Best Freeware to Clone Hard Drive with Bad Sectors

Posted by @Teresa

October 17, 2018

This post illustrates how to clone hard drive with bad sectors errors in a Windows laptop or desktop. Learn the best way to clone with the right software.

About the bad sectors errors on your hard drive

Bad sectors or bad blocks refer to physically bad spots on the hard drive that cause the computer to not be able to read or save data to the spot. You will get bad sectors report after running chkdsk to check hard drive for errors when you find something is wrong with your computer. Another situation that you might encounter the report is cloning hard drive with bad sectors to another one and the cloning process is terminated. Message like “read error” will come into your sight.

Bad sectors will affect the use of computer so long as it exists on the hard drive. For instance, even though the bad sector is tiny cluster, it has bad influence on disk space when it occurs in the middle of your hard drive. If you want to clone hard drive with bad blocks, first you need to do find a way to escape these bad sectors. That is to say, to perform a hard drive clone and ignore bad sectors errors. But before that, learn what you can do with those bad sectors. 

What can you do with the bad sectors?

In the very first place, you need to aware of that the data that has already written to the bad sectors is rarely difficult to recover. Yet, you have a method to fix bad sectors on that drive. Open an elevated Command Prompt and run chkdsk /f /r and press Enter, and it will find bad sectors and try to repair. The data will be lost just for your information.

Nevertheless, it would be time-consuming if there are plenty of bad sectors on the drive. Also, it is less value to repair a hard disk that is all over bad sectors. In that case, finding a way to copy hard drive with bad sectors is a wise move.

How to clone hard drive with bad sectors in the best way?

Actually, it is not too hard for you to clone hard disk with bad sectors as long as you find the right software. Some software on the network does disappoint you when it encounters bad sectors.  Generally the cloning process will just abort when reaches to bad sectors. However, some of them don’t unless you purchase their paid version.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is free cloning software to clone hard drive with bad sectors in Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. It completely supports cloning large disk to small disk as long as all data on the source disk can fit the smaller one. 

By default, AOMEI Backupper will clone hard drive and skip bad sectors. What’s more, it allows you to clone HDD to Samsung SSD without reinstalling, regardless of the disk brand. Or, to clone external hard drive to another external drive easily. You may want to free download this software to clone disk with bad sectors right now.

How to clone HDD with bad sectors step by step in Windows? 

Connect the target disk (SSD, newer HDD or external hard drive) that you want to clone to with your computer.

Important: if your computer cannot boot up normal, it is suggested to create bootable media with AOMEI Backupper first on a work and Windows-based machine. And then, boot your computer with the bootable media. You’ll see the cloning software once you logged in.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard. Click Clone and then select Disk Clone.


Step 2. Select the hard drive with bad sectors as the source disk.

The source disk

Step 3. Select another drive as the destination disk. You have choices to clone larger drive to smaller drive as mentioned before.

The destination disk

Step 4. Check the operation summary and click Start Clone.

Start Clone

Step 5. Replace the cloned drive with the hard drive that holds bad sectors if necessary. 


  • It is advised to UNCHECK Sector by sector clone box since it will take up much more time and it is likely to bring bad sector to the target disk.
  • If the target disk is an SSD, check Align partition to optimize for SSD will improve the speed of reading and writing as well as prolong the service life of SSD.
  • You are allowed to fit all partitions to entire disk by clicking Edit partitions on the destination disk. If you want to edit partitions on the disk, please upgrade to Professional edition, which also enables you to clone OS only to the destination disk via System Clone feature.

Don’t worry if you come across bad sectors on your disk. You can fix them with CHKDSK.EXE of Windows, or clone hard drive with bad sectors with the right cloning software. In fact, AOMEI Backupper has many other powerful features, like system backup, automatic backup SSD, incremental and differential backup, etc. 

However, if you’re advanced PC users and would like to clone hard drive using command prompt, AOMEI Backupper Professional would be a better choice. In addition, these two editions don’t support Window Server OS. If you’re running Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016 operating system, please ask AOMEI Backupper Server for help.