Full guide: Using PowerShell Clone Disk (2 Ways)

You can clone the disk using PowerShell via the Xcopy and Copy feature. What’s more, there is another best cloning software offered to you.


By Maggie Updated on October 16, 2023

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Why do you choose clone disk via PowerShell?

How do I make copy (clone) of USB flash drive to another USB flash drive using PowerShell so that all the file and folder rights remain unchanged? Is there something like dd in Linux systems?

In PowerShell, the Copy-Item cmdlet is commonly used for basic cloning tasks. It allows you to copy files and folders from one location to another. This cmdlet allows you to clone files and directories easily.

People who are good with technology like to use Windows PowerShell clone disks. PowerShell is a versatile tool that can do many tasks related to managing disks and files, like formatting a disk, checking disk space, and deleting files. It's powerful and handy for these tasks.

If you want to know how PowerShell clone disk work, you can continue to read.

How to clone drive using PowerShell

Way 1. Using Xcopy Command

Xcopy is a program made for copying files and directories, including their subfolders, from one place to another. You can use the Xcopy command to copy files between different disks, even if they have different formats. Below, you can find instructions on how to use Xcopy to clone a drive.

Step 1. Press Windows + S and in the search bar to run PowerShell and choose Run as administrator.

Step 2. Type xcopy c:\ d:\ /s /e /h /i /c /y command and press Enter to copy all the files and subdirectories (including any empty subdirectories, any system or hidden files) from drive C to drive D.

☛Tip: you can change the drive letter based on your real situation.

Xcopy Clone Command

☛Note: C and represent the source and destination hard drives, respectively. The following commands serve the following purposes:

The parameters mean:
● /s: Copies directories and subdirectories which are not empty.
● /e: Copy all subdirectories, even if they are empty.
● /h: Copy files with hidden and system file attributes.
● /i: This command assumes the destination folder if it is not provided or wrong.
● /c: continue copying even if an error occurs.
● /y: suppress prompt to confirm overwriting a file.

Step 3. Wait until the process is complete, then close the Command Prompt.

Way 2. Using Copy Command

Another Windows command to clone hard disks using PowerShell is "Copy." This command is available for all 32-bit Windows systems, including Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP. It's useful not only for cloning hard disks but also for copying individual files or documents.

Step 1. Run Windows PowerShell and set Run as administrator.

Step 2. Before proceeding, make sure to comprehend the commands below thoroughly to execute the process smoothly and without any issues.

  • To copy a file: copy c:\example.txt
  • Copy and file from one drive to another: copy c:\example.txt d:
  • Copy each and every file: copy *.txt c:

Step 3. Now, let's assume you want to copy a text file from the C drive to the D drive. Type the following command in PowerShell and hit Enter.

copy c:\example.txt d:

Easier free way to clone hard drive

However, for disk-level cloning, where you want to copy an entire disk to another, PowerShell alone might not be the most suitable tool.

Is there a simpler way that clone disk using PowerShell? The best disk clone software - AOMEI Backupper Standard comes to help. Certain software may require you to clean the disk and create a new partition before cloning, but with AOMEI Backupper, you can skip this step entirely. AOMEI Backupper is a comprehensive, dependable, and fast cloning software that offers several useful functions:

✱It provides 2 cloning methods accordingly: Disk Clone and Partition Clone, supporting all popular disk brands, such as Samsung SSDs, WD disks, Crucial SSDs, etc.
✱AOMEI Backupper enables you to clone a hard drive to another HDD or SSD without interrupting the running operating system, a feature known as "Live Disk Cloning" or "Hot Clone." This means you can perform a disk-to-disk clone while continuing to work on your computer.
✱By default, this disk clone software only copies the existing data (the used sectors) on the disk. However, if you want to clone all sectors on the source disk, whether they are used or not, you can use the "Sector by sector clone" option.
✱If your target drive is an SSD, you can utilize "SSD Alignment" to enhance the reading and writing speed of the SSD. Additionally, this feature can extend the lifespan of SSDs.

Now you have a brief impression with AOMEI Backupper. I will show you how to clone disk with this user-friendly software.

Before cloning:

  • Please download this software and install it on your computer.
  • Backup your Important data on the destination disk in advance because all the data on the destination disk will be overwritten.
  • If you intend to clone a hard drive to an external drive, make sure to connect the external drive to your PC beforehand. If the external drive is not initialized, please initialize it in Disk Management before starting the cloning process.
Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. To clone a disk, select Disk Clone option under the Clone tab.

☛Note: the standard edition only supports cloning non-system disks. if you want to clone a disk containing OS, please upgrade to higher editions such as AOMEI Backupper Professional.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Choose your source disk, move to the next page, and select the connected target drive. Then, click Next to proceed.

Select Destination Disk

Step 3. Confirm the operation and Start Clone, and the migration process will start.

Start Clone


This article offers 2 ways to perform PowerShell clone disk, via Xcopy and Copy feature. You can select the way that suits you best. honestly, you can totally use another easier way, that is third-party software AOMEI Backupper.

This software is completely safe and reliable, handling a lot of complexities for you. Additionally, this software is a comprehensive data protection software, namely, you can use it to backup the external drive before you start the clone process.

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.