Easily Transfer OS from SSD to New SSD in Windows (3 Steps)

Want to transfer operating system from old SSD to new SSD on Windows 11/10/8/7 without reinstalling everything on C drive? Learn how to transfer OS to new SSD, AOMEI Backupper is a good helper.


By Lily Updated on April 17, 2024

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Why need to transfer OS from SSD to new SSD?

System migration means moving your stuff from one computer to another. This usually means taking everything from an old hard drive and putting it onto a new one. Why do this? Well, maybe your old hard drive is slow or broken. By moving everything to a new hard drive or even better, a new SSD, you keep your computer running fast and your files safe.

Transfer OS from SSD to New SSD

Unlike hard disk drive, SSD (Solid State Drive) has no moving parts and stores information in the microchip, which makes it much faster and more durable. Besides, SSD works without noise allowing to read and write all day long, and the data storage integrity will be maintained for a long time. Thus, many users want to use SSD for OS and HDD for storage.

However, the disk space is limited and will be full, thus you may still need to migrate OS to a new SSD for large capacity. Or the SSD disk performance slows down, or it's falling with the smart error or has other issues, you need to replace it with a new one, for example, transfer Windows 10 from one SSD to another

  • ✍ Faster data access

  • ✍ More reliable (no moving parts)

  • ✍ Uses less power

  • ✍ Resistant to shocks

Among SSD disks, the NVMe SSD that operates across the PCle bus has a fast reading and writing speed. You can search best NVMe SSD online and get one if you have enough budget. The NVMe SSD with M.2 PCI-E x4 slot is the best option.

Why choose system clone instead of system image to transfer OS to new SSD? 

The main difference between system image and system clone lies in their processes. Do you know which to choose? Disk Clone vs System Clone.

System Image: Creates a backup (image) of the entire OS and all files, which need to be restored onto the new SSD. This process involves creating an image file and then restoring it onto the new drive.

System Clone: Copies the entire OS and associated files directly from the source drive to the new SSD, eliminating the need for a separate backup and restore process. This method results in a fully operational copy of the OS on the new drive without the intermediate step of creating an image file.

Disk Clone or System Clone

Choosing system clone over system image offers several advantages when transferring the OS to a new SSD:

✍ Ease of Use: System clone is typically more straightforward than creating a system image.
✍ Time Efficiency: System clone often takes less time to complete than creating a system image, making it a quicker option for transferring the OS.
✍ Direct Transfer: System clone directly transfers the entire OS and associated files to the new SSD, whereas system image creates a backup of the OS that needs to be restored onto the new drive.

Best OS migration software for Windows 7/8/10/11🏆

To migrate OS from SSD to new SSD of all brands (Samsung, WD, Toshiba, Crucial, etc) and different interfaces (SATA or NVMe), cloning is the simplest way as long as you find a liable OS migration software. Considering the secure boot issue, AOMEI Backupper Professional is a great choice.

It provides you with 2 ways for this cloning task. You can choose System Clone or Disk Clone feature, depending on the items you want to clone and the disk space of the target disk to transfer OS to new SSD.

✦ System Clone: It clones only the operating system, system settings, installed apps, and personal files on the system partition(s). Support cloning system between two MBR or GPT disks, or cloning MBR disk to GPT and vice versa.
✦ Disk Clone: It clones the entire system disk, not only system partition(s) but also other data partitions. Considering the amount of data, it will require more disk space.

By default, this software clones only used sectors of a partition or disk, thus you can easily migrate OS to smaller SSD. Also, if the target disk is large, you can choose to clone all sectors of system partition or disk by "Sector by Sector Clone".

How to transfer OS from SSD to SSD step-by-step

Before moving OS to SSD:

  • Insert your new SSD into the computer and make sure it can be detected. For a laptop, you need an external enclosure or adapter to connect SSD to your laptop.
  • If you've got a new SSD, you need to set it up first so that Windows can see it. Also, make sure the way your computer starts up matches the way your new SSD is set up. If they don't match, you might have trouble booting up. So, you might need to change your SSD from one type to another to make everything work smoothly.
  • Download and install the OS migration software - AOMEI Backupper Professional, supporting all editions of Windows PC (32-bit and 64-bit of Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP). For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.
Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Now learn how to transfer operating system to SSD as follows.

  1. Launch this software, select “System Clone” under “Clone” tab. 

Choose System Clone

Tip: If you want to clone all contents on the system disk, select "Disk Clone" instead. This feature can help you clone hard drive to SSD or clone SSD to larger SSD, etc.

  1. Select the new SSD disk as the destination path and click "Next" to continue. The program will automatically select the source drives that need to be migrated. 

Choose Destination Path to Migrate OS

Tip: If the new SSD is not empty, the program will prompt you all partitions on the SSD will be deleted. Click "OK" to continue if you have already backed up important files beforehand.

  1. Here is the operation preview which shows you the OS drives will be transferred to SSD. At the lower-left corner, "SSD Alignment" is highly recommended to accelerate your new SSD’s write/read speed. Then, click "Start Clone" to migrate OS to SSD in Windows 10 or other systems.

System Clone Preview Align Checked

Tip: "Make full use of disk space" will be available if the new SSD is larger than the old SSD and add unallocated space to system partition automatically. "Sector by sector clone" is also optional to clone every byte.

* Please note the System Clone or Disk Clone feature can only be demonstrated in the trial version. You will be asked to upgrade to full version of AOMEI Backupper Professional to launch the cloning process. Just click Upgrade with Discount Now.

Upgrade with Discount Now

That's how to move OS to SSD with AOMEI Backupper.

Boot from the cloned SSD

One last thing, please shut down your computer after finishing.

>> For a laptop, swap your old SSD for the new SSD and boot from it.

>> For a desktop, you can still use the old SSD as a secondary drive for backup and storage. Just change boot order in BIOS to boot from the new SSD.

Change Boot Order in BIOS

Challenges of Transferring OS to a New SSD

Migrating OS to a new SSD in Windows 10 can be tricky and come with risks. Here are some things to consider:

1. Risk of Data Loss or Corruption: When you clone a hard drive to migrate OS to a new drive, there's a chance you could lose important files or settings if something goes wrong. It's crucial to back up your data before attempting the transfer.
2. Security Concerns: Cloning your hard drive could affect your computer's security, leaving your data vulnerable to cyber threats. Make sure your antivirus software and system settings are up to date to protect your information.
3. Downtime and Disruption: During the cloning process, your computer won't be usable, which can be inconvenient. Using reliable cloning software like AOMEI Backupper Professional can help avoid these problems and ensure a smooth transition to the new drive.

FAQs about migrating OS to new SSD

1. Can You Transfer OS from HDD to SSD Without Formatting?

Yes, you can transfer an operating system (OS) from a hard disk drive (HDD) to a solid-state drive (SSD) without formatting. This means you can copy everything, including the OS, from the HDD to the SSD via a professional cloning tool such as AOMEI Backupper Professional.

2. How long does SSD migration take?

It depends on several factors, such as the data volume, the speed of the cloning program, the read and write speeds of the drives involved, and the computer's system specifications. The average time would be between 20 minutes and 1 hour.

3. How do I move my OS to SSD without cloning?

If you don't want to do the cloning thing, you can try to clean install Windows 11/10 on the new SSD. However, the steps are cumbersome and you should reinstall all your previous apps.

4. How to install OS on new SSD without USB?

You can also install Windows on a new SSD without a USB by using a Windows ISO file. This means you don't need a bootable USB drive or the Media Creation Tool to install Windows 11 on a computer that's already running Windows 10. Instead, you can simply mount the ISO file in File Explorer and run the upgrade setup.

5. Why is my new SSD not bootable?

If your SSD is a GPT disk, ensure that the EFI/UEFI boot mode is enabled. You'll need to access BIOS Setup to make this change. If the SSD is an MBR disk, set the boot mode to Legacy. This ensures your SSD can boot properly.

6. How do I know if my SSD is GPT or MBR?

To find the disk you want to check, go to Disk Management and right-click on it. Choose "Properties" and go to the "Volumes" tab. Next to "Partition style," you'll see either "Master Boot Record (MBR)" or "GUID Partition Table (GPT)," depending on the disk type.


You can easily transfer OS from SSD to new SSD with the help of OS migration software - AOMEI Backupper Professional. It supports all brands of SSD disks, different interfaces (SATA, NVMe), and disk types (MBR, GPT). It allows you to clone SSDs to both larger and smaller SSD, ensuring the simplest methods to migrate OS to new drive.

Except for cloning, this software is still able to backup the system to a temporary device and restore system to a new SSD. If your computer is unbootable, you need to create a repair boot USB first. Anyway, please download it to have a try! For unlimited PCs, try AOMEI Backupper Technician.

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.