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How Do I Clone Hard Drive in Windows 7 32/64 Bit

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Why Do You Clone Hard Drive in Windows 7

Although Microsoft is now is firmly pushing Windows 10 to all Windows computer users, Windows 7 still occupies a huge market share. It is such a classic operating system in succession to Windows XP and a number of Windows users stick to use it for a long time. Thus, how to manage hard drive in Windows 7 can still arouse hot discussion, and hard drive clone Windows 7 is among the debates. A true example is shown below:

Hello,
My system partition/drive is starting to go out. I have purchased a newer 1TB HDD from Amazon to use and need advice on the best cloning software. I would have tried RAID XPERT on my computer but I have not been able to get it to work and I'm short on time to debug the issues.
Thanks in advance!
My Os is Win7 x64 Ultimate.

--from Tomshardware

Why Clone Hard Drive Windows 7

Why Clone Hard Drive in Windows 7? Normally, 3 aspects are responsible for this action:

clone hard drive Windows 7Hard drive backup: Cloning Windows 7 hard drive is an effective way to back up data in Windows 7, thus avoiding data loss if the hard drive is damaged or gets virus attack.
Hard drive upgrade: You can also increase the hard drive capacity though disk cloning. For example, you can clone a hard drive to another one with larger storage space; or you can clone an HDD to an SSD for better performance.
Clone Windows 7 to multiple computers: Many companies install computers by cloning the hard drive since the computers are usually with the same configurations, hence avoiding installing the operating system and necessary applications repeatedly.

How to Clone a Hard Drive Windows 7 64/32 Bit

Although there are good reasons to clone a hard drive, cloning hard drive in Windows 7 is not that easy as you have thought. Besides, Windows built-in Disk Management won't work on this issue, no such option for you. Therefore, users had better turn to other ways to safely and efficiently clone hard drive in Windows 7 free.

How to clone a hard drive in Windows 7? Well, first of all, you need to prepare the following 2 things:

  • Hard Drive: needless to say, you need the disk which we call source disk to be cloned and another hard drive which we call target disk to hold the copy. Make sure the two hard drives can work normally.
  • Disk Cloning Software: believe it or not, a good disk cloning software can save your day! Those who employ shoddy software finally find that they are spending too much time, and the cloning result is disappointing. Our goal is to get this done quickly, efficiently, and with minimal chance of misstepping. With this in mind, clone hard drive Windows 7 freeware is strongly recommended.

Use MiniTool Partition Wizard

Developed by MiniTool Solution Ltd, MiniTool Partition Wizard is all-in-one disk/partition manager for all Windows users running Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10, both 32 bit and 64 bit. Also, it is endowed with powerful functions to satisfy user needs and user-friendly interface to realize the usability. In addition, MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable CD is available for users to manage hard drives when the operating system cannot boot. Then how to clone hard drive Windows 7 using MiniTool Partition Wizard? Just keep reading.

Before you do:
1. Connect the target hard drive to Windows 7 and make sure it is recognized by Windows.
2. Make sure all data on the target disk has been backed up, for the cloning process will remove all original data.
3.Download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition, and then install and launch it to the main interface.

Step 1. Choose the hard drive you want to clone, and then select "Copy Disk" from the action panel.

copy disk

Step 2. In the pop-up new window, choose a hard drive in Windows 7 to clone the source content to and then confirm you want to continue. Note that all data on the target disk will be erased, that's why we suggest you making a backup in advance.

select target disk

Step 3. Review the changes you have made. Or you can customize disk clone by changing the Copy Options before you click "Next" to go on.

  • Fit partitions to entire disk: using this way all disk space of the target drive will be occupied.
  • Copy partitions without resize: this will follow the original partition size, so the disk space of the target disk should be not smaller than the source drive.
  • Align partitions to 1MB: this will improve the performance of you target disk if it is an SSD or advance format hard drive.
  • Use GUID partition table for the target disk: this will convert your target disk to GPT disk and is useful if the target disk is larger than 2TB. However, you should know that this is a paid feature which is not available in MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition (view edition comparison to know the details).

review changes

Step 4. Here is a new page telling you how to boot from the destination disk. This is useful if you are going to boot Windows 7 from the destination disk. Then click "Finish" to go back to the main interface.

boot information

Step 5. Now in the main interface of this disk cloning software, you can preview that your target disk will have a copy of your source disk. But that is not all for Windows 7 clone hard drive, and you need to click "Apply" to confirm all changes.

Please note that if you are cloning the system disk, MiniTool Partition Wizard requires a reboot to safely finish cloning hard drive in Windows 7.

apply

Tip:
You may also have noticed that there is a feature called "Migrate OS to SSD/HD", which is rather similar to "Copy Disk". Wondering their differences? Our help document "Migrate OS to SSD/HD VS. Copy Disk in Partition Wizard" should be helpful to you.

You may also like:
recommend How to clone disk Windows 10?
recommend How to clone hard drive to SSD Windows 7?

Use MiniTool ShadowMaker

MiniTool ShadowMaker - a new yet professional disk imaging software - is another software we can offer to clone a hard drive Windows 7. The reason why we recommend it is that you can not only use it to do disk imaging but also use it to deal with the cloning process easily and quickly. Besides, it is a freeware that is now available at the official site.

Before you do:
1. Connect the target hard drive to your PC and make sure it is recognized by Windows.
2. Make sure all data on the target disk has been backed up because all data on it will be cleaned.
3. Download MiniTool ShadowMaker, and then install and launch it to the main interface.

Now follow the detailed steps below to clone Windows 7 hard drive.

Step 1. After you launch MiniTool ShadowMaker, you need to choose which computer to manage. If you are dealing with the local PC, select "This Computer" to enter its main interface. Then navigate to Tools where you can find a utility called "Clone Disk".

clone disk

Step 2. Select "Clone Disk", then you will be asked to choose the source disk and the target disk. Please enter each column to make your own choice.

source and destination

Step 3. Click "OK" and confirm that you want to clone hard drive. Immediately the process begins and will be finished in a short time.

confirm cloning

clone finished

Tip:

When the disk cloning process is finished, you will see the following information.

information

This means you get two totally same hard drives; hence Windows marked the target disk as Offline. If you are cloning hard drive Windows 7 for a backup, you can power off your computer and then disconnect the target disk. However, if you want to boot from the target disk, you need to set the target disk Online at Disk Management, and then change the boot sequence in BIOS.

You may also like:
recommend How to do Windows 10 image backup using MiniTool ShadowMaker?

Further Reading: More about Hard Drive Cloning

Knowing why clone hard drive in Windows7, and the best way to clone hard drive Windows 7 64 bit/32 bit, here are some knowledge about hard drive cloning. In fact, disk cloning is a kind of hard drive backup, together with copy&paste and disk imaging. Usually, you can use copy&paste to make a backup, but this does not work to an operating system. Disk imaging makes more sense for a backup, because you can save several copies into one drive, and can restore to one of the copies according to your needs.

recommend Check Disk Imaging VS. Disk Cloning VS. Copy & Paste to know more.

But there is one advantage to do hard drive cloning for backup. Should your main drive crash, you can swap in a cloned drive and be back in action almost immediately. Note there are some points you need to pay attention to when you clone hard drive Windows 7.

First of all, the target hard disk should be large enough to hold all data on the source drive. That is to say, if there are 200 GB data on the 500 GB source disk, the target disk should be larger than 200 GB.

Secondly, how do you connect the target disk? Usually, for desktop users, they can safely connect the target hard disk to computer via SATA. However, for those laptop users, since there is no room for a second drive, they can only connect the target disk via USB. However, as long as you use MiniTool Partition Wizard to do the clone, the disk cloning works fine even you connect it via USB port and even you are cloning the system drive.

Thirdly, when you need a clone? If you are a computer newbie who is trying to do a reinstallation, make a hard drive clone before your action to avoid formatting the whole drive. If there are indications that your hard drive is going to fail, make a disk clone. If you are going to replace an old drive, make a hard drive cloning. All in all, once you need to do something that may remove your data, do hard drive clone.

Verdict

In short, clone hard drive Windows 7 can help protect data in hard drive, upgrade HDD to SSD, and avoid trouble in installing Windows 7 on every computer with same configurations. By using MiniTool Partition Wizard and MiniTool ShadowMaker, users can clone Windows 7 hard drive easily and safely.

Now it is your turn. Just download the software we have mentioned in this post and try to solve your backup issue. We believe you will be impressed by their outstanding performance. For any questions or suggestions towards MiniTool software, welcome to leave us comments in the comment zone or contact us via sending an email to support@minitool.com.