By Delia / Last update December 1, 2022

Why clone boot drive to SSD in Windows

Simply put, a boot drive is the drive (usually C drive) that contains the operating system, and it usually includes Boot, Page File, Crash Dump and System Reserved Partition. But sometimes, boot drive may also refer to the hard drive with Windows installed.

Disk Management

Most users would want to clone boot drive to SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7 under following situations:

  • Hard drive upgrading. SSDs have better performance in reading and writing speed as well as system security. More and more users want to upgrade HDD to SSD to gain better experiences in Gaming or others. No need to reinstall Windows to SSD.

  • Configure same partition layout of hard drive to solid state drive for deployment. If two computers have exactly same drivers and hardware and other configurations, it is possible to move hard drive from one computer to the other and use it directly.

  • Make duplication for current hard drive in case it fails someday. After making a bootable clone, you can boot the computer from the cloned SSD any time you want. Thus even if your current boot drive fails someday, you have an immediately usable “plan B”.

Best cloning software to clone the boot drive or entire disk

Windows comes with some backup utilities, but unfortunately, there's no cloning functions included. The only thing you can do is to create a system image of the boot drive and then restore it to the SSD. However, the restoring process is error-prone and time-consuming. Is there any easier way to complete boot drive cloning?

The answer is yes. AOMEI Backupper Professional is comprehensive backup and disk cloning software that allows you to clone boot hard drive to SSD easily on Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. It provides three cloning modes, Disk Clone, System Clone, Partition Clone, and each comes with some helpful options.

By default, the intelligent mode copies only only used sectors and allows you to clone larger drive to smaller drive. You can also align the target SSD to improve its speed while cloning disk to SSD.

If your target drive is large or equal sized, you can choose the sector-by-sector cloning mode to copy all the sectors. With it, even the cloned systyem reserved recovery partition can function normally.

AOMEI Backupper has a user-friendly interface which makes it easy-to-use for both computer novices and experts. For advanced users, cloning hard drive from Command Prompt is supportable. Get it and have a try:

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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How to clone boot drive to smaller SSD in Windows step by step

In the first place, install or connect the SSD to your computer. Make sure it can be detected. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Professional.

Step 1. Select Clone > System Clone.

Choose System Clone

Step 2. Choose the destination partition (the C drive and System Reserved Partition are selected by default).

Choose Destination Partition

Step 3. Check out the operation summary, and click Start Clone. Tick the box of SSD Alignment to improve the speed of reading and writing as well as prolong the service life of SSD.

System Clone Preview

Step 4. At the cloning process interface, you can check “Shut down on completion” or manually shut down your PC after cloning completes.

Then, you need to change boot priority to SSD in BIOS (keep tapping F2 once power button clicked), or remove old hard drive that contains previous boot drive to test if you can boot from cloned SSD.


  • All data on the target SSD will be overwritten, so backup important files before you start.

  • The software supports cloning MBR/GPT data or system disks.

  • You can format the boot drive with bootable hard drive eraser to free up disk space if you want to use it as a secondary storage.


Easy and fast, you could clone boot drive to SSD in only four steps. If you are running the latest operating system, Windows 10, it is worth to try Windows 10 create backup boot disk and restore the image to the SSD. Other features are provided in AOMEI Backupper, such as Incremental and Differential Backup, System Restore, Create Bootable Rescue Media etc.

AOMEI Backupper Professional and AOMEI Backupper Server, come with more helpful features, such as Universal Restore, command line clone, and disk space management. The latter edition, as its name implies, is suitable for Windows Server OS including Server 2016, Server 2012, and Server 2016, Server 2019, etc.