By AOMEI / Last Updated September 23, 2020

Why is it good to clone HDD to SSD via USB?

Here USB means the USB to SATA adapter, which allows you to connect external devices that use SATA interface (such as hard drives and SSDs) to your PC by simply plugging them into a USB port, so that you can access the contents of an hard drive externally and get out of PC disaster recovery and other scenarios.

Situation 1: You decide to replace your old HDD (hard disk drive) with an SSD (solid state drive). Then you can use an SATA to USB adapter to connect the SSD as an external USB drive and clone HDD to SSD via USB. After you finish clone, just remove the internal HDD and replace it with SSD.

Situation 2: If your laptop’s HDD have a major malfunction and Windows cannot boot up, you can remove the old drive from your laptop, use the cloned SSD with Windows on it to boot your computer and then connect your failed HDD with USB as a temporary external drive. In this situation, you still have a decent chance to copy your files from HDD to SSD except that the drive is completely dead.

Considering two situations above, we know that cloning HDD to SSD using USB is a good way to proect your system and data to some extent. Next, check the following contents to make preparations for hard disk upgrade and clone hard drive via USB adapter.

Preparations for cloning hard drive to SSD via USB

Except for USB adapter, you need to check or prepare others things. If your computer is desktop, things will be much easier. If your computer is a laptop, please think it over seriously.

1. Get easy access to internal hard drive. This element is very important, because hard disk clone will lose it meaning if you cannot get access to internal hard drive and replace HDD with SSD. To make it, you can consult with laptop manual or contact with computer manulfacturer for support.

2. Choose a right SSD for replacement. Most laptops have 2.5-inch drive with 7or 9.5mm thickness, and different interfces, such as, SATA, IDE. Just confirm your laptop manual and then purchase a right SSD.

3. Create a disk backup for disaster recovery. If you have done a in-depth research online, you may already know that there are many examples of cloned SSD won't boot. To avoid this situation, a backup is necessary.

Free SSD cloning software with its outstanding features

To clone HDD to SSD using USB adapter, SSD cloning software is needed. Here, AOMEI Backupper Standard is recommended. It's completely free, simple and easy to understand, even for novice. Also, it has many outstanding features that may surpise users.

  • Clone the entire hard drive or only selected partitions as per your needs.

  • Clone all sectors whether used or not via "Sector by sector clone". This fefature can make an exact copy of your entire disk without any omission, but you need to make sure the destination disk is larger than or equal to source disk.

  • Clone large HDD to smaller SSD with its intelligent clone. This software is very flexible and will only clone the used space of hard drive if you don't tick "Sector by sector clone". This is a big headache for many users, because only a few disk cloning software can make this.

  • Improve the performance of SSD with "SSD Alignment". This feature once again enhance the reading and writing speed of SSDs as well as extend SSD’s lifespan.

  • User-friendly GUI. An intuitive interface can help you clone disk easily and quickly without extra skill required.

Then, download AOMEI Backupper Standard and use it, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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How to clone HDD to SSD over USB in simple steps?

To clone HDD to SSD over USB adapter, use the following steps.

Step 1. Connect your SSD to computer via USB adapter and make sure it can be detected.

Step 2. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, and select “Disk Clone” under the “Clone” tab.

Disk Clone

Step 3. Select your HDD as source disk, then click “Next”.

Select Source Disk

Step 4. Select SSD as destination disk, then click “Next” to continue.

Select Destination Disk

Step 5. In this window, you can preview the operation result. Then, tick "SSD Alignment" and tap on “Start Clone” to begin the operation. Wait for the process to complete and then click “Finish”.

Start Clone

Note: AOMEI Backupper Standard can satisfy the basic needs of most users. But if you are an advanced users, the Professional or other higher version will be much more suitable. Because it has more excellent features to solve disk clone issue.
Edit Partitions: This feature is mainly used when cloning disk to larger disk. Usually, after cloning, the source disk and destination disk has the same disk space, used space and free space. That's because there are some unallocated space left at the end of destination disk and you cannot see or use it. To make fully use of the space on destination disk, you need to adjust the partition size of destination disk vis "Edit Partitions".
Clone GPT system disk to MBR : In general, if you clone a GPT system disk to MBR, the cloned disk will fail to boot. That's because GPT disk and MBR disk use different boot mode. To my suprise, with the help of AOMEI Backupper, the cloned disk with different partition style can boot Windows successfully. and vice versa.
System Clone: This feature is used to clone only OS in Windows 10/8/7. Compared with disk clone, it saves much disk space.

Alternative way to clone hard drive to SSD vis USB

Except for SSD clonig software, AOMEI Backupper is also a powerful backup and restore software, which can be a greate alternative to clone hard drive to SSD via USB.

But this way need two steps, first create a disk backup and then restore backup to SSD. Please remember that backup only works after restoration. To prevent a sudden boot failure, you can create bootable disk in advance to help you out.



As you can see, AOMEI Backupper Standard can help you clone hard drive to SSD via USB effortlessly. But you need to remember that the free version obly support cloning hard drive with the same partition style. If your hard drive and SSD has different partition style, you need to upgrade to higher version, such as, AOMEI Backupper Professional.

By the way, it's also an excellent backup and restore tool, which can acheive the same effect as clone feature. With it, you can backup entire hard drive, selected partitions, and selected files. Just give it a try and it will become your best assistant in helping you protect your PC data.