Why is it necessary to clone a hard drive?
In today’s digital era, data storage plays a crucial role in our lives. Whether they are personal files, important documents, or cherished memories, we rely heavily on our hard drives to keep our data safe. However, a hard drive is consumable. It has a limited lifespan, it will be hurt by physical damage, virus attacks…
While cloning a hard drive involves transferring all the data from one disk to another, essentially creating a duplicate copy. So, it is an efficient way to preserve all your data and saves a considerable amount of time and effort compared to starting from scratch with a fresh installation.
Cloning a hard drive offers several advantages:
Data Backup: By creating a clone of your hard drive, you have a complete copy of your data, ensuring its safety in case of hardware failure or data corruption.
Drive Upgrade: When upgrading to a larger capacity drive, cloning allows you to transfer all your data and settings seamlessly, eliminating the need to reinstall applications and reconfigure your system.
Time and Effort Saving: Cloning reduces the time and effort required to set up a new drive, especially when you have a well-configured system with customized settings and applications.
What preparations are needed before cloning hard drive?
Before diving into the cloning process, it’s essential to prepare your system and gather the necessary tools.
Source and Destination Disks
Identify the source drive (the one you want to clone) and the destination disk (the one where the clone will be created). Ensure the destination disk has sufficient free space to accommodate all the data from the source drive. Normally, users prefer to choose an SSD as the destination disk because of its better performance.
Reliable Cloning Hard Drive Software
Windows doesn’t have any disk cloning tool preinstalled, so you need to find a third-party disk clone tool. If you don’t have any idea, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.
There are two cloning methods available: Clone Disk Quickly and Sector-by-Sector Cloning. The former just copies the utilized hard drive space, whereas the later copies all hard disk sectors.
It also has many more popular features. Merge partitions to increase partition size, clean hard drive for reuse, convert windows 10 MBR to GPT, and more.
After you install destination disk on the PC, you can start to clone hard drive via this handy tool.
Step 1. Click the “Clone” button at the top pane. Then select “Clone Disk” under the menu.
Step 2. In the pop-up window, select disk clone method and click “Next” to continue. In our case, we choose “Clone Disk Quickly”.
Step 3. Disk 1 is selected as the source disk by default. Choose the target disk (a new hard drive or SSD to receive clone contents of the source disk) and click “Next” to continue.
Step 4. The next page tells you how to boot the operating system from the destination disk. Then, edit partitions on the destination disk if you want to.
Step 5. You can preview the operations you did. To save the changes, you must click “Apply” on the toolbar.
Step 6. After clicking Apply, a window will pop up, listing the “Pending Operations”. Confirm the operations you did and click “Proceed” to execute.
You should boot Windows from the new hard drive if you cloned the system disk. If the computer only has one slot, you can boot it after replacing the old hard disk with a new hard drive. However, if you want to keep both the old and new hard drives, you must change the boot drive.
Tips for successful hard drive cloning
To ensure a smooth and successful hard drive cloning process, here are some tips for you:
Tip 1. Ensure sufficient free space on the destination disk: Make sure the destination drive has enough space to accommodate the data from the source drive.
Tip 2. Disconnect unnecessary external devices: Disconnect any unnecessary external devices to avoid any interference during the cloning process.
Tip 3. Disable sleep or hibernation modes: Prevent your system from entering sleep or hibernation modes during the cloning process to avoid interruptions.
Tip 4. Perform a test run before cloning important data: Before cloning critical data, it’s recommended to perform a test run on a non-essential drive to ensure familiarity with the software and avoid any unexpected issues.
To sum up
Cloning a hard drive provides a convenient and efficient way to migrate data, create backups, and upgrade drives. With AOMEI Partition Assistant, anyone can easily clone their hard drive without incurring additional costs and easily replacing a hard drive without reinstalling Windows.