Do you want to know how to clone a hard drive in windows 11? You are in the right place to know the answer of this question.
Cloning a hard drive in Windows 11 can be useful for various reasons. For example, you may want to create a backup of everything on your computer.
You may also want to swap out your current mechanical drive for an SSD. Or you may even be thinking of using that second drive as a restore point.
But no matter what your goal is, in this article we’ll tell you how you can do this safely with two great free tools. Learn how to clone a hard drive in Windows 11 with us.
Cloning a Hard Drive in Windows 11: What Kind of Drives can you Clone?
Before getting into the matter, let us make some preliminary clarifications. First of all, this process is compatible with all types of drives.
That is, you can follow the steps mentioned here to clone HDD to HDD, HDD to SSD or vice versa, or SSD to SSD.
In this sense, you will not have any problem due to the characteristics of the discs that are used in the process.
However, there are some considerations and recommendations that we must give you:
- Make sure the destination drive is equal to or greater in size.
- Clean the drive before cloning it. Use the program to free up space for Windows, empty the recycle bin and manually delete all the large files that you no longer need. Thus the cloning process will be much faster and more effective.
- If you are going to clone a HDD, use the Windows defragmentation tool to compact the files as much as possible.
- It does not hurt that you make a backup copy of the most important files. It is true that one of the objectives that users pursue when cloning a hard drive is precisely to keep their documents safe. However, if something goes wrong during the process you could lose all your information. That’s why, at a minimum, save your most valuable files to a third drive or to the cloud.
How to Clone a Hard Drive in Windows 11 with EaseUS Todo Backup
We begin by explaining the process with EaseUS Todo Backup, a tool that you can download for free from its official website. When you have your executable, open it and click Install Now.
In the activation window, click the top right cross to exit. Although this application comes with various interesting options, the one you should find in this case is Clone Disk/Partition
Select the source disk, that is, the drive you want to clone completely. You should know that when you select the unit with the upper box, it will be cloned respecting the partitions created. In the same way, it is possible to mark a specific partition to proceed with its cloning.
After clicking next, select the destination hard drive. If you are cloning a mechanical drive to a solid state drive, click Advanced Options.
When the pop-up window opens, check the Optimize for SSD box.
In the last step, a summary of the changes that EaseUS Todo Backup will make to the different storage units will be displayed on the screen. Click Proceed for the changes to take effect.
Depending on the amount of data to be backed up and the performance of your computer, the process may take a few minutes.
You have to wait patiently until the done button appears. Click on it to exit. If you go to the file explorer, you will see that the content of both drives is exactly the same.
The partitions have even been replicated. On the other hand, if you intend to use the new drive as a boot drive, go to the BIOS to change the order of the boot devices.
How to Clone a Hard Drive in Windows 11 with Clonezilla
Another alternative method that you have at your disposal is the one proposed by Clonezilla. Unlike the previous one, this software runs outside of Windows, from a USB, in a similar way to Linux distributions that work without installation.
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- The first step is to access its official page and download Clonezilla in ISO format.
- Then use a tool like Rufus to create a bootable USB. Go to its official page and get the portable version to avoid installations.
- In Device choose the USB drive that you are going to use and in Boot choice click on Select to indicate the path of the Clonezilla ISO that you have downloaded. Click Start to start creating the bootable USB.
When Rufus is done, restart your computer and make sure it’s booting from the USB you just generated. In Clonezilla’s startup launcher, select the first option.
First, you will need to choose the language and keyboard layout. Afterward, select the Start Clonezilla option.
In the list of options, scroll to check Disk/Partition to Disk/Partition, Hit Enter to continue
Clonezilla has two modes of operation: one for beginner users and one for expert users. As far as we are concerned, we are going to explain the steps using the second modality.
In this way, we will be able to show you all the options that Clonezilla offers. All in all, the steps to follow in both Beginner and Expert Mode are very similar.
Since the intention is to clone the entire disk, select the local disk to local cloned disk entry. The second option is recommended if the premise is to clone a single partition.
In the next step, select the source drive. Immediately afterwards, mark the destination drive.
At this point the options of the Expert Mode appear. If you selected the beginner mode, cloning may have already started for you.
Clonezilla will ask if you want to check and repair the drive before cloning. In most cases, choosing this option is advisable.
The lists of parameters that are available in the expert mode are the following:
- The most common is that you do not need to change anything in this list of options.
- Then select Use the partition table of the source disk if you want Windows 11 to boot from the destination disk. In the event that all you want to do is create a backup, this option is not necessary.
- What should happen after Clonezilla ends? That is what needs to be determined in the last options window.
- Finally, Clonezilla will begin its work of cloning units.
Once the process is finished, you will have two identical drives on your computer that will house exactly the same content inside.
And you have you needed to clone a hard drive in Windows 11? Which method did you find most convincing? Leave your opinion in the comments.
Faizan Ali is a Master in Computer Sciences and has been writing content for computing, gaming and mobile technologies since 2016. He has written content for number of online magazines, websites and blogs and now writes for “the buyers trend”. Feel free to contact him for any sort of writing for your technology related blog, website or magazine.