How to Clone Hard Drive to SSD with Free Software?

Posted by @Cody

January 19, 2017

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 exactly that without reinstalling your operating system and apps.

Why need to clone HDD to SSD?

Compared with an HDD, an SSD has many advantages. 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 cheep nowadays and have more types of SSDs to choose from. You can use PCI-Express, mSATA and M.2 SSD besides regular SATA SSD.

Why AOMEI Backupper?

As a free backup software, AOMEI Backupper Standard, as an all-in-one backup and recovery software, is able to clone hard drive to SSD, even with smaller capacity. 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.

With the option - Align partition to optimize for SSD, there is no need to worry that the speed of cloned SSD is too slow. 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 to only migrate your operating system (OS) to the SSD instead.

How to clone HDD to SSD

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.

1. After downloading and installing the program on your computer, connect the new SSD.

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.

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.

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:

If what you have is a laptop, there is a workaround to clone laptop hard drive to SSD with Backupper, which is to backup hard disk to an external USB drive and boot your laptop with a bootable media created by Backupper to restore the backup image of your HDD to SSD. One more thing, AOMEI Backupper Standard is completely free for personal and commercial use.