How to Clone HDD to SSD and Perform SSD Partition Alignment

You may want to find a way to fix the system running slow. Fortunately, this article will show you how to clone HDD to SSD alignment for better performance.


By Cherry / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Why need to clone HDD to SSD?

Both SSD and HDD are computer storage devices. However, more and more users would like to use SSD instead of HDD. Why?


Hard disk drive(HDD) is the traditional storage device with metal platform. You have to put up with the noise of HDD's spinning. HDD is widely used in the past years. But it is kind of out-dated device for today's demand for running speed.

Solid state drive(SSD) is the new generation of storage device. It stores data with a little chips without the voice of platform spinning. As it is read and written with the chips, the speed is much faster than HDD. Thus, lots of users would like to replace HDD with SSD.

Clone HDD to SSD allows you to move all the data on the HDD to the SSD, which not only improves performance, but also ensures that your data is not lost.

What is SSD alignment?

The SSD partition alignment is to optimize the performance of the SSD. Although an SSD reads and writes data with fast speed, some people may still feel the speed is not fast as they're expected. This is because the SSD is never aligned.

As we have known, a partition can be divided into lots of sectors, and one sector usually is 512 bytes. It had worked very well for a while. But nowadays, many manufacturers take sector size of 4096 bytes to produce SSDs. And the 4096 bytes sector is called as “physical sector”.

But on the other hand, systems and software don't adapt to the sector change. They still retrieve and report data as it is an 512 bytes disk. And we call it logical sectors.

Thus, you can find the situation where the logical sectors and physical sectors are not aligned. The operating system has to over least one sector to read data. This is the read why the SSD is not fast as the manufacturers claimed. So, when we plan to clone disk, we should clone HDD to SSD alignment.

Misaligned Partition

How to clone HDD to SSD alignment

When you have a new SSD, it is important to choose a cloning software that support SSD alignment partition. Otherwise, you can't get the performance you want.

Here we highly recommend you AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which can not only migrate OS from HDD to SSD, but also can copy all data on the HDD to SSD without reinstalling software, meanwhile, it will optimize the SSD during the cloning process. Besides, it supports cloning larger disk to a smaller SSD, after all the SSDs are more expensive than HDDs with the same capacities.

Please download the freeware to see how to clone HDD to SSD alignment.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Note: The Standard Edition only supports MBR data disks clone, if you wish to clone MBR system disk, MBR to GPT, GPT to MBR, GPT to GPT, please upgrade to the Professional Edition.

What to do before cloning disk:

1. If you are using a desktop computer, you may need a SATA to USB cable to connect the SSD to the PC.
2. If your SSD has not been used, please initialize it in advance.

Step 1. Install and launch this freeware, click “Clone” from the top toolbar, and then select “Clone Disk”.

Disk Copy Wizard

Step 2. It will guide you to copy the whole disk. Select “Clone Disk Quickly”. The “Sector-by-Sector Clone” will copy all sectors of the disk to a target disk no matter it is used or not, so it would take a larger space and more time.

Copy Disk Quickly

Step 3. Here you need to choose the source disk. Select disk 1.

Source Disk

Step 4. Then, select the SSD you plugged in before as the destination space. Here you need to tick the box marked as red so that the SSD would be optimized. It will clone HDD to SSD and perform SSD alignment.

Target Disk

Step 5. You can adjust the partition size on the SSD here. Click Next.


Step 6. After all the settings, in the main interface, click "Apply" > "Proceed".


Boot from the cloned SSD

After cloning, just replace the HDD with the SSD, you need to boot from the SSD. And if you want to wipe the HDD to store data, you might need to enter BIOS to set the boot device.

1. Restart your computer and long press Esc, F1, F2, F8 or F10 during the initial startup screen.

2. Choose "Boot" tab in the BIOS utility, and move the cloned SSD to the top of the listed devices.

Change Order

3. Save the setting, and your PC will be started from the SSD.


With a few steps, you can easily clone HDD to SSD alignment without reinstalling. Whether you are using Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista, this cloning tool can perform well. 

Last but not least, if you want to clone disk in Windows Server, you should upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Cherry · Staff Editor
Cherry is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, cooking, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.