So Simple | How to Clone Hard Drive without Removing It

How to clone hard drive without removing it? If you aim to clone your hard drive in order to back up your file, migrate system transfer data to a new device, or just want to recover data from a broken disk, you can use EaseUS Disk Copy and follow the method this post provides.

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Updated on Feb 26, 2024

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Disk cloning helps users to create an exact one-to-one copy of the data stored in the target storage device from the original hard drive. Because of this, disk cloning is often used to upgrade hard drives or to replace the old drive with a new one.

clone hard drive to ssd

However, the usefulness of cloning is not limited to this. In addition to replacing disks, cloning can be used in other areas, such as data transfer, data recovery, and data backup. In these cases, there is no need to remove the hard drive. You just need to clone the HDD to SSD to accomplish the goal.

This article will bring you how to clone hard drive without removing it and introduce you to the best hard drive cloning software.

When Should You Clone a Hard Drive without Removing 

Many users choose to update to bigger hard disk or faster SSD and replace the old drive with the new one to get more storage space and improve computer performance. Some users even choose to replace the laptop's hard drive and reinstall OS. 

But when people encounter the following situation, we need to clone the hard drive without removing it.

Transfer Data

  • When you want to replace your PC with a new one, copying the hard drive to new computer allows you to enjoy the new computer hardware configuration while transferring the original data. Since cloning creates an exact one-to-one copy, all data and settings in the hard drive will be automatically transferred to the new drive.

Migrate System

  • If you want to save yourself the trouble of reinstalling Windows OS and other applications on your new device, you can choose to migrate Windows to SSD by cloning the system disk. After that, you will be able to get the same system configuration on your new machine as on your old one.

Create Backups

  • When you aim to back up your files, you can save them all on one hard drive and get an exact copy of your important data by cloning the hard drive without removing it. These copies will quickly restore all your data for you after any data disaster with your source files, enhancing your PC's data security.

Things You Should Do For Cloning Hard Drive without Removing It

Before you start the cloning process, there are things you should do.

Prepare an SSD

If you aim to clone a hard drive without removing it, then you will also need a second storage device. I think an SSD is a better choice than choosing to clone the old hard drive to a larger HDD.

While HDDs help store more data, SSDs have faster read/write speeds, better performance, and are more durable and energy-efficient than HDDs. Especially if you want to migrate your system, then learning how to install an SSD without reinstalling Windows will save you a lot of trouble.

hdd vs ssd

Format the New SSD

Do I Need to Format a New SSD Before Cloning? The answer is Yes. 

Before you start the cloning process, you must format the new SSD you have prepared. Otherwise, it will not work properly. However, if the SSD you have prepared is not brand new, then you can leave it unformatted as it will be formatted, and all data will be cleaned during the cloning process.

Tools to Connect Drivers 

Prepare tools to connect the drive to your computer, including a SATA cable, a USB-to-SATA adapter, and a screwdriver.

Download and Install a Disk Cloning Software

Professional and effective disk cloning software is a very important part of cloning. It can determine whether the cloning process is stable and secure, and whether the cloning result is successful. 

In this regard, we will use EaseUS Disk Copy as your cloning assistant. In the below content, we will focus on the introduction of the software and bring you a detailed tutorial on how to clone HDD to SSD via EaseUS Disk Copy.

Best Clone HDD to SSD Software Free Download

Since Windows doesn't have any built-in tools that can help users clone their hard drives, you have to look for cloning software that is good enough to do the job for you.

EaseUS Disk Copy is a professional cloning tool suitable for Windows 7/8/10/11. It can help you clone disks, systems, partitions, and migrate the Windows system you are using between HDDs and SSDs. Whether it's transferring a C drive to a new PC or cloning a drive with bad sectors, EaseUS can complete it at an extremely fast speed.

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Based on the final feedback from several tests, we have sufficient confidence to recommend using EaseUS Disk Copy to lead the cloning process.

✅What we tested ✅Results
✅What devices did we use ✅1 Lenovo Desktop PC and 1 Acer Nitro laptop
✅Hard drive types and numbers we tested ✅1 SATA SSD, 2 NVMe SSDs, 3 M.2 SSDs, 2 SATA HDDs
✅How long does it take to clone a 1TB drive to an SSD ✅17-20 min

How to Clone Hard Drive without Removing It on Windows 10/11

Now, you can free download EaseUS Disk Copy and follow the detailed tutorial below to learn how to clone a hard drive without removing it on Windows 10 or Windows 11.

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


From this post, you can find all tips about how to clone a hard drive without removing it

Before starting cloning, please prepare according to our suggestions and download the best HDD to SSD clone software EaseUS Disk Copy, and begin your cloning trip.

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If you need to get more Clone tips, don't miss these posts.

How to Migrate OS from HDD to SSD Dell Laptop How Do I Move Program Files from SSD to HDD


1. Is it better to clone or copy a hard drive?

The answer to this question is different when it comes to various situations.

If you just want to copy the normal data saved in your old hard drive to a new one, such as photos, documents, videos, etc., then choosing to copy the hard drive is the best option. The whole copying process is uncomplicated and much faster than cloning an entire hard drive.

Cloning a hard drive will create an exact copy of your original drive and overwrite it to every sector. If your source drive is a system drive or a drive with a lot of applications installed, it is better to choose disk cloning.

2. What happens to the old drive after cloning?

Nothing will happen to the old drive after cloning. All the data saved on the old drive will not change either.

EaseUS Disk Copy

EaseUS Disk Copy is a well designed and very easy-to-use HDD/SSD cloning and migration tool, a tool which should be ideal for anyone wanting to quickly and easily migrate an existing system disk to a new disk (or newly installed SSD drive) with the minimal of configuration required.

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  • Updated by


    Larissa has rich experience in writing technical articles and is now a professional editor at EaseUS. She is good at writing articles about data recovery, disk cloning, disk partitioning, data backup, and other related knowledge. Her detailed and ultimate guides help users find effective solutions to their problems. She is fond of traveling, reading, and riding in her spare time.…
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    Rel has always maintained a strong curiosity about the computer field and is committed to the research of the most efficient and practical computer problem solutions.…
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