How to Do System Clone or System Migration to HDD/SSD?

July 3, 2019

This guide mainly talks about what system clone is, why need to migrate/clone system to HDD or SSD, and how to carry out system clone with great AOMEI Backupper.

About System Clone or System Migration

Just as the name implies, system clone or migration means to make an exactly same copy of operating system (OS) as the original one and transfer it to another storage device, like hard disk drive (HDD), solid state drive (SSD), etc.

What is worth mentioning is that the cloning/migration copies not only your Windows operating system, but also installed applications, drivers, updates and custom settings on the system drive. Therefore, cloning/migrating system has the same function as creating a system image.

Why Do You Need to Clone or Migrate System?

In the following situations you may need system clone/migration:

  • For faster running speed and better performance: Maybe you are not satisfied with the performance of your current hard disk drive (HDD), and you want to use a solid state drive (SSD) to replace the old HDD. As everyone knows SSD can offer much faster reading and writing speed than HDD.
  • For upgrade to a larger new hard disk: As time goes on, you may have collected a large amount of data that occupies your whole disk space. In this case, you can no longer allocate any free space in the same disk to the compact system partition. What's more, transferring all your data to a larger drive requires plenty of time and space. So cloning/migrating operating system and all applications in system drive to a larger hard disk drive is on agenda.
  • For a same well-adjusted and smoothly running operating system: If you intend to buy another computer to replace the old one, but are still fond of the operating system on the old computer, you can seek help from system migration to another computer without installing Windows and applications.

System Clone or Migration with AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper is not only a complete backup software, but also a powerful cloning program. Through its functions, you can easily clone system/disk/partition/volume to ideal destination path without interrupting any running programs. This function is extremely useful, because it can avoid downtime to the largest extent.

As for the task of cloning system, AOMEI Backupper can complete it perfectly with its specially designed function of "System Clone". It allows you to clone from large hard drive to a smaller SSD. Besides, cloning from MBR disk to GPT disk is also available. Also, with its "Disk Clone" feature, you are able to clone Windows system disk within clicks.

Preparation before system clone:

  • A secondary storage device - add another hard disk or SSD to your computer and make sure it is able to be detected. For a laptop, you may need an SATA to USB adapter if there is no extra room inside the laptop to install more disks.
  • System clone software - AOMEI Backupper. With AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition, you can clone Windows 10/8/7 directly with "System Clone" option. Besides, you can create System Backup to realize OS migration with its free version, the Standard edition, as well.

To clone Windows 10/8/7 to SSD or another HDD:

Step 1. Install, launch and activate AOMEI Backupper Pro with license code, and then select the "System Clone" option under the "Clone" tab.

System Clone

Step 2. Sometimes users don't know which partitions need to be selected so that the system will be bootable after cloning. Therefore, the program is designed to automatically select source partitions for you. Here, you just need to select a disk that is large enough as new location (here is Disk1) for cloning system, and then click "Next" to continue.

Choose Destination HDD

Note: If there is one or more partitions on your destination disk, AOMEI Backupper will pop up a window, prompting you which partition(s) will be deleted and inquiring that "Are you sure to continue the operation?" Click "OK" to go on. If there is important data on these partitions, please click "Cancel" to quit current operation and backup partitions firstly.

Step 3. In the operation summary window, confirm the operations and click "Start Clone" to perform the system clone.

Clone System to HDD Preview
  • Sector by sector clone: copy every sector of system partition no matter it is used or not, which can be used when you clone an encrypted hard drive, but it will take much more time.

  • SSD Alignment: improve the performance if the destination disk is an SSD.

Step 4. When the system clone progress reaches 100%, please click "Finish" to exit the interface.


When the system cloning is finished, we suggest you not boot the computer from the destination disk directly. In order to make Windows bootable from the new HDD or SSD, please shut down the computer after system cloning is completed. And then disconnect the source disk and connect the destination disk to the socket of the source disk.

The source disk could be plugged in another socket as a secondary storage device. If you want to clone system drive along with data partitions to SSD or another hard disk, please choose "Disk Clone".