How to Migrate System/Data/Programs from One Hard Drive to Another
- Migrate Data with Hard Drive Clone Software
- Transfer Data with Hard Drive Imaging Software
- Bonus Tip: How to Make a Disk/Partition Backup
When Hard Drive Migration Software Is Needed
Most of the time, computer users consider migrating hard drive for the reasons that:
- The old hard drive is too small to store the increasing data, and you need to transfer them to a bigger one.
- You purchased a new hard drive that is bigger and faster than the current one, and you want to move programs and data to the new one.
- When recognizing computer, you have to do data migration to use precious space rationally.
If the data you want to migrate is not too big, there is no need to turn to professional software. Just select the target files, copy and paste them to transfer your data to another hard drive.
But if the data takes up too much space and contains system files or applications, things become not so simple. You might need to individually install each application again. How to avoid this big trouble? Professional hard drive migration software is necessary!
There are two methods to help you realize data and system migration, you never need to reinstall the operating system or any applications.
Part 1. Migrate Data with Hard Drive Clone Software
Disk cloning means migrating your system to a new hard drive. The cloning process includes transferring all data in the hard drive as well as the information that enables users to boot the operating system. The original operating system will run normally in the new hard drive, and all the personal settings and applications will be kept safely.
For inexperienced users, it is better to pick up disk cloning software to migrate data. Because it would save a lot of time and energy, and it would be much safer. Among all of the data migration software on the market, we recommend you choose EaseUS Todo Backup.
- Its cloning feature makes it easy for you to migrate the system to a new disk and upgrade your current system.
- It can copy your system drive to an SSD/HDD, or clone your HDD to an SSD without reinstalling Windows.
- It can also help you to back up and restore the computer data with simple clicks.
Now download EaseUS Todo Backup and follow the detailed guide below to see how to clone hard drive on Windows.
01. Connect A Second Hard Drive
Tools you need: a screwdriver, a Power Splitter Adapter cable, a SATA cable or an USB to SATA adapter. Make sure the target HDD/SSD is larger than the used space of the current drive.
- Connect the target disk to your computer.
- For desktop, open the mainframe with screwdriver and connect the disk to the mainboard with a SATA cable, then connect the disk's Power Splitter Adapter Cable into the power supply box.
- For laptop, you can use an USB to SATA adapter to connect the disk.
- Initialize a new HDD/SSD to MBR or GPT before you can use it (To keep the target new disk the same style as that of the current disk).
02. Download a Disk Cloning Utility
EaseUS Todo Backup is the cloning software that integrates multiple functions, including system/disk clone, backup, restoring , and system transfer, etc. In the disk clone field, this tool stands out due to the following aspects:
- 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.
03. Get Ready with the Clone Procedures
System Clone: Choose System Clone > choose the destination disk > click Proceed 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 Proceed to start.
04. Boot from the Clone Hard Drive
Option 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.
Option 2. If you want to only keep the new disk
- Unplug the old disk and make sure the new disk is well connected.
- Restart your computer.
- Option 2 is a better hard drive retention plan for laptops
Part 2. Hard Drive Data Imaging Software
Another method is to rely on the hard drive imaging software. It creates an exact image of your hard drive, which can be restored to the new hard drive. This kind of software will also ensure the normal use of the operating system and applications. It is not only a data and system migrating tool but also an efficient backup solution.
EaseUS Todo PCTrans Free is a free PC migration software to migrate data (including music, pictures, documents, videos, etc) and applications from one PC to another, from Windows XP to Windows Vista/7/8/8.1, from 32-bit OS to 64-bit OS.
Tutorial guide: How to transfer data from one hard drive to another
Bonus Tip: How to Make a Disk/Partition Backup
After migrating data to your new hard drive, another issue you should pay attention to is data safety. Many people would make a scheduled backup for their mobile phones, but they hardly do it on their computers. For most of the users, data stored on the computer is safe enough, so it's unnecessary to back up content on the computer.
Actually, the data on the computer is also in danger of losing. There can be virus attacks, computer breakdowns, and file deletion, which all could lead to data loss. In this case, we recommend you back up your disk or partition to protect your data. EaseUS Todo Backup can also help you with it, here are the detailed steps:
Step 1. To back up an entire hard disk or simply its several partitions, the best backup plan is "Disk/Partition". Choose this backup mode and let's begin.
Step 2. On the popup window, choose the hard drive or partition(s) you're going to back up. A check symbol appears after you clicked the mouse.
Step 3. Click the "Browse..." button in the "Destination" area to choose a backup location. Here, you can choose any location that is available to you, such as the local hard disk, folders, Network drive, NAS device or Cloud storage, including GoogleDrive, DropBox and OneDrive. You can explore all the connected drive by clicking the icon in front of each directory.
Step 4. Now edit your disk backup image by adding a "Plan name" and "Description" to it.
Do not forget the advanced backup plans in " Backup options", where you can compress the backup image, encrypt the backup for privacy protection and even enable a sector by sector backup.
At the same time, you can turn on the "Schedule" in order to create a hard disk/partition backup on a regular basis like daily, weekly, monthly or upon an event according to the schedule set on your own.
And the "Image-reserve strategy" lets you manage the increasingly growing backup images economically, you can preserve the backups in a setup time or quantity.
Step 5. Not all the customizable hard disk/partition backup solutions are necessary but try to make full use of the necessary ones. Finally, click "Proceed" to start at once.
For safety, disconnect the physical storage device you used as a backup drive after the backup process is over.
People Also Ask
1. Is it better to clone or image a hard drive?
Both cloning and imaging create an exact record of your hard drive. That includes all the files on the drives along with the master boot record.
- Disk imaging creates a large compressed file of your drive. You can then restore this file to bring your drive back to life.
- Disk cloning creates an exact, uncompressed replica of your drive. If a hard drive fails, you can remove it and replace it with the cloned drive.
In conclusion, cloning can get you up and running quickly, but it is not as flexible as imaging.
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Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!
Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.
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