Overview of Partition or Volume
A partition or volume (also called dynamic volume) is a period of interval on the hard disk. In general, a hard disk can be divided into several partitions or volumes, which may usually be shown as C:, D:, E:, F: in Disk Management and File Explorer.
But they still have some differences. Partitions exist on basic disks, while volumes exist on dynamic disks. And partition is a block of contiguous disk space, while volume may not be contiguous. For example, first half space of the volume is on Disk 1, while the second half space is on Disk 2.
In addition, dynamic disk consists of several types, such as, Simple Volume, Spanned Volume, Mirrored Volume, etc, and is able to compose multiple discontinuous spaces into volume. Volume copy is necessary in the event of storage extending, dynamic disk upgrading and data protection.
And usually, partition or volume is used to store data, such as, files or folders, documents, installed program, etc, thus they are also called dara partition. Except for that, there is another special partition, which include the operating system and all the boot files required to start Windows. It's the system partition.
Partition Clone or Volume Clone
Partition Clone or Volume Clone refers to a process in which all content on the source hard disk partition will be migrated to the target one, maybe on a different parition or hard disk, without any data loss. Then, the copied drive on the target disk will be loaded as the source drive. For example, the D: can be cloned to E: on the same disk (clone a partition to another partition), and also D: can be cloned to another hard disk (clone one partition to another drive).
If you want to clone all the partitions or volumes on a disk, you can use another way, it's Disk Clone. Note that it takes up more time since it needs to move more contents in that process, in particular a bootable hard disk that contains an operating system. And both cloning methods also differ in target device requirements, cloning tools, preparations before cloning, intentions, cloning environments and conditions, etc.
As mentioned earlier, there is another special partition called system partition. To clone system partition, you need to use System Clone feature in the professional or advanced version. All the contents will be successully cloned and you can use the cloned disk to boot your computer directly.
Why Do Partition Clone or Volume Copy?
A hard drive or partition needs to be cloned for following purposes in general.
Data protection. It is not uncommon to clone a drive to another place just in case data loss unexpectedly, especially loses in the event of merging or resizing partitions.
Move single partitions. If you just want to move one or two partitions on a disk to the other, there is no need to perform an entirely disk clone which may take up a lot of time and effort.
Transfer large amount of data quickly. You can simply use Copy & Paste method to transfer small amount of data from one partition to the other. If you store many files or folders on a single partition, the quickest way is to clone entire partition.
Anyway, you may have other reasons to operate a hard disk partition clone. But the most important thing is to figure out how to complete it efficiently.
Does Windows 10 have cloning software?
This can be a doubt for many users, here I will tell you the answer clealy, Microsoft only provides you several Windows 10 backup utility, such as, File History, which can also be used to protect your data by making an exact copy of your original files. But this method requres a restoration before you can see your files intuitively. Thus, if your purpose is more than data protection, the best way is to clone partition with a reliable disk clonig software provided by a third-party company.
I strongly recommend AOMEI Backupper Standard to clone a single partition or dynamic volume, it's totally free and easy to use. And it has user-friendly interface, so users easily understand this software and operate it as a professional. It also works perfectly on Windows 10, 8/8.1, 7, XP and Vista.
Surely you don’t want to miss such a powerful yet free-of-charge utility. Below are some other obvious advantages for it:
- Provides two cloning methods, namely, sector-by-sector clone and intelligent clone (default). The default setting allows you to copy larger partition to smaller partition with ease since it only copies used parts on the source and it will ignore the bad sectors. While the
- Clone hard drive without loading operating system: You can choose to create bootable media or recovery environment to boot your computer to Windows PE environment. And then perform Partition Clone with the same steps in Windows.
- Clone hard drive without interrupting any works: Its another useful feature “hot clone” allows you to run the partition or volume clone while working as normal.
Then, the next step is to perform partition or volume clone with disk cloning software AOMEI Backupper Standard. Please keep reading to learn the stepwise guide.
Stepwise guide: Perform Partition to Disk Clone in Windows 10 Step by Step
Tips: download this free software, install and launch it. This page will take partition copy on Windows 10 for example. Connect the target disk if necessary.
1. In AOMEI Backupper, select the "Partition Clone" option under the "Clone" tab.
Note: Partition Clone is mainly used to clone data partition including basic and dynamic volume. If you want to clone system partition, you need to upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional.
2. Select a source partition (here is E drive) that you want to clone, and then click "Next".
3. Select the destination(here is D drive), and then click "Next".
Note: The destination can be an unallocated space or an existing partition, but all the data on the existing destination will be overwritten after clone. Therefore, backup files beforehand.
4. On the Operation Summary screen, confirm all the operations and click “Start Clone” then. Tick "SSD Alignment" if your target disk is an SSD, which can accelerate the reading and writing speed of SSD disk as well as prolong its lifespan.
- Edit Partition(in the advanced version): You can use it to adjust the partition size of the destination disk to after cloning. It allows you to add unused space to all partitions or manually adjust partition size.
- Sector by sector clone: copy all the sectors to target disk or partition, no matter it is used or not. Checking this option will make "Edit Partition" becomes unavailable.
5. Click "Finish" on completion to exit the interface. Then, go to the target disk or partition, and check if all your data are intact.
Please note that in a few cases, the cloned partitions may have some changes on the destination. For instance, if you clone a primary partition to an MBR disk which has already 3 primary partitions there, the cloned one will convert to a logical partition automatically on the destination due to MBR’s maximum primary partitions limit. But mostly, the cloned one will keep exactly the same as it was on the destination.
It is quite easy to perform a partition or volume clone in Windows 7/8/10 as long as you find the right way. Besides Partition Clone, you still can use it to clone hard drive to larger drive, migrate Windows 10 to M.2 SSD, clone hard drive to SSD, clone HDD to SSD via USB cable, clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD, etc.
And it has totally five editions that designs for different groups. For example, you can turn to its Server edition if you’re about to clone partition or volume on a Server operating system.
If you’re an administrator of a company or organization, its Technician edition (for PCs) and Technician Plus edition (for Servers) might be helpful. Check them out to find out more.