Partition Clone or Drive Clone

A partition or a hard drive is a period of interval on the disk. In general, a hard disk can be divided into several partitions or drives, which may usually be shown as C:, D:, E:, F: in Disk Management and File Explorer. Partition Clone refers to a process in which all content on the source hard disk partition will be migrated to the target one, maybe on a different hard disk, without any data loss. Then, the copied drive on the target disk will load as the same as the source.

Partitions can be copied to partitions or a hard disk. For example, the D: can be cloned to E: on the same disk (clone a partition to another partition), and also D: can be cloned to another hard disk (clone one partition to another drive).

What’s the difference between partition clone and disk clone? Actually, all the partitions will be cloned to target disk successively if you clone a hard disk entirely. Disk Clone takes up more time since it needs to move more contents in that process, in particular a bootable hard disk that contains an operating system. They also differ from target device requirements, cloning tools, preparations before cloning, intentions, cloning environments and conditions, etc.

Dynamic Volume Copy

The concept of volume is similar to a partition, but they still have some differences. Partition is a block of contiguous disk space, while volume is may not be contiguous. For example, first half space of the volume is on Disk 1, while the second half space is on Disk 2.

Dynamic disk possesses this feature so as to compose multiple discontinuous spaces into one volume, which has been named "Dynamic Volume" in Windows operating systems. Dynamic Volume consists of several types, such as, Simple Volume, Spanned Volume, Mirrored Volume, etc.

Volume copy is necessary in the event of storage extending, dynamic disk upgrading and data protection.

Why Do Partition Clone or Volume Copy?

A hard drive or partition needs to be cloned for following purposes in general.

  • Data protection. It is not uncommon to clone a drive to another place just in case data loss unexpectedly, especially loses in the event of merging or resizing partitions.

  • Move single partitions. If you just want to move one or two partitions on a disk to the other, there is no need to perform an entirely disk clone which may take up a lot of time and effort.

  • Transfer data on a partition where programs installed. You can simply use Copy & Paste method to transfer data from one partition to the other if the selected items are all files or folders. However, to transfer programs properly, a drive clone is unavoidable.

Anyway, you may have other reasons to operate a hard disk partition clone. But the most important thing is to figure out how to complete it efficiently.

Clone Partition via Free Software on Windows

AOMEI Backupper Standard is freeware that helps clone a single partition or hard drive to target disk or partition. It has user-friendly interface which the partition clone operation easier than ever and also works perfect on Windows 10, 8/8.1, 7, XP and Vista.

As to the ability, it provides two ways to copy a hard drive, sector-by-sector clone and intelligent clone (default). The default setting allows you to copy larger partition to smaller partition with ease since it only copies used parts on the source.

Further, it provides an alternate way to transfer files or protect data, backup & restore. In other words, you can back up a partition first and then restore it to a desired location. Its "Create Bootable Media" feature allows you to back up and restore files without loading operating system.

Moreover, AOMEI Backupper supports “hot clone” which means you can run the partition or volume clone without interrupting any works. Surely you don’t want to miss such a powerful yet free-of-charge utility.

How to Clone Partition to SSD in Windows 10 Step by Step?

Tips: download this free software, install and launch it. This page will take partition copy on Windows 10 for example. Connect the target disk if necessary.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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1. In AOMEI Backupper, select the "Partition Clone" option under the "Clone" tab.

Partition Clone

2. Select a source partition (Drive E) that you want to clone, and then click "Next".

Select Source Partition

3. Select the destination, and then click "Next".

Select Destination Partition

Note: The destination can be an unallocated space or an existing partition, but all the data on the existing destination will be overwritten after clone. Therefore, back up important files beforehand.

4. On the Operation Summary screen, confirm all operations and click “Start Clone” then.

Start Clone


Edit Partition: specify partition size, drive letter, partition type, etc. Only available in Professional edition or higher.

Edit Partition

SSD Alignment: check this option to improve SSD’s performance if you clone partition to an SSD.

Sector by sector clone: copy all sectors to target disk or partition, no matter it is used or not. It will make partition editing unavailable.

5. Click "Finish" on completion to exit the interface.


  • To perform System Clone or Dynamic Volume Clone, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional edition.

  • Please note that in a few cases, the cloned partitions may have some changes on the destination. For instance, if you clone a primary partition to an MBR disk which has already 3 primary partitions there, the cloned one will convert to a logical partition automatically on the destination due to MBR’s maximum primary partitions limit. But mostly, the cloned one will keep exactly the same as it was on the destination.

Final Words

It is quite easy to perform a partition clone in Windows actually as long as you find the right way. AOMEI Backupper has totally five editions that designs for different groups. For example, you can turn to its Server edition if you’re about to clone partition or volume on a Server operating system.

If you’re an administrator of a company or organization, its Technician edition (for PCs) and Technician Plus edition (for Servers) might be helpful. Check them out to find out more.