How to Clone Windows 11 to Another Hard Drive (Bootable)
How to clone Windows 11 to another hard drive easily and make it bootable? Read on to solve this task effortlessly.
Can I clone my hard drive to an external drive?
Basically, I want to copy my C drive (128g M.2 SSD) which has my Windows OS, other files, etc. to my external USB hard drive and then restore that onto a new larger 1tb M.2 SSD I recently purchased. My motherboard only has one M.2 slot, I assume I could just copy my C drive (OS) to external drive, install new SSD, then boot from external and restore. I tried some disk cloning software, but could not get my external drive to be bootable. (seemed scammy idk) My main problem seems to be that I can't get my external to boot. I am clearly dumb with computers, so laymens terms would be appreciated if possible. Thanks!
- Question from tom's HARDWARE
If you have encountered such situation, you may wonder how to clone Windows 11 to SSD or HDD. Before that, let's figure out what the purpose of cloning is.
Reasons for cloning Windows 11 to another hard drive
Some common reasons for copying Windows 11 to new hard drive can be listed as follows:
Preparations before Windows 11 clone
Before performing Windows 11 clone, you need to do some preparatory work.
☛ Select the target disk. Select the target disk according to your purpose and needs, it can be HDD or SSD, and make sure your target disk can be detected.
☛ Check the size of the disk. The capacity of the new disk should be greater than or equal to the used space on the old disk, so that the new disk can hold all the data on the old disk. Otherwise, the cloning process may eventually fail.
☛ Prepare the connector. For desktops, you can install the new HDD or SSD directly in the extra socket. For laptops, you need a SATA-USB adapter, which may vary by disk interface (SATA, NVMe, PCIe, etc.).
☛ Back up important files ahead of time. As the target disk will be completely overwritten during the cloning process.
How to clone Windows 11 to another hard drive via best disk cloning software
Some users want to find a reliable cloning software to help them clone disks on Windows 11. However, there is no software available for disk cloning on the computer's own system, so you have to ask for help from third-party software.
There is no doubt that it is very important to find a secure cloning software that will not only help you migrate your data or operating system, but also ensure data integrity and safe boot from the new disk.
Here I highly recommend one best disk cloning software in Windows 11 for you—AOMEI Backupper, which can help you easily clone Windows 11 and make it bootable. Learn more about the clone features of this software below:
Here I will show you how to migrate Window 11 system by disk clone—(it allows you to move OS to new drive by cloning entire disk) and system clone—(it lets you transfer only OS to new drive). You can choose according to your needs. Moving on to catch the stepwise guide on how to migrate your Windows system to another hard drive.
Copy Windows 11 to new hard drive using Disk Clone:
Step 1. Connect the target hard drive to your computer and make sure it is detectable. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install, and open it. Click “Clone”＞“Disk Clone”.
Step 2. Select the Windows 11 system disk that you want to clone and click “Next”.
Step 3. Select the destination disk to store the cloned data and click “Next”.
Step 4. Preview all the settings and the information of your source and destination disk. Then click “Start Clone”.
Clone only Windows 11 operating system to another hard drive:
Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Professional. Click “Clone” in the left-hand menu, and choose “System Clone” to clone only Windows 11 operating system.
Step 2. It will automatically select the system drive and related drives by default. Select the hard drive you wish to clone to as the destination disk and click “Next” to continue.
Step 3. Confirm all the settings and then click “Start Clone”. If your target disk is an SSD, you can select “SSD Alignment” to accelerate the reading and writing speed of the SSD disk.
Step 4. When the process is complete, click “Finish”.
Boot from the cloned drive on Windows 11:
Now you need to follow the steps below to make the newly cloned drive bootable.
1. Reboot your computer and press F2/F10/Del to enter the BIOS.
2. Go to the boot menu and in the boot priority section, set the new hard drive as the first boot option in BIOS.
3. Press F10 to save all the changes and restart the computer.
That’s all for how to clone Windows 11 to another hard drive. With AOMEI Backupper Professional, you can easily perform Windows 11 clone, ensure that you can successfully boot your computer from the cloned hard drive, and never worry about data loss and system crash.
In addition, you can get into the habit of creating a full backup of your system and files on a regular basis with AOMEI Backupper, so that you can easily restore your computer to previous date using the backup created in advance if you encounter 0xc000000e in Windows 11. There are more features worth exploring, so download this free trial version now and give it a try!