The scenario: need to clone PC hard drive
“I was looking at perhaps getting a ready made PC with a hard drive and wanted to replace the drive with my SSD. What I wanted to do is to clone the entire hard drive with the OS that comes with the new PC and put it on my SSD. Hopefully the OS will detect the SSD correctly and not try to defrag it (except run TRIM).
Can someone suggest some decent freeware for this?”
This user is looking for free PC cloning software to clone original hard drive to SSD. Actually, with PC clone software, users can not only clone HDD to SSD for better performance, but also clone smaller drive to larger drive to get more storage space.
Some users even clone the original hard drive to another drive just as a backup so that they can use the cloned drive in emergency. Since free PC cloning software is needed in so many situations, which is the best one to choose?
Best free PC clone software for Windows
AOMEI Backupper Standard, the best free backup software, can be an ideal choice. Besides the backup and recovery functions, it is capable of disk clone and partition clone, which can help to clone your PC hard drive easily. If the target drive is as large as the original drive, you can use AOMEI Backupper as bit copy software to get a duplicate of the original drive. You are also allowed to clone hard drives with different size if you need.
It is compatible with almost all the common PC makes, such as Dell, Lenovo, HP, Samsung, etc. All Windows PC operating systems including Windows 10//8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported. What’s more, the cloning process will run in the background, so you can use the computer for other things during the process. Wanna know how to use it? Please move on to the next part.
How to clone your PC hard drive with the PC clone software for free?
I’ll walk you through the three phases of cloning your PC hard drive here (before, during, after):
▶ Before cloning:
Connect the destination disk to your PC and make sure it is detected. If there is more than one drive bay inside your PC, you’d better connect it internally to ensure it is accessible after cloning.
Backup files on the destination hard drive, because the drive will be overwritten during the cloning process.
Create bootable media and perform disk backup for the source disk to get prepared for possible errors. Thus, you can restore the disk image to the target disk as a workaround if something goes wrong.
▶ During cloning:
Step 1. Get free hard drive cloning software download. Install and run AOMEI Backupper.
Step 2. Click “Clone” on the left pane and select “Disk Clone”.
Step 3. Select the current hard drive on your PC as the source disk and click “Next”.
Step 4. Select the destination drive you have connected to your PC and click “Next”.
Step 5. Confirm the operation and click “Start Clone”.
>> Sector by sector clone: it will clone every sector on the source disk no matter whether it is used or not, thus costing more time. It requires the destination disk to be equal to or larger than the source disk.
>> SSD Alignment: it will improve the reading and writing speed of the SSD. Use this option if the destination disk is an SSD.
▶ After cloning:
You can directly replace the original hard drive with the cloned drive. If the two drives are in different types, for example, you are cloning MBR to GPT disk, you should then change boot mode in BIOS to boot from the cloned drive.
You can also use both the two drives on your PC—the cloned drive as system/boot drive and the original drive as data drive. If the cloned drive works perfectly after a period of time, you can wipe data on the old drive to release disk space.
If you fail to boot from the cloned drive, you may find quick fixes to cloned drive won’t boot from here.
AOMEI Backupper Standard is the best free PC clone software for Windows which can not only help you clone PC hard drives but also backup and restore the system, disks and partitions. If you want to clone OS only to the destination disk, you may upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional and use System Clone feature.