Best Hard Drive Transfer Tool: Move OS and Files Easily

If you are going to transfer files, programs and the OS from one hard drive to another, read this article carefully to get the best hard drive migration software to help you.


By Lily Updated on December 22, 2023

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The case: need hard drive migration software

“Tomorrow I'll be going from my current config (120GB SSD Boot disk, 320GB SATA 2 Games Disk), to a new config (64GB SSD Boot Disk, 120GB SSD Games Disk).
In other words, I need to clone the 40GB worth of Windows files and applications from my 120GB 840 EVO to my 64GB SanDisk Ultra Plus that arrives tomorrow. After that I'll clone the 80GB of games from my HDD to my 120GB SSD (or I could just reinstall steam and all my games). So, just wondering, what's the best free cloning software? I'm looking for something reliable and user friendly. Cheers!”


Just like this user, we will need to transfer data between different hard drives sometimes. Following are three common situations:

  • Upgrade a hard drive. You may need to replace HDD with SSD or clone SSD to larger SSD.
  • Replace a faulty hard drive and retrieve data.
  • Buy a new computer and want to copy data from old computer hard drive to the new computer.

To make the data transfer process easy and error free, you will need reliable hard drive transfer software.

What makes the best hard drive mover?

If you search the Internet, there will be various disk cloning software for Windows 11/10/8/7 available. How to choose a tool that fits you best? Following factors should be taken into consideration:

1. Capable of cloning disks of different types.

Different disks may come in different types. There are chances that you are cloning MBR disk to GPT disk or GPT disk to MBR disk. Some hard drive transfer tools require you to convert the source disk and destination disk to the same type before cloning. A tool that can carry out disk clone without conversion will save you plenty of effort.

2. Able to clone hard drives in different sizes.

Many users clone to a larger drive to get more storage space. If you don’t resize partitions on the destination drive after cloning, there will be unallocated space left that cannot be used to store data. You need a tool that allows you to edit partitions during the cloning process.

Some users also copy to a smaller drive. In this case, such hard drive data transfer software that is able to clone only used sectors on the source drive is needed.

3. Built-in SSD alignment feature.

SSD is a popular choice when it comes to hard drive upgrade. One of the differences between HDD and SSD is that SSD uses 4K alignment which greatly improves the reading/writing time. A kind of disk cloning software that can make the SSD 4K-aligned in the cloning process is necessary.

Luckily, AOMEI Backupper Professional can meet all the demands mentioned above. All Windows PC operating systems including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported. If you are running Windows Servers, you may turn to the server edition.

Wanna know how to use AOMEI Backupper for hard drive migration? Get hard drive cloning software download and learn a stepwise guide below.

AOMEI Backupper

Easiest hard drive clone software for Windows PC.

How to transfer data from an HDD to an SSD step by step

Before you start, you should backup files on the destination drive, because the drive will be overwritten during the cloning process. Then, follow the instructions below to transfer everything (files, programs and OS) from the old hard drive to an SSD:

Step 1. Connect the target SSD to your computer and make sure it is detected.

Step 2. Install and run the best HDD/SSD transfer software - AOMEI Backupper. Click “Clone” and select “Disk Clone”.

Disk Clone

Note: If you want to migrate OS only to the destination SSD, you can use the System Clone feature.

Step 3. Select the current system disk as the source disk and click “Next”.

Source Disk

Step 4. Select the destination SSD you have connected to your PC and click “Next”.

Destination Disk

Step 5. Tick “SSD Alignment” to improve the performance of the target SSD. Confirm the operation and click “Start Clone”.

Start Clone

>> Edit Partitions: you can resize partitions on the destination SSD as per your need. 
>> Sector by sector clone: it enables you to clone every sector on the source disk no matter whether it is used or not, thus making the “Edit Partitions” option unusable.

After the cloning process is finished, you can either change boot order in BIOS or replace the current drive with the target SSD to boot from the target drive.

💡Useful tips for hard drive transfer on PC

👉 1. Backup Important Data:

Before any transfer, ensure you have a backup of crucial data. Use an external drive, cloud storage, or a reliable backup tool to safeguard your files.

👉 2. Organize and Clean Up:

Before transferring, declutter your data. Remove unnecessary files and organize the content to avoid transferring unwanted data.

👉 3. Check Compatibility:

Ensure the new drive is compatible with your PC. Check its interface (SATA, NVMe, etc.), size (2.5-inch, 3.5-inch), and if necessary, use an adapter or enclosure.

👉 4. Patience and Verification:

Transferring large amounts of data can take time. Be patient, and after the transfer, verify that everything was successfully moved and is accessible on the new drive.

Wrapping things up

If you are looking for prime hard drive transfer software in Windows, you may consider the factors mentioned in this article. AOMEI Backupper can meet all your needs in regard to disk clone. Apart from the clone feature, AOMEI Backupper is a superb Windows backup utility. You can use it to create disk image or system image as necessary. Why not try it now?

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.