Clone SSD/HDD Sector by Sector

In this post, we will introduce what is to clone a hard drive sector by sector and tell you the difference between a normal clone and a sector-by-sector clone. You will also get to know a handy and convenient backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup.

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Updated by Larissa on Jul 20, 2023
Written by Tracy King

Overview of Sector-by-Sector Clone

Most of the backup software would have one feature called "sector-by-sector clone". This feature works when users want to clone their HDD or SSD, it would clone all the sectors on a hard drive, even if the sector is blank or it is a logically bad sector. In case some users are not familiar with the term sector, it is a subdivision of a track on a disk, and each sector stores a fixed amount of user-accessible data.

Generally, a sector-by-sector clone makes no difference to a normal backup. But if your data is of vital importance, and you want to make sure that even if the hard drive has a bad sector, you can still recover data from the bad sector, then you can choose this clone mode.

The sector-by-sector clone also has another apparent advantage. By cloning the disk, you can migrate Windows OS from HDD to SSD without reinstallation, while sector-by-sector clone ensures the target hard disk or partitions keep identical properties (drive status, drive size, drive letter, the number of volumes, etc.) with the source disk or partitions. This feature is significantly helpful when you prefer an exact look of the old disk on a new disk. 

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Sector-by-Sector Clone SSD/HDD Tutorial

No matter you want to make a sector-by-sector clone or a normal backup, there's a great tool we want to recommend - EaseUS Todo Backup. It provides all-in-one computer backup and disk cloning solutions for home and office users. With this tool, you can backup and restore everything instantly, and clone, upgrade and transfer your system easily.

The disk clone feature allows users to transfer all data including system, personal documents, and media files, etc to an upgraded disk, like a brand new HDD, larger HDD, efficient SSD with higher performance. Once the sector-by-sector clone is checked, even if the sector on the source disk is blank or logically bad, it'll be copied to the destination disk without neglect.

Learn how to perform the sector-by-sector clone HDD/SSD with EaseUS todo clone software.

Step 1. Connect the New Second Hard Drive to the PC

Preparations before cloning start:

1. To connect the target disk to your PC, you may need a screwdriver, a Power Splitter Adapter Cable, a SATA cable, or a USB to SATA adapter. 
2. Make sure the target HDD/SSD has an equal or bigger capacity than the used space of the old drive.
3. Check whether the style of the new disk is the same as that of the old disk. If not, Initialize a new HDD/SSD to MBR or GPT.
3. Download a Disk Cloning Tool – EaseUS Todo Backup

EaseUS Todo Backup is the cloning software that integrates multiple functions, including , etc. In the disk clone field, this tool stands out due to the following aspects:

  • Support system/disk clone, backup, restoring , and system transfer.
  • Covers as many as disk cloning demands, such as update hard drive to a larger one, clone OS, etc.
  • Disk cloning has the highest success rate among all similar products on the market.
  • Supports all kinds of disk types, including IDE, EIDE, SATA, ESATA, ATA, SCSI, iSCSI, USB 1.0/2.0/3.0.
  • Supports cloning of basic/dynamic disks and MBR/GPT disks.

Step 2. Step by Step Guide

System Clone: Choose System Clone > choose the destination disk > click Next to start. In Advanced options, you can choose the option of Create a portable Windows USB drive to clone the system to a USB drive.

Disk/Partition Clone: Choose Clone > Select the resource disk or partition > Select the target disk > Click Next to start.

Step 3. Boot from the Clone Hard Drive

Case 1. If you want to keep both the old disk and the new disk

  • Restart PC and press F2 (F8,F10, DEL...) to enter BIOS settings.
  • In the Boot option, select new HDD/SSD as the new boot drive.
  • Exit BIOS and restart the computer.

Case 2. If you want to only keep the new disk

  • Unplug the old disk and make sure the new disk is well connected.
  • Connect the new disk and make sure it can be detected by the computer
  • Restart your computer.

After the operation is done, close EaseUS todo clone software. Go to Windows Disk Management to check if the cloned disk is exactly the same as the source disk.

For Windows 7 computers, navigate to My Computer -> Manage -> Storage -> Disk Management.

For Windows 10 computers, navigate to This PC -> Manage -> Storage -> Disk Management.

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Bonus Tip: How Long Does Sector-by-Sector Clone Take?

Unlike the normal backup, a sector-by-sector clone definitely would take a longer time. According to users' feedback, cloning a 1TB disk sector-by-sector will take 20 to 30 hours. So if you want to make such a time-consuming clone, please be patient.

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Updated by Larissa

Larissa has rich experience in writing technical articles. After joining EaseUS, she frantically learned about data recovery, disk partitioning, data backup, and other related knowledge. Now she is able to master the relevant content proficiently and write effective step-by-step guides on computer issues.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 10 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions to resolve Windows & Mac data recovery, data backup, partition management, data transfer, Windows update issues, etc.

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Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 47 reviews
  • Taking everything into consideration, we can say that EaseUS Todo Backup Home can offer you a little extra sense of security with a set of advanced tools. The interface provides quick adaptation, every process guiding you all the way through so you don't get stuck or further damage your system rather than keeping it safe.

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  • EaseUS Todo Backup Free lets you create backups of your important files or your entire computer through its streamlined interface. Just choose the backup type you'd like to get started, and let the program do the reset.

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  • EaseUS includes all the features I expect from backup software like versioning, incremental backups, and scheduling. For more advanced users, EaseUS allows you to install a pre-boot environment onto your hard drive so you can use it to restore files without burning a CD or putting it on an external USB drive.

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