By Bryce / Last Updated September 27, 2022

Why clone system disk to SSD?

Compared to HDD, SSD offers many advantages: faster data access, higher reliability, lower power consumption, and more. The advent of PCIe NVMe SSDs has further widened the performance gap between SSDs and HDDs. People usually choose to clone Windows system disk to SSD in pursuit of better performance.

Best cloning software for system disk

To clone your current system hard disk drive to SSD, it's important to choose reliable disk cloning software.  AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is highly recommended as its highlights listed below:

Bootable clone: If a partition related to OS is not copied to the new SSD, you won’t be boot Windows from the SSD. This cloning tool can clone all partitions including hidden partitions on the source system disk, ensuring that the cloned SSD bootable.
Considerate: It is common that the capacity of the new SSD is smaller than the size of the source system disk. This cloning tool supports cloning system disk to smaller SSD, as it can clone only used space on the current disk.
Compatibility: It is designed for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7, XP, and Vista users.
4K alignment: It can make 4K alignment for SSD to improve performance during cloning system disk to SSD. 

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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How to: Clone system disk to SSD without boot issues

Let's walk through how to clone system hard drive to SSD via AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. 

Before the operation:
♦ The capacity of SSD can be smaller than the capacity of the original disk but should be larger than or equal to the used space on the source disk.
♦ Back up necessary data if there are files on the SSD, as this operation will erase all data on the destination disk.
♦ Connect SSD to your computer. A SATA to USB adapter might be necessary for a laptop.

SATA to USB Cable

Step 1. Install and run the software. Go to All Tools and Disk Clone Wizard.

disk-clone-wizard

Step 2. In the pop-up window, choose Clone Disk Quickly.

clone-disk-quickly

PS.: If you need to clone a hard drive with bad sectors and the capacity of the target SSD is not smaller than the source disk, please choose Sector-by-Sector Clone.

Step 3. Locate the system disk and choose it as the source disk.

source-disk

Step 4. Choose the SSD as the destination disk; tick the box before Optimize the performance of SSD….to make SSD partition alignment.

destination-disk

PS.: If there are data saved on SSD, you'll be prompted to delete all partitions and wipe all data on SSD.

Step 5. In this window, you are allowed to adjust partition size on the destination SSD.

edit-disk

PS.: If you clone HDD to a smaller SSD, the option of Clone without resizing partitions won't be working.

Then, a Note about how to boot OS from the destination disk will pop up. Read and keep it in mind.

Step 6. In the main interface, to perform cloning operation, click Apply and Proceed.

apply

Notes:

▪ A reboot is necessary for this operation as it involves the system.
▪ If the storage space of the SSD is too small to hold all data on your current hard drive, it’s not a bad choice to clone OS-related partitions only to SSD via Migrate OS to SSD.

How to: Boot from SSD after cloning system disk

To boot successfully from the cloned SSD after cloning system disk, you can have a look at the following content.  

When your computer supports you to hold the old HDD and the new SSD at the same time, you can reboot your PC and press ESC, F1, F2, F8 or F10 during the startup screen to enter BIOS setup; then use the arrow keys to select the Boot tab; set the new cloned SSD as the priority in boot sequence; finally, save and exit the BIOS setup utility.

When your PC has no extra drive bay, you need to remove the old system disk and install the new cloned SSD and then boot from the SSD. 

Step 1.  Unplug the power and remove the battery from your laptop.

Step 2. Press and hold the power button for about 10 seconds to release any residual power.

Step 3. Remove the case cover and locate the old system disk on the motherboard. Loosen the screw and unplug your old drive.

Step 4.  Install the SSD by doing the reverse of how you removed the old disk  and then screw the screws to fasten the bracket.

Step 5. Place the case cover and battery back onto the computer. Then connect the power.

Conclusion

All in all, whether you want to upgrade the system disk to SSD or replace it with a bigger one without Windows and applications reinstallation, it’s a nice choice to clone it. Obviously, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can help you to complete the operation effectively and easily. What's more, it is featured various other functions, such as copying data partition to a new hard drive, recover lost partition, convert dynamic disk into basic without data loss, etc.

To cloning OS disk in Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2003 without boot failure, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server