By Cherry / Last Updated September 25, 2020

How do I transfer my OS to a SSD for free?

"What software does everyone use to clone/copy HDD to SSD or SSD to SSD but where the destination drive is smaller.
It has been a while since I did this. I normally do this out of the machine and not from some usb boot disk, or that's the way I would prefer to be able to do it. Especially because in most cases its for a laptop without a second drive option.
I have an external drive cloner which hooks to the computer and I just want something that works, free or low cost would be nice."

Free software to Migrate OS

Why need free OS migration software?

Free OS migration software, as the name suggests, is used to migrate OS to another hard drive or SSD. It's not strange to computer users, and can help users keep a well-organized operating system, get more disk space, get better performance and save a lot of time of installing system. And here are some examples of OS migration and

Many people will purchase a new computer when their original computer became old, but they may still want to keep the old operating system and applications so that they can use the same operating system and the old data. In this case, a free OS migration software can help you out. Also, you don’t have to waste time to install new system and applications.

Meanwhile, free OS migration software can also be used for disk upgrde. Usually, the disk comes along with your computer is small, so your disk will run out of space in the near future and you need to migrate OS to a larger disk for more space.

In addition, free OS migration software is also applied to migrate OS from HDD to SSD for better performance. Users may all know that the SSDs has better properties than HDDs. For example, SSDs have a faster speed that HDDs cannot reach on.

Free software Backup and Restore to Migrate OS

Backup and Restore is a built-in backup software for Windows 7 and also kept in Windows 8 and 10. You can use it to backup your system and then restore it at any time.

Before you start any operation, please make preparations severely.

  • Create a system image backup with Backup and Restore feature.

  • Get a hard disk or SSD as destination disk. Please remember that the destination disk must be equal to or larger than source disk, or the migration process will fail.

Then, see below and learn to migrate OS to another disk.

Step 1. Type backup and restore on the search box and select it.

Step 2. Click Recover system settings or your computer" under the recovery tab.

Recover System Settings or Your Computer

Step 3. Click Advannced recovery methods and select Use a system image you created earlier to recover your computer subsequently.

System Image Restore Windows7

Step 4. Click Skip and Restart to get access to the System Recovery Options window.

Step 5. Select language and keyboard, then click Next. After that, Windows 7 will start to scan your hard drive for system image.

Step 6. Select Use the latest available system image (recommended) or Select a system image, and click Next.

Use the Latest Available  System Image

Step 7. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish OS migration task.

Migrate OS with best free OS migration software AOMEI Backupper

Speaking of the best free OS migration software, or OS to SSD migration software, AOMEI Backupper Standard is one of the most popular one because of its outstanding features.

  • Daily/weekly/monthly backup: This backup features keep multiple backups for users so that users can restore any previous version as needed.

  • Incremental or differential backup: This feature allow users to backup only changed files instead of creating a full backup every time. This can save a lot of time and disk space.

  • Supprt multiple backup drives: This backup software supports any disk that can be detected by Windows, such as, external hard drive, USB flash drive, cloud drive, NAS.

  • Create bootable media: This tool can help you boot your Windows when it fails, then restore system image from external hard drive or other devices.

  • Restore system image to smaller drive: This feature is very useful, especially for users who want to migrate OS to smaller SSD. The premise is the used space on source disk is smaller than or equal to destination disk.

To migrate OS with AOMEI Backupper, you need to prepare something first:

  • You need to prepare a solid state drive(SSD). It depends on where you want to migrate the OS to. Plug it to your computer and make sure that the SSD you prepared can be detected.

  • Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it. Use it to create a system image, remember where you had stored the system image on.

After all the things done, follow steps below and restore with free OS to SSD migration software.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Restore and Select Task. If there is no backup task listed, you could click Back and click Select Image File.

Select Task

Step 2. Click the system backup in the list and hit Next.

Select Backup Image

Step 3. Tick Restore this system backup and Restore system to other location, then click Next.

Restore Entire System Image

Step 4. Then, select SSD as destination disk and click Next.

Select Destination

Step 5. Preview the operation summary and click Start Restore. When the progress reaches 100%, you can click Finish to exit. So far, you already migrate OS to SSD successfully and you can boot from it directly.

Preview Restore

You can set up more for your restore, like edit partition size on the destination disk, or restore system to dissimilar hardware, but those two operations need to upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional, so that you can use without limitation.
If you are restoring to an SSD, you can check the box of "SSD Alignment", which is designed for improving SSD's performance.

Drop it in the box

Free OS imgration software is needed when your disk does not have enough space or you want better performance. AOMEI Backupper Standard stand out because of its excellent features, such as, daily/weekly/monthly backup, compression with "Normal" or "High" level, SSD Alignment, create bootable media, USB plug in. Please note that some features are only availble on paid version.

Also, AOMEI Backupper Standard is a clone software for Windows 10/8/7. With it, you can clone disk and partition as you like. System clone is only available on higher version. It is worth to hold one.