By Lucas / Last Updated September 30, 2021

Why clone HDD to SSD?

Cloning HDD to SSD currently is commonplace subject in replacing hard drive among thousands of PC users. Still, it is necessary to talk about the benefits of using SSD. SSD is known for fast running speed, but it has many hidden advantages. For example, it has high quivery resistance capability, low power consumption standby, running noiseless, low operating temperature, and can be used in disk array etc strong points. As a result, upgrading HDD to SSD is an inevitable trend.

Clone HDD to SSD via Clonezilla

Clonezilla is free and open source software for disk imaging and cloning. It can be used in both Microsoft Windows OS and GNU/Linux. In the aspect of disk cloning, Clonezilla requires the target disk (SSD in the article) should be equal or larger than the source disk (HDD). Therefore, it is not easy to clone HDD to smaller SSD through Clonezilla. Yet not easy doesn’t mean there is no way out. If your source disk does not contain that much stuff, you can shrink its partition size in Disk Management first to meet the target disk.

Pre-condition: 1. You need the essential physical disk SSD and an external disk closure and an USB cable if you don’t want to install the SSD to your PC directly.

2. A running operating system.

3. Download the Clonezilla zip file on the SSD and make it bootable. To make it bootable, you need to extract the zip file, and create a 200 MB partition on SSD as the boot partition. Or, you can create bootable USB using Diskpart and place the Clonezilla ISO file there if you don’t want to use the SSD as the boot device.


How to clone HDD to SSD with Clonezilla?

First, boot your PC using the bootable SSD, and in the boot menu, choose “Other modes of Clonezilla live”. In the next interface, you can choose “To RAM” to release the boot partition on the SSD.

Second, choose language, keyboard layout, and then “Start Clonezilla”.

Third, choose “device-device work directly from a disk or partition to a disk or partition”. Then “beginner mode: Accept the default options”, and next “disk_to_local_disk local_disk_to_local_disk_clone”.

Fourth, select the source disk and the target disk in turn now. You may be asked to check the source file system here. Just skip or check based on your needs.

Finally, it will start to clone and ask other several confirms. Wait for the cloning process to be completed.

To clone hard drive like clone HDD to SSD in Windows 7 using Clonezilla above is a little time-consuming and cumbersome since you have to prepare boot device beforehand. What’s worse, it doesn’t have a graphical user interface, which is quite difficult for common PC users who are new to computer in particular. But that is not something to worry about because you always get a “plan B”, the alternative to Clonezilla, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard free edition.

The “Disk Clone” in AOMEI Partition Assistant allows you to clone HDD to a smaller SSD with “Clone Disk Quickly” mode. Further, you have options to personalized edit the partition size on the target disk before starting cloning. It is easy, install the software, configure the parameter and then leave it complete the task alone. 

✍ Note:  To clone hard drive without OS installed, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard support MBR/GPT to MBR/GPT; to clone system hard drive, it supports MBR to MBR only; if you need to clone MBR system disk to GPT/MBR or GPT to GPT for upgrade to Windows 11, please upgrade to Professional version. 

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Clonezilla to clone HDD to SSD workaround - AOMEI Partition Assistant

Step 1. Connect the SSD to your PC. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Select Disk Clone on the left side, and choose your desire copy method.

Disk Copy

Copy Disk Quickly

Step 2. Disk 1 is selected by default. Select the target disk. Check the option "Optimize the performance for SSD". To change the source disk, please go to All Tools > Disk Clone Wizard to select a new one.

Select Destination

Step 3. Edit the partition size if you wish to, and read the Note in the next window carefully.

Edit Disk


Step 4. Click Apply to execute all operations, and you will go to the final confirmation. If nothing goes wrong, click Proceed to reboot your PC and let it complete there.



Comparatively speaking, AOMEI Partition Assistant has the advantages of multifunction, simple operation, and an intuitive interface for use. That is to say, it is more effective than Clonezilla when cloning HDD to SSD in Windows OS.

Speaking of multifunction, you may have noticed that there are many features in the Wizards pane. Say migrate OS to new hard drive with Migrate OS to SSD feature; create bootable Sandisk USB drive with Make Bootable Media wizard; and transformation between NTFS and FAT32 with NTFS to FAT32 Converter.