By Ivy / Last update October 19, 2022

Why transfer everything from C drive to new SSD?

SSD, with no moving parts, is known for fast reading & writing and startup speed. Thus when your old hard drive is running out of space or performing poorly, you could install a new SSD as boot drive to get a smoother experience or extended capacity.

But booting for a new SSD requires you to install Windows 11/10/8/7 on it. If you want to save the hassle of reinstallation, and keep those apps and user files on the old hard drive, you may need to transfer everything from system drive (normally C drive) to SSD directly. 

Transfer Everything from C Drive to SSD

Best way to transfer entire C drive including system files and apps

There are usually two difficult points in transferring C drive to SSD. One is that you cannot manually copy those boot files and hidden files included in system drive; the second is that SSD is usually smaller than HDD under the same budget, so you may face the situation of migrating OS to smaller SSD.

Theoretically, you can implement C drive transferring via built-in Backup and Restore (Windows 7). That is, backup crucial data first, create a system image, replace old hard drive with SSD, and then restore system image to the SSD (for details, please refer to restore Windows 10 to new hard drive).

This method is capable of migrating system files, but when the source drive and target SSD are of different sizes, models, partition styles, etc. the restoring is also likely to fail. You must spend some extra effort troubleshooting the problems and improving the success rate.

System Image Restore Failed

So, if you want to transfer everything from C drive to SSD more effortlessly and efficiently, I would like to introduce you a professional backup and restore software or directly use the easiest way - system cloning. It requires a disk clone software as a prerequisite.

System migration software to transfer everything - AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper Professional is a powerful program that supports cloning the entire C drive to SSD directly, even between disks of different sizes and partition styles.

It includes 3 cloning modes to meet your needs: System Clone, Partition Clone and Disk Clone (to clone hard drive to SSD or another HDD). To transfer everything from system drive, just choose the first one. Below are some obvious advantages of this software:

By default, the intelligent cloning technology will copy only used sectors and therefore allows you to transfer system to smaller SSD.
If the target SSD is larger or you worry about the system reserved partition missing issue, you can sector-by-sector clone to copy all the sectors, including the blank and bad sectors.
Also, you can choose to extend the size of your system partition if there are any unallocated space next to it.

This software supports cloning all data disks and system disks, MBR or GPT. So you can even clone MBR to GPT or vice versa directly. More surprising, you can convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT without losing data if necessary.

Download it to have a try now (The Clone feature in the free-trial can only be demonstrated, you can upgrade (20% off) to the full version to implement it.):

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Steps: Transfer the entire C drive to SSD effortlessly

Note: All data on target SSD will be overwritten after cloning, so please backup important files before you start.

Step 1. Connect the SSD to your computer. To transfer entire C drive to SSD on laptop, you may need external disk enclosure.

Step 2. Open AOMEI Backupper. Head to Clone > System Clone.

Choose System Clone

Step 3. The system drive will be auto-selected, you just need to select the target SSD as destination.

Choose Destination Partition

Step 4. Confirm your operations. Check SSD Alignment to improve the reading and writing speed of the target SSD. Then, click Start Clone to transfer everything from C drive to SSD. 

System Clone Preview Align Checked

After cloning, you can shut down the PC to replace the old hard drive with SSD physically. you just need to press a specific key during startup to enter BIOS, and set the cloned SSD as the first boot option. Save the changes, the PC should be able to boot from it automatically.

Change Boot Order


  •  If you want to keep the old hard drive as secondary storage, please be sure the cloned SSD is bootable and then format the old disk. If not, please repair the cloned SSD won't boot issues. 
  • To reduce the cloning time, you can make a bootable USB/CD/DVD to clone C drive without booting Windows.
  • Other than system clone, you can also transfer files from C drive to D drive with this software.
  • If you are currently using a server system, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Server. It supports all the server operating system, from server 2003 to server 2022.

Except for cloning, you can still try Backup and Restore feature to transfer everything from C drive to SSD without boot issues. By comparison, it's more helpful when you want to protect system and data on it continuously.

You can choose to enable its Daily/Weekly/Monthly schedule backup and backup only changed data by Incremental or Differential Backup.

To avoid backup disk full due to accumulated backups and limited space, it's suggested to delete old backup image to free up disk space for new backup, etc



With the help of AOMEI Backupper, you can transfer everything from C drive to SSD in several clicks. No profound knowledge or complex operations are required. And it can solve many big headaches for you. For example, it allows you to clone OS to smaller SSD while ensure secure boot. 

Besides System Clone, you still can try Disk Clone feature to clone the entire disk, or Partition Clone to transfer all files from one partition to another. And either way, you can improve SSD disk performance, adjust partition size, clone all sectors of selected partition or disk , etc.