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Easiest Steps To Clone A Hard Drive On Both Windows And Mac

Posted in Tricks   LAST UPDATED: JULY 31, 2021

Most Windows and Mac users don’t know that as their device gets old or runs out of disk space they can very easily change the hard drive to a bigger one. Most of you must be aware of this but are having trouble figuring out how to execute the disk cloning operation on your own without losing any data and OS.

Here we will show you how.

When Do You Need to Clone a Hard Drive

So when do you start considering cloning a hard drive to a new one? There might be numerous occasions when you might need to clone your hard drive

  1. If the old disk runs out of space - Upgrade your hard drive to larger hard disk

  2. If the computer gets old and slow - Upgrade your hard drive to a newer disk

  3. When transferring the whole contents of your hard drive

  4. The OS can’t be migrated by copying and pasting Windows files to a new hard drive

  5. For protecting data from virus or malware infection - Create a full backup of disk data

So how do you clone or upgrade the hard drive successfully and safely? The following instructions will show you how.

Preparing for Cloning Hard Drive

Before you start to actually clone your hard disk, some preparation has to be made.

1. Hard Drive should be made ready

  1. You have to get a second drive with sufficient capacity. To make the disk cloning process smooth, the second drive must be made equal to or even of a bigger capacity than your present hard drive.

  2. The new drive needs to be connected to the PC. If there’s only one disk slot in your computer, connect properly to your PC by a SATA-to-USB connection cable. If your computer happens to have a second slot, install the new drive to your PC.

  3. Initialize the new HDD/SSD. When cloning and upgrading the hard drive in a Windows PC, make sure that you initialize the new drive in Disk Management.

2. A Reliable Hard Drive Cloning Software should be downloaded

Because the tools for cloning disks on Windows and Mac computers are different, the right disk cloning software should also be downloaded and installed keeping in mind your operating system.

Cloning a Hard Drive on Windows

This applies to Clone hard drive to HDD/SSD in Windows 10/8/7/XP, and even Windows Server machines.

So, we will use the EaseUs Todo backup to clone the current computer hard drive to another disk. It offers a safe hard drive disk copy/clone solution to transfer your data on the old disk to a new one.

This whole process goes through two phases

Phase 1 - Cloning a Hard Drive

1. After launching the EaseUS disk cloning software, click Clone. Then select the source hard disk that you want to clone.

select the hard drive to clone

2. Now select the destination disk.

select the destination for your hard drive backup


a) The destination disk could be both, a hard disk or an SSD. It must have enough space.

b) Cloning sector by sector -Cloning sector by sector ensures that the destination hard disk/partition is exactly the same as the source hard disk/partition. This will clone all the sectors if the option is checked, even if the sector is blank.

c) Creating a Portable Windows USB drive - This option makes sure that the cloned USB system disk is able to boot normally.

3. After cloning, preview the disk layout. Finally, you can now click Proceed to clone one hard drive to another.

preview the settings and start to clone your hard drive

Phase 2- Making the Cloned Hard Drive Bootable

After finishing the process of disk cloning, keep in mind to install your new hard drive to your computer. Now set the computer to boot up from the new disk.

Follow these steps to make your cloned HDD/SSD bootable:

Step 1. Restart your PC and press F2/F12/Del to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Go to the Boot menu and set the new disk as the first boot drive at the Boot Priority section.

Step 3. Save all the changes and then restart your PC.

Set newly cloned hard drive as boot drive in Windows

The booting process will start from the newly cloned disk.

Cloning a Hard Drive on Mac

This applies to Cloning and upgrading Mac hard drive without bootable issues.

You will have two options to clone a Mac hard drive: 1.By using macOS Built-in Tool - Disk Utility; 2. By using Mac Disk Cloning Software - EaseUs Todo backup for Mac.

This is how you can clone your Mac hard drive to another hard drive or SSD.

1. Before cloning you must clean your Mac

To make sure that you don’t clone unnecessary gigabytes of junk files, duplicate data, broken items, or other useless programs to the new Mac drive, it becomes essential to clean the Mac disk in advance.

You can either delete files and uninstall useless applications manually or turn to reliable Mac cleaning tools for help.

2. Cloning and Upgrading Mac Hard Drive to SSD/HDD

By using Mac Disk Utility to Clone a Hard Drive:

Step 1. Connect your new hard drive or SSD to your computer as an external disk.

Step 2. After going to Applications. Then Utilities and finally “Disk Utilities”.

Step 3. After clicking "View" on Disk Utility select "Show All Devices" from the menu bar.

Step 4. On the left pane, select your target drive and click "Restore".

Disk Utility refers to cloning as a "restoring" action over a hard drive, which is pretty much the same thing.

Select target disk to clone hard drive on Mac

Step 5. Click "Restore" and confirm the cloning operation.

Confirm to clone a hard drive on Mac using Disk Utility

Step 6. Wait for a little for the cloning process to complete and then click "Done" to finish the operation.

By using EaseUS Todo Backup for Mac to Clone Mac Hard Drive

Step 1. First, connect the new hard drives to Mac and launch EaseUS Mac cloning software.

Step 2. In the From the drop-down list, select the source disk you want to clone.

select source hard drive

Step 3. In the To drop-down list, select the other hard drive as the destination disk.

select the destination hard disk

Step 4. Set up the disk cloning properties.

set up the disk cloning properties

Step 5. Finally, click on the Start button and execute the cloning operation.

Wait for the cloning process to finish.

3. Making Cloned Hard Drive Boot on Mac

After finishing the cloning process, you are now at the last step which is to set Mac to boot from the new hard drive.

Step 1. Discard the old hard drive of your Mac computer.

Step 2. Put the newly cloned hard drive or SSD to your Mac and install it correctly.

Step 3. Reboot Mac by holding the Option key, go to System Preference.

Step 4. In the Startup Disk section, set the new disk as the boot volume.

After this, restart Mac and the computer will successfully boot up from the new disk by then.

Summing it Up

So, to sum it all up, this page explains what is a disk cloning process and tells when you should consider cloning a hard drive. Besides, it also offers a comprehensive solution to help you successfully clone a hard drive in Windows and Mac with reliable disk cloning hard drives.

To make sure that the disk cloning and upgrading process is smooth, you should also make the new hard drive or SSD ready in advance. Also, a reliable disk cloning tool like EaseUS Todo Backup is very much required.

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