Best Free Bootable Hard Disk Clone Software for Windows 10/8/7

Posted by @Teresa

July 18, 2018

How do you clone bootable hard disk and keep secure boot after cloning? You’ll learn the best free bootable disk clone software for Windows 10/8/7 and the detailed steps of cloning below.

Benefit from bootable disk clone software free

As we move through our daily routines in compute use we are often faced with all kinds of hard drive issues. For example, after installing a lot of applications and programs on the hard drive you are likely to get “low disk warning” from your PC. It is lucky to have redundant space or unallocated space on the hard drive because you can assign free space to a partition, system partition in particular. 

However, if the hard drive itself is small and has no extra space to allocate from, you need to either add a hard drive or replace it with a larger one. For the majority of laptop users, they have to choose the second solution since laptop has only one internal disk bay. This is one of the situations when free bootable disk clone software glowing. In addition, long boot time, slow reaction speed, hard drive failure and so on may let you want to do the cloning for better performance.

Software that used to clone bootable hard disk will move everything including operating system on the hard drive to target disk like SSD or bigger HDD. So when you replace or upgrade current hard drive with an OS on, there is no need to do a clean install of OS and all installed applications. Most importantly, the system configurations and precious personal files such as family videos, childhood photos etc that you cannot create again will stay intact. Some professional cloning software supports creating bootable media so that you can access to the hard drive without booting Windows.

What kind of bootable hard disk clone software do you need?

Powerful cloning software should be able to perform different types of clone under different conditions. In a nutshell, the clone software for bootable hard drive should be embedded with these features.

  • Clone only used part of source disk to target disk, which is called Intelligent Clone. Given that the computer that you want to replace its disk have been purchased a number of years ago, and in most cases it was shipped with hard disk drive (HDD) at that age. Solid state drives (SSDs) come to the market with advanced technologies and at a high price not long ago. Although the price goes down for a little bit, it is still expensive to purchase a SSD with large capacity. Therefore, it is inevitable to clone old hard drive to a smaller SSD in the process of replacing.

  • Keep the same partition layout on target disk after cloning, which is called Sector-by-sector Clone. If you have enough budgets and have purchased a large SSD, the cloning tool should allow you to keep same partition layout of old hard drive to new SSD or hard drive.

  • Partition alignment for SSDs during cloning. SSDs have no moving parts comparing to HDD and you don’t have to defragment it. However, performing 4K alignment on SSD helps improving its performance. If you do not manually do 4K alignment, the computer will regard it as using a cluster of 512 bytes through a method called Logical Block Addressing. That is not conducive to gain peak performance of SSD.

  • Free of charge for personal users. If you can complete everything gratis, why bother to pay for them?

Fortunately, AOMEI Backupper Standard happens to meet all said requirements and provides more helpful features like Partition/Volume Clone, Disk Backup, and System Backup etc. with easy-to-handle interface for you. It even clones hard drive with bad sectors effortlessly. Let’s have a closer look at the free bootable drive clone software in the next part.

How to use bootable disk clone software in Windows 10/8/7 step by step?

If the operating system cannot boot or you want to clone bootable drive without booting Windows, make a bootable USB drive first and use it as USB bootable disk clone software (AOMEI Backupper is pre-installed in that USB drive). Note that you need to create the bootable USB on another PC if the system fails to boot. 

Step 1. Free Download (Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista supported) the bootable disk clone tool in the first place. Add the new disk to your PC. Install and start AOMEI Backupper. Click Clone and then Disk Clone.

click Disk Clone

Step 2. Select current bootable disk as the source disk.

choose Source Disk

Step 3. Select the other disk as the destination disk.

choose Destination Disk

Step 4. Check Align partition to optimize for SSD box if you plan to clone bootable hard drive to SSD. Click Start Clone after your configurations.

click Start Clone

Tips: Checking Sector by sector clone will make Edit partitions on the destination disk unavailable.

Step 5. Shut down your PC on completion. Replace the cloned disk with the bootable hard drive carefully (a guide with screenshots is helpful). Or, change boot order in BIOS to boot from the cloned drive.

Verdict

As the free bootable disk clone software, AOMEI Backupper Standard makes every step easy and neat even a novice can complete cloning breezily. You can also use it to clone USB bootable drive to hard drive in Windows. It is also a good backup solution which supports Incremental/Differential Backup and Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Real-time Sync Backup and so on.

Its advanced version AOMEI Backupper Professional comes with more useful functions such as System Clone, Event-trigger backup, file filter, and backup scheme etc. If you’re a Server user, give AOMEI Backupper Server a shot.