What is system migration?

A system migration (also known as system clone) refers to a process of transferring the current operating system, data, and software to a new hard drive and making it bootable, so you can use it to replace the old hard drive without reinstalling Windows. Also, you can use it as a data backup to prevent any disaster.

To be specific, if it is an MBR, system migration software will transfer system partition (C: drive) and system reserved partition. If it is a GPT disk, besides system partition, EFI system partition and MSR partition will also be transferred to the new disk. 

Honestly, this operation gives your computer a new life, which is also a brand-new experience for you, faster boot time, browsing multiple webs smoothly, playing games without getting stuck, etc. Have you not had this experience for a long time? To make it, you could try system migration with professional system migration software.

Simple yet professional system migration software for Windows PC

To migrate system and data on it, you need professional system migration software which can take care of everything, leaving you a few clicks to confirm the process. Here I strongly recommend AOMEI Backupper Professional, which can help you easily and quickly migrate OS to larger HDD or smaller SSD as per your needs. 

  • What’s really amazing is that it can migrate system between MBR and GPT disks without converting partition style, and vice versa.
  • By default, this software only clones the used sectors on the system partition, so it's the best way to migrate OS to smaller SSD.
  • If the target disk is larger, you can still clone all the sectors of system partition with its "Sector by sector clone" feature.
  • Also, you are allowed to use its "SSD Alignment" feature to accelerate the reading & writing speed of an SSD disk.
  • You are able to clone system to all branded HDDs and SSDs, such as HP, Samsung, Lenovo, WD, SanDisk, etc.
  • You can do whatever you want during the cloning process with the help of its "Hot Clone" feature. 

Well then, what are the steps for system migration? Please keep reading below to get them.

Stepwise guide to migrate OS in Windows 10/11 with AOMEI Backupper

Before you start to migrate system, you need to make some preparations: 

Prepare a target disk, either HDD or SSD. If it's not initialized, please initialize the disk in Windows Disk Management.
Check both disk capacities. Be sure the target disk has enough space to hold everything on the old system. If not, the cloning process will fail.
If your computer is a laptop, please prepare a SATA-to-USB cable to connect the target disk for cloning.
The destination partition will be overwritten. Please backup important files in advance.
Download AOMEI Backupper Professional and install it on your computer. This version only supports Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. If you are currently using a server computer, such as Server 2003, 2008 (R2), 2012 (R2), 2016 (R2), 2019, or 2022, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Server.
Download DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Then, let's start to migrate Windows 10 to a new disk. All the steps are also applicable to Windows 11/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista.

Step 1. Make sure the new hard drive or SSD is detected by Windows. Then, launch the professional system migration software - AOMEI Backupper Professional, and click "Clone" > "System Clone" in order.

Choose System Clone

Step 2. System and boot related drives are selected by default, so you just need to select the destination path. All the detected disks will be listed in the following window. Select a partition on the disk just connected for migration.

Choose Destination Partition

Step 3. Preview the operation and click "Start Clone" to get started. If the target disk is an SSD, check the option "SSD Alignment" for optimization. 

System Clone Preview Align Checked

If you want to clone every sector on the system partitions, such as boot partition, system reserved partition, and EFI system partition, please check "Sector by sector clone". It requires the destination partition is equal to or larger than the source partition(s).
If your target disk is larger, you can see "Make full use of disk space" option at the left of "SSD Alignment". It is to extend system partition by adding unallocated space to it. 

Step 4. When the cloning process finishes, shut down your PC and change boot order in BIOS to boot from the cloned hard drive. You can also disconnect the old disk and install the new disk there to make your computer boot from it.


If you want to migrate system without loading Windows, you can create a bootable USB or DVD disk with this software and then boot from it to perform system clone.


That's all for system migration in Windows 11/10/8/7. With the help of AOMEI Backupper Professional, you can safely migrate operating system to another drive, whether a larger HDD or smaller SSD, and boot successfully from it. Also, you are allowed to optimize the performance of SSD disk if your target disk is an SSD.

Besides system migration, you still can clone entire hard drive to a larger drive with "Disk Clone" or clone a specific partition and data on it with “Partition Clone”.