By Lily / Last update October 11, 2021

Case: how do I migrate OS to SSD for free?

What software does everyone use to migrate/transfer HDD to SSD or SSD to SSD but where the destination drive is smaller? I prefer to do this out of the machine instead of some usb boot disk. Is there anything that works? Free or low cost would be nice.

When you try to replace hard drive with a larger HDD or smaller SSD, one inescapable problem is that how to transfer OS to the new disk. Reinstalling Windows from scratch seems troublesome especially when you don't own an installation media, therefore, you could consider transfering system with free OS migration software.

Free software to Migrate OS

Why need free OS migration software? 

Free WOS migration software, as the name suggests, is used to migrate OS to SSD or HDD for free. It can help users get more disk space and better performance while keeping a well-organized operating system, and save a lot of time installing system. There are some scenarios that you may need it:

  • Install new computer: When you get a new computer and want to keep the old operating system and applications, free OS migration software can help you out. Also, you don’t have to waste much time on installing system and apps.

  • Upgrade hard drive: If you run out of disk space or your computer has poor performance, you could upgrade the hard drive to an SSD or larger HDD, and transfer system with free OS migration software.

Migrate OS with free tool Backup and Restore

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 do following preparations first. 

  • 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. 

★ Support 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 to SSD with AOMEI Backupper, you need to do some preparations 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.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

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

◆ If you want to restore system to dissimilar hardware and make sure the computer can boot, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional and tick the Universal Restore option.
◆ If you are restoring to an SSD, you can check the box of SSD Alignment, which is designed for improving SSD's performance. 
◆ If you'd like to migrate not only the OS, but all the data stored on the disk, you could use Disk Clone feature to migrate hard drive to smaller SSD or new HDD for free. In Professional or higher editions, it's also available to use System Clone for OS migration.

Drop it in the box

When your disk does not have enough space or you simply want better performance. free OS imgration software like AOMEI Backupper Standard is a good choice.

If has excellent features to optimaze backup and restore, like daily/weekly/monthly scheduled backup, image compression and slitting, SSD alignment, create bootable media, etc. You can even use the Image Deploy tool to deploy system image to multiple computers over network.