Easiest Way: Clone HDD to SSD without SATA to USB Cable

If your laptop has two drive bays, you still can clone HDD to SSD without SATA to USB cable using reliable cloning software. If not, try the other two methods.


By Ivy Updated on December 29, 2022

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The new SSD comes without SATA to USB cable 

‘’Hello, I bought an SSD and to my shock, it didn't come with a USB to SATA cable and the directions clearly say I need one to get my laptop to recognize the new drive before I take out the old one (a 5400 HDD that came with the laptop).
Thus, I was wondering if it is possible to clone HDD to SSD without SATA to USB cable? Or is there any other feasible ways to copy everything from the HDD including system, installed apps, personal data etc. Any feedback is appreciated"

Clone HDD to SSD without SATA to USB Cable

The SATA to USB cable is very useful if your laptop only contains one drive bay, because it allows you to clone HDD to SSD via USB by connecting a drive to your PC externally. However, what if the newly purchased SSD does not comes along with SATA to USB cable? Please continue to read below and get 3 possible methods. 

3 feasible ways to clone HDD to SSD without SATA to USB cable

Here you will learn 3 feasible ways to clone HDD to SSD without SATA to USB cable. It is a very common question for users who want to upgrade HDD to an SSD, if you are in this situation, please read carefully and pick one of them.

Method 1: Directly use SSD as secondary disk. Nowadays, laptops already have two drive bays built-in and it’s easy for you to add an SSD as a secondary disk so that you can directly clone HDD to SSD without SATA cable. All you need is to find a reliable disk cloning software for cloning.
Method 2: Use indirect clone method. If you do have a system image of the entire system on an external drive or other devices, you can choose to replace laptop HDD with SSD and then restore system image to new SSD. And this process requires a bootable USB to start your computer. 
Method 3: Clean install OS on SSD. If your laptop is a new one or does not have many installed programs and store any important data, you can directly install Windows 10 to SSD. And this process requires an installation disc. 

Then, which one is the easiest way to clone HDD to SSD without cable?

  • The answer is absolutely to directly clone a hard drive to SSD if your laptop has two drive bays. It keeps all your data intact and the process is very easy.
  • The indirect clone method has more requirements (need an intermediate device to temporarily store the system image) and is twice the workload of cloning
  • The clean install method is the most heartbreaking method, it will delete everything on the HDD, leaving only a fresh version of Windows.

Why clone HDD to SSD even without cable?

Many users want to clone HDD to SSD, even without SATA to USB cable, and that starts with the two disk types themselves. You can learn more about them below:

  • HDD (hard disk drive) is the most basic storage disk of a computer. It’s a metal platter with a magnetic coating. When it spins, the data can be read and written.
  • SSD (solid state drive) is made by solid state electronic storage chip and without moving parts. It stores data on its memory chips so that there is no platter spinning while the data is read or written on SSD.

In sum, SSD is much lighter, quieter, more durable, produce less heat and consumes less power. So, SSD is a greater choice than HDD. If you think so too, you can choose to clone HDD to SSD and this method described below does not comes with cable.

Step-by-step guide: clone HDD to SSD without SATA cable

Here I'll take the easiest way as an example and show you how to clone HDD to SSD without cable. As mentioned earlier, you need reliable disk cloning software to complete this task. It will be ok if you don't know which one to use, I'll introduce you to the one I think works best, it's AOMEI Backupper Professional, and below are the reasons why I recommend it.

This software will include the operating system, installed programs, personal data, etc on the system disk. So you don't need to worry about any data loss in the event of a disaster.
By default, it clones only used sectors of a disk to another. So you can easily clone hard drive with different size, whether to larger HDD or a smaller SSD.
It supports cloning HDD/SSD or MBR/GPT disks. It can be SATA, NVMe, PCIe, or M.2 or disk brands like WD, Samsung, SanDisk, Toshiba, Hitachi, etc
In addition, it allows you to further accelerate the reading and writing speed of SSD disk.

Now, you can follow the steps and learn how to clone hard drive to SSD without cable. Please make some preparations as follow:

  • Prepare a new SSD. For best performance, it's suggested to get an NVMe SSD and clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD. By comparison, it has a much faster transfer speed than normal SATA SSD.
  • Install SSD to the extra drive bay and be sure it's recognized. And you don’t need to initialize SSD, because it will be formatted during the cloning process. 
  • Download the best SSD cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Professional. Install and run it. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server. You can also check the edition comparison page.
Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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1. On the main page, select “Disk Clone” under the “Clone” tab.

Choose Disk Clone

2. Select your HDD as the source disk (here is disk 0), then click “Next”.

Select HDD

3. Select SSD as the destination disk (here is disk 1), then click “Next” to continue.

Choose SSD Disk

4. Preview the operation and click “Start Clone” to clone HDD to SSD without SATA to USB cable. Remember to tick "SSD Alignment" to optimize the performance of the SSD. 

Clone HDD to SSD without USB Cable

❤ "Edit Partitions" is necessary to adjust the partition if the SSD is larger or you are cloning SSD to larger SSD. It has 4 options, you can choose to manually adjust partition size or simply make it fit on the new SSD. And you can convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT if your SSD disk is MBR. 
❤ “Sector by sector clone” is optional to copy all sectors of the disk to the destination disk whether in use or not, but the destination disk size must be equal to or larger than the source disk.

5. Wait for the process to complete and then click “Finish”. The process will take several minutes to several hours depending on the size of the source disk. Once done, you can then switch HDD to SSD, set the new SSD as the first boot option, save changes and exit. 

Boot from Cloned SSD

After that, see if your computer can boot successfully. If so, you can reformat your hard drive. If not, please go to: cloned SSD won’t boot and try the given solutions.

❤ This software is still a M.2 SSD cloner, thus you can use it to migrate Windows 10 to M.2 SSD, clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD, etc.
❤ Except for the cloning method, this software still allows you to create a bootable USB for your computer and backup and restore system image to new SSD with the indirect clone method.


Speaking of cloning HDD to SSD without SATA to USB cable, you have three methods, but the easiest one is to clone a hard drive to SSD using a reliable disk cloning software -  AOMEI Backupper Professional.

By using it, you can clone HDD to SSD and boot from it successfully, even if the new SSD is smaller. At the same time, it also helps to resolve the cloned SSD booting slower issue. To clone only OS, try System Clone instead. 

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.