By Michael / Last Updated May 6, 2023

Do I need to format a new SSD before cloning?

I have a new SSD, and I want to install it on my laptop. Do I need to format the SSD before Cloning software to it? Thanks for your answer in advance."

- Question from

Do I need to format a new SSD before cloning?

Because of the falling price and high running speed, the users who want to upgrade HDD to SSD is sharply increasing. Some of them would adopt methods that require formatting their SSDs beforehand to clone their old hard drive to new SSDs.

However, we don’t suggest you to use those methods to format before cloning, because format a disk would erase all data on the disk including partition style and rebuild the file system, which would take much time to perform such operation. Besides, some of them are even so complicated that some computer beginners may make some unexpected errors.

Freeware to clone hard drive to a new SSD without formatting

When you upgrade your hard drive to SSD, you may also ask, “do I need to format a new SSD before cloning? Actually, you don’t need to, you can turn to a popular cloning freeware-AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It can easily clone a hard drive to a new SSD, HDD, SD card, and USB drive without formatting in Windows 11/10/8/7/XP.

Besides, if your new SSD is smaller than the old hard disk, you can choose “Clone Disk Quickly” Cloning way, which allows you to clone a larger hard drive to smaller SSD, as long as the SSD has enough space to contain all data on the old disk.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Then you can download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant, and follow the next context to see the detailed steps to clone hard drive to SSD without formatting.

Steps to clone SSD without formatting it beforehand Conclusion

Just connect your SSD to your computer. Before cloning, please back up the SSD if there are important files on it, because it will be formatted during the process.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, click “Clone” > “Clone Disk”. And choose a clone method according to your needs.

Disk Copy Wizard

Step 2. You can select a cloning method, “Clone Disk Quickly” or “Sector-by-Sector” Clone, and click “Next”.

Copy Disk Quickly

● Clone Disk quickly: Only clone used space to target disk. This way is more recommended because it is faster and allows you to clone larger disk to smaller disk.
● Sector-by-Sector Clone: all the sectors including deleted and bad sector on the source disk will be cloned to the destination disk. It takes more time, and the target disk needs to be larger or equal to the capacity of the source disk.

Step 3. Select the source disk in this window.

Select Source Disk

Step 4. Choose the destination disk, and tick the “Optimize the performance of SSD) if your destination disk is an SSD.

Select Destination Disk

Step 5. You can adjust the partition size on the destination disk, if you don’t need to, you can choose “Clone without resizing partitions” and click “Next”.

Edit Disk

Step 6. At least, go back to the main interface, and click “Apply” > “Proceed” to start cloning


Step 7. After cloning, you might need to enter BIOS to set the cloned disk as the boot disk.

1. Restart your computer, and press a function key to enter BIOS when the logo appears on the screen.

2. Choose “Change Boot Order” and change to set the cloned disk as the boot disk.

3. Press “F10” to save and leave BIOS, and start your computer

Usually, the function key is F2 F4, F5 F10, etc. you can google the function key of your PC brand, or refer to the instruction book.
AOMEI Partition can also only system partition the destination disk by the feature of “Migrate OS to SSD”.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard only supports cloning MBR data disk to MBR disk. If you clone the MBR data disk to the GPT disk or clone the system disk between MBR and GPT, you can upgrade to the Professional edition.


“Do I need to format a new SSD before cloning?” I think you know the answer now. By means of AOMEI Partition Assistant, you don’t need to format a disk for cloning. And it is not just a hard disk cloner, it also an efficient and powerful partition manager that can help you to create, resize, delete, and merge partition.