By Teresa / Last update November 16, 2021

Occasions of cloning Windows 10/11 HDD

As we all know, HDDs that have been used for a long time may suffer from lack of disk space, sluggish operation and natural aging. In such situations, disk replacement has become a very common choice, especially for users who have higher demand for hardware. 

To summarize, there are some possible scenarios:

  • Replace HDD with larger HDD to get more capacity.
  • Upgrade HDD to SSD for better read/write speed.
  • Simply install a new drive to get out of the disk failure dilemma...

The real problem is what to do with the system and files on the old disk. If you don't want to start from scratch, then migrating them to the new drive directly would be a convenient option.

You probably know the conventional way of creating a disk backup and restoring to the new drive, which is quite cumbersome and error-prone. In contrast, cloning Windows 10 hard drive can significantly simplify the operation and reduce the time spent on migration.

Therefore, no matter you want to transfer HDD to SSD or another HDD, I recommend you to use the disk cloning method. And since Windows lacks this feature, you need to pick free HDD cloning software that works with Windows 10, 11, etc.

HDD Clone

Best free Windows 10/11 HDD clone software

People care more about the safety, usability and simplicity of a HDD cloning program. AOMEI Backupper Standard, the powerful yet free disk cloning software can be one of your best choices.

  • It can help you clone HDD to SSD or another HDD, including operating system, installed applications and all the other data you will never want to lose. 

  • It allows you to clone only used parts to another drive with the "Intelligent Clone" technology which makes it possible to clone larger drive to smaller drive.

  • It allows you to make a 1:1 copy of a hard disk by using "Sector By Sector Clone" feature.

  • It allows you to optimize the overall performance of SSD disk with "SSD Alignment" feature.

  • It supports Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP (all editions, 32/64-bit), various disk brands such as Samsung, Crucial, WD, etc. and disk types like SATA/M.2/NVMe.

Besides, the click-based interface and simple operation also make this Windows 10 HDD cloning software praised by worldwide users. To get to know how it works, you could download and install the freeware below to get started: 

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

Steps to clone disk in Windows 10/11 with free software

With the help of AOMEI Backupper, the HDD cloning process can be very simple even for novice. But before you start, there are still some preparations need to be done.

  • Install the target drive. If your computer has only one slot, you may need a SATA-to-USB adapter or enclosure to connect it.

  • Backup your important data. The cloning process will overwrite everything on the target disk. If there's any important files on it, it's necessary to make a backup first.

  • Delete some programs or files (optional).  If you are cloning HDD to a smaller SSD, you may clean up the source HDD to make it fit in the smaller drive more easily.

Then, follow the steps to clone hard drive in Windows 10 for free. The same steps also apply to Windows 11, 8, 7, etc.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard and a simple interface will appear. You can click the Clone tab. Then, choose Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

● The Standard version supports cloning all data disks and MBR system disks. If you want to clone system disk from GPT to GPT, GPT to MBR or vice versa, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional. You can check the partition style of the source and destination disk when selecting them in the software.
● If the target drive is a blank drive (shown as unallocated space), the partition style of the source HDD will be migrated to the target HDD or SSD as well.

Step 2. Select your HDD (here is Disk 0) as the source disk. Then click Next.

Source Disk

Step 3. Choose your new HDD or SSD as a destination disk (take Disk 1 for example) and click Next.

Destination Disk

Step 4. In this interface, you can have a preview. Then click Start Clone to migrate Windows 10/11 hard drive. If your destination disk is an SSD, you can choose SSD Alignment to accelerate the speed of the SSD.

Start Clone

After cloning the HDD with Windows 10/11 to another disk, make sure to change boot order (set the cloned drive as the 1st option), or replace the old hard drive with the new one physically.

AOMEI Backupper is also an SSD cloning software, so you can use it to clone SSD to new SSD, clone SATA SSD, clone system from Intel SSD to another, clone NVMe to larger NVMe SSD, etc. as well.

Useful Options:
Edit Partitions: Adjust partition size of target disk. You can choose "Copy without resizing partitions", "Add unused space to all partitions", or "Manually adjust partition size", and the last 2 options are available on the Professional edition. Among the 3 options, only the last option can edit the size of every partition of the disk.
Sector By Sector Clone: Cloning all sectors on the old HDD whether used or not. It requires the target disk to be larger than or equal to the source disk.
System Clone: Available in Pro or higher editions, allowing you to migrate only operating system to SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7


You can clone an HDD so easily with free HDD cloning software in Windows 10/11 - AOMEI Backupper. It requires only a few simple steps to move your Windows 10/11 hard drive to a new HDD or an SSD. If you happen to have this need, please download this software to have a try. After all, practice is to test the truth of everything.

For IT maintenance and support engineers, it's suggested to use the technician or techplus. It is convenient to backup, restore or clone on different computer without installing it first by creating portable version of this software.