HDD Clone: The Safe and Secure Way to Transfer Your Data

If you want to find an HDD to HDD copy software, this article will help you a lot. Whether you want to improve computer performance, expand capacity, etc. The free software provided in this article will help you.


By Lily Updated on August 24, 2023

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User Case: How Do I Copy HDD to HDD?

◐ Case 1: “I am running out of storage on my Gaming PC and I want to add a larger data HDD for games etc. I currently have my OS on a Samsung SSD. I also have a 1TB Seagate HDD for games/music etc....this is almost full. I've purchased a 2TB WD blue to replace the Seagate (this will be kept for backups etc). I would like to copy everything from the Seagate over to the WD (Steam games etc). Do I need any specific software to do this or do I just copy all the game folders over to the WD?”

◐ Case 2: “There is already a hard disk installed with Win10 OS, as well as many tools and data that need to be used. Now it is necessary to copy all the contents of this hard disk to another 11 or so hard disks. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that other hard disks can also be started by Win10 after copying, and the tools and data can also be operated normally. Is there any tool that can achieve this goal?”

Copy HDD to HDD

As we can see, the user in Case 1 has run out of storage and wants to copy data between two drives when upgrading to larger hard drive. And the latter user wants to copy all data as well as the Windows 10 OS in one hard disk to another hard disk.

So, what tool do you need to help you easily copy all kinds of files, programs or operating systems in one HDD to another HDD you want intact? Please keep reading.

Best HDD to HDD Copy Software for Free

AOMEI Backupper is the best disk cloning software which helps you copy all the data from one disk to another intact and ensures that the computer can be started normally after cloning. You can clone a hard drive while you are working on the computer, which is called "Live Disk Cloning". Most importantly, it offers many brilliant features and options.

With this free drive cloning software, you have two ways to perform data migration, directly disk cloning and backup & restoring migration. 

#1. Directly disk cloning: you're allowed to clone non-system disks (data disk) from one drive to another directly in one interface, which is the easiest data migration approach.
#2. Backup & restoring migration: you're allowed to migration all disks including system disks and data disks to another drive through this way. Just more manual handling steps required. Or you can upgrade to Pro edition to directly clone system disk.

This free data migration software - AOMEI Backupper Standard - supports all Windows PC operating systems including Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7. It earns good reputation among Windows users around the world. You may want to have a try. Download this freeware first and then learn the detailed steps on how to clone HDD to HDD in Windows.

AOMEI Backupper
Best Free Data Migration Software
  • Support NVMe SSD, M.2 SSD, SATA SSD, HDD, USB, SD card, etc.
  • Support Intelligent Cloning and Sector-by-Sector Cloning
  • Support adjusting partition size during hard drive cloning
  • Powerful backup and syncing software as well

#1. Directly Clone HDD to HDD (Non-system Disk)

 To clone a laptop hard drive that has only one slot, please connect the disk to your computer using a USB to SATA adapter. If you have a desktop PC, you can directly install the drive into one of the hard disk bays.
If there are important data on the target drive, please backup files first, because all the data in the destination will be overwritten in the cloning process.

HDD to HDD Cloning Step-by-step Guide

Step 1. Install and launch hard drive cloning software AOMEI Backupper Standard. Click Clone and then select Disk Clone to start hard drive copy.

Disk Clone

✨ Note: If you only want to clone the operating system, you can use the System Clone feature in the advanced versions.

Step 2. Select the original HDD on your computer as the source disk. Then, click Next.

Choose  Original HDD

Step 3. Select the new HDD as the destination disk. Then, click Next.

Choose New HDD

Step 4. Check the operation summary and click Start Clone to clone the original HDD to the new one.

Start Clone

Step 5. Wait until the process complete 100% and click Finish.

Notes✍: The method of how to clone HDD to SSD is the same as the steps mentioned above. And you can check SSD Alignment option to optimize the performance of the destination SSD.

How to Boot from Cloned Drive Correctly

Just like the request of the second user in the above case, the HDD he copied has an installed system. When cloning is done, how to boot from the cloned hard drive correctly?

1. Restart your computer.

2. Press a specific key (usually F2, F8, F12, Del) to enter BIOS Setup.

3. Click Boot, then set the cloned disk as first boot device in BIOS.

Boot Cloned Hard Drive

Tips: You can also replace the old hard drive with the new drive directly to boot from the cloned drive.

#2. Backup & Restore HDD Image (System Disks)

This method will be completed in three steps, backup > WinPE boot > restoring. As mentioned before, it requires more steps. You need to prepare an USB flash drive (greater than 13GB) as the boot media, and a path or storage to store the backup image of the source HDD. Again, you will need to download and install AOMEI Backupper Standard first.

AOMEI Backupper Standard

Best free data migration software for Windows PC users around the world

Step 1. Create A Disk Image for HDD

Launch this software, and create a backup image with its Backup > Disk Backup feature. Follow the wizard to complete the operation. Please note that you need to store the backup image to a path where you can access in WinPE (network path or external drive).

Disk Backup

Step 2. Create A Bootable USB Drive

Plug in your USB drive and make sure it can be detected. In AOMEI Backupper, go Tools > Create Bootable Media. Follow the wizard to complete the operation.

Create Bootable Media

Step 3. Restore HDD Image from WinPE

1. Shut down your PC, and insert the bootable USB stick. Power on the computer and keep pressing DEL/F2/F10 key to enter BIOS. Under the Boot tab, switch the boot priority to the USB drive. Press F10 to save and exit.

2. After loading, you will see the main page of AOMEI Backupper Standard. Then, click Select Image File under the Restore tab and find the image you stored. Follow the wizard to complete the operation.

Restore image

That's how to copy HDD to HDD using free data migration software AOMEI Backupper. Above steps also apply restoring Windows 11 to new hard drive.


Since Windows doesn’t have a built-in cloning feature in its range of backup tools, we have to use a third-party software to clone HDD to HDD/SSD. AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition is the most credible and the most convenient HDD to HDD copy software. It allows you to perform disk to disk clone free.

After reading the above introduction, I believe you have also discovered the convenience of this software. It is completely free for personal use. More features are waiting for you to explore. With its Backup function, you can backup folders to USB drive automatically. Try it right now!

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.