By Lily / Last update December 1, 2021

Should you choose SSHD?

Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD), a physical storage device, is integrated by fast storage medium like NAND flash memory and a hard disk drive. If you need to upgrade your hard drive, an SSHD is a good choice. You do not need to reinstall Windows and programs as you can clone HDD to SSHD along with everything on it.

By increasing the flash memory to prefetch the data, SSHD has improved performance. You may find this generation of hybrid drive can not only provide a better performance, but reduce the read and write times of hard disk, which can cut down the power consumption and increase the battery life of laptops.

SSD in a hybrid drive is just like a cache for the data stored on the HDD. It can keep the copy of the most frequently used data on the faster SSD to improve the overall performance.

What do you need to clone HDD to a hybrid drive?

  • A working computer (desktop or laptop) with Windows 11/10/8/7 installed.
  • An SSHD drive. You do not need to initialize the new drive before the cloning process.
  • Cables or adapter to connect the new drive. You can either connect the SSHD internally or externally.
  • Cloning software.

To ensure the clone process goes smooth and the cloned drive boots fine, using a proper hard drive cloning tool is key. Luckily, you can use AOMEI Backupper Standard, a freeware that works in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7.

AOMEI Backupper has perfect support for SSHD to ensure that you can upgrade your HDD to SSHD successfully. It provides Disk Clone and Partition Clone in the free version, so you can easily clone hard drive or specific partitions. If you need to clone only OS, you can choose to upgrade to professional version and then enjoy System Clone.

Steps to clone from HDD to SSHD without reinstalling Windows

After you connect the new SSHD to your computer along with the original hard drive, you can follow the 5 steps below to clone the entire hard disk to an SSHD.

Note: If the SSHD contains any data, make a backup first. Otherwise, you'll lose the data after cloning.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard software. Install and launch it. 

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

Step 2. Select Disk Clone under the Clone tab.

Disk Clone

Step 3. Select the original hard drive that you want to clone as the Source Disk. Then click Next.

Select Source Disk

Step 4. Select the SSHD as the Destination Disk and click Next to continue.

Select Destination Disk

Step 5. Check the box of  SSD Alignment and then click Start Clone on the final page to run this operation.

Clone HDD to SSHD

✍ Tips:

  • If your SSHD has larger capacity than the source disk, you can select Edit Partitions to edit the partition size on the destination disk, so it will not leave unallocated space after the clone.
  • If you need to clone every byte on the hard drive, which will take more time, you can select the checkbox before Sector by sector clone.

When the cloning process is complete, which will not take long, you can switch the boot order in BIOS to boot from the cloned drive.

Bonus tip: how to clone hard drive without SATA-to-USB cable

If your laptop has only one drive bay and you do not have an adapter to connect the new drive externally, this tool offers the backup and restore feature to help you upgrade to SSHD without reinstalling Windows. The whole process is as follows:

1. Create a disk image of the old HDD and create a bootable media with AOMEI Backupper.

2. Swap HDD for SSHD.

3. Boot your computer from the bootable media and AOMEI Backupper will load up automatically. Go to Restore > Select Task/Select Image File and follow the wizard to restore the disk image to the SSHD.

Disk Restore