How to Clone Hard Drive in Windows 10/11 Easily [Bootable]
How to clone a disk in Windows 10/11? In this article, you will find the best answer and get some helpful tips on cloning hard drive in Windows 10/11.
User Case: Need to Clone Disk in Windows 10/11
If you are in a similar situation as this user, there are two common methods to clone Windows 10/11 to a new hard drive.
1. If your PC has a hidden recovery partition, you can copy all of the boot related files from this partition and burn them to a CD/DVD. Then, boot from the CD/DVD and restore system to new hard drive.
2. If there isn't a recovery partition, you can create a recovery drive in Windows 10/11. Then, boot from the recovery drive to reinstall Windows on the new hard drive.
Both of the above methods are time-consuming and error-prone. Actually, you don't really need a bootable disk to clone Windows 10 hard drive. Keep reading to find the best disk cloning software to help you.
Why Clone a Hard Drive in Windows 10/11?
Here are some of the common reasons why users want to clone disks in Windows 10/11 laptop or desktop:
Upgrade smaller disk to larger disk
Some manufacturers may ship PC/laptops with second-class small capacity hard drives, typically around 500GB. This ends up annoying the purchaser as the drive runs out of space after just a few months. Normally, the user will then consider either getting a new PC (but this can cost a lot of money) or upgrading old hard drive to a large capacity SSD by using reliable disk cloning software.
Replace old HDD with new SSD
SSDs can make your computer run much faster, accelerate the read and write speed during data transfer, and generally increase overall user satisfaction with the quality of the system. If you’re a gamer, you’ll need an SSD to avoid lag when playing your favorite games like online FPS.
Best Disk Cloning Software for Windows 10/11
Speaking of the best disk clone program, AOMEI Backupper Professional edition is on the top of our list. It’s a straightforward and easy-to-use piece of disk cloning software trusted by millions of users worldwide.
Download AOMEI Backupper to have a try now.
How to Clone HDD to SSD in Windows 10/11 Step by Step
There are three phases involved in the disk cloning process. I'll walk you through them one by one.
Before Cloning Hard Drive on Windows 10/11
Before performing disk clone in Windows 10/11 using AOMEI Backupper, there is something you should pay attention to:
Backup important data on destination disk to external hard drive before cloning. All of the data on the target hard drive or SSD will be overwritten during the cloning process.
Check the used space on the original Windows 10/11 hard drive. To clone large hard drive to smaller SSD (like 500GB to 256GB), you have to make sure the used space on Windows 10/11 hard drive is less than or equal to the target SSD. Otherwise, it will fail due to insufficient space. Ignore this information if trying to clone to larger HDD/SSD.
Convert dynamic disk to basic disk at first. If the target disk is a dynamic disk, you will have to convert it first, then you can perform a disk copy in Windows 10/11 as usual.
Prepare screwdrivers to open the back cover on your laptop or desktop.
Prepare a 2.5’’ SSD enclosure or SATA-to-USB cable to connect SSD if you’re running a Windows 10/11 laptop with only one hard drive slot.
Perform Windows 10/11 Hard Drive Clone
To clone Windows 10/11 hard drive to larger SSD, just refer to the following step-by-step instructions.
Step 1. Choose Disk Clone in AOMEI Backupper
Install and run AOMEI Backupper. Click on Clone -> Disk Clone on the main interface.
Step 2. Choose the old hard drive
Select the Windows 10/11 hard drive and click Next >> button to continue.
Step 3. Choose the new SSD
In the next window, select the larger SSD as destination and click Next >> button to continue.
Step 4. Enhance SSD performance and launch the cloning process
Tick SSD Alignment to accelerate the reading and writing speed for the larger SSD. And then click Start Clone to begin cloning HDD to SSD in Windows 10/11.
Step 5. HDD to SSD clone finished
Click on Finish to exit the window when the cloning process reaches 100%.
★ Helpful Tips:
If you use AOMEI Backupper to clone MBR to GPT disk, you need to change Legacy to UEFI after cloning, and vice versa.
Sector by sector clone: It will clone all of the space on the original hard disk regardless of used or not, and it will take significantly longer time than the normal cloning process. The “Edit partitions” option will be unavailable then. Resize partition with a free partition manager to show full capacity on larger SSD if needed.
Please DO NOT select the Sector by sector clone option when cloning larger HDD to smaller SSD.
Edit Partitions: This feature will allow you to resize the partitions on the target hard drive to take advantage of the increased capacity when you clone a smaller Windows 10/11 disk to a larger one. You will get unallocated space on the larger SSD drive if you uncheck "Add unused space to all partitions".
Create Portable Version: Create portable AOMEI Backupper to clone hard drive to SSD on different computers without installing this software again and again. It is available in AOMEI Backupper Technician or Technician Plus edition.
Boot from the cloned SSD
After the cloning process is finished, try one of the following methods to boot from the cloned SSD:
>> Method 1: Replace the original hard drive with the cloned SSD and boot your computer.
>> Method 2: Keep both the old and new disks installed and set the new SSD as the first boot option in BIOS to boot your computer.
FAQs about Windows 10 Disk Clone
1. Does cloning a hard drive copy the OS?
2. What is the fastest way to clone a hard drive?
3. Does Windows 10 have a cloning tool?
4. How long does it take to clone Windows 10 to SSD?
With its user-friendly interface, cloning hard drive in Windows 10/11 with AOMEI Backupper is as easy as pie. You just need a few clicks to make an exact copy of Windows 10/11 hard drive. And it's also applicable to clone large HDD to smaller SSD, clone disk to larger disk, clone SATA SSD, clone Windows to NVMe SSD, etc.
Besides, you could create file backups, partition backups, disk backups, and system image backups which you can use to restore Windows to a new hard drive. If you are a server user, just try AOMEI Backupper Server.