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You can clone a Windows 11 installation drive to another Solid-State Drive (SSD) or Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for free using Clonezilla without reinstallation. Clonezilla is a free, open-source Linux application designed to clone virtually any drive with any data. The application accomplishes this by copying all the bits on a drive to another equal or larger drive.

If you have a device running Windows 11, you can use Clonezilla to transfer the installation with the settings, apps, and files to a new (faster) SSD or HDD that is equal to or larger than the original drive without reinstallation. Or another scenario where Clonezilla can come in handy is to clone a drive as a backup before making system changes.

In this guide, you will learn how to use Clonezilla to clone an installation of Windows 11 to another drive.

Warning: This is a non-destructive process, but changing the system drive can still be risky. Use these instructions carefully and at your own risk. If you plan to replace a hard drive, creating a backup of your data is also good before proceeding. You have been warned.

Clone Windows 11 to SSD or HDD with Clonezilla

The cloning process is straightforward, but you still need some preparation. For example, you must connect the new drive to the computer, create a Clonezilla bootable USB media, complete the cloning process, and reconfigure the hard drive to ensure you use the entire available space.

Connect clone drive

Connecting a traditional HDD, SSD, and NVMe M.2 drives will vary per manufacturer and computer model. To complete this task, check your computer manufacturer’s support website for more specific details.

You shouldn’t use an external USB drive because it can’t be set as a boot device. However, you can use an external drive to create a backup.

Create Clonezilla bootable media

The most straightforward approach to creating a USB bootable media is to use the Clonezilla ISO file with Rufus, a third-party tool designed to create bootable USB flash drives for Windows 11 and other platforms.

You could download the Clonezilla zip file, but if you make a mistake using the instructions, it can break your current installation.

To download and create a Clonezilla bootable USB flash drive, use these steps:

Download Clonezilla ISO file

To download the Clonezilla ISO file, use these steps:

In step 2, select the ISO option as the file type.

After you complete the steps, you can use Rufus to create a USB bootable media.

Create Clonezilla bootable USB with Rufus

To create a bootable media for cloning, connect a USB flash drive with at least 4GB of storage, and use these steps:

Open Rufus website.

Select the USB flash drive with the “Device” drop-down menu.

Select the Clonezilla ISO file.

Create Clonezilla bootable USB with Tuxboot

You can also create a Clonezilla USB with the Tuxboot app with these steps:

Download tuxboot from SourceForge. (Select the latest stable version available.)

Select the On-Line Distribution option.

Select the clonezilla_live_stable option with the “On-Line Distribution” drop-down menu.

Select the USB Drive option with the “Type” drop-down menu.

Select the flash drive with the “Drive” drop-down menu.

Once you complete the steps, you need to make sure that the device can boot from USB before you start your device with the tool.

Usually, you will need to access the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) by hitting one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), the ESC, or the Delete key during boot.

Once inside the firmware, find the “Boot” section, ensure the boot order is set to the Windows 11 drive, and save the configuration.

The firmware can be different depending on the manufacturer and computer model. As such, check your manufacturer support website for more specific instructions.

Clone Windows 11 to new drive using Clonezilla

To use Clonezilla to clone Windows 11 to a new SSD or HDD, use these steps:

Start the computer with the bootable media.

Select the Clonezilla live option and press Enter.

Choose your language and press Enter.

Select the “Keep option to stay with default keyboard layout” option and press Enter.

Choose the “Start_Clonezilla” option and press Enter.

Select the device_device option and press Enter.

Choose the Beginner mode option and press Enter.

Select the “disk_to_local_disk local_disk_to_local_disk_clone” option and press Enter.

Choose the (source) drive containing the data you want to clone to another drive and press Enter.

Important: If you don’t specify this option correctly, you can wipe out the wrong drive.

Select the (destination) drive (the empty drive to replace or backup storage), and press Enter.

Choose the sfsck option to skip checking and repairing and press Enter.

Select the action to perform after the cloning is complete, including “choose,” “reboot,” or “poweroff.” You can select any option.

Press Enter to continue.

Type Y and press Enter to confirm the cloning process.

Type Y and press Enter again to reconfirm that the process will delete everything on the destination drive.

Type Y and press Enter to close the boot loader, the code that makes the Windows 11 drive bootable.

Once you complete the steps, Clonezilla will clone the data from the source (Windows 11 drive) to the destination drive.

After the process, either replace the old with the new drive on the computer or remove it to store it as a backup.

Reconfiguring cloned drive

If the drive you cloned has more capacity than the original drive, use the “Disk Management” app to expand the volume to make the additional space usable.

Open Settings.

Specify the “Max” value in the New (MB) field.

Once you complete the steps, the main Windows 11 volume on the drive will expand using the unallocated space.

Move recovery partition 

If you can’t expand the primary partition because the recovery partition is on the way, you must use a third-party tool like GParted to move the partition to the end of the drive.

Warning: Although this process works, there’s a that it might break the installation. Use these instructions at your own risk.

Start your computer with the GParted USB drive. 

Select the “GParted Live (Default settings)” option and press Enter.

Select the “Don’t touch keymap” option and press Enter.

Select your language and press Enter.

Select 0 and press Enter.

Use the drop-down menu in the top-right corner to select the drive with the partition to move.

After you complete the steps, you can use the previous steps to expand the installation partition with available space on the drive.

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How To Clone A Hard Drive On Windows 11/10

Backup is an important part for anyone who uses a computer, but there are times when we need to clone the drive for various reasons. While there is no direct feature to clone a hard drive in the Disk Management tool, another method can still be done. Then there are many free tools to clone a hard drive which I will discuss in this post. This works on Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Cloning a Hard Drive — What does it mean?

Cloning means creating a replica of the original. The same applies to the digital world. However, please do not confuse it with backup or copy. For example, you may copy entire data or your hard disk to another, but you can not boot from it. On the other hand, Clone is a digital copy and can be used at times of disaster recovery. In other words, this will allow you to switch the hard drive and restore the PC almost instantly.

How to Ghost or Clone a Hard Drive on Windows 11/10

Windows offers a built-in backup-restore feature that can be used to create a clone of a hard drive. You can use this feature to make a backup of Windows or to restore a previous version. While made backup, the ability to create a system image, i.e., sector by sector copy of the original disk, makes it a perfect Clone maker.

Note: This method also works if you want to clone Windows to an external hard drive. However, you may not be able to use it as a primary drive.

Here are the steps to create a System Image Backup:

First, you have to make sure that the storage device you want to use has enough space for the System Image Backup file. Second, make sure to remove any unnecessary files to reduce the time of cloning.

Open Start Menu, and type Control, and then open the Control Panel.

Then locate the backup or restore your files link.

You have three options here—

On a hard disk,

On one more DVD, and

On a network location.

How to use System Image to Recover PC?

Connect the external drive, and choose to recover the PC. The Windows System Image Recovery process will use the image and then clone it to the computer’s primary disk. Once done, you can boot regularly, and your PC should be up and running.

Third-Party Cloning Software

While System Image Backup works, third-party software offers more options. Here are some free tools from the software list we have discussed under free backup software for Windows.


It is the simplest and bare bone backup and recovery software that can easily clone a hard drive. It’s free, and it doesn’t require a lot of computer knowledge to make use of it. You can use Clonezilla Live that is suitable for a single-machine scenario.

Macrium Software Reflect Free:

It offers disk cloning, differential imaging, restore non-booting systems, supports backup in Hyper-V virtual machines, create images of running Windows OS, browse backup contents in Windows Explorer, and direct disk cloning.

DriveImage XML:

If you have ever used Norton Ghost, then it’s a great alternative to it. The software enables you to create a complete backup image of any drive or partition. You can use it to restore later to the same or another partition. You can also clone a drive to another.

Can Windows clone HDD to SSD?

Yes. Most of the SSD come with software that allows users to migrate from HDD to SSD to boost performance. They create a clone, and when you switch the boot device, it will be seamless.

Does cloning a hard drive copy the OS?

Yes. Cloning or creating a System Image means sector by sector copy. So it will copy the Boot sector, the OS, programs, drivers, and all the files. However, if you switch drive or restore after a long gap, it will need to be updated by all means.

Do you need to activate Windows after cloning?

No, however, if you connect to a different PC where hardware has completely changed, you may have to reactivate or transfer the key to a new Windows PC.

Can I do real-time HDD cloning?

No, Windows can not do that. Real-time HDD cloning means any change made in your C drive gets instantly cloned. However, that’s a process you cant rely on, sector by sector writing takes a toll on the system, and hence even if third-party software offers it, it will be a real-time backup solution at best.

How to clone a partition of my hard drive to SSD in Windows?

Yes, it is possible through third-party software to select which partition to clone from a drive and then clone it to the destination drive. However, every time you do it, everything in the destination drive will be deleted.

I hope the post was easy to follow, and you were able to clone a hard drive on Windows 11/10

Difference Between Ssd And Hdd

In computer systems, different types of memory devices are used to store data permanently. Both SSD and HDD are such storage devices. SSD and HDD are the most commonly used types of secondary memories. HDD is a traditional storage device, while SSD is a modern storage device.

SSD and HDD are quite different from each other. The most fundamental difference between SSD and HDD is that SSD (Solid State Drive) is a storage device that stores data in integrated circuits, whereas HDD (Hard Disc Drive) is a device that stores data magnetically. There are several other differences between SSD and HDD, which we will discuss in this article.

What is HDD?

HDD is a storage device used in computer as secondary memory. It is made up of a series of circular disks (called platters), these platters arranged one over the other almost ½ inches apart around a spindle. The platters or disks of HDD are made up of non-magnetic materials like aluminum alloy and are coated with a layer of 10-20 nm of a magnetic material.

In a hard disc drive, the standard diameter of a disk is 14 inches. These disks rotate at speeds ranging from 4200 rpm (rotations per minute) for personal computers to 15000 rpm for servers. In the HDD, data is stored by magnetizing or demagnetizing the magnetic coating.

To read data from and write data on to the disks, a magnetic reader arm is used. A typical modern HDD has storage capacity in terabytes (TB).

What is SSD?

SSD is a semiconductor-based storage device that uses integrated circuits to store data. There are no moving mechanical parts in a SSD. SSDs are more reliable and long-lasting as compared to conventional HDDs.

SSDs are relatively more robust and resistant to physical shocks, and run silently. SSDs have smaller access time and lower latency as compared to HDDs and other magnetic storage devices.

SSDs are relatively expensive because they are newer technology storage devices, however the price of SSDs has decreased over time. SSDs are very popular secondary storage devices in modern desktop and laptop computers.

Difference between SSD and HDD

The following table highlights the important differences between SSD and HDD −





It stands for Hard Disk Drive.

It stands for Solid State Drive.


It contains moving mechanical parts such as the arm.

It doesn’t contain mechanical parts, only electronic parts like ICs.


It has longer R/W time.

It has a shorter R/W time.


It has high latency.

It has low latency.


It supports less number of I/O operations per second.

It supports more number of I/O operations per second.


It uses fragmentation.

It doesn’t have fragmentation.


It is heavy in weight.

It is lightweight.


It is larger in size.

It is compact in size in comparison to HDD.


The data transfer in HDD is sequential in nature.

The data transfer is done in a random manner.


It is less reliable since there could be a mechanical failure in it, such as the head crash and susceptibility to strong magnets.

It is reliable, because it does not contain moving parts.


It is cheaper with respect to per unit storage.

It is expensive with respect to per unit storage.


It is an older technology.

It is a relatively new technology.


It produces noise due to mechanical movements.

It doesn’t produce any noise.


Both SSD and HDD are used as secondary storage devices in computers. However, they are completely different from each other as described in the above table. The most significant difference is that SSD is a solid state memory device, whereas HDD is a type of magnetic memory.

How To Install Windows 10 Or 11 On A Steam Deck.

If you have a Steam Deck and are thinking about installing Windows 11 to make it a useful dual-boot device. This article will show you how to install Windows 11 on your Steam Deck and keep it configured so that you can still use it as intended to play games. It’s not as complicated as you might think but you will need a few extra tools and an SD card.

The Steam Deck is one hell of a powerful device and puts out some serious gaming performance for such a tiny piece of hardware! So much so that a lot of people are starting to install Windows 10 & 11 on their devices allowing them to use their Steam Decks as portable PCs. While there are a few things you need to consider to do this, they aren’t as complicated as you may be thinking.

While dual-booting Windows 11 and SteamOS is possible, it’s not recommended because of storage limitations, however, you can install Windows 11 on a MicroSD can boot from that, which I personally find better anyway and I’m sure you will as well. As we mentioned you’ll need to get a few things in order to begin.

What you’ll need to Install Windows 11 on a Steam Deck.

A Windows 11/10 PC for downloading/creating the Windows ISO image.

A microSD card (128GB or larger) to install Windows 11 onto.

7-Zip or another file compression software I like WinRAR.

Rufus (to create the bootable drive)

A USB-C Dock, USB keyboard, and mouse (recommended)

And of course a Steam Deck

First, we create a bootable microSD card drive.

The first part of installing Windows 11 on a Steam Deck is to install Windows 11 on the MicroSD card. For this, you will need to use Rufus. If you haven’t done this before you can check out our How to Create a Windows 11 USB drive with Rufus that bypasses TPM and Secure boot. Just make sure that you select the following options when you configure the bootable device.

Disable data collection (Skip privacy questions)

Prevent Windows to go from accessing internal disks

Remove the requirement for Secure Boot and TPM 2.0

Once you have created your bootable Windows 11 MicroSD card you can move on to the next steps.

Download Steam Deck drivers for Windows 11.

The next step is to download and install all the required drivers from Steam Support: Steam Deck. Now do the following.

Using File Explorer, copy all the drivers you just downloaded and create a new folder in the root of the microSD card drive and paste in the drivers.

Next, select all the driver .zip files and extract them to that location.

Once the extraction is done, you can safely eject the microSD card from the Windows PC.

Installing Windows 11 on your Steam Deck.

Now, you are ready to install Windows 11 on Steam Deck. Make sure you follow the next steps closely. If you have a dock and keyboard/mouse, you may want to connect it at this time for an easier setup experience. Personally, I wouldn’t try this without them.

Next, remove any microSD card and insert the new Windows microSD card you just created.

Now, hold the Volume button down and then press the Power button to turn on the Steam Deck

On the Boot Manager screen, use the D-pad/keyboard arrow keys to highlight the microSD and then press A/Enter to select the bootable media.

Now that Windows 11 has booted on Steam Deck. Install the drivers.

Windows 11 installation will boot as it normally does so jump through the usual setup process.

Once you are on the desktop and have completed the setup process you will need to activate Windows.

Once Windows 11 is installed, go to the location you stored the Drivers and install them. After you have installed all of the drivers, there’s one more optional one you may wish to acquire.

Optional but highly recommended: Install the SWICD driver to make Windows think your Steam Deck is a Controller.

This handy little driver will allow you to force Windows 11 into thinking that your Steam Deck is a controller. This saves you from having to use Steam to get controller configurations.

To get the driver just visit chúng tôi then install it as you would any other software.

Switching between SteamOS and Windows.

To switch between SteamOS and Windows, simply press the power button for a few seconds to enter the BIOS and select the operating system you want to boot from the menu. And that’s it!

Can you use the Steam Deck as a fully fledge PC?

How To Format And Partition An External Hard Drive Or Ssd On Windows

Windows is pretty good with hard disk and SSD file systems. While you may think that you’re stuck with the same partitions and format your hard disk came with, Windows will let you change things up as per your preference. It’s not too complicated, either. Here’s how to format and partition an external hard drive or SSD on Windows.



What you need to know about partitioning and formatting

How to format an external hard drive on Windows

How to partition an external hard drive on Windows

What you need to know about partitioning and formatting

You might have heard “partitioning” and “formatting” used in the context of hard drives and OS. But what do these terms actually mean?

What does partitioning mean?

“Partitioning” refers to the process of dividing a disk into several sub-devices, and allocating sub-devices to the OS to allow it to carry out functions in the rest of the sub-devices and computer. So, for instance, you can have one 500GB drive, and have it partitioned into one 100GB drive partition to boot Windows out of (and the OS will create all the other requisite partitions for recovery, etc.), and the other 400GB drive partition to store your programs and files.

Why should you partition a drive?

What does formatting mean?

“Formatting” refers to the process of preparing a storage disk for its initial data storage use. More commonly, formatting refers to the process of generating a new file system for that particular storage disk. Think of the file system as an index that figures out what file can and will be stored where — without this index, the OS would be unable to see empty and used spaces. So formatting a drive essentially tells the drive where it can and cannot store data, and that it is ready to accept data in the first place.

Difference between format and quick format

Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

When you start a formatting operation, you will often see the option to do a quick format. A quick format essentially removes the index but not the files. As a result, one cannot see the files that exist on the drive, but the files still continue to exist and can be recovered through specialized software. In other words, the files on the disk are just marked “safe to overwrite” without actually being overwritten. A quick format also skips scanning of bad sectors on the disk, but this concept is outside the scope of this article.

A regular format or full format is different from a quick format in that it overwrites the files with blank data in addition to removing the index. This ensures that it becomes almost impossible to recover the file. A full format also scans the drive for bad sectors. Because of the wider scope of the task, a full format takes significantly longer than a quick format.

Why should you format a drive?

As mentioned, formatting a drive is a step towards using a drive for storage. Different OSs use different file systems for storage. So formatting your drive with the correct Windows-supported filesystem will allow you to use the drive on your computer without any further hassle. Without the correct file system in place, your Windows computer likely won’t see the drive as available for storage. Note that formatting a drive will delete your data, and a full format will make the data almost irrecoverable.

How to format an external hard drive on Windows

Formatting an external hard drive or SSD on Windows is quite simple.

Connect the external drive to your PC and open Windows Explorer.

Rename the drive under Volume label, if you wish to.

If you want the drive to be formatted more thoroughly, uncheck the Quick Format box.

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Windows will format your external drive, and give you a confirmation dialog box when the formatting is complete.

To partition an external drive on Windows, you’ll need to use the Disk Management tool.

Find your external drive listed in the grid view in the bottom half.

To create a new partition, you will need unallocated space. You will see this under a black header in the Disk Manager.

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

The Shrink Volume dialog box will pop up. In the box next to Enter the amount of space to Shrink in MB, type in how much space you want for your new partition(s).

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

It will take a couple of seconds, but the partition will show up in the grid view of your external disk in Disk Manager.

Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

If you want to create another partition, you can repeat the process to create a new volume with the allocated space you left before, or repeat the whole process by shrinking existing partitions.


There are no downsides to partitioning your external hard disk. It depends upon what kind of usage you want from your external hard disk. It’s good to partition it if you want to use the hard disk for two different purposes and don’t want to mix up your files.

It’s not a necessary thing. It solely depends upon your usage and whether the usage warrants having partitions for different purposes.

Yes, Disk Management in Windows lets you do that. You will need unallocated space available if you want to extend a partition, and if you’re shrinking a partition, it will leave you with unallocated space that you can use to extend other partitions.

A full format of the hard drive erases the data on it irrecoverably. However, a quick format merely deletes the files, leaving them recoverable with specialized software.

You should check if your hard drive has any partitions for an OS you no longer need, through disk management. This will also bring to light any unallocated space. Then partition the drive as needed for the new usage, and format it with the filesystem needed.

How To Lock An App With A Password In Windows 11

Do you have an app you don’t want anybody to be able to open without your permission? Whether it’s for the sake of your kids or clueless family or friends, there are several methods to restrict others from being able to access the app. This short guide will show you how to lock an app with a password in Windows 11.

If another user has a separated user account in the same Windows PC, you can restrict access to a certain folder so that any executable file (of the app) in the folder will not be visible or accessible to the user. To learn how to restrict access to app, file or folder in Windows 11, go to: How to Restrict User Access to a Folder or Drive in Windows 11.

If you only have one user account on your PC and you share the same user account with other people, use the method below to lock an app with a password in Windows 11.

How to password protect an app in Windows 11

Since there is no built-in feature that allows you to password protect an app, folder or file in Windows, we will have to rely on a third party tool to do so. We recommend My Lockbox.

My Lockbox is a simple tool that is able to lock an entire folder with a password set by you. Any file in the locked folder cannot be opened without first unlocking the folder with your set password.

Here’s an example of how to set up My Lockbox to lock an app with password on Windows 11.

First, download and install My Lockbox.

Once installed, open My Lockbox. The first time you open the program, it will prompt you to specify a password you want to use with the program. You need to enter a password twice, a hint to remind yourself about the password should you forget it, and an email address for password recovery if you lose your password in the future.

Once the folder is locked, when you try to open an app (via desktop shortcut, Start menu or anywhere else) that is located in the folder you’ve locked, Windows 11 will show an error that says “The item referred to by this shortcut cannot be accessed. You may not have the appropriate permissions.”

To unlock the folder so that you can launch the app again, open My Lockbox and enter your password. Then, open the app again.

My Lockbox free version allows you to lock only 1 folder. To lock more folders, you will need to pay for a subscription or purchase the software. Tip: You can try to put all the apps and files you want to lock in a single folder and lock only that particular folder. It will still be able to lock all files and subfolders within that particular folder you select to lock.

For example, you can create a folder such as “C:Personal“, and install all the apps (or change the installation location) you want lock onto this folder. Then, use My Lockbox to lock this folder to lock all the apps installed in this particular folder.

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