You cannot mix GPT with MBR
By default, recent hard disk drives (HDD) are using GUID partition table (GPT) partition style that supports booting system with UEFI mode. However, the old drives are using Master Boot Record (MBR) partition style, which only supports system using legacy BIOS-compatibility mode. Compared with MBR disks’ 2 TB maximum size limit, GPT disks can have many much larger partitions. Basically, both the source disk being cloned and the destination disk receiving the clone have to be either MBR disk or GPT disk. If you simply clone GPT HDD to SSD with MBR partition table, the SSD will most likely fail to boot after cloning. To work this out, you can convert MBR to GPT disk first.
Free HDD cloning software
There are many cloning software you can find on the internet. Instead of using two tools (conversion and clone) to complete this, is there a hard drive cloning software can directly convert the destination disk to GPT while cloning? For the capability issues, such as GPT disks only support 64-bit version of Windows while MBR disks support both 32-bit and 64-bit system, some people may want to keep the SSD with MBR partition style. Then, is there a way to just clone a GPT disk to an MBR disk without converting it first?
AOMEI Backupper Standard is a freeware that can directly clone disk or system between GPT and MBR disk without conversion while the destination disk remains bootable. If you want to your computer to boot from the cloned SSD, you need to change boot mode from UEFI to Legacy mode. If the destination disk is an empty disk (shown as unallocated space), you will be given a choice of converting the destination disk to GPT disk when the clone starts.
How to clone HDD to SSD?
AOMEI Backupper provides an intuitive interface so that you can easily use it as you will. If your SSD is of smaller capacity than the HDD, AOMEI Backupper will automatically adjust the partition size to make it fit on the SSD. If your SSD is too small for all the data on HDD, you can transfer only OS to SSD by using System Clone.
To clone GPT disk with AOMEI Backupper:
1. Download, install, and launch this freeware.
2. Under Clone tab, and select Disk Clone.
3. Click on the source disk that you want to clone, and click Next.
4. Click on the destination disk and Next to continue.
5. Check the option Align partition to optimize for SSD, and click Start Clone to run this operation.
While the cloning process is running in the background, you can still do your work with the computer. Besides using AOMEI Backupper to clone GPT HDD to SSD, it can also be used to backup system, synchronize files, restore system to dissimilar hardware, and many more.