Guide: Replace Hard Drive with SSD And Boot from It Successfully

Do you want to replace hard drive with SSD for better performance? Do you know how to perform it easily and safely? Here, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional shows the full guide.


By Dervish / Updated on June 4, 2024

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Why replace hard drive with SSD on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7?


There is no better way to speed up your computer than replacing HDD (Hard Disk Drive) with SSD (Solid State Drive) because SSD has advantages that traditional HDD doesn't. And with the decline in SSD prices in recent years, it has become the norm for users to upgrade HDD to SSD. In general, SSD has these advantages:

✍ Read and write faster. This allows the SSD to load the operating system and applications, including games, in less time due to the way it is constructed. This is also what makes many users decide to install an SSD.

✍ Lower temperature. SSD work with virtually no vibration and heat. It reduces the risk of data loss due to vibration and shock.

Greater compatibility. For advanced needs, SSD can be easily used as RAID arrays, while HDD are difficult.

✍ Durable. Because SSD don't have tiny moving parts like spinning platters and robotic arms that can be easily damaged or damaged like HDD, SSD are effectively resistant to vibration and shock.

Powerful software: Replace hard drive with SSD on desktop or laptop

After figuring out why to replace hard drive with SSD, you know how do I replace my PC hard drive with an SSD? To achieve this easily, you need a reliable cloning software, while AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is your answer.

This powerful tool supports Windows 11, 10, 8, 7. It allows you to migrate the entire HDD to SSD without reinstalling Windows or other personal data, and the target SSD can be successfully booted in a laptop or desktop. Here are some reasons to choose it:

● It provides two cloning methods: Clone Disk Quickly and Sector-by-Sector Clone. The former clones the used sectors of the hard drive to another hard drive, so you can clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD; the latter clones the entire HDD, including unused sectors, to the SSD.
● It supports SSD 4K alignment: Because SSD uses the smallest 4K sector in the file system to save data. So, if the smallest 4K allocation unit is aligned with the 4K pages in the SSD, it can improve the performance of the SSD.
● It allows edit disk: It allows you to resize the partitions on the SSD before cloning starts.
● It can clone only OS to SSD: If you need to migrate OS to SSD while keeping files on HDD, then you can try the "Migrate OS to SSD" feature.

What's more, hot clone tech allows users to use the operating system during the cloning, and without rebooting after the cloning is completed. Besides, you can clone hard drive from boot when the computer can’t boot.

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
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How to replace hard drive with SSD without losing data

There are 3 parts to complete cloning with AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, you can refer to the following steps.

▶ Part 1. Preparation jobs

☛ First, you need to install an SSD in desktop or laptop. If your computer has only one hard drive slot, then you will need a SATA to USB adapter to connect the SSD to the computer.

☛ If the SSD is brand new, you need to initialize the SSD, otherwise it won't be recognized by Windows.

☛ Boot modes (UEFI and Legacy BIOS) must be compatible with partition styles (MBR and GPT). In order to avoid changing the boot mode after cloning, the partition style of the SSD needs to be the same as the HDD. So, please convert SSD from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR.

▶ Part 2. Clone HDD to SSD step by step

Next, I will show you how to replace HDD with SSD with AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, click "Clone" in the main interface and select "Clone Disk".

Disk Copy

Step 2. Choose the hard disk that you need to clone as the source disk and click "Next".

Copy Disk in Windows 10 Quickly

Step 3. Select the destination disk to store the data on the source disk, and then click "Next".

Seleect Destination Disk

Step 4. Then, you can check the source and destination disk in the next window or change to “Sector to Sector clone”, and click the "Confirm" button to continue if there is no problem.

Edit Disk

Here, you can also click the "Settings" button to adjust the partition size on the destination disk or tick "4k alignment" to improve the reading and writing speed of SSD if the target disk is an SSD drive.


Step 5. At last, click "Apply" and "Proceed" in the main interface to start cloning the hard drive.


After that, you can wipe the HDD and use it as a data disk to store personal data. Right-click the HDD and select “Wipe Hard Drive”, then follow the guidance to complete the operations.

Wipe Drive

▶ Part 3. How to boot from SSD successfully

How do I upgrade my hard drive to SSD without reinstalling Windows? After reading the above tutorial, I believe you are no longer unfamiliar. Is this the end? Not really. After the system disk has been cloned, to boot Windows from the SSD, you need to restart the computer, enter the BIOS and change the boot drive.

Change Boot Order

Bonus tip: 3 steps before buying an SSD

If you haven't bought an SSD yet, this part will tell you how to choose the right SSD. If you have already bought an SSD, then you can read this part to learn if it is compatible with your computer.

▶ Step 1. Check the port - confirm the type of SSD supported by the motherboard

Before purchasing an SSD, the first thing to do is to confirm the interfaces supported by your motherboard. If you are buying a new computer, it is recommended to directly choose the NVMe M.2 SSD with PCIe 3.0 protocol.

If it is an old computer (the motherboard does not support the M.2 interface), you can choose a SATA solid state drive. Its compatibility is worse than NVMe M.2 SSD, but the read and write speed is not as good as NVMe M.2.

▶ Step 2. For what - play or work

At present, the mainstream SSD on the market are 256GB, 512GB, 1T, 2T, and 4T. Generally, the larger the capacity of SSD of the same brand and the same model, the higher the price. If the SSD is bought for use as a game disk, it is recommended to choose at least 1T or more. If it is only used as a system disk or daily office use, 512G is enough.

▶ Step 3. Performance - 4K IOPS

The 4K IOPS index actually refers to the 4K random read and write speed. It affects the smoothness of daily use of the computer. Specifically, it refers to how many times the storage can receive accesses from the host per second. The higher the IOPS, the faster the hard disk reads (writes) data, which is the most intuitive reflection of the transmission speed of an SSD. Performance parameters, such as the writing of webpage cache in daily applications, system file updates, including program and game loading, response, etc., are closely related to random 4K IOPS values.

If you still don't know how to choose the right SSD, the most efficient way is to buy a branded SSD. Commonly used SSD brands are HP, Samsung, Crucial, WD, SanDisk, Toshiba, Seagate, Kingston, Maxtor.

Bottom line

From what has been discussed above, here is a complete guide to replacing a hard drive with an SSD. If you are a user with no computer experience, this tutorial can definitely help you. For Windows Server users, you should upgrade to Server Edition. If you are a company user, AOMEI Partition Assistant Technician provides you with additional VIP services and unlimited use rights within the company.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.