By Teresa / Last update July 12, 2022

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Choose the right SSD for your computer

We all know that compared to traditional HDDs you get an excellent user experience when running Windows or gaming on solid-state drives (SSDs). Then, how to choose an SSD for your computer? There are three practical suggestions for you:

  • Check your computer motherboard. Find out if there are M.2 slots on your motherboard. If not, you may choose a 2.5-inch SSD instead.
  • 500GB to 1TB capacity. Don't buy an SSD smaller than 256GB, and 500GB offers a good balance between price and capacity.
  • Faster transfer speed. SATA is cheaper but slower. If your computer supports NVMe/PCIe or Optane drives, consider buying a drive with one of these technologies.

Choose SSD

Why do you need SSD cloning freeware?

After getting a new SSD, the next step is to transfer all data from the old disk to SSD. Reinstalling Windows on your new SSD can be a time-consuming process full of frustration as you have to search the internet for all the programs you had originally and reinstall them one by one.

Specialist disk clone software can save your time by copying everything from the old drive to the new one. This includes all of the system files, preferences, programs, and everything in-between. Typically, you will need SSD cloning software in the following two situations:

● Specialist HDD to SSD cloning software. In order to take advantage of a new SSD and enjoy the speed it can offer you, you may clone a large HDD to a smaller SSD with the cloning software. 
● Specialist SSD to SSD cloning software. Your old SSD now has no more space to store new files, so you buy a new larger one. In this case, you may clone SSD to a larger SSD to transfer all your data. 

Whether you want to migrate your HDD to an SSD or transfer an old SSD to a new one, you will always prefer to save time by using a quick and easy method that ensures your new SSD functions correctly. 

AOMEI Backupper is specialist disk cloning software that can meet all your demands. It is easy-to-use and keeps your data intact during the cloning process, thus saving your time and effort compared to reinstalling the system and all your applications.

Best free cloning software for SSDs of all kinds

AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition, developed for Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, is the best SSD cloning software for free that is perfect for transferring data from one disk to another. It has many professional functions:

✦ Disk Clone: it allows you to clone the entire hard drive including all the volumes on it. With it, you can easily migrate HDDs to smaller SSDs or clone SSDs to larger ones.
✦ Partition Clone: it enables you to copy a selected partition, such as clone NTFS drive.
✦ SSD Alignment: it can help to improve the performance of the destination SSD and prolong its lifespan.

You will also be attracted by its following features:

✦ Easy-to-use interface: you can easily complete the cloning job with AOMEI Backupper’s straightforward GUI.
✦ VSS technology: the cloning process will run in the background so you can continue to use the computer during the process.
✦ Intelligent clone: by default, this software only copies used sectors, which is also the key to clone larger drive to smaller drive.
✦ Secure boot: if you are cloning the system drive, you can boot from the cloned SSD successfully after cloning.

What’s more, for non-system disks, if your source disk and destination disk have different partition structures, you can still use free AOMEI Backupper to clone the disks without having to convert the disk partition structure beforehand as it allows you to copy MBR data disks to GPT data disks (and vice versa).

As for system disks, the free version only allows you to clone from MBR to MBR. To copy MBR disk to GPT disk, GPT disk to MBR disk, or GPT disk to GPT disk, please upgrade to higher versions.

How to clone a hard drive to an SSD with free SSD clone software

You need but a few clicks to clone HDD to SSD for free with AOMEI Backupper. This software supports most of the popular brands of solid-state drives, including Samsung, Sandisk, Kingston, PNY, WD, etc. And it supports different disk interfaces, such as SATA, IDE and PCIe. Among them, cloning Windows 10 to NVMe SSD will be a great option, because this kind of SSD disk has faster reading and writing speed. Then, follow the instructions below:

Preparations:

  • First, make sure your new SSD has been correctly connected to the computer. If your computer has only one drive bay, use a USB-to-SATA adapter.

  • Download this free SSD migration software and install it. 

    Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
    Secure Download
  • Files on the target disk will be overwritten after cloning. If there's any important data on it, use the software to make a backup at first.

1. Click on the Clone button and select Disk Clone in the next window.

Disk Clone

Tip: If you only want to transfer the OS and applications to the SSD rather than the entire drive, you can upgrade to advanced editions to use the System Clone feature.

2. Select the original hard drive as the source disk and then choose the SSD as the destination disk. 

Select Disk

3. Check the SSD Alignment option to optimize the performance of the destination SSD. Then, click on Start Clone to begin HDD to SSD cloning.

Start Clone

Sector By Sector Clone - if you want to clone every sector (including unused or bad sectors) on the old hard drive to your SSD, tick this option.
Edit Partitions - If you are upgrading your SSD to a larger one, you should choose it and use "Add unused space to all partitions" to avoid the larger drive having unallocated space after cloning. The feature is only available in Professional or higher editions). 

4. Now leave the process to complete. While you are waiting you can continue to use the PC as normal. Once the process completes, click Finish.

Finish

How to boot from the cloned SSD drive

Cloning is not the ultimate goal. After cloning HDD to SSD in Windows 10/8/7 for free, you may wonder how to boot from the cloned disk. There are two methods available: change boot order in BIOS, or replace the old drive with SSD directly. 

◉ To change boot priority

Restart your PC and press the required key (like "F2", "Del" or "F12") to enter BIOS. At the "Boot" tab, select the SSD drive as the first boot device. Finally, press "F10" to save changes and exit. 

Change Boot Order

◉ To replace the old hard drive with SSD directly

Shut down your PC and remove all external devices and connections first. Then, open the case cover, take out the old hard drive and install the new SSD in the same place. You'll need screwdrivers in practical operations. It is suggested to take a picture in advance to help you revert cable connections if you're not familiar with such things.

Remove Hard Drive

Conclusion

If you are looking for the best free SSD cloning software for Windows 11/10/8/7, AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition can be an ideal choice. It enables you to easily transfer data to your SSD (eg: clone NVMe to NVMe SSD) and it acts as a comprehensive backup manager as well.

AOMEI Backupper provides the ability to perform system backups, disk backups, partition backups, and file backups. Its amazing restoration features allow you to recover your unbootable PC either by creating rescue media or by using the AOMEI PXE boot tool.

If you want to clone disks on any computer without installing disk clone software repetitively, use AOMEI Backupper Technician or Technician Plus to create portable version.