will helps you clone all sectors on the source disk, even blank sectors, used sectors and bad sectors, and time will be much longer; Uncheck this option will skip bad sectors be default, which is useful to clone failing hard drive.
⚘ This software is still a M.2 SSD cloner, thus you can use it to migrate Windows 10 to M.2 SSD, clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD, etc.
If you are cloning UEFI disk to MBR SSD, there are two possible situations:
Situation 1: the MBR SSD is unpartitioned
After you click “Start Clone“, the software will ask you if you want to convert the destination disk type to the source disk, just click "Yes" to continue. Also, if you choose nothing, it will convert automatically.
Situation 2: the MBR SSD is partitioned
As we know, an MBR disk allows 4 primary partitions at most. It is easy to clone UEFI disk with three primary partitions or less to an MBR disk. What if the UEFI disk has more than 4 primary partitions? Can you clone it to an MBR SSD successfully? Don’t worry! AOMEI Backupper will handle it for you.
It can clone UEFI disk with 4 primary partitions or more to MBR SSD directly without losing data. After cloning, the first three partitions will keep primary partitions while the rest partitions will become logical partitions. It’s an automated process, so just wait for the cloning process to be complete.
To boot from cloned SSD, you need to go to BIOS and set boot priority of SSD, finally press "F10" to save changes and start your computer normally.
That’s all for how to clone UEFI disk in Windows 10/8/7 to SSD. AOMEI Backupper stands out, because it solves many headache disk cloning problems for users, such as, clone hard drive with different sizes, clone disk with different partition styles, and cloned hard drive shows wrong size, etc.
Surprisingly, AOMEI Backupper is also taken as backup and restore software that can be used to upgrade disk to get better performance. The difference is, backup only works after you restore it to target drive.
In a word, no matter whether you want to clone UEFI disk or backup it, AOMEI Backupper Professional is a great choice. And it also allows you to clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD to enjoy the best performance. In addition, it still has built-in command line for advanced users.