How to Clone a Drive to Another Drive Easily

If you want to clone HDD to SSD, or SSD to SSD, or even migrate OS from an existing hard drive to another drive, this article can meet all your requirements.


By Maggie Updated on December 18, 2023

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Is there any cloning software to clone my hard drive easily?

“I'm using a Windows 10 PC and I want to clone my old hard drive to a new one. I heard about some software options, but I'm not sure which one is the easiest to use. Any recommendations for a beginner-friendly tool to help me clone my drive hassle-free?”

Cloning a hard drive has its perks, making it a convenient way to maximize your storage. It's like making an exact copy of your hard drive, perfect for backup or moving data. Additionally, you can transfer your Windows system along with all your settings seamlessly. Before knowing how to clone a drive to another drive, it's essential to know the process and some technical terms. We've got a step-by-step guide to help you understand how to do it and why it's useful.


Why do you need to clone your hard drive?

There are a few reasons why you might consider cloning your hard drive. Maybe you're looking to enlarge your storage, like going from 500GB to 2TB. Alternatively, you might be aiming to enhance your PC's speed by switching from a regular hard disk drive (HDD) to a faster solid-state drive (SSD). Here are 2 main situations account for the majority’s choice:

✍1. When upgrading your hard drive

If you're running out of space on your hard drive, upgrading is a smart solution. Cloning your data to a new drive lets you expand your storage without losing any files. If your device supports two hard drives, use the old one as a backup and the new one as your main storage. This way, you can keep important cloned files, like your Windows system, on the old drive for backup, ensuring a smooth transition to the new one.

✍2. Improve PC performance

PC performance matters for everyone, especially for gamers, video editors, engineers, and creative professionals who demand a lot from their machines. If speed and efficiency are crucial to you, SSDs are the way to go. Whether you're upgrading for more speed or more storage, cloning your old hard drive to the new one is a smart move to preserve all your data.

However, when your main hard drive runs out of space, PCs often slow down. Cloning it to a higher-capacity drive ensures you won't run out of storage. For gamers, this means avoiding lags during intense online matches. Video editors benefit too, as it prevents crashes or slowdowns when working on high-quality media like 4K videos.

Preparations before cloning

There are several important steps to take before getting to know how to copy Windows to another drive.

✍1. Backup any necessary and important data

If you have essential data on your original hard drive that you're planning to clone, make sure to back it up first. This step is vital because the cloning process involves overwriting all the data on your original hard drive. You wouldn't want to risk losing any of it if something goes wrong.

✍2. Check the target hard drive’s storage

Ensure that the hard drive you're cloning to has sufficient space to accommodate all your data. Space issues often arise, especially when moving from an HDD to an SSD. For instance, if your original HDD has 1TB of space, ensure your new SSD can handle that capacity. If you attempt to clone more data than the new drive can hold, the cloning process will fail and overwrite all your data. (But still don’t be nervous for you have made a backup if you followed the first suggestion)

✍3. Be prepared to open your device

Keep a screwdriver handy so you can open your desktop and replace the hard drive after the cloning process is done. It's crucial to ensure your new hard drive is correctly connected to your desktop PC when performing a hard drive cloning.

✍4. Have the right cable handy for your laptop

If you have a laptop with just one hard drive slot, make sure you have a SATA to USB cable. This allows you to connect your new hard drive to your laptop while you're cloning your data.

✍5. Choose a suitable cloning software

Unfortunately, Windows doesn’t offer embedded cloning software. Hence, you need to rely on other third-party software. is there any reliable and safe cloning software that can customize your needs? Yes, AOMEI Backupper Standard offers a free disk clone service. And I list more excellent features below for your convenience:

  • It offers free Disk Clone and Partition Clone utilities. You can also migrate your OS from HDD to SSD via the Professional version.
  • Intelligent clone will only transfer used sectors which enables you to clone larger hard drives to smaller ones.
  • Live Clone technology allows the clone work to take in the background, so the cloning process won’t interrupt and influence your normal workflow.
  • It supports all Windows PCs, like 11/10/8/8.1/XP/Vista and so one. Also, for server users, it launched AOMEI Backupper Server for compatibility concerns.
  • SSD alignment will speed up the reading and writing processes of the SSD.

Now we have an overall knowledge about this software, then how to copy one hard drive to another? Let’s continue to read.

How to clone your hard drive to another

This part is the graphical tutorial to tell how to copy one hard drive to another. If you want to know how to transfer data from one SSD to another, this tutorial is also applicable. Before you start, please make some preparations as below:

  1. Download this software via the below free link and install it on your PC.
  2. Connect the external hard drive (if there’s any), and make sure it can be detected.
Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch this software and then go to Clone at the left side menu and choose Disk Clone.

✐Note: If you want to migrate your source drive, please choose system clone which is available in the Pro version.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Then Click + Add Disk to select the old drive as the source disk.

Add Disk

Step 3. Then choose the target disk as the destination drive.

Select Backup Destination

Step 4. In the Operation Summary page, confirm your settings and choose Start Clone to operate.

✐Additional functions:
❤Edit Partitions
: To utilize the entire space on the destination disk, adjust the partition size using the "Edit Partitions" option. This lets you expand the partition into unallocated space either by adding unused space to all partitions or by manually adjusting the partition size.
Sector By Sector Clone: This function copies all sectors of the system partitions and transfers them to a larger drive, be it an HDD or SSD. This process may take longer to complete. However, do not enable this feature if the destination disk is smaller; otherwise, the cloning process will fail.
❤Make full use of disk space: It ensures that all the unallocated space on the target disk is fully utilized and it is checked by default if you are moving system to a larger drive.


This article tells how to clone a drive to another drive, for example you can clone HDD to SSD, or clone a smaller SSD to another larger SSD. The exact choice depends on you.

AOMEI Backupper Standard here is given as a well-performance cloning software that offers you full features, not only to clone but also enables syncing your data to cloud services to save more storage location. for many users, syncing files to Google Drive may be a good choice.

Maggie · Editor
Maggie is a technical editor from AOMEI and troubleshoots technical problems against data protection. She has received professional and systematic technical training. With a focus on user experience, security, and problem-solving, she always puts herself in the readers' shoes and provides them with valuable technical insights.