By Lily / Last update December 24, 2021

When to clone Dell laptop hard drive?

Staying at the forefront of innovation and the computing experience, Dell laptops, desktops and tablets are favored by a number of users. In spite of the superb performance brought by the original hard drives, some users encounter following situations:

Case 1: “Hi I just got a new laptop and I would like to upgrade it to a SSD 1TB but how do I transfer my data and OS to the new SSD when I get it.”
Case 2: “Diagnostics is telling me that my hard drive is failing. I intend buying a new SATA drive but larger capacity. I am on Windows 10. What is the simplest way to copy/clone the whole drive, OS and all, onto the new drive and then slip the new drive back into the laptop as if nothing has changed!”

As you see, it is necessary to clone Dell laptop hard drive when you want to replace laptop HDD with SSD or another drive with larger capacity. And you may prepare a cloned drive for instant replacement in case that the current hard drive refuses to work some day. Then, how to clone Dell hard drive safely and efficiently? Please read on.

Dell Laptop

How to clone Dell laptop hard drive in Windows 10/8/7?

Here I’m going to show you top two ways to clone Dell laptop hard drive in Windows 10/8/7. If you plan to upgrade your Dell hard drive to a Samsung SSD, you can follow method 1; if you prepare to clone to other SSD brands, method 2 is applicable.

Method 1: Clone Dell hard drive to SSD using specific cloning software

Although Dell doesn’t provide users with Dell hard drive cloning software, some SSD manufacturers offer disk cloning software to help users upgrade HDD to SSD, such as VisionTek USB 3.0 Universal SSD Installation Kit, Samsung Data Migration and so on. Let’s take Samsung Data Migration for example. Learn how to clone Dell laptop hard drive to a Samsung SSD below:

1. Connect the Samsung SSD to your computer and ensure it is recognized. Download and run Samsung Data Migration.

2. The drive with OS installed will automatically be selected as the Source Drive. Select the Samsung SSD you just connected as the Target Drive. If you don’t see your SSD, click the Refresh button at the right bottom and try again.

Choose Target Drive

3. Select additional volumes that you wish to clone besides the C: volume. You can select at most two more volumes.

Select Additional Volumes

4. Click on Start to begin the migration process. Once the cloning process is complete, the computer will shut down automatically within 20 seconds. Replace the old hard drive with the new Samsung SSD and you will get the system and all your data back instantly.

Simple as it looks like, errors occur sometimes—users are confronted with Samsung Data Migration cloning failed, Samsung Data Migration access violation and the like. Additionally, these utilities only support SSDs of the corresponding manufacturer. Is there such cloning software that fits all? The answer is YES.

Method 2: Clone Dell hard drive to SSD via an all-around freeware

AOMEI Backupper Standard, the best backup software for free, comes to help. With the Disk Clone feature, you can copy old hard drives to SSDs of all common brands, including Samsung, Crucial, PNY, WD, etc. You can also copy a specific partition using Partition Clone

What’s more pleasant is that it offers an option called SSD Alignment which will help to improve the reading and writing speed of the destination SSD. All Windows PC operating systems like Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported. Before you start, please do the following preparations:

Backup files on the target disk if you still need them, because the target disk will be completely overwritten during the cloning process.
Free download AOMEI Backupper and install it.

Detailed steps to clone Dell laptop hard drive to an SSD:

Step 1. Connect the target SSD to your computer and make sure it is detected. Launch AOMEI Backupper, click “Clone” on the left pane and select “Disk Clone”.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the current hard drive as the source disk and click “Next”.

Select Source Disk

Step 3. Select the destination SSD you have connected to your computer and click “Next”.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. Tick “SSD Alignment” to optimize the performance of the destination SSD. Confirm the operation and click “Start Clone”.

Start Clone

Step 5. Shut down your computer and replace the current hard drive with the cloned SSD. You may use a Phillips #0 screwdriver to remove the original hard drive.

Replace Drive

✎ Notes:
● The Standard edition only supports cloning Dell system disk from MBR to MBR. If you need to clone a system disk from MBR to GPT, GPT to MBR, or GPT to GPT, then pick an advanced edition.
● To clone OS only to the destination SSD, you may upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional and use the System Clone feature. You can also resize partitions on the destination SSD with the advanced edition.

If you want to backup your Dell laptop, AOMEI Backupper can also help you make it. Follow the instructions in the following video:


To clone Dell laptop hard drive to an SSD, you can use either SSD manufacturers’ utilities or AOMEI Backupper. Compared with SSD manufacturers’ utilities, AOMEI Backupper supports different brands of SSDs and provides more advanced options like sector by sector clone. In addition to the clone feature, AOMEI Backupper is built-in with the backup & restore functions. You are enabled to run system restore from BIOS in Windows 7 via AOMEI Backupper. Go for this tool at once!