Free Hard Drive Cloning Software Download - MiniTool Partition Wizard
Why Clone Hard Drive?
Disk cloning is very useful in hard drive management. To put it simple, disk cloning copies the complete contents of a hard drive, including the files, the partition tables and the MBR to another location. It is worth mentioning that when you clone a hard drive, both the source disk and the target disk can be used directly, which is regarded as a simple, direct duplicate (however, cloning is different from copy & paste, check Clone VS. Copy & Paste for the detail). In the following situations, you may consider hard drive cloning:
- To upgrade hard drive to a larger one for the current hard drive is too small and cannot meet your data storage requirements any longer. For example, you want more partitions to store kinds of data but not enough free space can be shrunk; or you are encounter low disk space issue but all partitions are almost full.
- To upgrade hard drive to more advanced SSD to enjoy smooth computer performance. This is extremely useful for those who want to upgrade system disk, as SSD offers faster read-write speed.
- You have a batch of computers (with same configuration) to be installed. To avoid installing all of them one by one, you can install only one at first and then turn to hard drive cloning software to save effort and time.
- You can make an exact backup of the original drive through disk cloning, and avoiding the trouble of data restoration. As we know, no matter how careful we are in the daily use of computer, data loss can occur due to both human and non-artificial reasons, such as a wrong deletion, power outage, lightning strike, hardware failure, or natural disaster.
So the conclusion here is that if you are upgrading your hard drive to a larger one, or replacing it due to a physical failure, cloning hard drive is the easiest method to complete that task. Besides, doing hard drive cloning reduces the risk of any accidental data loss.
Recommended Hard Drive Cloning Utility
Tomorrow I'll be going from my current config (120GB SSD Boot disk, 320GB SATA 2 Games Disk), to a new config (64GB SSD Boot Disk, 120GB SSD Games Disk).
In other words, I need to clone the 40GB worth of Windows files and applications from my 120GB 840 EVO to my 64GB SanDisk Ultra Plus that arrives tomorrow. After that I'll clone the 80GB of games from my HDD to my 120GB SSD (or I could just reinstall steam and all my games).
So, just wondering, what's the best free cloning software? I'm looking for something reliable and user friendly. Cheers
Since hard drive cloning is significant, you must be wondering: which is the best cloning software? Just like the above example shows. In my opinion, MiniTool Partition Wizard is the top recommendation. I will give you my explanation.
MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition, developed by MiniTool Solution Ltd., is regarded as the best disk cloning software for Windows users, including those who are running Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP (both 32 bits and 64 bits). It offers three features to help make backup, including "Copy Disk", "Copy Partition" as well as "Migrate OS to SSD/HD". With this professional disk cloning software, you can easily and effectively clone hard drive so as to do hard drive upgrade or data backup. Due to its free property and outstanding performance, this free backup software has been awarded as the top 10 Windows software and enjoys over 20,000,000 downloads on CNET. Just press the button to enjoy free hard drive cloning software download!
For Windows Server users, MiniTool Partition Wizard Server Edition is the right choice. Press the BUY button below to enjoy great discounts now!
Knowing what MiniTool Partition Wizard is, now let's have a look on how to clone a hard drive by using MiniTool Partition Wizard.
When it comes to how to clone a hard drive, MiniTool Partition Wizard offers the best solution, and it is called "Copy Disk Wizard" or "Copy Disk". All you have to do is put the new drive in the computer as a slave or secondary drive and clone the old drive to the new one. Once the process is complete, switch the new drive to the primary and then you are good to go (for hard drive upgrade).
Here we just take clone hard drive Windows 10 for example, and MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition should be the right choice.
1. To use "Copy Disk Wizard", both the source disk and target disk must be basic disks.
2. The target disk will be cleaned during the cloning process. Please make sure it can be cleaned, otherwise transfer data out at first.
Step 1. Run MiniTool Partition Wizard to the main interface, then you can see all your hard drives connected to this PC are shown in the middle panel and some operable features are listed in the left panel, including Migrate OS to SSD/HD Wizard, Align All Partitions, Rebuild MBR, Delete All Partitions, and so on. Now, active Copy Disk feature to clone hard drive. Here, for instance, you can select "Copy Disk Wizard" feature from the Action and Wizards.
Step 2. You will see a welcome page. Just click "Next" and continue.
Step 3. Now select which disk you want to copy before you click "Next".
Step 4. Here you need to select the target disk (must be basic disk) and click "Next" to continue. Make sure you know which drive you are cloning to so you do not overwrite the wrong drive.
Step 5. Here comes the copy options. There are three options for you to choose from, and they are:
- Fit partitions to entire disk: all partitions will be cloned to the target disk according to the proportion of the partition size.
- Copy partitions without resize: all partitions will be cloned to the target disk according to the original partition size. This option is available when the target disk is not smaller than the source disk.
- Edit partitions on this disk: you can customize each partition size according to your own preference.
You can select a suitable one according to your actual needs. Please note that it is recommended to check "Force to align partitions to 1MB" to improve the performance of the target hard drive if it is an SSD or advanced format disk. After the selection, click "Next" and continue.
Step 6. Then you can see a note which reads "To boot from the new disk, please configure computer BIOS settings. Make sure the new disk is configured as the default boot disk." Please keep this in mind if you are cloning the system disk before you click "Finish".
Want to know more information about how to successfully boot computer from the new hard drive? Now, you can find answers from our previous post: 2 Ways to Boot from New Hard Drive after Copying Disk or Migrating OS.
Step 7. Finally click "Apply" on the menu bar to start hard drive cloning.
For a more intuitive guidance, please watch this video:
Any operations related to system partition require a reboot, and the time to finish hard drive cloning is closely related to the data amount and your computer configuration. So please be patient to wait until Partition Wizard completes all operations.
Tips for Cloning Your Hard Drive
Now you know how to clone hard drive by using MiniTool Partition Wizard Fee Edition. Here I would like to put forward some tips to help you deal with cloning issue better.
- Back up anything you attach great importance to. In case your computer system runs into an error, clone system by using "Migrate OS to SSD/HD feature". If you prefer to clone the whole drive, employ "Copy Disk" feature, if only a single partition is important, turn to "Copy Partition" feature.
- Use another hard drive, especially an external hard drive for your backup copies, because there is less chance of losing/damaging computer and external hard drive at the same time.
- Don't just copy & paste files to another location on your hard disk if you are leading the operating system. Use professional disk cloning software like MiniTool Partition Wizard to help you.
- At least one cloning copy should be kept well. Don't erase the current backup unless you are going to create a new one.
- If you use your computer frequently, back up your data often. A recent backup saves more data than the earlier.
Further Reading Cloning VS. Imaging
When dealing with backup issue, cloning or imaging is always the question asked by many users. Many people choose to make a disk image, while many prefer hard drive cloning. Before I state my opinion, I would like to start with cloning VS. imaging.
One may ask, "what the heck is the difference between cloning and imaging?"
Imaging is frequently used for preventative backup, which means you never know when you need the backup image for data restoration. Today most disk imaging software offer schedule backup feature, and you can set to back up daily, weekly, or monthly as you want. Besides, three backup methods including full backup, incremental backup and differential backup are provided, making it possible to save hard disk space. If something bad happens, you can have the original image for restoration purposes without having to reinstall Windows and other applications.
The purpose for cloning is more significant for hard drive replacement or hard drive upgrading, which means probably you will use the destination disk right away. When you clone a hard drive, actually you are cloning the entire contents of the drive instead of creating an image file. The only issue you need to concern is that you need to have another physical hard drive that is large enough to contain all data in the original drive. During the cloning process, all contents on the target disk will be cleaned so be sure that you are operating the right disk.
The conclusion here is: although cloning and imaging both back up and restore data, whether to choose cloning or imaging all depends on what you want to accomplish. In a word, for frequent backup issue, imaging software is better; for hard drive upgrading issue, free hard drive cloning software should be given the priority.
Here comes to the end of this post. In this post, I mainly tells why you need to clone hard drive, which tool is the best disk cloning software, how to use it to clone hard drive, the differences between cloning and imaging, and several tips on hard drive cloning. Hope all these information is helpful in dealing with your hard drive cloning issues.
Now it's you turn to have a try. Just download this free yet professional hard drive cloning software - MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition and start cloning hard drive. I believe you can go everything smoothly as long as you follow the wizard correctly. For any suggestions or questions towards using MiniTool Partition Wizard, please contact email@example.com or leave us comments below. Much appreciated!