By Emily / Last Updated April 22, 2022

When transfer OS to SSD?
Reliable freeware to migrate your OS to an SSD
Steps to free transfer OS to SSD without reinstallation
Need to format old system drive after transferring to SSD?
✔ What if the cloned SSD won’t boot after OS transfer?
✔ Our Verdict

When transfer OS to SSD?

When a user’s hard drive becomes frustratingly slow or they suffer a catastrophic hard drive failure they typically will think about replacing it with a new one. Solid State Drives, or SSDs for short, like the Samsung EVO or the Intel 600p series, are known to have a number of advantages when compared with regular HDDs. They are far more durable, have faster read and write speeds, massively shorter boot times (as fast as 4.9 seconds!), are silent, have low power consumption, and have much better shock-resistance. Nowadays it has become normal for users to have an SSD for their OS and an HDD for data storage. If your computer can support installing two drives simultaneously, you can easily transfer OS from HDD to SSD.


Users who have installed their OS on an SDD may also need to transfer the OS from one SSD to a larger one.  Then they can install more and more applications on the SSD and take advantage of high speeds that larger SSDs offer. In the past few years, SSD prices have fallen and been more affordable. As a result, SSD to SSD migration has become normal as users purchase bigger drives.

An alternative view on system migration is that users can keep all of their data intact during system upgrades and save considerable time and effort when compared to doing a fresh install. In most cases, the transfer is very simple, although, you must make sure that the new SSD is large enough to hold all of your files. If you plan to migrate your drive to a smaller SSD, you should make sure you move all of your personal files to another drive beforehand, then reduce the partition size enough to successfully complete the migration.

Reliable software to migrate OS to SSD free

If you need to transfer operating system to SSD, it is recommended you find reliable specialist software. AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition is a fantastic program with an extremely useful feature-Migrate OS to SSD, which is designed especially for completely transferring your OS and data to the new SSD drive. Besides, it also includes the "Disk Clone Wizard", a feature which can help you clone the entire hard drive to SSD. The wizard is easy to use and is compatible with Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. 

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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The Standard Edition of AOMEI Partition Assistant supports only migrate OS from MBR disk to MBR disk. If using GPT partition style on the hard drive, you need to convert GPT to MBR first or upgrade to Professional edition and try again.

Steps to free transfer OS to SSD without reinstallation

First, connect the new SSD to your machine (physically install it on desktop PCs or connect. it via a USB-to-SATA cable on laptops), you should make sure that the SSD has been detected by Windows.

Sata USB Cable

After the migration is complete, a screwdriver will be necessary in order to swap out old drive with the newly cloned drive. You may want to back up important data before you start. See the example below.

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Next, click on the ‘Migrate OS to SSD’ option and read the introduction.

Migrare OS to SSD

Step 2. Select your SSD as the destination for the OS transfer. If there are partition on the SSD you need to check “I want to delete all partitions on the disk 2 to migrate system to the disk”. Once checked, the ‘Next’ button will activate, you should now click on it.

Select Disk Space

Step 3. You now have to option to resize the system partition and change the drive letter on the new SSD.

Resize Partition

Step 4. Read the troubleshooting guide on how to boot from the destination disk as you may need this later.


Step 5. Click ‘Apply’ and then ‘Proceed’ to transfer OS to new SSD drive.


Step 6: Turn off your computer and remove the cloned SSD from the USB to SATA adaptor. Next, you should remove the cover for the hard disk bay on your laptop and replace the old hard drive with the newly cloned SSD. If you are unsure how to do this, your laptop's manufacturer will likely have instructions on their website, or you can check YouTube for helpful tutorials.

Finally, you should boot the laptop up from the new SSD. You will now be able to take full advantage of the speeds that SSDs can offer.

If you’re doing this on a desktop PC, you can skip ‘Step 6’ and change the boot priority in the BIOS (move the newly cloned SSD to above the old HDD) in order to boot from the SSD.
A reboot is required in OS migration.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can work under Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7, XP, and Vista; to transfer OS to SSD in Windows Server, please employ AOMEI Partition Assistant Server

Need to format old system drive after transferring to SSD?

After you migrate OS to new SSD, the old hard drive will still contain a copy of the system. As you will probably want to use the old HDD for secondary storage you will need to format it first. AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition can also help with this as it has a fantastic ‘Format Partition’ feature.

On a desktop PC, you can boot from the SSD and reformat the hard drive without any extra steps. As laptops usually only have one disk bay, you will need to create a bootable USB first and reformat the system drive using the WinPE system.

Make Bootable Media

Here is a step by step guide:

1. Insert a USB drive (or CD/DVD) into your computer. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant and click on ‘Make Bootable Media’.

2. Select the USB flash drive and click ‘Proceed’. All data on USB drive will be overwritten, you should make sure you backup important data beforehand.

3. Wait for the progress to be completed and then click ‘Finish’.

4. Turn off the laptop, install the old hard drive and then boot from the USB stick by changing the boot order in the BIOS. AOMEI Partition Assistant will automatically run after you login. Now you can format the system partition as usual.

Note: The hard drive will not be able to boot after formatting.

What if the cloned SSD won’t boot after OS transfer?

In most cases, the cloned SSD will be able to boot successfully. On the rare occasion, the SSD can’t boot they may be an underlying issue which we can fix. Often this is because the drive has the wrong partition structure for your system. The MBR partition structure requires that you enable it in the BIOS via Legacy mode, whereas, GPT disks require you to have UEFI mode enabled. If necessary, you can change the partition structure of the drive.

If you receive the “Operating system not found” or “Missing operating system” errors when trying to boot the system, you may have an invalid MBR partition table. MBR is the data structure containing the partition table for your SSD drive, it also includes a small amount of executable code used to boot the drive. You can fix the MBR issue on SSDs by using AOMEI Partition Assistant via the previously created bootable USB.


It will be quite easy to transfer the OS to SSD in Windows 11/10 if you have the right specialist tools. If you have made regular backups of your operating system, you will be able to perform a system restore using the images and successfully migrate the OS to a new SSD. AOMEI Partition Assistant is the perfect specialist partition tool with its large array of features and helpful OS migration function.