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PC Cloning Software - MiniTool Partition Wizard to Clone Disk or Migrate OS

Contents:

"Hello,
my system partition/drive is starting to go out. I have purchased a newer HDD to use and need advice on the best hard drive 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.com

This is a true example from one forum online, and this user is searching the best PC cloning software to clone system partition to the new HDD. Before introducing the detailed information about hard drive cloning to you, let's learn some knowledge about clone and copy & paste.

Clone VS Copy & Paste

When referring to PC cloning, many of you probably choose to copy and paste. As a matter of fact, copying & pasting is not cloning. Do you know what is the difference between them?

  • Clone: Disk cloning means the process of copying all the contents of one hard disk to another disk. Unlike simple copying & pasting, hard drive cloning contains some hidden and in-use files. What's more, cloning not only ensures files are all the same but also guarantees the physical locations of files are the same as the source disk.
  • Copy & Paste: As the mentioned content above, simple copying can help to transfer a file from a location to another place, but some additional data including master boot record and the file allocation table can't be copied.

In conclusion, by comparing these two modes, we highly recommend you to do disk cloning which enables you to boot operating system from the destination disk if you want to replace a hard drive containing Windows OS. So, you must ask: are there any other situations you need to clone hard drive in Windows 10/8/7? Is there the best PC cloning software to do disk cloning? Read the following content to find the answers.

When Need to Clone Hard Drive

You probably need to clone hard drive in the following situations:

  • Replace a hard drive: As we have said, it is necessary to do hard drive cloning to replace your hard drive. Usually, if your disk is too small and has encountered low disk space warning due to its insufficient disk space, to use a large hard drive for data storage is a good choice by disk cloning method.
  • Use SSD for better performance: As is well known, SSD is widely used due to its advantages, especially its high read-write speed. Therefore, you want to use SSD as system disk to improve your computer performance.
  • Make a backup: Usually, disk issues, for instance, Windows detected a hard disk problem, system corruption or damage and virus attack always happen. In order to avoid data loss, we highly recommend you to use professional PC cloning software to clone the entire disk to another disk for data backup.

In addition, you may choose to make a disk copy by cloning method in order to avoid OS reinstallation when there is more than one computer with the same configuration or to overcome shortages of hard drive to avoid data loss since nobody knows when damages occur. No matter which situation you meet, to do hard drive cloning should be a good solution.

The Best PC Cloning Software

As a matter of fact, to clone a hard disk in Windows 10/8/7 is not an easy job. Someone may want to ask Windows built-in Disk Management for help. Nevertheless, when opening it and right clicking your disk, you will find this free tool doesn't have such a feature for this work. Thus, a third-party program should be used. Generally, when purchasing a hard drive from a manufacturer, there is a disk cloning program, for example, Samsung. But if your computer is not this brand, you can search one tool online. Among so many disk managers, MiniTool Partition Wizard will be a good assistant.

As a professional partition management tool, it provides many powerful features, for instance, extend/resize partition and more basic disk & partition management, some advanced features including copy disk/partition, migrate OS to SSD/HD, recover lost partitions and more. Among those features, "Copy Disk", "Copy Partition" and "Migrate OS to SSD/HD" functions can be used to perform hard drive cloning for disk replacing, system upgrade or data backup.

Before you do, please free download hard drive cloning software - MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Editon which is suitable for Windows 10/8/7. If you need to copy OS disk or migrate OS disk from MBR to GPT, we advise you to use its Professional Edition. To know more edition comparison, click here.

Now after downloading or purchasing this best PC cloning software, please install it on your computer. Now let's begin to do disk copy (copy means clone in Partition Wizard), partition cloning or OS migration. Take its Professional Edition as an example.

clone Clone the Entire Disk

In order to make a backup, upgrade hard drive or replace an old or wrong disk, we advise you to clone the entire hard drive to another disk which can be an SSD for better disk performance or HD. As dedicated disk cloning software Windows 10/7/8, MiniTool Partition Wizard "Copy Disk" is suitable. How can you clone hard drive to SSD/HDD?

Attentions:

1. Please prepare a hard disk as the target disk which must have enough disk space to hold all data of the source disk.
2. During the process of disk copy, all data on the target disk will be destroyed, thus, please make sure that no important data are saved on this hard drive.

Step 1: After launching MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition, then entering the main interface, select the source disk which you want to clone, and click "Copy Disk" feature in the left pane. Then sector-by-sector copy will be done with this best PC cloning software.

pc cloning software

Step 2: Then please select a target disk and click "Next" button to continue.

select target disk

Step 3: Next in the following interface, you will see two copy options listed.

  • Fit partitions to entire disk: this method allows you to copy partitions to occupy the entire disk space of the target disk based on the proportion of original partition size.
  • Copy partitions without resize: the original partition size won't be changed. This option only works when target hard disk size is equal or larger than the source disk size.
Tips:

1. "Align partitions to 1MB" is checked by default, which is suitable for an SSD or advanced format disk for better improvement.
2. If you want to use a GPT disk as the target hard drive, we recommend you to check "Use GUID Partition Table" option. Then after clicking "Next", a notice will pop out saying "To boot from GPT disk, please remember to change BIOS mode to UEFI".

review change

Step 4: Next this disk cloning software will remind you to change BIOS setting if you want to boot from this new disk in Windows 10/8/7. Click "Finish" to go back to MiniTool Partition Wizard main interface.

boot

Step 5: From this figure as follows, you can preview the target disk layout. Click "Apply" button to make this disk copy operation effective.

apply

Note:

After hitting "Apply", MiniTool Partition Wizard will prompt you to restart your computer to start disk cloning. Based on the data amount, the time of hard drive cloning is different. Therefore, please wait patiently until this hard drive cloning software completes all operations.

migrate Migrate OS to SSD/HD

In addition to cloning the entire disk, some of you only want to migrate operating system to SSD to improve your computer performance, upgrade to a bigger disk or make a system backup. Fortunately, MiniTool Partition Wizard also provides a feature which is called "Migrate OS to SSD/HD" for this job. As the best cloning software for SSD, this tool is useful and effective to do OS migration in Windows 10/8/7. Now follow the guidance below:

recommend Hot article: Migrate OS to SSD/HD VS. Copy Disk in Partition Wizard

Step 1: Run MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Edition to the main interface. Then click "Migrate OS to SSD/HD" from the toolbar.

migrate os

Step 2: Then you will enter one window where you need to choose a right method to migrate your system. There are two methods:

  • If you would like to replace your system disk with another hard disk, please select A. MiniTool Partition Wizard will copy all partitions of system disk to another disk. Actually, this method is the same as disk cloning.
  • If you want to keep the original hard disk in your computer and only move the system to another disk, B is suitable. This best cloning software for SSD will only copy the system required partitions.

Here we take B as an example. Then click "Next".

migrate mode

Step 3: Then please choose an SSD as the target disk. Please ensure no important data are saved on the target disk, otherwise, these data will be deleted during migration.

select disk

Step 4: On this page, please choose a proper copy option. Please set to align partitions of your SSD for better performance. If you want to change your SSD to GPT disk, please select "Use GUID Partition Table for the target disk".

copy method

Step 5: Then Partition Wizard also tells you to modify BIOS setting before booting your PC from this new disk in Windows 10/8/7.

Step 6: Finally, hit "Apply" to start OS migration. Then your computer will be required to reboot to finish migration operation.

apply

If you think this tool is useful to migrate OS or clone disk, please share it with your friends.

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tip After finishing cloning disk or migrating OS, it is possible that you want to boot your computer from the new disk. How to ensure OS can start up successfully?

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copy Copy Partition

In addition, you may choose to copy a certain partition to the unallocated space for data backup with MiniTool Partition Wizard "Copy Partition" feature. Click this help document to learn how to copy a partition.

Some Tips about PC Cloning Software

In the above part, we introduce you three cloning methods of the best disk cloning software-MiniTool Partition Wizard. Here we will show you some related knowledge about them.

Copy Partition: it can be used to make a partition backup.
Clone Disk: This feature is suitable for disk replacement or disk backup. All disk data of the source disk will be transferred to the target disk.
Migrate OS: This feature can be used for system backup to replace a hard drive or restore system to its original status in event of system issues. During the process of migration, all system related partitions will be moved.

Then you probably ask: I want to make a system backup, is "Copy Partition" suitable? The answer is negative. If you only copy system partition, some related system boot files are not copied and then your system won't boot. For more information, check this document: Why Windows Won't Boot from the Cloned System Partition.

But other two methods adopt sector-by-sector mode and the data of the target disk are the same as the source disk, so they can guarantee your PC boots normally.

Do you want to know more FAQs about PC cloning? Check this post How Do I Clone Hard Drive Windows 10 with 5-star Partition Manager now.

Bottom Line

In this post, we introduce you why to choose disk cloning, which tool is the best PC cloning software, how to clone disk with this program and some tips about three cloning methods in Windows 10/8/7. Hope these information is really useful to help you to cope with hard drive cloning issues. With the help of MiniTool Partition Wizard, you can easily and effectively transfer all disk data or move OS to another hard drive including SSD and HD. If you are interested in this tool, please download this free hard drive cloning software now for a try or purchase its Professional Edition for more paid features.

Moreover, should you have any questions when using MiniTool Partition Wizard, please contact support@minitool.com or leave a comment in the following comment zone. Any suggestions are appreciated here.