How to Clone Hard Drive to SSD with Free Software?

Posted by @AOMEI

March 7, 2019

A solid-state drive (SSD) has been increasingly used to replace hard disk drive (HDD), but cloning hard drive to SSD may be tricky since SSD is usually smaller than an HDD. With AOMEI Backupper Standard, you can do it exactly.

Why need to clone HDD to SSD?

Compared with an HDD, an SSD has many advantages, no matter for system operating or gaming. For example, it is more durable; it is faster; it consumes less power; it is lighter; it is cooler; it is quieter. For all the advantages listed, it is a better choice to clone hard disk to SSD to get better performance.

If you use the right tool, the process is easy and you do not need to worry about boot issue of the cloned drive. What's more, SSDs are relatively affordable nowadays and have more types of SSDs to choose from. You can use PCI-Express, mSATA and M.2 SSD besides regular SATA SSD. Many popular SSDs like Samsung 970 EVO, Samsung M.2, WD Blue, Mushkin Reactor, PNY SSD, etc. are available on the market.

Why AOMEI Backupper?

As a free backup software, AOMEI Backupper Standard, an all-in-one backup and recovery software, is able to clone hard drive to SSD, even with smaller capacity in a few clicks. What’s more, it has the ability to edit partitions on the destination disk, no need to worry that your SSD does not match for the HDD.

As we know, SSD has different structures so partitions need to be aligned along the SSD block boundaries during cloning. With the option - Align partition to optimize for SSD, there is no need to worry that the speed of cloned SSD as well as the alignment. Besides, with volume shadow copy service (VSS) technology, there is no need to worry that it will interrupt your work.

AOMEI Backupper will check out whether the space on destination disk is sufficient or not before starting to clone hard drive to SSD. If not, you can slim your HDD by removing data to another storage device or use system clone (supported by superior versions) to only migrate your operating system (OS) to the SSD instead. It is supported by Windows 10, 8/8.1, 7, XP and Vista.

How to clone HDD to SSD without reinstalling step by step?

You can either install the SSD in the second drive bay or connect it with a USB-to-SATA adapter. As long as the space on the SSD is sufficient for all the data on the source disk, you can follow the steps below to clone hard disk to SSD. Here will take cloning HDD to SSD in Windows 10 for example.

1. Download and install the clone HDD to SSD software on your computer, connect the new SSD.

Download Free Software

2. Run this program and go to the "Clone" -> "Disk Clone" option.

3. All the hard disks that can be recognized by your computer will be shown in the program except dynamic disk which is not supported to clone the entire disk. Select the original hard drive as the source disk that you are going to clone, and click on "Next".

Select Source.gif

4. Choose the SSD as destination disk, and then click on the "Next". Note that all data (if there is) on the destination disk will be deleted before cloning.

Select Destination

5. There are three options on the final screen you need to pay attention to as the screenshot below.

a) Edit partitions on the destination disk: Under this option, you can choose to copy without resizing partitions, fit partition to entire disk (recommended), or manually adjust the partition size.

b) Sector by sector clone: Copies all sectors of the disk to the destination disk whether in use or not. Do not check this one unless the SSD’s size is equal to or larger than the source disk.

c) Align partition to optimize for SSD: check this option for optimizing the performance of the SSD like 4K alignment.

Operation Summary

6. Click "Start Clone" to begin. Now you are cloning your hard drive to SSD. You can check the cloning process while working. 


  • If you have cloned system disk and want to boot from cloned SSD, please shut down your PC, replace hard drive with SSD or change boot order in BIOS. 

  • To perform system clone to SSD, please upgrade to superior versions. 

Solution for cloning laptop hard drive to SSD

If what you have is a laptop, there is a workaround with Backupper,

1. Backup hard disk to an external USB drive or another place that can be accessed by a bare laptop.

2. Create a bootable media in Utilities.

3. Replace HDD with SSD and boot your laptop with the created media. You may need to change boot order in BIOS.

4. Restore the backup image of your HDD to SSD.

More about this free hard drive cloning software

Apart from cloning hard drive to SSD, the following lists are the main functions of AOMEI Backupper Standard:

    • System backup, disk backup, partition backup, files backup and recovery.
    • Full backup, incremental backup, differential backup, and automatic (schedule) backups.
    • Create bootable rescue USB drive or CD/DVD disc in case of system failure.
    • Synchronize files and folders automatically with a schedule. Real-time file sync is available in its advanced version.

    • And more

One more thing, AOMEI Backupper Standard is completely free for personal and commercial use. Go for it and protect your computer now.