Best Way to Clone Boot Hard Drive to Smaller SSD in Windows 10/8/7

Posted by @Teresa

October 18, 2018

Do you know how to clone boot hard drive to smaller or new SSD in Windows 7/8/10? This post introduces clone boot system drive and its related partitions to SSD in four steps.

Why clone boot drive to SSD in Windows?

Clone Windows boot drive to SSD means migrating the C drive to SSD (Solid State Drive). Normally, the boot drive including Boot, Page File, Crash Dump and the System Reserved Partition. In most cases, the boot drive and system drive are separated in Windows 7/8/10.

Disk Management

Most users need to clone boot hard drive to SSD in following situations:

  • Layout the exactly configuration of this computer to other computers.
  • Make a duplication of this operating system in case the operating system fails one day.
  • Upgrade the current HDD to a larger and better performed SSD. As time goes by, a tons of data or applications occupied your disk eventually, which affect the performance of your operating system more or less. SSDs have outstanding properties in running system, so many users also clone boot drive to smaller SSD.

Clone boot drive to new SSD with best OS migration software

That’s too bad that you cannot work this task out with Windows internal utility Disk Management because there is no Clone function embedded with. You can make a system backup image for the boot drive on Windows 10, 8, 7 and then restore it to SSD. However, the restoring process is error-prone and time-consuming. Is there any easier way to complete boot drive cloning?

AOMEI Backupper Professional is comprehensive disk and OS cloning software that works on Windows 10/8/8.1/7/XP/Vista. It offers Disk Clone and System Clone options that allow you to clone a hard drive wholly or clone OS only to SSD. All features operated with user-friendly interface, which makes it is suitable for every computer user.

How to clone Windows 7 boot drive to SSD without reinstalling?

Connect the SSD to your PC first and make sure it is detected. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper.

Step1. Select Clone > System Clone.

Clone Boot Drive

Step2. Choose the destination partition (the C drive and System Reserved Partition are selected by default).


Step3. Check out the operation summary, and click Start Clone. It is strongly recommend you to tick the box Align the partition optimized for SSD because this feature could improve the speed of reading and writing as well as prolong the service life of SSD.

Boot drive to SSD start

Step4. At the cloning process interface, you can check “Shut down on completion” or manually shut down your PC after cloning completes. Now, you can change boot priority to SSD in BIOS (keep tapping F2 once power button clicked), or remove old hard drive that contains previous boot drive to test if you can boot from cloned SSD.


  • All data on SSD will be wiped. So backup important files before you start.

  • This feature also applies to how to clone boot drive to SSD Windows 10/8.

  • You can format the boot drive to free up disk space if you want to use it as a secondary storage.

  • To clone entire boot hard drive to SSD, click on Disk Clone at “Step1”.

Easy and fast, you could clone boot drive to SSD in only four steps. If you are running the latest operating system, Windows 10, it is worth to try Windows 10 create backup boot disk and restore the image to the SSD. Other features are provided in AOMEI Backupper, such as Incremental and Differential Backup, System Restore, Create Bootable Rescue Media etc.

AOMEI Backupper Professional and AOMEI Backupper Server, come with more helpful features, such as Universal Restore, command line clone, and disk space management. The latter edition, as its name implies, is suitable for Windows Server OS including Server 2016, Server 2012, and SBS 2011 etc.