By AOMEI / Last Updated June 11, 2020

Clone HDD to SSD for effortless disk upgrade

HDD (short for hard disk drive) and SSD (short for solid-state drive) are two commonly used disks. Both of them can save the system, store the applications and personal files. However, SSD is much faster in speed and more reliable in durability. Thus, more and more computer users plan to upgrade HDD to SSD, and use SSD as your system disk to boot PC faster.

For the disk upgrade, most users choose to reinstall Windows operating system on the new SSD, which will cost lots of time and energy to reinstall everything and tweak related settings. Meanwhile, some of them switch to “system backup & restore” method. However, this process is still not easy and you need to do operations as below:

PS.: If the capacity of SSD is large enough, you can skip 1 and 2.
1. Move data off any non-OS partitions from OS HDD and delete these partitions.
2. Shrink the OS partition to fit the new SSD.
3. Make an image of the OS partition to an external HDD.
4. Install the new SSD.
5. Restore the OS image from the external HDD.
6. Resize the OS partition to fill the SSD capacity.
7. Have Windows re-rate the OS drive so it recognizes it as an SSD.

Now, you can realize that is not easy to upgrade disk via backup & restore. To save your time and energy, why not clone HDD to SSD?

Try the top HDD to SSD cloning freeware

There is no built-in disk copy tool in Windows 10/8/7. If your SSD comes with data migration software, such as Intel Data Migration Software, Samsung Data Migration Software, etc, you can use it to copy HDD to SSD. However, if your SSD has no such data migration tool, you need to turn to third-party HDD to SSD cloning software.

Here AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, great HDD to SSD or SSD to HDD cloning freeware for Windows users, is my preference due to its highlights:

* Wide compatibility: it can work well under all editions of Windows 10/8/7 and Windows XP/Vista (32-bit and 64-bit).
* Flexible cloning ways: It allows you to clone all sectors whether used or not from HDD to SSD or clone used sectors only, being able to clone HDD with bad sector or copy larger HDD to smaller SSD respectively.
* Full-featured: Apart from cloning entire HDD to SSD, it allows you to clone only boot related partitions or single data partition from HDD to SSD.
* User-friendly GUI: With a modern and concise graphic user interface make the cloning process easy to handle.

✎✎✎Please keep in mind: For cloning data disk, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard supports MBR/GPT to MBR/GPT. For copying system disk, it supports only MBR to MBR. If you need to clone MBR system disk to GPT or GPT system disk to MBR/GPT, please upgrade to its Professional version.

How to free clone HDD to (smaller) SSD step by step?

First of all, you need to connect the SSD to your computer and ensure that it can be detected. For copying HDD to SSD on a laptop that has only one disk bay, a SATA-to-USB cable is necessary.

Then download this HDD to SSD cloning freeware – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard and follow steps given below (supposed that you are cloning Windows 10 HDD to smaller SSD):

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Go to All Tools and Disk Clone Wizard.

Disk Copy Wizard

Step 2. In this window, choose Clone Disk Quickly and click Next.

Copy Disk Quickly

Step 3. Choose the Windows 10 HDD as the source disk and click the Next button.

Source Disk

Step 4. Choose the SSD as your target disk; check Optimize the performance of SSD to align SSD partitions; then click Next.

Target Disk

Step 5. Choose one between two available options in this window and click Next.

Then, you’ll be prompted by a Note about how to boot the operating system from the destination disk. Click Finish.

Step 6. You’ll be in the main interface. Click Apply and Proceed to commit operation.

Step 7. After copying HDD to SSD successfully, to boot from the cloned SSD, you can reboot your computer and enter BIOS to change the boot priority.

Final words

With this powerful HDD to SSD cloning freeware – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, you can clone HDD to SSD just within a few clicks. What’s more, you can also use it to clone HDD to HDD, SSD to SSD, SSD to HDD, etc. Apart from cloning disk, it is also able to merge partition, move partition, make an emergency bootable media, convert data disk to MBR or GPT without deleting partitions.

If you are a Windows Server user, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, which is compatible with both Windows PC and Server, and equipped with more advanced functions, such as allocating free space from one drive to another, splitting a partition into two partitions, quickly partitioning a hard drive within one click, and more.