Free Cloning (and booting) your Windows, using 2 USB sticks, and no trial bloatware

Quick setup:

  • Need a brand new disk, not used as raid. Plug it, when computer is OFF ;) Also need access to BIOS (F2 when booting usually).
  • In your Windows Control Panel, search for “Recovery” and make a recovery disk on USB disk #1.
  • Get GParted Live USB and install it on USB disk #2 (with tuxboot for instance).

Time for “Plug and Pray” (reboots)

  • Reboot with GPartedLive, you may have to change your BIOS settings to boot USB.
  • In GParted, first select the new disk and change its partition table to GPT.
  • Then select the Windows disk and partition you want to clone, right click and select Copy (CTRL-C is not working for me). Yep, that easy.
  • Go in the new disk and right click the unformated space then select Paste. Wow, give yourself a hug, you’re cloning big time.
  • Same for the UEFI partition, no need to copy-paste MSR (or … try and let me know, not harmful).
  • Shutdown, remove your windows source disk (previous C:\),
  • Boot (BIOS to select Windows (UEFI), not the hard drive directly) to try, chances are you can’t boot and get error 0xc0000225 about winload.efi, just because of a pesky stupid letter! Follow on:

Gimme a letter, come on!

  • Reboot with Windows Recovery Disk (BIOS to boot on USB).
  • Navigate through Menu to go to and open the command line (My windows is not english, not sure about menu names).
  • Once in command terminal, enter: “diskpart”, then “list volume”, note the Volume number of the FAT32 100MB disk (UEFI partition). As a mentalist, I can see it doesn’t have a letter assigned, right? Well that’s the only problem.
  • Enter “select volume=”+ the number of your UEFI disk
  • Enter “assign letter=w” (or something you never use), then “exit”.
  • Back to Command Terminal, enter “bcdboot C:\Windows /s w: /f uefi /v”, basically you’re telling widows where the uefi partition is.
  • “Exit”, shutdown from Recovery menu. Remove the USB disk.
  • Reboot, change BIOS to start on Windows, and TADA! You just cloned the whole disk and boot perfectly.

Thanks to:

  • All members of various forums I don’t remember, some of them had to reformat their disks for the cause.
  • TodoTuto for the brilliant final steps.
  • GParted team for making things so free and so brilliantly easy.