[Freeware] Clone HDD to SSD without Reinstalling

When you plan to replace the current disk with an SSD, you'd better clone HDD to SSD. This article will explain why and show you how to do it.


By Dervish / Updated on March 12, 2024

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Why clone HDD to SSD in Windows OS?

✦ HDD V.s. SSD

As we all know, HDD and SSD are two different hard disks. Compared with traditional HDD, SSD has the advantages of being more durable, faster read and write speed, quieter, lower power consumption, and better shock resistance. Therefore, many users are willing to replace HDD with SSD for better performance.

✦ Benefits of cloning HDD to SSD

- Upgrade from HDD to SSD to make your computer run faster.
- Migrate a system keeps all data intact and saves a lot of time and effort compared to a fresh installation.
- Migrate the operating system to a larger SSD. When running out of space, users may clone the OS from the smaller HDD to the larger one.


Freeware: Clone HDD to SSD in Windows 10 easily and safely

To clone HDD to SSD safely and quickly, I recommend you to use  AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.  This is a market-leading free cloning tool with simple operation and a friendly interface. Even if you are a beginner, you can easily complete the cloning under instructions.

It provides two cloning methods: "Clone Disk Quickly" and "Sector-by-Sector clone". The former only clones the used space on the hard disk, so you can clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD. The latter clones all sectors on the hard disk, so your SSD needs to be the same size or even larger than the HDD.

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 To clone data disk, Standard Edition is enough.  If you need to clone a system disk from HDD to SSD, please upgrade to the Professional Edition.
 In addition, you can also Migrate OS to SSD to migrate the entire system partition and related partition to SSD.
 More features are waiting for you to try, such as allocating free space, moving applications to another drive, converting MBR to GPT, etc.

How to clone HDD to SSD in Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7

Now, I will show you the specific steps of clone hard drive to SSD.  Before starting, we need to make some preparations in advance to ensure that there are no issues during the cloning process.

▶ Before cloning

You need to install an SSD on your desktop or laptop. If there is only one hard drive slot, then please prepare an appropriate SSD to USB adapter according to the type of SSD.

Make sure that the unallocated space of the SSD is not less than the used space of the current HDD.

You should initialize the SSD if it is a new one, otherwise, Windows will not recognize it. And please set the partition style(MBR or GPT) as the same as the HDD. 

Choose Disk Style

▶ Cloning process

Step 1. Connect the SSD to your PC. Install and run the cloning software. Click “Clone Disk” in the right menu.

clone HDD to SSD

Step 2. Here, We choose "Clone Disk Quickly" and click "Next".

Copy Disk Quickly

Step 3. Choose the old HDD as your source disk and click "Next".

Source Disk

Step 4. Choose the SSD as your destination disk. Then, check "Optimize the performance of SSD" to improve SSD running speed and click "Next". 

Target Disk

Step 5.  When you clone to a smaller disk, there will only be two options available. Choose one and click "Next"> "Finish".


Step 6. Click “Apply” > “Proceed” to implement the HDD to SSD copy after you return to the main interface. 


▶ Boot Windows from SSD after cloning

If you cloned the system disk and kept both the HDD and SSD on the computer, you may need to go into the BIOS to set SSD as the boot drive.

Step 1. Reboot your PC and constantly press F2, Del, F8, or F12 to access the BIOS menu. 

Step 2. You can use the arrow key to choose the Boot tab.

Step 3. Then move the cloned SSD to the first position in the list. Save the changes and exit the BIOS setup utility.

FAQs about cloning HDD to SSD

☞ Can I clone HDD to SSD without reinstalling?

Yes, you can. AOMEI Partition Assistant can help you clone HDD to SSD without data loss. And the steps of cloning are very simple, even if you are a novice.

☞ Can you boot successfully after cloning the system disk?

After the cloning is over, install the SSD. If you have only one hard drive left on your computer, reboot to start Windows. If you keep both the HDD and SSD in the computer, you need to enter the BIOS/UEFI settings during reboot and set the SSD as the boot disk. Windows can then successfully boot from the SSD.

☞ How to clone HDD to SSD when the PC boot fails?

AOMEI Partition Assistant supports creating a bootable USB. You may need to clone a hard drive from a bootable USB when you cannot clone a disk directly from a physical device.

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.