Best Way to Image Windows 10 System to New Hard Drive

How to image Windows 10 to new hard drive? As a freeware, AOMEI Backupper Standard helps you create system image backup for Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista.


By Delia Updated on October 19, 2022

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Why image Windows 10 to new hard drive?

As the stability of Windows 10 is still being questioned, to image Windows 10 to a new hard drive is quite necessary. Below are some common reasons for it.

  • Avoid data loss completely: Losing data of your computer is devastating. Even if you can recover them, the procedure must be exceedingly difficult. System crashes and hardware errors, which are unpredictable and unpreventable, may cause you're losing your operating system (OS), applications, files, and other data. 
  • Get a larger capacity: Except for data loss, there is a possibility that your old drive is fulfilled and your computer is not responding well. In this case, imaging Windows 10 to new hard drive is urgent.

All in all, you may find it's a real lifesaver for your computer, especially when it has problems. Then, how to image Windows 10 to new hard drive? You need to a free backup software. 

All-in-one imaging software for Windows 10

As a professional imaging software for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista, AOMEI Backupper allows you to image Windows 10 with 2 helpful ways, namely using System Backup and Restore and System Clone. 

System Backup and Restore: This method packs all the items on the system partition to an image file and you can only restore system image to new hard drive before using. If you only take it as a precautionary measure, it's suggested to schedule backup system and backup only changed files with incremental backup. In the advanced edition, you can delete old backups and keep only the latest one.
System Clone (advanced version): In this way, you can directly copy Windows 10 image to new hard drive without restoring it. It allows you to adjust partition size of the destination disk manually or automatically and you can convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT or vice versa if they are different.

In sum, both ways are worth-trying, you can choose one among them. If you want to migrate WIndows 10 to new hard drive free, you can try the first way. By comparison, it's a little complicated and time-consuming, you need to prepare two drives and perform two operations. You don't need to worry about too much, it has an intuitive interface, so all the operations are vey easy.

Also, you can use System Clone in the advanced version. For detailed steps, please refers to: Migrate Windows 10 to HDD or SSD.

How to migrate Windows 10 backup to new hard drive step by step 

Before the backup, please prepare a USB drive and download AOMEI Backupper Standard and install it on your computer. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Besides, you need to create a bootable rescue media in the event of system nonfunctional. If you don’t have removable devices to create bootable media, you can also create a recovery partition with a boot option at the startup.

Create Bootable Media

Part 1: Create system image for Windows 10 on USB

1. On the main page of this software, select System Backup under Backup tab.

System Backup

3. Select the new hard drive you prepare to store Windows 10 image backup as the program will automatically select the needed partitions to be backed up.

Select Destination

4. Click Start Backup to begin the process if all is well set. 

This only backup items on the Windows 10 when you backed it up, not including changes made later. To keep all changes made later, you need to set Schedule Backup and image SSD automatically. You can choose among Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event trigger, and USB Plug in. The last two premium features are available on the professional version.

Schedule Backup

By default this software will create one full backup and 6 incremental backup if you set a scheduled backup task. This may result in backup disk full issue in the long run, thus it's suggested to enable Backup Scheme and delete backup file automatically. You have 3 options, By quantity,  By time, By daily/weekly/monthly. You need to upgrade now (5% off for one computer) before using it. 

Enable Automatic Backup Cleanup

And the incremental backup has high requirement for recovery while differential backup is much easier. For differences between them, learn my previous article: Incremental or Differential Backup.

Besides, you still can enable email notification after the task finished. Comment, split, compress the backup image, or select a backup mode, etc. 

AOMEI Email SMS Notification Settings

Part 2: Restore system image windows 10 from USB

After creating a system image for Windows 10 on USB drive, you can start to restore the Windows 10 image backup with it. If your computer is not bootable, you still need to start computer from the previously created bootable USB. After loading, you see this software just as it was on your computer. 

Step 1. Connect the hard drive containing system image and new hard drive to your computer. Then, insert the bootable media and boot from it. On the main page of AOMEI Backupper, click Select Image File to find the image.

Select Image File Winpe

Step 2. Tick Restore this system backup and Restore system to other location, then click Next to continue. 

Restore to Other Location

Step 3. Select your new hard drive to restore the image and click Next. Please select the first partition on the target disk as destination, otherwise the system could not boot from the target disk. 

Select Destination

Step 4. Click Start Restore to restore Windows 10 image to new hard drive.

Preview Restore to Other Location

Besides hard drive, you can still image Windows 10 to SSD with above steps. In this case, it's suggested to tick "SSD Alignment", which is able to improve the SSD disk performance.

And If you create a system image in Windows 10 for another computer, you need to use "Universal Restore" feature if it does not check  by default. This feature is available on the professional version at least. You can choose to upgrade standard if needed.


You can easily image Windows 10 to new hard drive with the help of AOMEI Backupper. You can use its backup and restore feature, and it is especially useful for continuous data protection. But if you want the easist way to migrate OS or clone hard drive, it's suggested to try cloning methods.

To image Windows 10 to multiple computers, you need to create a system image with this software and then restore system image to other computer using AOMEI Image Deploy. This save you much time while doing a image deployment. You can try AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus edition.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.