By Delia / Last update October 18, 2022

Why move C drive from HDD to SSD?

SSDs (solid-state-drives) are the next evolution of PC storage, which not only run faster, quieter and cooler than the aging technology inside hard drives, but bring new life into your older system. In addition, SSDs are more durable and more reliable than hard drives with no moving parts.

Those are proven, for example, HDD stores data on a rotating platter with an R/W head on the mechanical arm moving around to read information, which makes them susceptible to shock and damage and needs longer time to access data. However, SDD uses a non-mechanical design of NAND flash mounted on a circuit board, which makes it shock-resistant up to 1550g/0.5ms. You may conclude that an SSD is more durable than an HDD, and so do other advantages of SSD.

Transfer OS from HDD to SSD

Thus, many users want to transfer OS from hard drive to SSD. On one hand, you can enjoy all the advantages of SSD disk. On the other hand, you can avoid the annoyance of re-installing the operating system, which keeps only the fresh version of Windows and deletes all the data and non-preinstalled programs etc. 

Best software to transfer OS from HDD to SSD in Windows 10

Besides, the most important and essential thing for system migration is to get the best system migration software in Windows 10. You may think about Windows built-in utility (create a system image and then restore), but if the SSD is smaller than the disk containing the system image, you will receive the system image restore failed error.

In view of this, it's not a good way to use the built-in tool. You could consider using all-in-one third-party software, AOMEI Backupper Professional, for example. Below are some advantages of this software:

It supports backing up system and restoring system image to smaller SSD without boot failure. 
It is able to perform continuous data protection with the help of its schedule backup feature. Thanks to its backup method (incremental or differential backup) and automatic backup cleanup, you don't need to worry about backup disk full due to accumulated backups.
It also allows you directly transfer OS from HDD to SSD with the cloning method. Its intelligent clone feature clone only used sectors, so you can easily clone OS from bigger HDD to Smaller SSD.
It allows you to migrate OS from MBR disk to GPT without losing data, and vice versa.

Transfer OS from HDD to SSD step by step 

Here you will use the System Clone feature to directly migrate OS from HDD to SSD in Windows 10/11 and other previous operating systems, both 32bit and 64bit. Although relatively less space is required, you still need to check if the space (I mean the used space) of HDD and SSD. If not, backup important files on the disk and then delete them to free up disk space. 

Next, we’ll show you how to transfer OS from HDD to SSD with it. Please download AOMEI Backupper Professional to have a try! 

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(PS: The Clone feature in the trial version can only be demonstrated, to actually transfer OS, you need to upgrade pro trial version. This page provides 10% discount. )

1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Professional, select “System Clone” under the Clone tab.

System Clone

2. It will choose the system files automatically, and you just need to select the new SSD as destination location. Then click “Next”.

Destination Disk

3. Here you can preview the result. “SSD Alignment” is recommended to guarantee the best SSD performance. "Sector by Sector Clone" is optionally to clone all sectors of system partition to SSD. Then, click “Start Clone” to begin the cloning process.

Operation Summary

Now, you know how to transfer OS from HDD to SSD via AOMEI Backupper, isn’t it so convenient?

Also, you can use it to achieve transfer jobs between two different disk partition styles, for example, migrate Windows 10 from MBR HDD to GPT SSD.

Follow up for system migration in Windows 10

After cloning, you still need to do the following two closing tasks, namely boot from the cloned SSD and reformat HDD to store data. The previous task is to ensure you can boot your computer from it while the latter one is to expand the space for data storage.

Boot from the cloned SSD

1. Shut down your computer completely, remove computer back cover if it's a laptop and take out HDD from its location. 

2. Install the new SSD at the location of the original hard drive. 

3.  Then, replace the computer back cover and connect the power cable. Restart your computer, press the specific key to enter BIOS, you will see it on the initial screen.

4. In the BIOS window, go to the Boot tab and set the cloned SSD as first boot option, save changes to let your computer boot from the new SSD.

Boot from the Cloned Hard Drive

Format HDD for reuse

1. Open AOMEI Backupper Professional, switch to Tools tab and select Wipe Disk

2. Then, you will be asked to select the wiping type, disk and method. 

  • Tick Wipe Disk to delete all the partitions on the hard drive. Then, click Next.

Wipe Disk

  • Select HDD and click Next. 
  • Choose Fill sectors with zero or advanced disk wiping methods - fill sectors with random data, DoD 52220.22-M, Gutmann. Then, click Next. 

3. Click Start to begin the disk wiping process. Afterward, all the data are deleted from the disk.

Fill Sectors with Zero


You can easily transfer OS from HDD to SSD (even to smaller one) with the help of professional disk cloning software. Also, you can use it to migrate OS from MBR to GPT and vice versa. And you can further improve SSD disk performance and avoid unallocated space left.

Besides, you still can use its backup and restore method to achieve the same effect, but with relatively complicated steps, create a system image to USB or external drive and then restore system to SSD. The advantage lies in long-term data protection and minimize data loss in a disaster.

And this method is really useful when you want to deploy system image to multiple computers simultaneously. You need to use image deployment software in the technician or techplus edition. Try cloning or imaging method based on your situation.