By Ivy / Last update December 13, 2021

When do you need to make an exact copy of hard drive?

Making an exact copy of hard drive generally means transferring data from one hard drive to another so as to keep destination disk containing the exact same data as source disk. This feature is quite useful especially in the following situations:

Upgrade old hard drive

If your old hard drive is running out of space, you can use this feature to clone hard drive to a larger one.

Whenyou buy a new computer to replace your old one, you can clone your hard drive to new hard drive.

If you want to clone the old hard drive to SSD for higher performance and faster running speed, this feature can be a great help.

Migrate data easily between computers

It is usual for a school or company to buy a large number of computers. Making an exact copy of hard drive Windows 7/8/8.1/10 is especially necessary. It could be an ideal solution for data transmission. It can spare much time and efforts reinstalling system and programs.

Create a full copy of your disk

Data security is essential, people could not afford data loss. By creating a full copy of hard drive, you actually make a backup of important data. Even something bad happens to your hard drive, you can use the cloned one directly and without restoring it. Thus it is necessary to clone hard drive.

Since disk clone is so important, you should choose a reliable hard drive cloning software.

Free hard drive cloning software

There are so many third party tools with disk clone function. AOMEI Backupper Standard is one of the best. The “Disk Clone” function is totally free for cloning a data disk. As for cloning a system disk, it only supports cloning from an MBR disk to MBR disk. Besides, it allows you to clone hard drive without interrupting running operating system.

This software is designed for Windows Vista/XP/7/8/8.1/10. With it, you can clone hard drive to SSD, clone a small disk to a larger one or even clone a large disk to a smaller one.

With AOMEI Backupper, you can save much time without reinstalling your operating system and applications and you do not have to worry data loss.

Let’s see how to use this hard drive cloning software to do disk clone.

Detailed steps of making an exact copy of hard drive

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard and launch it. Select Disk Clone at Clone tab.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Select the source disk that you want to clone, then click Next.

Source Disk

Step 3. Select the destination disk and then click Next. The destination disk will be overwritten after cloning. So backup all the data on it if necessary.

Destination Disk

Step 4. There comes to Operation Summary. Confirm the information of your source and destination disk. Also, you can set desired advanced settings at the lower part of the page. There are three options you can choose: edit partitions on the destination disk, sector by sector clone and align partition to optimize for SSD.

Make Exact Copy of Hard Drive

  • Edit Partitions: When you clone disk to larger disk, the destination disk may have unallocated space. To avoid this problem, you can edit partition size on the destination disk and tick fix all partitions to entire disk. However, this feature is only available on the paid version, such as, AOMEI Backupper Professional, Workstation, Server, etc.

  • Sector by sector clone: Copies all sectors of the disk to the destination disk whether in use or not. The destination disk size must be equal to or larger than the source disk. Usually, to save destination disk space, there is no need to tick this option.

  • SSD Alignment: If your destination disk is SSD, we highly recommend you to tick this option for optimizing the performance of the SSD.

Step 5. After all the settings are done, click Start Clone. Wait for the process to complete and then click Finish.


1. To ensure destination disk accessible after cloning, you should connect target disk as internal before clone. And, if the source disk and target disk are in different type (one is MBR (containing OS) and the other is GPT), you need to upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional. And you have to modify the boot mode in BIOS before you boot from the target drive.

2. If the disk you cloned is a system disk, and you want to boot from destination disk, you need to change boot order and then boot from new disk.

3. If the destination disk is not big enough, you can only clone system to the destination disk. The System Clone feature is only avaliable in Pro version. Upgrade to it if necessary.


AOMEI Backupper, one of the best hard drive cloning software. With it, you can make an exact copy of hard drive Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11 without reinstalling Windows.

Also, it is an awesome backup and restore software. It allows you to do incremental and differential backup easily, which is a missing feature of Windows built-in tool. All in all, AOMEI Backupper is a fantastic software which deserves a try.