How to Clone Hard Drive to USB External Drive

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Roxanne updated on Apr 21, 2021 to Disk/Partition Clone | 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. The Recommended Way - Clone Hard Drive to USB External Drive
  2. Part 1. How to Clone Hard Drive to a USB Hard Drive (Including OS)
  3. 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

The Recommended Way - Clone Hard Drive to USB External Drive

Windows don't have such a cloning utility to clone HDD to USB, so we recommend you to use an easy and straightforward software - EaseUS Disk Copy. It can move your data, operating system, and application to another hard drive without data loss.

EaseUS Disk Copy

  • Make a copy of the files from one hard drive to a USB flash drive/USB hard drive.
  • Clone a hard drive with bad sectors.
  • Upgrade your computer hard drive.
  • Back up your important files regularly.
  Free Download

Support Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP

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.

1- Check Your Targeted USB Hard Drive.

  • One thing you need to mention that the cloning operation will overwrite the targeted USB hard drive. If you have important files on it, please note you need to back up all data. Try this free backup software.
  • Make sure your USB hard drive has enough space to store data.

2 - Prepare the Tools You Need.

If your USB drive is an external hard drive, you can clone both the OS and data to the external drive easily. Now, download the clone software, EaseUS Disk Copy, and take a look at the following step-by-step guide to clone hard drive OS or data to external devices. It is compatible with Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.

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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3 - Steps to Clone Hard Drive to USB External Drive

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.

1 - Prepare 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. For example, with this tool, you can easily:

  • Create a bootable clone of Windows 10/8/7
  • Recover data from HDD with bad sectors
  • Clone UEFI disk to SSD
  • Transfer Windows 10 to a USB flash drive and more

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.

2 - 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.

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

  • Autofit the disk
  • Copy as the source 
  • 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?
  Free Download

Support Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP

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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Video Tutorial

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How to Clone HDD to SSD on Windows 10/8/7