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4 Ways to Clone and Copy SD Card to External Hard Drive in Windows 11/10/8/7

Updated by Tracy King on Aug 16, 2021

This page introducing 4 ways of cloning an SD card to an external hard drive to back up all the files. Follow a suitable solution to start fully copy or clone everything from your SD card to an external hard drive on your own now.

How Do I Copy an Entire SD Card to an External Hard Drive? 4 Ways 

Speaking of backing up SD card data to an external hard drive, most experienced people have their own "tricks". Here, we collect 4 reliable ways that anyone can apply and follow to fully clone SD card to an external hard drive on their own.

Let's see the exact solutions here:

  1. #1. Clone SD Card to External Hard Drive using Software on Computer
  2. #2. Manually Copy SD Card to External Hard Drive on Computer
  3. #3. Clone SD Card to An External Hard Drive with Built-in SD Card without Computer
  4. #4. Copy SD Card to External Hard Drive via Hard Drive Docking Station without PC

Which method should I pick? Here is EaseUS Editors' Pick that you may follow and take a try:

  • To clone a normal SD card and an external hard drive, follow Method 1 to execute the task at one time.
  • If you have an advanced external hard drive with a built-in SD card reader or a hard drive docking station, follow Method 3 or Method 4 for help. 
  • Method 2 is easy but may fail and even result in file loss if the copying or transferring procedure gets interrupted.

Let's go and get started copying SD card files to your external hard drive on Windows 11/10/8/7 computers now.

Method 1. Clone SD Card to External Hard Drive Using Software on Computer

Tools: SD card and SD card reader, external hard drive with data cable, computer, disk cloning software.

Duration: 2-10 minutes, or so.

Pros: Easy to use, fast, no data loss. Cons: Not Free

To get started, you should first find and install reliable disk cloning software on your computer. EaseUS Partition Master with its Disk/Partition Copy feature can fully copy everything on your SD card to an external hard drive at one time.

How to Use:

First, connect your SD card and external hard drive to your computer correctly. 

Next, follow the steps here to let EaseUS Partition Master copy and clone everything from your SD card to an external hard drive at one time.

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. Right-click on the disk column of your SD, USB or external hard drive and select "Clone".
  2. 2. Select a new device (SD/USB/external hard drive/hard drive) as target disk, click "Next".
  3. 3. Click "Continue" to continue.
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", and "Edit disk layout").
  2. 2. Click the "Proceed" to start cloning.
  3. 3. Wait for the cloning process complete.
copy disk 4

Method 2. Manually Copy SD Card to External Hard Drive on Computer

Tools: SD card and SD card reader, external hard drive with data cable, computer.

Duration: 5minutes, one or two days long, dependable.

Pros: Free, easy-to-use. Cons: Slow, data loss may happen.

Another easy way of copying an SD card to an external hard drive is via copying & pasting on a computer. The only issue that you should take care of is to guarantee that the data copying process won't be interrupted. Otherwise, you may lose some files if the procedure doesn't complete successfully.

How to Use:

First, connect the SD card and external hard drive to your computer correctly.

Next, disable the antivirus software and make sure that the power supply is sufficient on your computer.

Step 1. Open File Explorer, locate, and double-click to open the SD card.

Step 2. Press Ctrl + A keys to select all files in the SD card, right-click on them and select "Copy". 

Step 3. Double-click to open the external hard drive, right-click an empty area and select "Paste". 

Manually copy SD card to external hard drive

All you need is to wait for the process completes. 

Method 3. Clone SD Card to An External Hard Drive with Built-in SD Card Reader without Computer

Tool: SD card, an external hard drive with a built-in SD card reader

Duration: 10 minutes or even longer, dependable.

Pros: 1-click clone, don't need a computer. Cons: Expensive for an external hard drive with a built-in SD card reader.

The other way that you can try is to copy an SD card to an external hard drive without using a computer. You just need to purchase an advanced external hard drive that contains an SD card slot or an SD card reader. If you don't have the budget, turning to Method 1 or 2 is more reasonable.

How to Use:

Here, we'll take the WD My Passport Wireless as an example to show you the whole process of copying an SD card to an external hard drive without a computer. 

Step 1. Power on your WD external hard drive by pressing the power button.

Power Own external hard drive with sd card reader

Step 2. Insert the SD card to the WD external hard drive via its SD card slot.

Insert SD card to external hard drive

Step 3. Once the two lights turn on, press and hold the SD card button for 2 - 3 seconds.

Press SD card button

Step 4. When you see all four lights are one, it means the copying process is complete. 

Wait for the cloning process to complete

After this, you can safely eject the card and power off the external hard drive. Now, your data have been copied to the external hard drive without using a computer.

Method 4. Copy SD Card to External Hard Drive via Hard Drive Docking Station without PC

Tool: SD card, an external hard drive, a hard drive docking station

Duration: 10 minutes or even longer, dependable.

Pros:1-click clone, don't need a computer.  Cons: expensive for purchasing a hard drive docking station.

If you have enough budget, another normal way of cloning an SD card to an external hard drive without a computer is by using a hard drive docking station. The only thing is that you should make sure that your hard drive docking station is connected with a stable power supply.

How to Use: 

Step 1. Connect the hard drive docking station with power.

Step 2. Insert the SD card into the SD slot on the docking station.

Step 3. Connect the external hard drive to the docking station via a USB port.

Insert SD card and connect external hard drive to dockig station

Step 4. Press the power button to power on the docking station, and then press the OTC/OTB button to start the cloning. 

Press clone button to clone SD card to external hard drive

After this, you can observe the processing lights on the top, and when all the lights are one, it means the cloning process completes.

Cloning SD Card to External Hard Drive Is Easy, Pick One Solution to Secure Your Data Now

On this page, we collected 4 methods for you to copy or clone SD cards to an external hard drive. It could be a mobile phone SD card, a camera SD Card, a dashcam SD card, or even other types of storage devices. 

As long as you have important data to secure, you can follow and try the above methods to quickly and safely copy everything to an external hard drive as a backup. Just to know that the earlier you take action, the better chance you'll have for taking care of your files. 

For the easiest and a commercial way for SD card to external hard drive cloning, EaseUS Partition Master will stand up and help here.

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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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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