By Emily / Last Updated June 25, 2021

“Can I clone OS from HDD to SSD for free?”

“I am trying to clone my OS from a traditional HDD (initialized to be MBR) to a new SSD drive (also in MBR partition table) because the computer runs slower and slower on the hard disk drive. I thought the SSD drive can improve its boot speed. So is there a free way to clone operating system from HDD to SSD? Thanks in advance.”

It is a help post from tomshardware forums. Are you also scouting for a way to copy the operating system from HDD to SSD, which is much faster in reading and writing speed? Then your Windows will take a shorter time to boot up and be ready to go in a flash. Besides, the installed applications can load faster and folders/files will open and save in a fast speed.

Great freeware for OS cloning from HDD to SSD

To clone operating system like Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7 from HDD to SSD drive and boot from the cloned Solid State Drive successfully, the easiest way is to adopt a professional disk cloning utility. But a large number of OS cloning software available on the market makes it a challenge to pick out a proper one. Among the countless options, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a better choice.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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With this freeware, you can clone only OS partition from HDD to SSD with its “Migrate OS to SSD Wizard”. Besides, it also allows you to clone the entire operating system disk to SSD drive through the “Disk Clone Wizard”. Moreover, you can clone OS from larger HDD to smaller SSD as long as the SSD drive has enough space to hold the used space of the source OS disk or partition.

Steps to clone operating system from HDD to SSD

As described above, you can clone OS to SSD via “Migrate OS to SSD Wizard” and “Disk Clone Wizard”. Here, we will show you the details of the first method. No matter which method you finally choose, you should know:

This process will wipe data on the target SSD drive, so back up important data on it in advance.
You can remove unnecessary applications from the OS partition or disk to make it smaller to fit the target SSD drive.
The operation involves the system partition, so it will be completed under the PreOS Mode.
The free edition only supports cloning OS from MBR HDD to MBR SSD. If you are planning to clone OS from MBR to GPT, GPT to MBR or GPT to GPT, please upgrade to Professional edition.

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Click "Migrate OS to SSD" on the left side under Wizards. In the pop-out window, click "Next".

Migrate Os To Ssd

Step 2. In the next window, choose an unallocated space on the destination SSD, and then click "Next" to go on.

Select Disk Space

Step 3. In the pop-out window, you could modify the partition size, location, and drive letter on the new SSD, or just keep default settings and click “Next”.

Resize Partition

Step 4. Then, a helpful note for boot problems will show up. Read it and click “Finish” button.


Step 5. Hit on “Apply” to start copying the operating system from HDD to an SSD.


If you want to move all partitions (Windows partition and data partitions) on the system disk to SSD, you can try “Disk Clone Wizard”.

Disk Copy Wizard

What to do after cloning OS from HDD to SSD?

After copying the operating system from HDD to SSD drive in either method provided by AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, you need to take the below extra steps to boot your computer from the destination disk.

Step 1. Reboot your PC and press a specific key (Del, Esc, F1, F2, F8, F9, etc) constantly to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Navigate to Boot tab, use the arrow keys to select the cloned SSD as the prior boot drive. Save the changes and exit, and then restart your computer.

If you are cloning operating system from MBR disk to GPT disk, or GPT disk to MBR disk with the Professional version, you also need to change boot mode from BIOS to UEFI, or UEFI to BIOS. After making sure you can boot from the cloned SSD drive, you can wipe the old system partition or disk for reuse via the “Wipe Partition” or “Wipe Hard Drive” feature of AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Wipe Hard Drive System

Bottom line

With AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, you can easily clone operating system from HDD to SSD and then elevate the boot speed. Besides that, it offers more advanced functions like converting MBR to GPT without deleting partitions and vice versa, cloning partition to another drive, merging partitions, etc. If you want to clone Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012R2, 2016 and 2019 to SSD, you need the AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.