First time cloning

I basically have 3 questions.

I downloaded the AOMEI Backupper standard, and made a repair CD(bios doesn't have boot order USB option) for win10. 

My older computer is running win10 pro 64bit using a 320gb SATA drive, which is still working well, but sounds like it's on the way out. 
I'd like to clone and replace it before it does. I ordered a similar NEW(NOS) never used before vintage 320gb SATA drive to clone to. 

My 1st question is, do I have to format the NEW SATA destination drive first? 

What I want is a simple exact copy of the source disk with all of it's content intact being cloned to the same size SATA 320gb destination disk, that will replace the original. 

2nd question is, will the original drive remain functional as a backup?

Third question is, after reading the difference between system clone, and disk clone, I'm still a little confused. Seeing that I want a mirror image of the original disk, using the disk clone seems more logical, but on the your website instructions "Method 3: Move system image to new hard drive directly" it suggests using the system clone. Which do you suggest or do both do the same thing?


  • Here for what it is worth is my 2 cents worth. 

    I do not believe that it is necessary to format a new drive to be able to use it as the destination drive for the clone process.  However, if you want to you can partition the drive and format it using the disk management tool with Windows 10.  The Clone process will advise you that it will overwrite everything on the drive.  Before you start the clone process you have a couple of things that you have to do to get ready to clone the disk.  1.  You can open the case and plug in an extra SATA cable into the disc and the other end into a vacant SATA connector on the motherboard.  Or you can plug a USB to SATA adapter into the disc and then the other end into a USB socket. 

    When you select the clone process and specify the system clone you are immediately asked for the destination disc to use for the clone.  The software will automatically identify all of the partitions on the system drive and duplicate them on the destination drive. 

  • edited August 23
    I don't know what happened, but I was unable to finish my post.  If you choose do perform a Disk Clone you will have to specify the source disk and also the destination disk.  If you selected your system disk then the disk clone will essentially do the same as the system clone.  However, the Disk Clone task allows you to clone other disks than the system disk.

    Once you have your new disk cloned then you will need to remove your original disk and replace it with your cloned disk and power up your machine.  You may have to enter the system bios on your machine to specify the disk that your machine will use when booting up.  In most cases the computer will select it for you automatically, but if the machine complains about not being able to boot you may need to check it out.

    Once you have your machine functioning like you want it then you can put the original disk on a spare sata connection.  Then you can delete the partitions on the disk and create one large partition and format it to use as a data disk.  Hope this helps.
  • edited August 24
    Thanks for the reply! I made one big mistake in my post. I find out that I can't do a system clone with backupper standard, at least I don't think I can. I vaguely remember reading that you could, if you're system cloning 2 MBR hard drives.
  • If you have an external drive you could perform a system backup saving the backup files to the external drive and then install your new drive into your machine and restoring the system backup to the new drive.  That will accomplish pretty much the same thing.
  • I don't have any free ext. drives to use at the moment. ! want to do a direct clone of the system drive, replace the original drive. Do you have any experience using the standard? Can you do an in-place upgrade from it to Pro? It has an upgrade tab. How does that work? 
  • Yes you can do an in-place upgrade to convert the standard version to the pro version.  In fact that is exactly what I did when I switched to the pro version.  I purchased the lifetime updates version and received the serial number via email.  Then I simply typed in my serial number and the program was activated.  The entire process only took a few minutes. 
  • That's what I just did! Sometimes I just get carried away, and over think things! Now I'm waiting for the new hdd to arrive. Thanks for all your help.
  • @CharlesM AOMEI Backupper Standard edition doesn't support system clone. Maybe you can use disk clone way to clone the whole system disk. Disk clone will clone all partitions on the disk, including data partitions.
    In addition, AOMEI Backupper standard edition only supports clone MBR disk to MBR one, or GPT disk to GPT one. So, you need to keep the source and target drive as the same disk type.
  • Thanks for the reply, I just purchased the Backupper PRO edition. I just received the new destination hdd, and will be trying the system clone tomorrow. The only thing I'm not certain about is formatting the new hdd? The source disk is a SATA MBR. I'm cloning to the same type and size unformatted SATA hdd.
    So, do I just do the clone to the NEW destination hdd unformatted, or do I have to format it MBR first?
  • Hi CharlesM,
    If the target disk is not MBR, please convert it to MBR type via windows disk management, and then do the clone.
    If it is MBR type, you don't need to format it in advance.
  • The cloning process worked perfectly! I didn't have to do a thing with the new drive. In Backupper Pro as destination disc, it was already recognized as MBR. Thanks!
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