By Lily / Last update June 15, 2022

Upgrade SATA hard drive to SSD

The SATA controllers and hard drives were first introduced in 2002, and they have been largely used since. If you ever want better I/O speed, cloning SATA drive to SSD will the best upgrades nowdays.  Meanwhile, regular SSDs are also using SATA, so you can easily buy an SSD to replace your SATA drive. 

Instead of reinstalling Windows and all programs on new SSD, you'd better use SSD for OS and HDD for storage to avoid the trouble. To make it, SATA to SSD clone software is needed.

Clone Sata to SSD

Free SATA to SSD clone software -AOMEI Backupper Standard

There are many free disk cloning tools that can be used to clone SATA hard drive to SSD. Here, AOMEI Backupper Standard is recommended for SATA to SSD clone because it’s completely free and of excellent performance and advanced features regarding hard drive cloning.

  • It can include everything (eg: OS, programs, files, etc.) on the SATA disk and ensure secure boot after cloning SATA drive to SSD. This is the most basic but important element, otherwise the software has no meaning.

  • It can help you clone large HDD to smaller SSD as long as the used space is smaller than SSD disk. This is only a few free disk clone software can do.

  • It allows you to clone all sectors whther used or not if you want. "Sector by Sectore" helps you achieve this goal.

  • For SSDs, there is an extra option for SSD optimization, so your SSD will be of better performance if you use this option.

More advanced features of AOMEI Backupper:

Beside these basic features on Standard, the Professional or other higher versions provide users more useful features. And these features can solve a big problem for most users.

  • It allows you to clone MBR to GPT directly or verse vice without the need to convert partition style. This is a big headache for many users who bought a new SSD with a different partition style, but AOMEI Backupper overcomes it.

  • For unallocated space left after clone, you can use "Edit Partitions" to adjust the unallocated space to all partitions or manually. 

Additionally, it is so user-friendly that all the operations can be easily managed. Check the next part to see how to clone SATA to SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7 step by step.

Prepare for SATA hard disk clone

Except for SATA to SSD clone software, there are still some things you need to check or confirm, especially for laptops. 

1. Check if your computer has removable back panel, which ensures you have the access to hard drive. If not, you need to consult your laptop manual for instructions to get your hard drive or contact with the computer manufacturer.

2. Confirm the right form factor and interface of the replacement SSD. It ensures you can install SSD on  the original location of HDD. 

3. Make sure the number of your laptop drive bay, so you can choose to prepare an external SATA-to-USB adaptor or SATA cable and power cable.

4. Ensure the SSD has enough space to hold everything on the original HDD, otherwise the cloning process may fail due to insufficient disk space. 

5. Keep a copy of system or disk backup in advance. It can avoid data loss owing to cloned SSD won't boot issues.  

Step by step guide: clone SATA HDD to SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7 without reinstalling

Connect your SSD drive to your computer via SATA hard disk connector and initialize it if you are asked, then follow the steps below to perform the Windows 10 hard drive cloning.

1. Download and run free SATA to SSD cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Standard on your computer.

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

2. At the Home screen, click the “Clone” button and then select “Disk Clone” to clone SATA disk to SSD. 

Disk Clone

3. Click on the SATA disk to specify as source disk and in the next screen, specify SSD as destination disk by clicking on it, and then click “Next”.

Select Disk

4. At the Operation Summary screen, check the option “SSD Alignment” since the destination disk is an SSD. Then click “Start Clone” to run the SATA to SSD clone task.

Start Clone

Related tips: 

💜 You can click Edit Partitions to resize partitions. For settings, you can choose Copy without resizing partitions, Add unused space to all partitions or Manually adjust partition size. Please upgrade to the Professional edition to enjoy the feature. 

  • Copy without resizing partitions: It will not resize the partition size.
  • Add unused space to all partitions: It will reallocate the unallocated space to each partition of the target disk, appropriate for the disk size.
  • Manually adjust partition size: It allows you to extend unallocated space to any partition on the destination disk you want. 
  • Convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT: It helps to convert the partition style of the destination disk if it is different from the source disk. 

Add Unused Space

💜 The free version of this software only supports cloning all the data disk and MBR system disk (a disk type for data storage). To clone GPT to GPT, GPT to MBR, or MBR to GPT, try the professional version. 

👉 To check its disk properties in Disk Management, try the following steps:

  • Press Win + R to open the Run window. Then, type diskmgmt.msc and hit OK to open disk management.
  • Then, right-click the disk you want to clone and select Properties in the pop-up window.
  • In the Properties window, select the Volume tab and confirm the partition style. It can be MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table).

Disk Partition Style

Then you can go back to do other work with this computer while the SATA to SSD clone is in process. This software will finish the task in the background. After that, you can switch out SATA hard disk and replace HDD with SSD via a screwdriver. Please remember to lift old hard drive up about 30 or 45 degrees, then pull it out. 

If your computer is not bootable now, you can create a bootable media to load the software to clone SATA disk to SSD without loading Windows.
If you only need to migrate OS to SSD in Windows 10 instead of the whole hard drive, you can choose “System Clone”, which is supported by AOMEI Backupper Professional.
If you happen to encounter cloned SSD won't boot after clone, you can click the previous given link to learn more.
 Compared with SATA SSD disk, NVMe SSD has much faster transfer speed. Thus, if you don't mind investing a little more, it's suggested to clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD.

Enable TRIM for SSD maintenance

To make your SSD can be correctly recognized, you are supposed to enable TRIM. Also, the use of TRIM can improve the performance of writing data to SSDs and contribute to longer SSD life.

If you are not sure if the TRIM is enabled, you can use the following command to check. The command prompt needs to be run as administrator.

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

Trim Disabled

If your screen is like above, please copy and paste the following command to enable TRIM.

fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0

Frequently asked questions: Clone SATA to SSD

1. How do I move Windows 10 to SSD without reinstalling?

If you don't want to reinstall Windows and everything else, such as, installed program, saved personal data etc, you can choose to move Windows 10 to SSD with a free disk cloning software. It will help you complete the entire task in a few clicks.

2. Is a 256GB SSD better than a 1TB hard drive?

Usually, the transfer speed of SSDs is twice or more than HDDs while HDDs have a much larger capacity than SSDS. Here, 1TB HDD has four times as much as a 256GB SSD. Thus, you need to consider what you need most, great performance or big capacity.

3. How do I clone my SATA SSD to NVME SSD?

Cloning SATA SSD to NVMe SSD is really simple as long as you use a reliable disk cloning software. It should support cloning all kinds of SSD disk, such as, SATA, NVME, and PCIe. AOMEI Backupper is a great option.


Reading here, you probably know everything related to cloning SATA to SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7. And the SATA to SSD clone process is so simple and easy to understand with the help of AOMEI Backupper Standard. After clone, you can directly use it to boot your computer, then you will be pleasantly surprised by the performance of your computer, such as, faster loading speed, running games more smoothly.

Besides, AOMEI Backupper Standard is still a backup and restore software, which can help you protect your system and data completely free of charge. You can use system backup, disk backup, partition backup and file backup according to your needs. Also, scheduled backup is indispensable on this software to backup your files regularly or at specific role, including, daily/weekly/monthly, incremental backup, etc.