By Lily / Last update September 23, 2021

The need to clone only OS to SSD

I recently bought a new SSD drive and want it to be my Windows 7 system drive where i just save all my Windows installation and some programs & games, so that my boot speed and app running speed are faster. The SSD is 120 GB and the system partition is 150GB, but only 50GB are used, so there is plenty of space. I don't know if it's safe to clone this partitions to SSD, or if it's possible to clone only OS partition but not whole HDD?

Answer: Cloning is the easiest way to migrate OS to SSD including the operating system, system customized settings, personal files and installed programs on the system drive, thus you don't need to reinstall all of them. And a reliable disk cloning software can ensure your computer boot from the cloned SSD successfully.

Free backup software or reliable disk cloning software

It's disappointed that Windows does not provides any cloning software, so you can choose to use Windows built-in "Backup and Restore" to backup system and then restore it to new SSD, or cloning just the OS to SSD with a third-party software. 

But you have to know, beore you restore system image, you need a place to temporarily save the system image file and this place should not be small in size. That's to say, you will move all the items in the system partition twice, which is time-consuming and boring. If you are not mind, you can choose the first method. Please refers to Windows 7 backup and restore to learn the detailed steps.

If you don't want to waste time in these tasks, you can directly use a reliable disk cloning sofware to clone only C drive to SSD.  AOMEI Backupper Professional is such a software in Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista you can rely on.

By using it, you can clone only OS to SSD easily without boot issues. Also, you don't need to reinstall Windows and applications. In addition, it still solves the insufficient disk space issue of SSD disk by cloning only used sectors on the system partition. More surprising, it is capable of further improving performance of SSD disk and its lifespan.

In addition, it still has user-friendly interface, so you can complete the cloning job easily within a few clicks. Download it and install on your computer to have a try! It has 30-day free trial, but the clone fuction can only be demonstrated unless you upgrade to the full version. 

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Example: how to clone only OS partition to SSD in Windows 10/11?

Below will take how to clone only OS partition to SSD in Windows 10/11 as an example and show you the detailed steps. Before that, you need to connect the target SSD disk and be sure it can be detected. You still need to uninstall programs you are no longer used to clean up disk space if the new SSD does not have enough space to hold data on the original disk.

Video Tutorial:

Graphic Tutorial:

Step 1. Start AOMEI Backupper, and click Clone option in the left part of the main interface. Then, select System Clone to copy system.

Choose System Clone

Step 2. System drive and related drives have selected by default. Select the destination partition where you want to clone your OS partition on and the click the Next to continue.

Select A Destination Disk

Note: If the new selected location is a partition, AOMEI Backupper will automatically pop up a window, prompting you which partition will be deleted or overwritten and inquiring that "Are you sure to continue the operation?". Click "OK" to go on. If there is important data on this partition, we suggest you click "Cancel" to quit current operation and backup firstly.

Step 3. Now you can see the follow interface, tick SSD Alignment to further accelerate the reading and writing speed of SSD disk and then click Start Clone to go on.

Click Start Clone

Step 4. When the system clone progress reaches to 100%, click Finish to exit the interface. Now your system clone is competing.

System Clone Progress

Step 5. After cloning, you can enter into BIOS and set the new SSD as the first boot disk. Or just replace the old hard drive with the new one. Then boot computer from the cloned SSD.

Beisde System Clone, this software still support cloning entire disk with Disk Clone feature. And it applies to all kinds of disk cloning task, such as, clone Windows 10 to new hard drive, move hard drive to new computer windows 11, migrate Windows 10 to M.2 SSD, clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD, etc.


That’s all for how to clone only OS to SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7, which can help you protect system and data on the system partition. But if you want to make an exact copy of all content on the entire disk, cloning hard drive to SSD or another HDD with Disk Clone would be a better choice.

 Besides cloning, AOMEI Backupper software is also the perfect way to protect and manage your system, disk, partition and any important data. You can use it to backup Windows 10 to NAS and backup external hard drive to another drive, etc.

Whether you have one computer or multiple computers, AOMEI software is the best solution for you.  For personal use, AOMEI Backupper Professional is good enough to protect data. For business use, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Technician. It supports unlimited PCs within one company and you can create a portable version of this software to removable device to take it everywhere.