By Bryce / Last Updated October 28, 2019

Need to copy data from one hard drive to another

The two main motivations to clone all data from one hard drive to another are concluded as follows:

  • Copy all data from hard disk drive with Windows installed to solid state drive or larger hard disk drive; thus you can upgrade system hard drive without reinstalling Windows.

  • Clone all data from internal hard drive to external hard drive for duplication; compared with backing up data, it allows you to access data without restoring, if the system crashes or something else happens.

To transfer all data (Windows and installed applications included) from one hard drive to another, you can employ disk cloning software to clone entire hard drive to another.

Here AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional will be my first choice. It offers Clone Disk Quickly and Sector-by Sector Clone two copy methods to clone a hard drive. Only cloning used space, the first way allows you to clone hard drive to smaller SSD/HDD. The second way clones all sectors even if the sector is blank or a logically bad sector, being able to clone all files (lost or deleted files included). During cloning to SSD, it can make 4K alignment for SSD to improve performance.

What’s more, it can migrate OS related partitions only or clone specific partition (like recovery partition) from one hard drive to another.

✍ Clone hard drive to another step-by-step

What you realize before you copy data from one hard drive to another through cloning disk:

  • All data saved on the target hard drive will be cleaned, thus back up your necessary files in advance.

  • The capacity of destination disk should be not smaller than the used space of source disk.

  • To boot successfully from cloned disk, it is necessary to change boot mode after you clone MBR system disk to GPT or GPT to MBR.

Then, connect the destination disk to your computer and make sure it can be recognized; and follow steps given below (Take cloning system hard drive to smaller disk in Windows 10 as an example).

You can download its demo version to have a try at first!

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. In the main interface, select All Tools and Disk Clone Wizard.

disk copy wizard.png

Step 2. In the pop-up window, choose Clone Disk Quickly between two options.

copy disk quickly.png

Step 3. Here you need to choose a disk as source disk (Disk 1 is selected).

select source disk.png

Step 4. After specifying source disk, you need to choose destination disk (Here is Disk 2).

select destination disk.png

PS.: If your destination is SSD, tick Optimize the performance of SSD.

Step 5. In this window, you can choose Fit partitions to entire disk or Edit partitions on this disk. Then, click Next.

edit disk.png

PS.: Clone without resizing partitions is grayed out as the destination disk is smaller than source disk, when it comes to cloning to larger hard drive or hard drive of equal size, the first option will be valid.

A Note about how to boot from destination disk will show up. Keep it in mind and click Finish.

clone large disk to small disk/finish.png

Step 6. Here you can preview the result of operation. Click Apply and Proceed to commit it..

clone large disk to small disk/apply.png


These are all steps about how to copy data from one hard drive to another through disk copy. Apart from cloning, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is very helpful in managing partition and disk. You can use it to allocate free space, recover deleted partition, split partition and so on.

It is compatible with Windows 10/8.1/8/7, XP and Vista. To clone one hard drive to another in Windows Server, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.