Super Easy | How to Clone Hard Drive Before Replacing

If you want to replace your hard drive, cloning can help you keep your new drive with the same data as your old one. But how to clone hard drive before replacing it? This post will tell you how to clone a hard drive before removing it with EaseUS Disk Copy.

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Updated on Feb 26, 2024

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Cloning includes transferring data from one storage device to another to an exact copy of the data in the destination drive. It could be useful for many things, such as data transfer, recovery, drive replacement, or even just backup.

When you want to replace a hard drive with Windows OS installed or data stored, you can clone the Windows and data to another drive. This article from EaseUS will describe how to clone hard drive before replacing it.

Why Need to Clone Hard Drive Before Replacing

Data loss can result from the failure of hard drives and SSDs. Therefore, you should consider replacing your hard drive or SSD if you're already noticing signs of a failing disk or an impending SSD failure.

clone hard drive

Many users will try to replace the laptop hard drive and reinstall the operating system, but this is a little tricky. This is because cloning can help replace your hard drive without reinstalling Windows. Under such circumstances, you can clone your hard drive before replacing it.

The biggest reason why you need to clone a hard drive before removing it is that it can create an exact copy of the data in the destination drive because the cloning process will copy the entire content of your source drive.

Do You Need to Format a New Hard Drive Before Cloning

Many users tend to choose an SSD when replacing a hard drive because SSDs have faster write and read speeds, lower power consumption, and lower noise. But here comes a question, "Do I need to format a new SSD before cloning?"

It is a necessary step to complete before beginning the cloning process. If you don't initialize, your SSD might not function. Before beginning the cloning process, if you're using a new SSD, you'll need to initialize it, which entails formatting the new SSD. It will ensure the partition layout matches the SSD used as the source.

You don't need to format the destination SSD before cloning if it isn't brand-new because the data, including the settings, will be formatted during the procedure.

The following is how to initialize your hard drive:

  • Connect the new drive to your PC.
  • Search Disk Management in the Windows search box and launch it.
  • Right-click it and select Run as administrator > Yes.
  • Right-click the new drive, and select Initialize Disk.

After initializing your hard drive, you can clone your hard drive to a new SSD/HDD.

Best Hard Drive Cloning Software Free Download

When it comes it cloning your hard drive or upgrading to a larger hard drive, have you ever been stuck on a question, "Does Windows have cloning software?"

The answer is no. Windows 11/10 does not have a built-in cloning tool to clone a hard drive. Therefore, if you want to clone your hard drive, you have to use professional disk cloning software to help you. EaseUS Disk Copy is indeed the one that can meet your needs. It can suit you well if you want to clone your hard drives.

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EaseUS Disk Copy is a practical and easy-to-use cloning program for Windows 11/10/8/7. It can help you clone Windows system, disk, partition, etc., and migrate your operating system from HDD to SSD or SSD to SSD. Furthermore, it lets you transfer the C drive to a new SSD and clone M.2 SSD with only one slot.

The following is what makes this cloning software so unique.

Here is a step-by-step guide to cloning a hard drive before removing it with EaseUS Disk Copy.

Prior Notice:

  • The "Sector by sector copy" asks the size of your destination disk to be at least equal to or larger than that of the source disk. Leave this feature unchecked if you wish to clone a larger hard disk to a smaller hard disk.
  • All data on the destination disk will be completely erased, so take care.

Step 1. To start copying/cloning an entire disk to another, choose this disk as the source disk under "Disk Mode" and click "Next".

select the source disk and click next

Step 2. Choose the other disk as the destination disk.

select the destination disk

Step 3. Check the disk layout of the two disks. You can manage the disk layout of the destination disk by selecting "Autofit the disk", "Copy as the source" or "Edit disk layout". 

click ok when a warning message appears
  • "Autofit the disk" makes some changes by default on the destination disk layout so that it can work at its best status.
  • "Copy as the source"does not change anything on destination disk and the layout is the same as source disk.
  • "Edit disk layout" allows you to manually resize/move partition layout on this destination disk.

Tick the "Check the option if the target is SSD" option to put your SSD in its best performance.

A message now appears, warning you that data will be lost. Please confirm this message by clicking "OK" and then click "Next".

check the diak layout

Step 4. Click "Proceed" to officially execute the task.

click proceed to officially start

To Wrap Things Up

That is all about how to clone hard drive before replacing. After you have cloned your drive to a new one, you can try to replace it with a new one to get your new PC up and running quickly.

It is worth noting that EaseUS Disk Copy is an excellent tool to help you clone a hard disk before removing it. In addition, it can also help you to solve the cloned hard drive showing the wrong size error. More practical and valuable functions are waiting for you to explore. Just download and try it.

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FAQs on Clone Hard Drive Before Replacing

1. Will cloning a hard drive clone the OS?

Yes, cloning a hard drive will copy the OS. Not only will the OS be cloned, but the whole contents of the source disk will also be transferred to the destination drive. Therefore, you must be extremely careful while cloning since if the source and target drives are selected wrong, all of your important data will be destroyed.

2. Is it bad to clone HDD to SSD?

Cloning an HDD to an SSD is generally not a bad idea. And it will be really helpful to you. If your SSD contains files, you should back them up beforehand because cloning an HDD to an SSD would erase all of the data on the destination device.

3. How long does it take to clone a 1tb hard drive?

How long does it take to copy a hard drive to an SSD is a frequently asked question. The amount of files you need to move, the speed at which the cloning application operates, the read and write speeds, the computer's system, the hard drive, etc., all play a role. Generally speaking, the waiting time would range from 10 mins to 1 hour.

4. Can I copy my entire hard drive to a new one?

Yes, you can copy an entire hard drive to a new one. Creating an image of a disk or physically copying one disk to another are your two alternatives. When moving from one drive to another, cloning allows you to start your computer from a second disk.

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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