Disk Clone

Posted by @AOMEI

October 16, 2018

Disk clone can clone a hard disk from one to another, and all the data and files on the disk will be transferred, including the operating system, applications, configuration settings and so on.

What Is Disk Clone?

Disk clone faithfully copies a hard disk drive from one to another. All data on the disk including operating system, applications, configuration settings and all partitions etc. will be transferred to the destination. This feature is especially useful when your system disk starts to run out of space, enabling you to upgrade your disk to one with higher capacity. You can also use Disk Clone to migrate from HDD to SSD, or for making a duplicate of an HDD.

How to Use AOMEI Backupper Clone?

AOMEI Backupper is a third party software which aims at system, partition/volume, disk as well as file/folder backup and restore. Also, it supports clone function, such as disk clone, system clone, and partition/volume clone. Finally, there is a free version of AOMEI Backupper - AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition which contains most features and can do disk clone for free. 

Here, take AOMEI Backupper Std as an example to show you how to use AOMEI Backupper for Windows disk clone. Before the start, download, install and open AOMEI Backupper.

To Clone Disk:

1. In the left tab page, select the Clone option and then select Disk Clone.


2. Select the source disk that you want to clone. Click Next.


3. Select the destination disk to which the source disk will be cloned, and click Next.


    Warning! The destination disk and all existing data will be overwritten.

4. Preview the information of your source and destination disk. In the wizard page, set desired advanced settings as follows:


a) If you want to adjust the partitions size or location on the destination disk, click the "Edit partitions on the destination disk" button. Options available are:

  • Copy without resizing partitions: Do not do any changes.

  • Fit partition to entire disk: The destination disk partitions will be automatically resized to the entire disk, appropriate for the disk size.

  • Edit partitions on this disk: Manually adjust the partition size and location by dragging a slider bar.


b) Sector by sector clone: Copies all sectors of the disk to the destination disk whether in use or not. The destination disk size must be equal to or larger than the source disk. Usually, to save destination disk space, there is no need to tick this option. Unchecking AOMEI Sector by sector clone will only clone the used part of source disk, thus the room required on the destination is smaller. Yet, the data or system is also intact unchecking Sector by sector clone and system is bootable after cloning.

c) Align partition to optimize for SSD: If your destination disk is SSD (Solid-State Drive), we highly recommend you to tick this option for optimizing the performance of the SSD.

5. Finally, click Start Clone. Wait for the process to complete and then click Finish


For more detail with screenshots, see: How to Do Disk Clone.

  • Note that the destination disk will be overwritten. Therefore if it contains any important data, you must backup the destination disk before you apply the operation.
  • If the destination disk is locked by other programs or applications running on it, AOMEI Backupper will ask to restart the computer, and will execute the disk clone operation in a "Restart Mode".

  • To ensure destination disk accessible after cloning, you should connect target disk as internal before clone. And, if source disk and target disk are in different type (one is MBR and the other is GPT), you have to modify the boot mode in BIOS when you boot from the target drive.

  • If the disk you cloned is a system disk, you need to change the boot order to the target disk in BIOS before trying to boot from it. Or, you can just replace the source drive with the target one.

  • The time to complete a disk clone task depends on the size of the source disk. Besides, the following aspects can also influence the operation speed:

    1. Source and target drive are accessed during cloning. And, close other programs while cloning to free computer to concentrate only on disk cloning.

    2. If the target disk is an external one, connect it to an internal port.

    3. Run Disk Defragmenter for the source disk before cloning disk if there are too much disk fragmentation on the source disk.

  • Intelligent Clone: Be different form AOMEI sector by sector clone, it only clone the used space of source location. Using this method, you can clone to smaller hard disk only if the target location is no small than the used space on the source disk. If you do not tick sector by sector clone in setp4 above, AOMEI Backupper will adopt intelligent clone by default.

  • Disk clone can also be called disk copy. That is, clone disk will make a duplicate of the disk to another drive while keep the original one unattached.