Why ghost hard drive to SSD?
When a hard drive has constant problems or is running out of storage space, you may want to replace it with an SSD to get larger capacity and better performance. But what about the operating system and all the personal files?
If you don't want to reinstall Windows and have a brand new start, the best idea is to ghost hard drive to SSD, which means migrating OS and data directly. Thus you can use the new SSD just as using the old hard drive, but with faster startup and operation speed.
Can you use Norton Ghost to clone hard drive to SSD?
Speaking of "Ghost", you may think of a clone and backup tool named Norton Ghost. It provided several options including Partition to Partition, Disk to Disk, Partition to Image, Disk to Image, Image to Partition and Image to Disk. That is, you can clone hard drive to SSD, or create a disk image and restore it to another disk.
Norton Ghost used to be so popular that till today many people still refer to clone hard drive or image hard drive as “ghost” hard drive. But unfortunately, it was discontinued since 2013, because it couldn't keep up with the times. Though you can still download Norton Ghost 15 from the internet (it offers 30-day free trial), it may not work well with the latest OS and device. If you are okay with it, here is how to use Norton Ghost.
But for users who need an efficient and up-to-date solution, the following software would be a better choice.
Best ghost clone software for Windows PCs
If you simply want to ghost hard drive as a backup, then you can use a built-in or 3rd party backup software. But to ghost hard drive to SSD or another HDD, the most efficient way is to use disk clone software.
Among the dazzling array of options, AOMEI Backupper Professional is a remarkable one due to its compatibility and usability. It supports Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista and allowing you to transfer data between any HDDs and SSDs via the powerful clone functions
- You can choose the entire disk or only selected partitions to ghost.
- In most cases, the target disk may not be equally large as the source disk and that’s okay because AOMEI Backupper copies only used sectors by default, which allows you to clone larger HDD to smaller SSD. And you can copy hard drive bit by bit with its sector-by-sector clone mode.
- As for image backup, this software supports File Backup, Partition Backup, System Backup and Disk Backup. Besides, you can schedule automatic backup to implement the task daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
Steps | How to ghost hard drive to SSD easily
Before ghosting hard drive, please prepare the following:
◉ Download and install the best ghost clone software. For server users, please try AOMEI Backupper Server.
*Clone features in free trial can only be demonstrated. Please upgrade for full functionality.
◉ Install the SSD alongside your hard drive: If there’s only one slot on your laptop, use a SATA-to-USB adapter to connect it. Make sure the SSD can be detected normally.
How to ghost HDD to SSD:
1. Open the software, go to Clone tab and choose Disk Clone. If you want to ghost OS only, choose System Clone.
2. Select the source hard drive and click Next. Then specify the target SSD and click Next to continue.
3. Tick SSD Alignment to accelerate the reading & writing speed of the target SSD, and click Start Clone to implement the hard drive ghosting.
Other disk ghosting feature:
✔ Sector By Sector Clone: Copy all the sectors including empty sectors and bad sectors and therefore create an intact copy of the hard drive. It applies to cloning disk to larger or equal-sized disk.
✔ Edit Partition: Clone and resize hard drive to prevent cloned drive not show full capacity after cloning disk to larger disk, either HDD or SSD. If the source and destination disk has different partition style, you can still use it to convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT or vice versa.
After the completion, you can shut down the computer, replace the HDD with the cloned SSD and boot from it.
Alternatively, you can use SSD for OS and HDD for storage. This doesn’t require you to replace the hard drive physically, just restart the PC, press the required key to enter BIOS and set the SSD as the first boot option.
After booting from the SSD successfully, you could wipe hard drive for reuse to free up more storage space. Just switch to Tools tab and select Disk Wipe to proceed.
To ghost hard drive to SSD on laptop or desktop, the easiest solution is using the best ghost clone software like AOMEI Backupper Standard. Its powerful disk clone feature allows you to ghost larger HDD to smaller SSD, or SSD to larger SSD. And you still can further improve the performance of the target SSD and prolong its life span.
And in premium version, you can enjoy more advanced features, such as, clone and resize hard drive with Edit Partition feature, create portable version of this software and ghost hard drive on unlimited PCs or servers, ghost image to computer with dissimilar hardware restore, etc.
In addition to cloning, you can use the backup features of AOMEI Backupper to image partition, OS or the entire disk. With it, you can transfer system image to new hard drive or even another computer with secure boot.