What you should know before cloning?
If you want to get your old computer running faster, installing a solid state drive (SSD) to replace the original drive is the best upgrade that can be simply realized. For old computers, they should use Master Boot Record (MBR). You need to clone MBR to SSD along with MBR if you want to the SSD to boot successfully. Besides the system partition (C: drive), you need also clone the system reserved partition if it is on your hard drive. If you have partitioned your hard drive before instilling Windows, then the system reserved partition would not be generated. Usually, a brand new SSD has not been initialized. Hard drive cloning will also clone the partition style, so you do not have to initialize the SSD before cloning. If the SSD has been initialized, you need to make sure it is MBR partition style. If otherwise, you need to make sure your computer support UEFI boot mode or convert GPT to MBR before trying to replace MBR disk with an SSD.
What do you need?
Besides the computer with Windows 10/8/7 installed on an MBR disk, you need an SSD that is a bit larger than the used space on your original hard drive, cables or SATA-to-USB adapter to connect the SSD, and a copy of a software that is able to clone HDD to SSD along with MBR. For the cloning software, you can use AOMEI Backupper Standard the free version, which is enough to do this task. If you want to edit the partition size on the destination SSD, you can use AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition.
How to clone MBR hard drive to SSD
With AOMEI Backupper, you can either choose to clone system that include system partition and system reserved partition or clone the entire hard drive. Either way, the cloned SSD will be bootable. If your SSD is smaller than the original hard drive, you can also choose Disk Clone because the program will automatically adjust the partition size on the SSD for it to fit the entire drive.
1. Download this freeware for cloning and run it.
2. Under the “Clone tab”, select “Disk Clone” to clone the entire MBR drive.
3. At the next screen, select the original disk as source disk and SSD as destination disk.
4. Click “Start Clone” to run the clone.
Then AOMEI Backupper will clone MBR to SSD in the back ground. In the meantime, you can still use the computer to do your work. You can also create a bootable media to clone hard drive without loading Windows. After the clone is done, do not wipe out the original drive immediately. Just remove the original disk and boot from the SSD. When the SSD boots fine, then you can wipe the original hard drive.