Full Guide | How to Clone Hard Drive with Bootable USB

Are you thinking about how to clone hard drive with bootable USB? This post aims to give you the full guide to cloning a hard drive with a bootable USB. We introduce the things you should do before cloning and recommend a free-download but extraordinary clone tool EaseUS Disk Copy to overcome all cloning issues.

  Free Download

For Windows 11/10/8/7

Updated by Jerry on Sep 27, 2023
Written by Rel
 | Home > Disk/Partition Clone

—“My system hard drive has malfunctioned, and currently, my computer is unable to start properly. I prepared a bootable USB before, can I clone hard drive with bootable USB, and restore my PC to normal? Can Rufus help me? What is the best bootable USB clone tool?”

Yes, you can clone your hard drive with a Bootable USB. 

clone hard drive with bootable usb

In this post, we will offer all answers you asked for and give you a full and detailed guide on how to clone a hard drive with a bootable USB via the professional but free-download disk cloning software - EaseUS Disk Copy.

When Should We Clone Hard Drive with Bootable USB

Disk cloning creates an identical one-to-one copy of the source disk in the target storage device, which is why computer users often use it to upgrade hard drives, backup files, and transfer data.

However, since disk cloning can also create bootable clones of Windows disks, many people choose to use disk cloning to restore their computer to normal when it fails and cannot boot.

Once you encounter the following situation, cloning a hard drive with a bootable USB will be a good idea.

⚒️The system file was corrupted, and the computer was unable to start

  • In this case, cloning a hard drive with a bootable USB will take your PC back to normal.

📢Cloning cannot be performed.

  • In some special cases, the disk cloning process may not run properly because of the obstruction of some programs in the PC. At this point, cloning hard drives with a bootable USB will ensure the cloning process keeps going with security.

If you are in such a hard situation, do not harry. Here are some things you should do before cloning your hard drive with a bootable USB.

Things You Have to Prepare Before Cloning

If you aim to clone a hard drive with a bootable USB, there are 3 things you must do.

Create a Bootable USB

If you have not prepared a bootable USB beforehand, then you can refer to this article to create a Windows bootable USB for free.

Note that if your USB was originally used to store some data or files, it is best to back up files in order to prevent them from being lost during the bootable USB creation process.

Change the Boot Order

When you prepare the bootable USB, before cloning hard drive without removing it, you should boot your PC with the USB first.

Here are some steps you should follow.

Step 1. Plug the bootable USB into the PC that cannot boot. 

Step 2. Restart PC. Keep hitting the BIOS button until you can see the BIOS screen.

Step 3. Navigate to BIOS setup> change boot order, and set the bootable USB as the PC boot disk.

change boot order

Step 4. Now you can exit BIOS after saving the changes.

Choose and Download Disk Clone Software

Since Windows does not provide users with built-in cloning functionality or tools, you have to choose and download a reliable and practical disk clone software after being able to boot your computer using a USB.

Currently, many professional cloning tools are available for download in the market, but the quality varies. I suggest you judge the quality of a cloning tool from the following aspects:

✔️Easy of Use

Good software should be extremely beginner-friendly and provide a simple user interface and easy-to-follow operation process.


An extraordinary cloning software needs to be powerful and excel in the field of disk cloning. Moreover, it should be able to support more advanced features for professionals.


The shorter the time required for the cloning process, the better the performance of the software.

  • Based on the above aspects, our recommended disk cloning helper is EaseUS Disk Copy.

Free Download Bootable USB Clone Tool

EaseUS Disk Copy is a cloning tool that meets the needs of both novices and professionals. It has an extremely clean user interface and can perform cloning tasks for you with one click.

  Free Download

For Windows 11/10/8/7

In addition to the regular cloning features, it also supports cloning a hard drive with bad sectors, migrating Windows systems to HDD/SSD, adjusting disk partitions, and other advanced functions.

In order to verify the cloning efficiency of EaseUS Disk Copy, we have conducted some experiments using EaseUS Disk Copy and Clonezilla, and recorded the corresponding data.

✅What we tested ✅EaseUS Disk Copy and Clonezilla
✅What devices did we use ✅1 Acer Nitro laptop 1 and Lenovo Desktop PC
✅Hard drive types and numbers we tested ✅2 SATA HDDs, 1 SATA SSD, 1 NVMe SSDs, 2 M.2 SSDs
✅How long does it take to clone a 1TB drive to an SSD ✅EaseUS DC:16-20 mins/ Clonezilla: 28-45 mins

Through the above software analysis and experiments, we have full confidence that EaseUS Disk Copy is one of the best bootable USB clone software and can help you a lot in cloning a hard drive with a bootable USB or cloning a boot drive SSD onto a new NEVM SSD.

Steps to Clone Hard Drive with Bootable USB

Now let's follow the detailed tutorial we offer below to learn how to clone a hard drive with a bootable USB via EaseUS Disk Copy.

Note: Please activate EaseUS Disk Copy for a smooth disk copying or cloning process.

Step 1. Download, install and run EaseUS Disk Copy on your PC.
Click Disk Mode and select the source disk that you want to copy or clone. Click Next to continue.

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 disk sector by sector.

Select source disk to clone

Step 2. Select the destination disk where you want to clone/copy the old disk and click Next to continue.
Click OK to confirm if the program asks to erase data on the destination disk.

Finish copying or cloning disk to new disk.

Step 3. Check and edit the disk layout as Autofit the disk, Copy as the source or Edit disk layout.
Autofit the disk is recommended.

Copy as the source option will copy/clone the same layout of partitions on your source disk to the destination disk.
Edit disk layout allows you to manually resize or move partition layout on the destination disk.

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

Click Proceed to start the disk cloning or disk copying process now.

Select the destination disk to clone or copy disk

If the cloned hard drive won't boot, you can check this post and fix the problem with great ease.

Pro Tip: Can Rufus Clone USB

Rufus is probably not new to users who use computers frequently or are familiar with system operations. It is an application for Windows systems that has two main functions to offer, format a USB flash drive or memory stick, and create the USB installation media from bootable ISO.

So, Can Rufus Clone USB? The answer is no. It has not any clone functions, but you can create Windows bootable USB with Rufus.


How to clone hard drive with bootable USB? What is the best bootable USB clone tool? Have you got all tips after reading our detailed guide? You can use the free-download professional clone software EaseUS Disk Copy to finish all clone tasks.

  Free Download

For Windows 11/10/8/7

Also, if you want to get more cloning tips, don't pass these posts.


1. Can I clone my hard drive to a USB?

Yes, you can clone your hard drive to a USB. These steps are provided for you to follow.

Step 1. Prepare the USB. Back up the data stored in it and make sure it has enough space.

Step 2. Download a reliable clone software like EaseUS Disk Copy.

Step 3. Run the clone software, and plug the USB into your PC.

Step 4. Start the cloning process according to the software prompts.

2. How to clone SSD to USB flash drive?

Please follow the simple steps below.

Step 1. Prepare the USB flash drive and plug it into your computer.

Step 2. Download a reliable clone software like EaseUS Disk Copy.

Step 3. Run the clone software, and choose the SSD as the source disk.

Step 4. Select the USB flash drive as the destination disk and start the cloning process.

Was This Page Helpful?


EaseUS Disk Copy

  • Clone an old disk to a new one
  • Clone a small disk to a large one
  • Clone HDD to SSD

Video Tutorial

video icon

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