How to Use DISM to Clone Disk vs Easier Way

DISM is a command-line tool that is used to service Windows images. If you want to use DISM to clone disk, you can read this post to get a full guide and an easier option for disk cloning.


By Jonna Updated on December 18, 2023

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What is DISM?

DISM, standing for Deployment Image Servicing and Management, is a command-line tool that can be used to service and prepare Windows images, including those used for Windows PE, Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE), and Windows Setup. DISM can also be used to service a Windows image (.wim) or a virtual hard disk (.vhd or .vhdx).

This tool comes built into Windows and is available through the command line or from Windows PowerShell.It can help check for faulty or damaged Windows features and system files, like repairing Windows 10. Recently, there has been a hot topic: using DISM to clone disk. Is it possible? How does it work? In this article, we will explore the answer for you.

Can I Use DISM for Disk Cloning?


I have got a new SSD with a larger capacity for my Windows 10 machine, and I would like to transfer all the content of my current Windows 10 system disk onto the new SSD and eventually replace the system disk with this new SSD. My question is: Is it possible to use DISM for disk cloning? Does anybody have any experience?

Essentially, yes, you can use DISM to clone disk. However, it should be mentioned that this tool is not typically used for cloning disks. Instead, cloning disks is often accomplished using other professional disk cloning tools. If you're looking to clone a disk using DISM specifically, move to the general guide in the next chapter.

How to Use DISM to Clone Disk

Regarding how to use DISM for disk copy, this process consists of two main parts: capture an image of the source disk and apply the image to the destination disk. You can follow the detailed guide below to learn how do I clone a disk for free using DISM:

Note: Creating disk images and cloning disks involve potential data loss if not done correctly. Always make sure to backups your disk or important data before proceeding.

Step 1. Prepare to capture partitions

To make sure the partitions that you want to capture have drive letters assigned, you can run Command Prompt and input the command lines:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk x (x represents the specific number of the primary hard disk)
  • list partition
  • select partition=n (n represents the partition that needs a drive letter)
  • assign letter=b (Assign the partition with a drive letter b)
  • exit

Assign Partition

Step 2. Capture an image for target drive

1. Press Win + X and choose PowerShell (Admin). And Click Yes on the pop-up UAC windows.

2. For using DISM to capture entire disk, type the following command:

  • Dism /Capture-Image /ImageFile:C:\my-windows-partition.wim /CaptureDir:C:\ /Name:"My Windows partition"

♦ Replace C:\my-windows-partition.wim with the desired path and filename for your disk image.
♦ Replace C:\ with the drive letter of the source disk.
♦ Replace "My Windows partition" with a specific name for your disk image.

Capture Image

Step 3. Save the images to the network or another safe location

1. Connect an external drive, or use a network location where you can safely save your image, like: net use W: \\PC_Name\ShareName.

Net Use Command

2. Provide your network credentials, if prompted.

3. Copy the partitions to your network share with the following command:

  • md N:\Images\
  • copy C:\my-windows-partition.wim N:\Images\
  • copy C:\my-system-partition.wim N:\Images\

Step 4. Apply the image to new drive

Now, you can apply the captured image to the destination disk using the command below:

  • Dism /Apply-Image /ImageFile:N:\Images\my-windows-partition.wim /Index:1 /ApplyDir:W:\

♦ Replace N:\Images\my-windows-partition.wim with the path to your disk image.
♦ Replace 1 with the index of the image in the WIM file (usually 1).
♦ Replace w:\ with the drive letter of the destination disk.

Apply Image

Then, DISM will apply the Windows image to the selected partition (G: in this example).

Easier Way to Clone Disk to Another Disk

As you can see, using DISM for cloning disk is quite complicated. For an easier solution for disk cloning, you can turn to AOMEI Backupper, a professional and reliable cloning software for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista.

👉 It comes with a user-friendly interface, that enables you to clone a hard drive to another with just a few clicks.
👉 It supports you to clone drives of different sizes, like cloning larger HDD to smaller SSD as well as cloning SSD to larger SSD, or vice versa.
👉 It provides 3 cloning options: Disk Clone for copying entire disk, System Clone for cloning Windows OS only, and Partition Clone for cloning specified partitions.
👉 It supports a wide range of SSD disks, including SATA, NVMe, PCIe, AHCI, etc. And it offers SSD Alignment to optimize performance and extend the lifespan of SSDs.

Check the following steps to see how to clone hard drive to another disk, such as an SSD, using this disk to disk clone software:

  • Properly connect the target SSD to your computer, ensuring it is detected and recognized.
  • As the target SSD will be overwritten during the cloning process, so backup important files in advance.

Step 1. Begin by downloading the software and running it on your computer.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
Note: The Clone feature is only available for demonstration in the trial version. For the ability to clone a disk to another one and boot directly from it, consider upgrading to the full version of AOMEI Backupper Professional.

Step 2. Once on the main interface, click Clone and then select Disk Clone.

Choose Disk Clone

Step 3. Select the disk that contains your Windows system as your source drive, and click Next to continue.

Choose Source Disk-2

Step 4. Choose the connected SSD to set it as the destination disk, and click Next.

Choose Destination Partitioned HDD

Step 5. Tick SSD Alignment for optimal performance, then click Start Clone to initiate the SSD cloning process.

Disk Clone Preview Align SSD Checked

How to Boot up from the Cloned Disk

To boot your computer from the cloned disk, you can unplug the old hard drive, install the new drive there,  and then start your computer. Press the specific key (usually F2, F8, F12, and Del) to enter BIOS, and change the boot priority to the cloned SSD.

Change Boot Order


On this page, you have learned how to utilize DISM to clone disk. If this method is too complicated for you or it fails for cloning, you can also directly use the professional cloning tool - AOMEI Backupper, which simplifies the disk cloning process with a few clicks. Not only can it clone hard drive to SSD or SSD to SSD, but you can also clone USB drive to SSD easily.

Apart from that, AOMEI Backupper offers other useful features, like Windows bootable drive creation, for system, disk, partition, file backup and recovery, and so on. It even offers a Universal Restore function that can help you restore system or disk backup images to a computer with dissimilar hardware.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.