How to Clone Laptop Hard Drive to Smaller SSD or New Drive?

September 10, 2019

Want to clone laptop hard drive to SSD or another new drive for upgrading? Learn the most efficient way to do laptop hard drive clone with secure boot.

Why Clone Laptop Hard Drive?

We have many reasons to support cloning laptop hard drive to SSD or new hard drive. The definition of hard drive clone means to transfer all data including operating system, data drive, personal files, customized settings, etc. from one hard disk drive to another without the steps of reinstalling OS. In conclusion, users such as Dell/ASUS/Samsung/HP/Seagate/Acer laptop users may need to clone laptop hard drive to another drive in such conditions:

  • Clone laptop HDD to SSD to experience better performance.

  • Upgrade your old hard disk drive to a new one.

  • Replace your small hard drive with a larger one.

  • Create copies for your laptop hard drive as a backup.

How to Clone Laptop Hard Drive in A Simple Way?

Windows misses the feature of cloning. That is to say, you need to turn to third-party cloning software to complete the task. Well, with so many cloning tools on the market, which one should you choose? Fortunately, you’ve came to this page.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is free yet comprehensive backup and cloning tool which earns its own reputation among thousands of users around the world. It is easy to use and 100% clean. In terms of cloning, it provides Disk Clone and Partition Clone for free. In the event of cloning laptop hard drive to SSD, the software allows 4K partition alignment which is used to improve SSD’s performance. Cloning hard drive to smaller SSD is also available.

For laptop users who have no way to connect target disk to laptop, this software offers a backup & restore solution. With the help of a bootable USB drive, all data can be transferred successfully. Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista supported. Get this software free download and have a try.

Step-by-Step Guide: Clone Laptop Hard Drive to another Drive

Preparations: since the majority of laptops have only one disk bay that is occupying by internal hard drive, you need to prepare an SATA-to-USB cable to connect target disk to laptop. If you have two disk bays, install the disk properly.

Tips: if you have no SATA-to-USB cable, please refer to the next solution.

Step 1: Connect the new HDD to your laptop via USB cable. Download, install and launch the laptop disk clone software on your laptop. Go Clone > Disk Clone.

    Clone

    Step 2: Select the hard drive in your laptop as the source disk.

    Source Disk

    Step 3: Select the target hard drive as the destination disk.

    Destination Disk.gif

    Step 4: Check the Operation Summary and click Start Clone to execute

    Start Clone

Step 5: Disconnect the second hard drive on completion. Shut down your laptop and disconnect all peripherals. Remove battery and replace the old hard drive with the new one. You may need #1 or #0 screwdriver to uninstall the frame.

Step 6: Install everything back and start your laptop. The familiar logo ought to be appeared.

Tips:

  • *The destination disk will be overwritten. All previous data on that disk will lose. Please backup files you care most in advance.

  • *Edit partitions the destination disk: edit partition size and drive letter, etc. An upgrading might be necessary. You can also enjoy the System Clone feature after upgrading.

  • *Sector-by-sector clone: clone every section from the source disk to target disk. This requires the target disk should be equal to or larger than the source disk. This option will make edit partitions unusable.

  • *Align partition to optimize for SSD: if the destination disk is an SSD, check this option to improve its reading and writing performance.

  • *If the source disk is GPT style, you can only clone up to 3 partitions to the target disk at a time. Left partitions can be cloned with Partition Clone.

Transfer Laptop Hard Drive to New Disk without USB Cable

Sometimes, the direct disk to disk clone method may fail due to connection or battery problem. If you fails in that way or you don’t have an SATA-to-USB cable, check this way out.

Preparation: you need to prepare an USB drive or CD/DVD disc with more than 13 GB in size. Install and run AOMEI Backupper.

Step 1. Create Bootable Drive

Insert the USB drive or CD disc to laptop. In AOMEI Backupper, click Utilities > Create Bootable Media. Follow the wizard to create a bootable drive.

Create Bootable Media

Step 2. Create Image for Laptop Hard Drive

In AOMEI Backupper, click Backup and then Disk Backup to create disk image. You can save image to external drive, network share or another USB drive. Just make sure you can access it from WinPE boot drive.

Disk Backup

Step 3. Restore Image to New Drive

Shut down your laptop and remove the battery manually. Replace internal hard drive with target drive on laptop. Insert the bootable drive you’ve created and power on. Enter into BIOS by pressing Del (F2 or another specific key) to change boot priority to the bootable media.

Once logged in, you’ll see AOMEI Backupper immediately. Go Restore and then Path to navigate the backup image you created before. Follow the wizard to complete restoring. Finally, remove bootable drive and restart your laptop.

Restore Image

Tips: for detailed steps with screenshots, please refer to SONY laptop hard drive upgrade.

Conclusion

Two ways on how to transfer laptop hard drive are introduced above. One is to clone laptop hard drive directly, and the other is to transfer all data via Backup & Restore method. Choose the most suitable way based on your situation.

In fact, except for cloning hard drive on laptop, you can clone desktop hard drive using the same feature. What’s more, AOMEI Backupper also is the best way to backup laptop. After cloning, you can keep this software on your computer and protect your system and data persistently.