How to Clone Hard Drive to USB External Drive

Roxanne updated on Jul 02, 2020 to Backup and Recovery | How-to Articles

USB flash drives and USB external hard drives are widespread and convenient because they are small and portable. People tend to save files, data, and the operating system to these external devices. Cloning hard drives is a process of copying the content of a hard drive entirely to another location. To save time and energy, people often clone a hard drive to a USB external drive. 

  1. Part 1. How to Clone Hard Drive to a USB Hard Drive (Including OS)
  2. Part 2. How to Clone Hard Drive to USB Flash Drive (Only Data)

Can I Clone My Hard Drive to a USB Flash Drive

"Is there any safe and efficient way to clone an HDD to a USB drive? I'm using a Lenovo Essentials laptop that has a small internal hard drive to store data. So I want to make an exact copy of the hard drive onto an external USB flash drive. Do I need some special disk clone software? I should perform a bit-for-bit clone my files or settings to an external USB drive. So I can successfully transfer or backup the data to the USB drive. If you have a similar experience, please help!"

clone hard drive to external usb drive or flash drive

Part 1. How to Clone Hard Drive to a USB Hard Drive

To clone the operating system and the data to a USB drive, here is the complete guide.

The Tool You Need - EaseUS Disk Copy

Applies to Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP

If your USB drive is an external hard drive, you can clone both the OS and data to the external drive easily. All you need is EaseUS Disk Copy. It is a safe and professional disk clone utility to make a full copy of the hard drive. You can use this Windows clone tool to:

Now, download the freeware and take a look at the following step-by-step guide to clone hard drive OS or data to external devices.

Steps to Clone Hard Drive to USB External Drive

Click the button below and activate EaseUS disk clone software in advance.

 

EaseUS Disk Copy

Start cloning HDD to USB now

 

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If you clone your HDD to a USB for data backup/transfer or other similar reasons, follow the steps below.

Step 1. Download, install and run EaseUS Disk Copy on your PC.

Click "Disk Mode" and select the hard drive that you want to copy or clone. Click "Next" to continue.

select the hard drive that you want to clone

Step 2. Select the destination disk.

Note: The destination disk should be at least the same big or even larger than the source disk if you want to copy or clone the source hard disk.

select the destination disk

Step 3. Click "OK" to confirm if the program asks to erase data on the destination disk.

confirm the message

Step 4. Check and edit the disk layout.

If your destination disk is an SSD drive, do remember to Check the option if the target is SSD.

check the diak layout

Step 5. Click "Proceed" to start the hard drive cloning process.

click proceed to start the cloning process

Part 2. How to Clone Hard Drive to USB Flash Drive

To back up or transfer your hard drive data, here is the complete guide.

The Tool You Need - EaseUS Disk Copy

EaseUS Disk Copy is a professional backup tool. It serves to fulfill your needs of data transfer/backup. The partition clone feature enables you to make a copy of the files from one hard drive to a USB flash drive and keep it ready for use. For example, with this tool, you can easily:

Now you may know that cloning an HDD to a USB is just one of the many things EaseUS Disk Copy. Download and install the dominant software on your computer, then follow to clone your hard drive to a USB flash drive with ease.

Steps to Clone Hard Drive to USB Flash Drive

Make sure your USB is empty, or the cloned data may overwrite the data on it. The storage space must be larger than the used space on your hard drive or the files on the source device may not be copied fully.

Activate the software and transfer data to your USB flash drive now:

 

EaseUS Disk Copy

Start cloning HDD to USB now

 

Get It NOW

$19.90

 

In this section, you need to use the "Partition Mode" to perform a partition clone instead of a disk clone.

Step 1. Run EaseUS Disk Copy on your PC. Click "Partition Mode" and select the source partitions that you want to copy or clone. Click "Next" to continue.

Step 2. Select the target partition where you want to clone/copy the source partition to.

Step 3. Check and edit the partition layout

  1. Autofit the disk
  2. Copy as the source 
  3. Edit disk layout.

Step 4. Click "Proceed" to start the partition cloning or partition copying process now.

Given that data loss happens quite often, you should equip your computer with such a tool to avoid completely losing files. Don't be the one who realizes the severity of data loss after the disaster occurs. Be the one who prevents failure from happening. 

Why Do You Need to Clone HDD to USB

People might need to clone a hard drive to an external USB flash drive for specific reasons. Here are the commonest ones:

Data Backup/Transfer

Most users choose to clone HDD to a USB drive for data backup or transfer. It is the best way to protect user data from virus attack, hard drive crash, disk corruption, or any other accidents or free up some disk space, especially when you have a small internal hard drive disk. (If you accidentally lost data on your hard drive, learn how to perform data recovery with the best hard drive recovery software.)

System Clone

It's not rare for users to make Windows portable or do a system clone. By cloning Windows to a USB, you can use your operating system wherever you need it. However, if your target device is USB flash drive, not USB hard drive, you may encounter booting issues after the cloning process. If you do it for system clone or creating a portable device, learn how to create portable Windows 10 on USB.

Conclusion

That's the way to clone hard drive to USB flash drive in Windows 10/8/7. And it can be applied to clone disk to SSD/HDD and other internal or external devices. Whenever you want to clone an HDD/SSD, ask EaseUS Disk Copy for help. If you are faced with these questions and problems, you can solve them with this article.

  • How do I copy my entire hard drive to an external drive?
  • How do I clone a bootable USB drive?
  • How do I clone my hard drive to SSD with USB?
  • How do I transfer data from hard drive to USB?

Clone HDD to USB Frequently Asked Questions

If you have HDD or SSD cloning problems, read these related questions to get additional help.

1. What is Hard Drive Cloning?

Hard drive cloning is the process of creating a 1-to-1 copy of a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD), not just its files. HDD cloning may be used for upgrading a disk or replacing an aging disk with a fresh one. In this case, the clone can replace the original drive on its host computer.

2. How long does Hard Drive Cloning take?

It depends on the amount of data and the transfer speed. If your cloning speed is 100MB/s, it takes about 17 minutes to clone a 100GB hard drive.

3. How do I transfer data from hard drive to USB?

Step 1. Run EaseUS Disk Copy on your PC. Click "Partition Mode" and select the source partitions that you want to copy or clone. 

Step 2. Select the target partition to clone/copy the source partition.

Step 3. Check and edit the partition layout

Step 4. Click "Proceed" to start the partition cloning or partition copying process now.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose EaseUS Todo Backup?

"The easiest way to protect your data and system files."techradar

"EaseUS Todo Backup Free is one of the most popular free data backup applications available. This software offers a myriad of features and is extremely user-friendly. It provides a full system backup, meaning you can back up your entire operating system."TopTenReviews

"EaseUS ToDo Backup Home is a great backup program, well suited to the home and SMB space."PCWorld

What is the difference between Clone and Backup? In what cases should I use Clone?

Clone will copy one disk to another or one partition to another (unallocated space is also supported). Usually, this option is used to upgrade the current disk by creating an identical copy. Backup will generate a .PBD image file containing the selected files or system that can be restored from the .PBD image if needed.

What is the difference between System Backup and Disk Backup?

System Backup will auto-select the system boot related partition(s) as the backup source to make sure the system image can be restored properly. Disk/Partition Backup will allow you to manually select a whole disk or speficy a certain partition as the backup source. You will get the same backup result as System Backup if you manually select the system and boot partitions with the Disk/Partition Backup option.

As a computer newbie, what features should I use to protect my computer?

You can use System Backup to back up the system and boot partitions, use Disk/Partition backup to back up the data partition and add plans to run an automatic backup. If you use the computer frequently or have software that may cause boot failure of the computer, we would suggest you back up the computer every 1 to 2 days. For other situations, you can backup the computer once a week. In addition, you can schedule File Backup to back up the files which are changed frequently.

What kind of storage service should I use to save my backup images?

EaseUS Todo Backup can save backup images to internal disks, external disks, network drives, or free cloud(Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive) and CD/DVD. It is suggested to save the images to the internal/external/network drives to save time as those kinds of disks have a better read-write speed. It is suggested NOT to save the image on the source disk, because once the disk is damaged, all the files on the disk will become unavailable and you will be unable to restore the image.

As a company network administrator, what features should I use to protect our internal computers?

It is recommended that you use the SQL Backup feature to back up your company's SQL server and Exchange Backup feature to back up the Exchange server. In addition, you can execute System Backup to back up the system and boot partitions on every computer and set a plan to execute the backup once a day or twice a week to ensure that the computer can be restored timely when it has boot issues. File Backup feature can be used to back up important user data. If there are a large quantity of computers, you can purchase EaseUS Backup Center to manage the backups on the client computers centrally.

About EaseUS Todo Backup

Be it a file, system, partition, or disk, EaseUS Todo Backup will help you back up or clone the item and provide you with multiple backup plans.