By AOMEI / Last update August 3, 2021

You cannot mix GPT with MBR

Many users report that their computer has a boot failure after cloning HDD to SSD. Don’t worried about. See below and pay attention to the following things.

1. GPT and MBR has different boot mode. By default, recent hard disk drives (HDD) are using GUID partition table (GPT) partition style that supports booting system with UEFI mode. However, the old drives are using Master Boot Record (MBR) partition style, which only supports system using legacy BIOS-compatibility mode. You need to change boot mode from UEFI to BIOS after cloning.

2. MBR disk has a 2TB maximum size limit while GPT disks can have many much larger partitions. The safest way is to convert MBR to GPT disk first.

3. GPT disk can create 128 primary partitions at most while MBR only supports 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition. You need to resize these partitions if the source disk had more than 4 primary partitions.

4. GPT disk only supports 64-bit computer while MBR disk supports both 32-bit and 64-bit computer.

Any issue mentioned above will cause boot failure if you simply clone GPT HDD to SSD with MBR partition table. You need to make the appropriate adjustments.

Software to clone GPT HDD to SSD

There are many cloning software you can find on the internet. Instead of using two tools (conversion and clone) to complete this, is there a hard drive cloning software which can directly convert the destination disk to GPT while cloning? 

For the capability issues, such as GPT disks only support 64-bit version of Windows while MBR disks support both 32-bit and 64-bit system, some people may want to keep the SSD with MBR partition style. Then, is there a way to just clone a GPT disk to an MBR disk without converting it?

AOMEI Backupper Professional is such a program that can directly clone disk or system between GPT and MBR disk without conversion while the destination disk remains bootable. 

If you want your computer to boot from the cloned MBR SSD, you need to change boot mode from UEFI to Legacy mode. If the destination disk is an empty disk (shown as unallocated space), you will be given a choice of converting the destination disk to GPT disk when the clone starts.

How to clone GPT HDD to SSD step by step?

AOMEI Backupper provides an intuitive interface so that you can easily use it as you wish. If your SSD is of smaller capacity than the HDD, AOMEI Backupper will automatically adjust the partition size to make it fit on the SSD. If your SSD is too small for all the data on HDD, you can transfer only OS to SSD by using System Clone.

To clone GPT disk with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper.

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2. Under Clone tab, and select Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

3. Click on the source disk that you want to clone, and click Next.

Select Source Disk

4. Click on the destination disk and Next to continue.

Select Destination Disk

5. Check the option SSD Alignment, and click Start Clone to run this operation.

Tick SSD Alignment

While the cloning process is running in the background, you can still do your work with the computer. And you still can use the same steps abive to clone MBR HDD to SSD with MBR or GPT partition style, clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD, clone UEFI disk, clone SSD to larger SSD, etc.  

Besides using AOMEI Backupper to clone disk, it can also be used to backup system, synchronize files, and many more.

The End

To clone GPT HDD to SSD, the first thing is to get the difference between GPT and MBR. If you directly clone GPT disk, your computer will fail to boot without doubt.

After that, you need to find a reliable and powerful software like AOMEI Backupper Professional, which can convert MBR to GPT during the cloning process or not depending on your situation.

And it applies to clone all kinds of HDDs and SSDs, such as,  migrate Windows 10 to M.2 SSD, clone SSD to larger SSD, clone hard drive to WD SSD, replace laptop HDD with SSD, clone NVMe SSD, etc.

Download AOMEI Backupper Professional and try it for yourself. If you are using server-based computer, you can consider AOMEI Backupper Server.