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How to Clone External Hard Drive to Internal [Easy & Efficient]

Updated by Cici on Dec 26, 2022

Most people are used to cloning Windows to external hard drive or cloning external hard drive to another external hard drive. But they may be confused about whether they can clone external hard drive to internal. Here is a typical case of this cloning situation:

Online guides describe cloning an internal hard drive onto an external one, but I can't find any info on the opposite. I want to replace my internal SSD with another one(I'm on a laptop, so I can't plug both SSDs in simultaneously). I've cloned its content to an external HDD, and I would like to know if it's possible to copy the external HDD into the one installed. – from Superuser 

Don't worry if you experience this problem as well. We'll assist you in determining whether or how to clone the external hard drive to an internal one.

Can I Clone External Hard Drive to Internal 

Yes, you can clone external hard drive to internal. Cloning does not limit the form of your hard drive. And cloning an external drive to an internal drive allows you to migrate the backed-up data back to your computer. And you can also transfer the system from the external drive to the internal. 

However, most people are not familiar with cloning an external drive to an internal drive. It is not a difficult task. As we mentioned earlier, cloning does not depend on which direction it flows. It can work as if the drives are valid. Next, let's look at how to clone external hard drives to internal ones. 

How to Clone External Hard Drive to Internal 

To make sure you can successfully clone an external hard disk to an internal one, we'll have two sections in this section: 

Preparations to Clone External Hard Drive to Internal 

Steps to Clone External Hard Drive to Internal

You can rapidly and safely copy data from an external hard disk to an internal one by making the necessary preparations before cloning. Let's look at what needs to be done in terms of preparations before cloning.

Preparations to Clone External Hard Drive to Internal 

Prepare the clone according to the following requirements:

1. Ensure the Internal drive has enough space for the external drive.

2. Back up the essential data with professional backup software. Because the data on the target disk will be overwritten or deleted during the cloning process. 

3. Make sure the target disk has the same format as the source disk. If they are different, convert the format to MBR or GPT. And follow the simple steps to check the format:

Step 1. Press Windows + R and type "diskmgmt.msc" to open Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click the target drive and select "Properties."

Step 3. Turn to the Volumes table and check the partition style. 

check disk partition style

If the format is different, convert GPT to MBR or convert MBR to GPT without losing data

4. Make the proper PC connection with the external hard disk: Prepare a SATA cable and a SATA power table for a desktop. For a laptop, prepare a SATA-to-USB adapter or connect via a USB port.

5. Download the professional cloning software – EaseUS Partition Master. It is an all-in-one disk manager that can help you to clone the system and partition to save you a lot of time and effort.

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After you have prepared well, let's look at the steps to clone the external hard drive to the internal one.

Steps to Clone External Hard Drive to Internal

EaseUS Partition Master is expert software for cloning systems and partitions, such as copying NTFS partitions. Because of its precise design and straightforward functioning, users greatly adore and support it. It allows you to clone external hard drives to internal ones effortlessly. Follow the steps below to meet your needs.

Notice:
To clone SD/USB/external hard drive with data to a new device, connect the external storage device that you want to clone and a new removable device (SD/USB/external hard drive) with bigger capacity to your PC in advance.

Step 1. Clone external storage device (SD/USB/external hard drive)

  1. 1. Click "Clone" tab. Choose "Clone Data Disk" option and click "Next" to continue.
  2. 2. Choose a source disk and select a new device (SD/USB/external hard drive/hard drive) as target disk, click "Next".
  3. 3. Click "Yes" to confirm the warning message.
select target device to start cloning

Step 2. Keep all changes

  1. 1. Check the source disk layout (you can edit the disk by clicking "Autofit the disk", "Clone as the source").
  2. 2. Click the "Start" to start cloning.
  3. 3. Wait for the cloning process complete.
copy disk 4

EaseUS Partition Master is also an intelligent tool that allows you to edit the cloned partition to clone only used space. And you can also clone damaged hard drive via this tool. If you have any problems connected to the clone, download it for help!

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Conclusion

On this page, we know that except for cloning partition to another drive, we can also clone external to internal. After you finish the preparations, EaseUS Partition Master offers an easy and quick solution to clone external hard drives to internal without data loss. Next are some frequently asked questions about today's topic. If you are interested, read on.

FAQs of Clone External Hard Drive to Internal

Here are some common questions, and I provide some short answers. Hope it can be helpful to you.

1. Can I clone an external hard drive to an internal one?

The answer is that you can copy data from an external hard disk to an internal hard drive. The type of drive is not restricted by clone. It just cares about the drive space and format.

2. How do I copy my entire external hard drive?

It is easy to copy the entire external hard drive via professional clone software. EaseUS Partition Master is a reliable tool to do this. Follow the steps below to clone the whole hard drive:

Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master and click "Clone" on the left menu.

Step 2. Choose "Clone OS Disk" or "Clone Data Disk" and click "Next" to select the source disk.

Step 3. Choose the destination, and click "Next" and "Yes" to confirm the warning message.

Step 4. View the layout and edit the size and then click "Start."

3. Is it better to clone or image a hard drive?

The decision to image or clone a hard disk is based on your needs. Disk cloning is faster than imaging a disk if you want to transfer data or upgrade to a big hard drive. While imaging gives you more backup options.

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About the Author

Updated by Cici

Cici has accepted the systematic training on computers at EaseUS. Now she has a detailed understanding of common computer issues, as well as computer backups and disk formatting management solutions.

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  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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