Why clone Windows 10 to SSD?
If your computer has no major errors but is running progressively slower, the easiest solution may be hardware replacement. Nowadays, SSD is considered a better boot drive because of its excellent read and write speed. So many users would like to clone operating system to SSD for faster startup and better performance.
The purpose of this article is to introduce how to use GParted clone Windows 10 to SSD, and provide an alternative solution in case you find the process too complicated.
Quick review for GParted in Windows 10
GParted (short for GNOME Partition Editor) is a partition manager used for resizing, copying, deleting and moving disk partitions. Specifically, it can grow or shrink partitions, create space for new OS, rescue data from lost partitions, copy data on hard disks, mirror one partition to another, clone larger disk to smaller disk, etc.
The best way to access all the functions in Windows 10 is using GParted Live bootable image, which requires you to create a bootable Live USB for Linux distribution with specific tools.
To sum up, GParted is a powerful freeware that meets your basic needs for partitions management. But if you simply want to clone disks or migrate Windows 10 to SSD, it's much easier to use disk cloning software specially designed for Windows.
Let’s take a look at how GParted works first.
How to use GParted clone Windows 10 to SSD
1. Prepare an USB drive. Make sure you have a FAT formatted partition with at least 300 MB space, otherwise please create a partition of at least 300 MB and format it with FAT16 or FAT32 file system.
2. To create a GParted Live bootable USB more simply, you can install the official recommended Tuxboot on Windows PC. Open the .exe file, and directly select a GParted distribution to download. You can refer to the installation tutorial.
3. Select a target device to install the image file. When it’s done, you can delete unwanted files and programs on your old hard drive. Then unplug all unnecessary drives and install the new SSD to your PC properly.
4. Use the USB drive to boot your computer. Press the required key to enter BIOS and set the USB as the first boot option. You will soon see the GParted Live interface.
5. After the keymap, language and video mode questions, you could start using the program. If you want GParted to clone disk to smaller SSD, you can shrink partitions on the old hard drive, making the total size smaller than the SSD.
6. Click on the drive path on the top-right corner and you will see a list all the hard drives that are currently connected. You can distinguish them by the different sizes. Then, note down the drive names of the source disk and target disk, double-click the Terminal icon and enter the dd command to perform disk cloning.
sudo dd if=[source disk path] of=[target disk path] bs=blocksize status=progress
In this command:
“bs=blocksize” makes “dd” read and write x bytes per block, a large block size value decreases the time to copy. The default value is 512 bytes.
“status=progress” enables you to monitor the cloning progress.
For example, if want to clone “/dev/sda” to “/dev/sdb”, the command could be:
sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=4M status=progress
7. When the cloning is complete, if there’s still unused disk space left on the SSD, you can use GParted to grow the partitions to fill the whole space.
8. Shut down the PC to replace the hard drive, then power it on. The PC will boot to Chkdsk screen, and when it's done, Windows shall boot up normally.
- If you want to use GParted to move Windows 10 partition only, you can try creating a NTFS partition on the target SSD, then “Copy” the system partition on the old hard drive, and “Paste” it to the new partition on the target SSD.
- You can use GParted to delete all the partitions on the old hard drive, but it's no suggested to do it right after finishing cloning. You 'd better make sure the PC can boot from the SSD first.
GParted doesn’t always work successfully. Some users have reported errors when using GParted to clone HDD to SSD, resize NFTS partitions or convert system disk. And sometimes Windows may fail to boot after shrinking the system partition.
Another problem is that if you didn’t enter the dd command exactly correctly, the consequences can get really bad, like cloning a blank disk to a full one mistakenly.
So personally, I prefer to use a powerful tool with more intuitive operation.
Clone Windows 10 to SSD with an easier alternative to GParted
GParted is an all-around partition management tool, but as you can see, the operation isn’t very simple, especially for novice. If you want to perform system or disk migration on Windows PC with ease, I would like to recommend AOMEI Backupper Professional as an easier yet equally powerful solution.
It enables you to clone Windows 10 to smaller SSD or larger HDD. And all the operations can be done within several clicks in a concise and user-friendly interface - you don’t need any removable device nor complicated setup.
If you want to clone only OS, such Windows 10 to another hard drive, you can also use the System Clone feature.
How to clone system disk to SSD with GParted alternative
◉ Clean up your old hard drive. Delete unwanted files and uninstall unnecessary programs.
◉ Install the new SSD. If your PC has only one drive bay, use an USB to SATA adapter to connect it.
◉ Download and install the disk cloning software to clone system disk to SSD.
◉ The destination disk will be overwritten during cloning. If you’ve stored any important data on it, please backup the hard drive in advance to avoid data loss.
Steps to Clone Windows 10 to SSD:
1. Launch the software, navigate to Clone tab and select Disk Clone. It will copy all the partitions on the hard drive including system partition.
2. Select the system disk you want to clone, click Next.
3. Select the connected destination SSD to save the copy, click Next to proceed.
4. Confirm the operation. Before Start Clone, you can also choose following options according to your needs:
Wait patiently till the cloning has been completed. Then you can replace the old hard drive with the new SSD, or enter BIOS to set the SSD as the first boot option. Now you shall be able to boot Windows 10 from the new SSD.
👉 Helpful features for cloning:
SSD Alignment: Tick this option when your destination disk is a SSD, it will speed up the reading and writing.
Sector By Sector Clone: Copy all the sectors to keep an intact duplication of the source disk. If you are cloning to a larger disk, you can tick this option.
Edit Partitions: Resize partitions size with the following 3 options, or convert MBR to GPT and vice versa.
👉 And it's suggested to use the last feature if you are in one of the following situations. It helps you resolve them completely.
#1: The cloned drive not show full capacity.
By default, all the cloning software makes an exact copy of source disk, as a result, the clone drive does not show full capacity after cloning. If the target disk is larger, please try the following 3 options in the Edit Partitions.
- Copy without resizing partitions: It will not resize the partition size.
- Add unused space to all partitions: Reallocate unused space to each partition of the target disk appropriately.
- Manually adjust partition size: Extend unallocated space to any partition on the destination disk.
#2: The cloned drive not bootable after cloning.
One of the biggest reason may be the the partition style of the cloned drive not compatible with the boot mode.
Though AOMEI Backupper supports cloning between MBR and GPT disks directly, you still need to ensure the compatibility between boot drive partition style and boot mode (MBR for legacy BIOS and GPT for UEFI). If you don't want to (or cannot) change the boot mode after the cloning, you can simply check Convert the destination disk... option during the operation.
If you are not sure about the partition style of a disk, try these steps:
Press Win + R to open the Run window -> type "diskmgmt.msc" and hit OK to open Disk Management -> right-click the disk and select "Properties" -> select "Volume" tab -> find the "Partition style", which can be Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT).
👉 AOMEI Backupper contains the function to wipe a hard drive. If you want to erase the system partition or the entire old hard drive, just go to Tools tab and choose Disk Wipe to proceed.
👉 Disk Clone feature does not apply to dynamic disks. Instead, you can use System Clone for dynamic system volume, and Partition Clone for non-system data volumes separately.
By installing ISO image to a bootable USB, you can use GParted clone Windows 10 to SSD, but the operation is quite cumbersome compared to some Windows disk cloning software. In this case, I would recommend AOMEI Backupper as an easy alternative to GParted.
It helps you clone Windows 10 to larger or smaller hard drive with secure boot. Even after you’ve finished the disk migration, you can use the system backup feature for daily protection. If you're worried that your computer will suddenly go wrong and won't boot, you can also create a bootable USB to perform system recovery in WinPE.