Disk cloning and backup: what’s the difference?
Disk cloning and backup are rather practical functions that are widely discussed in people daily computing and managing. Then, what’s the difference between them? Knowing the difference will help you find the best free HDD cloning software easily. Put the technique differs aside, we’ll talk the difference in common words.
In a nutshell, disk cloning and backup have different operating progress and recovery ways. When you do disk imaging, you need to restore the images before you can use any file or software on the hard drive. However, disk cloning saves this step. All stuff can be put into use right after the cloning process completes. A reboot is necessary if cloned disk contains system. In disk cloning, all contents will be cloned from HDD to SSD or another HDD, so you don’t have an option on what to clone or what do not. What’s more, disk cloning requires more capacity, i.e. the storage should be at least equal or larger than the used space of the selected HDD. Backup don’t has that request.
Disk backup, sometimes also refers to disk imaging. You can refer to Kingston SSD imaging software for detailed steps. Obviously, there are many other differences there, but for users, said differences are the biggest ones.
When will you need free HDD cloning tool for Windows?
“Tomorrow I will upgrade my current hard drive with Windows 7 on to the new purchased Seagate SSD after it arrives. The current HDD is 236GB used out of 956GB and the new SSD is of 500GB capacity. I don’t want to reinstall my OS and all the software and games. So just wondering, what is the best free HDD to SSD cloning software? I am looking for something reliable and user-friendly. Cheers.”
Have you ever encountered this kind of situations? Hard drive cloning software saves you lots of time and effort in upgrading hard drive when you do not want to clean install operating system and reinstall all well-configured favorite games and software. HDD cloning tools make an exact duplication of the source hard drive and most of them embedded with sector-by-sector clone feature, so it is also a good way to recover lost or damaged data. To some degree, disk cloning has the same effect as disk imaging that is to keep a backup for the hard drive.
What’s the best free cloning software for Windows 10/8/7?
Windows itself even has the utility of imaging yet with no cloning feature. In addition, if you dig it into deeper, you will find its shortages comparing to a multitude of third party tools. True, most utilities with advanced techniques are paid software. But what we will recommend you to is free disk cloning program which can perfectly clone HDD to SSD or HDD. Besides, back to the case covered before, software with only sector-by-sector cloning feature cannot solve his trouble. The questioner wants to clone large hard drive to small drive which has to clone only used part on the hard drive. Not all cloning utilities are created equal and some of them are lost the Intelligent Clone technique.
AOMEI Backupper Standard is free system, partition and disk cloning software specialized in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista. This software is regarded as one of the easiest to use disk cloning software out there because it keeps things in the simplest term and all cloning steps can be summed up with four images. Apart from the user-friendly interface and convenient operations, AOMEI Backupper Standard has totally three cloning features. It provides System Clone, Disk Clone and Partition Clone options and all of them can be proceed in sector-by-sector mode or not. Except for SSD, this software also supports storage device like external hard drives, USB flash drives, thumb drives, NAS, hardware RAID, virtual machine system etc. You may want to download this best free hard drive cloning software for Windows and have a try.
HDD to SSD with best free HDD cloning software Windows 10
1. Connect the SSD to your PC. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard. Choose Clone and then click Disk Clone.
2. Select current hard drive as the source disk.
3. Select the smaller SSD as the destination disk.
4. Check Align partition to optimize for SSD box will do 4K partition alignment during the cloning process on SSD. Click Start Clone after configuration.
5. Now, shut down your computer and replace HDD with cloned SSD. Then boot from your cloned SSD.
- By default, AOMEI Backupper will clone only used part. You can edit partitions on SSD to resize them. However, if you check Sector by sector clone box, it won’t allow you to edit any more.
- It is fine if the hard drive is damaged a little because AOMEI Backupper will clone hard drive with bad sectors as long as you do not perform sector clone.
If you want to replace hard drive with SSD on laptop, it is recommended to complete it through backup and restore method to ensure the success. In desktop, after you reformat the hard drive, you can keep it as the secondary storage.
AOMEI Backupper Standard is also bootable HDD cloning software free to use. Go Utilities > Create Bootable Media to do disk cloning without booting Windows.
System Clone only available in AOMEI Backupper Professional, which is the advanced version of this free HDD cloning software.
AOMEI Backupper Standard completely deserves the distinction of best free HDD cloning software for Windows based computer. Complicated cloning processes could be done within a few steps. It is also the best SSD cloning software.
Other than various cloning features, AOMEI Backupper Standard is also a good backup solution for personal users. For example, you can automatically backup Windows 10 to external hard drive for disaster recovery as well as backup hard drive without booting Windows with its create bootable media capability in Utilities.
If you want more advanced features like backup storage management, command line backup, restore and clone, etc, please refer to AOMEI Backupper Professional edition. It is paid solution yet you’ll find it worth the cost.