By Ivy / Last update December 13, 2021

How do I make a bootable Windows 7 clone?

Generally speaking, if your computer is running slowly, or there is no sufficient space for you to install programs, store data or run applications. Or worried about the disk will be damaged somehow. You might consider cloning your Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit system to another larger hard drive or SSD. Then, your computer will run smoothly and get more storage to use.

Then how to perform a Windows 7 bootable clone? You can keep reading below to learn more.

Best Way to Create Windows 7 Bootable Clone

It's disappointing that Windows 7 does not come along with disk clone software. You can only backup system partition with the built-in backup and restore software and save it to an external hard drive temporarily, then restore system image to new hard drive when needed. However, the process is a little complicated. And the restore process is likely to fail if the target disk is smaller or both disks has different partition style. 

System Image Restore Failed

Therefore, you can turn to the best disk clone software – AOMEI Backupper Professional. It allows you to clone Windows 7 to new computer or new hard drive and make it bootable, then straight boot from that bootable clone disk without bootable USB or CD/DVD. And this also applies other systems, including Windows 8/8.1/10/11/XP/Vista. 

✮ If you want to keep all the installed programs and previous configured settings, try Disk Clone function to clone all the data and system files on your system hard drive.

✮ If you only want to keep everything on the system partition or the new hard drive has smaller size, it’s highly recommended to use System Clone feature to clone Windows 7 to new hard drive. The same is true for cloning Windows 10 to new hard drive.

Steps to Create Windows 7 bootable clone

Now, follow the instructions to perform Windows 7 bootable clone (system clone), before you do, download AOMEI Backupper, and prepare the following items:

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  • Prepare an external larger HDD or SSD.

  • Windows 7 installed computer.

1. Run AOMEI Backupper Professional, go Refresh icon at the right upper corner of this window to make sure the program detects the latest information of your Windows 7 hard drive.

2. Go Clone tab, and select System Clone afterward.

Choose System Clone

✦ Tip: If you want to make an exact copy of original hard drive, you can choose to clone hard drive to SSD or HDD with Disk Clone feature.

3. Choose the external larger HDD/SSD to save Windows 7 system files, and then click Next.

Choose Destination Partition

✦ Tip: The AOMEI Backupper will notify you that the external hard drive will be wiped out and all the data in that drive will be lost. Please backup critical data on that drive first. Otherwise, click Yes.

Partitioned Ssd Warning

4. View all the details about the Windows 7 bootable clone, and then click Start Clone to commit all the information.

System Clone Preview Nochecked

✦ Tips:
 Make full use of disk space: this option will be checked by default if you clone system to a larger drive. It's used to extend the size of your system partition by adjacent unallocated space.
Sector by sector clone: if you check this option, make sure your external hard drive is equal to or larger than the current partitions associated with system files.
❉ SSD Alignment: choose this option to optimize for your SSD and its performance if you are cloning hard drive is an SSD drive.
❉ Above steps also apply to Windows 10 bootable cloning.
❉ You could also use the Disk Clone feature to clone a hard drive in Windows 7.

After a few minutes, Windows 7 operating system will be cloned to new hard drive without losing data. And the external hard drive now is a bootable clone disk, you could take out the current hard drive and replace it with the external hard drive: change the boot order in BIOS, then boot from this Windows 7 bootable clone disk to work normally, and it’s apparently bootable.

Won't Boot After Cloning?

Many users complained about the Windows 7 won’t boot after cloning, it might be caused by winload.efi missing after clone or just cloned a partial of boot partitions or boot files. 

Windows Failed to Start

Here is how to fix the error:

  • Prepare a Windows 7 recovery disc, then boot from it.

  • Choose Repair your computer, then the recovery tools will automatically running, and identify if there problems to starting Windows 7, then Windows found problems with your computer’s startup options window open.

  • Click Repair and restart, and the boot files will be fixed.

Then check if the problem is solved.

Or Use Windows 7 recovery disc, and choose to Command Prompt in Advanced.

Input the following commands and execute in turn:

  • diskpart

  • list volume

  • select volume X (X is Windows partition or boot partition)

  • assign letter w (w should be the drive letter that does not in use)

  • exit (exit diskpart)

  • bcdboot X:\Windows /s w: /f UEFI (X is the partition letter that contains the Windows folder)

  • reboot system (select the new boot option if more than one)

  • msconfig (Boot - leave only the c:\Windows option)

Summing Up

With the help of AOMEI Backupper, you can easily create Windows 7 bootable clone disk in simple steps. And you can benefit from its useful features, such as, Make full use of disk space, it will automatically enlarge your system partition size. Also, you can further accelerate the performance of an SSD disk.

Besides, you could also create bootable media just in case of the system boot failure due to some unexpected errors. And it includes other helpful features that you might be interested, like real time files sync, dissimilar hardware restore, migrate OS to smaller SSD, create differential and incremental backups, schedule backup, etc.

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