By AOMEI / Last Updated October 21, 2019

What should you know before cloning?

If you want to get your old computer running faster, installing a solid state drive (SSD) to replace the original drive is the best upgrade that can be simply realized. For old computers, they should use Master Boot Record (MBR). You need to clone MBR to SSD along with MBR if you want the SSD to boot successfully.

Besides the system partition (C: drive), you also need to clone the system reserved partition if it is on your hard drive. If you have partitioned your hard drive before installing Windows, then the system reserved partition would not be generated.

Usually, a brand new SSD has not been initialized. Hard drive cloning will also clone the partition style, so you do not have to initialize the SSD before cloning. If the SSD has been initialized, you need to make sure it is MBR partition style. Otherwise, you need to make sure your computer supports UEFI boot mode or convert GPT to MBR before trying to clone MBR to GPT SSD.

What do you need to clone HDD to SSD with MBR?

To clone MBR to SSD, you need:

  • A computer with Windows 10/8/7 installed on an MBR disk.

  • An SSD that is a bit larger than the used space on your original hard drive.

  • Cables or SATA-to-USB adapter to connect the SSD.

  • A copy of the software that is able to clone HDD to SSD with MBR.

For the cloning software, you can use AOMEI Backupper Standard the free version, which is enough to copy MBR from one disk to another.

Example: clone MBR to GPT SSD

With AOMEI Backupper, you can clone the entire hard drive and the cloned SSD will be bootable. If your SSD is smaller than the original hard drive, the program will automatically adjust the partition size on the SSD to fit it to the entire drive. Now follow the steps below:

1. Download this freeware for cloning and run it.


2. Under the “Clone tab”, select “Disk Clone” to clone the entire MBR drive.

Disk Clone

3. At the next screen, select the original disk as source disk.

Select Source Disk

4. Select the SSD as destination disk.

Select Destination Disk

5. Click “Start Clone” to run the clone.

Start Clone


1. "Edit partitions" allows you to resize partitions. Under this option, you can choose "Copy without resizing partitions", "Add unused space to all partitions" or "Manually adjust partition size". The last feature is available in AOMEI Backupper Pro.

2. Select "Sector by sector clone" if you want to clone every sector no matter it is used or not, even it’s a blank sector or a logical bad sector.

3. Check "SSD Alignment" to improve the speed of reading and writing as well as prolong the service life of SSD.

Then AOMEI Backupper will clone MBR to SSD in the background. In the meantime, you can still use the computer to do your work. You can also create a bootable media to clone hard drive without loading Windows. After the clone is done, do not wipe out the original drive immediately. Just remove the original disk and boot from the SSD. If the SSD boots fine, then you can wipe the original hard drive.

If you want to edit the partition size on the destination SSD, you can use AOMEI Backupper Professional edition. It can also help you clone MBR to GPT SSD directly as long as your system is 64-bit and your computer supports UEFI boot mode.


That’s all for how to copy MBR to SSD. As you can see, AOMEI Backupper can help you clone MBR disk to GPT SSD with no effort. Besides cloning, AOMEI Backupper also offers various backup options for you to back your new SSD. You can backup system, entire SSD, individual partition or selected files according to your needs. Just give it a try by yourself now!