Is there any free cloning software?
You may want to replace your hard drive due to different reasons, such as, low disk space, poor performance, disk failure, virus, etc, and by searching you find that cloning a hard drive to another is the easiest way. Then, is there any free cloning software to complete the cloning process?
The answer is YES, you can searching free disk clone software online, but you will receive countless results. In this case, you may have many questions, such as, which one should I use? Is it bootable after cloning? You just need a reliable disk cloning software that can successfully clone a hard drive to another and be sure the cloned drive is bootable.
Best free bootable clone software
To clone a hard drive with secure boot, you need a reliable bootable clone software. AOMEI Backupper Standard is such a great option. Below are its excellent feature:
- It has 3 cloning methods, namely, “Disk Clone”, “System Clone”, and “Partition Clone”, and the previous two options has the ability to clone the operating system and make it bootable.
- It supports “Intelligent Clone” and “Sector by Sector Clone”. By default, it will clone only used sectors from one hard drive to another, which greatly improve the success rate of cloning larger drive to smaller drive. Also, you can choose to clone all sectors of a hard drive if your target disk can hold everything on it.
- It is capable of boosting performance of SSD disk with “SSD Alignment”.
- It is applicable to all the Windows system, including Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista.
Then, let’s get started to learn how to clone hard drive with the best free bootable clone software – AOMEI Backupper Standard.
How to clone a hard drive and make it bootable?
Now you can follow the steps below to cone a hard drive. Before start officially, you need to connect the new hard drive or SSD and make sure it’s initialized. Then, download and install free disk clone software – AOMEI Backupper Standard.
Note: The cloning process will delete data on the target disk completely. If there are any data, you need to backup it in advanced. If you don’t have any external storage device, you can choose to backup files to cloud with cloud backup service.
Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Clone and then select Disk Clone.
Step 2. Select the bootable disk you want to clone. Then, click Next.
Step 3. Select new hard drive or SSD to receive the data. Then, click Next.
Step 4. Check SSD Alignment if you are cloning a bootable disk to SSD. Then, confirm both disk info and click Start Clone to start the cloning process.
• Edit Partitions(available in the advanced version): This feature is highly recommended when you clone disk to larger disk. Because disk cloning software will make an exact copy of original disk and leave extra space as unallocated at the end of a disk. You cannot directly use it unless you create a partition with the unallocated space or extend to unallocated space.
• Sector by Sector Clone: This software greatly resolve the cloned drive won’t boot issue due to missing system reserved partition or EFI system partition. If your target disk is large enough to hold everything on the bootable disk, you can choose to clone all sectors of a disk with this feature.
Step 5. Wait until the process completes, click Finish to exit this software.
In theory, after cloning, you will get a bootable drive, but many users report that the cloned drive won’t boot issue. To avoid this problem, you need to let Windows boot from it and check if it’s bootable. The steps are below:
- Shut down your PC completely
- Swap bootable disk and the new hard drive or SSD using a screwdriver.
- Restart your computer and press specific key on the initial screen when you see the Windows logo. Usually, it’s F1, F2, F12, ESC etc, but you still need to confirm.
- Go to the Boot option and set the new hard drive or SSD as the first boot option.
- Save changes you made and let Windows boot from the new hard drive or SSD.
If it’s bootable, the disk cloning task is success. If not, you need to find the root of problem and the common cause may be wrong boot mode, missing System Reserved Partition or EFI system partition, etc.
AOMEI Backupper Standard is a great option if you want to find a free bootable clone software, it supports cloning only used sectors of a hard drive to another, even to a smaller one, and clone all sectors of a drive including System Reserved Partition or EFI system partition. And you can further improve the performance of SSD disk by its 4k alignment. For more useful feature, you can download it to explore yourself.