Perform System Clone or System Migration in 5 Steps

AOMEI Post By AOMEI Updated May 17, 2023

System Clone in AOMEI Backupper is a good feature to clone the entire system partition as well as its all related partitions that are necessary for the system running to the destination location with secure boot.

The System Clone function is particularly useful in the following situations:

  • Replace the old hard drive with a larger one to gain more space.
  • Clone large HDD to smaller SSD for better running speed and performance.
  • Migrate the operating system to another drive for backup. 

Best System Migaration Software - AOMEI Backupper Professional

AOMEI Backupper Professional is a reliable system migration software for Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista, which can help you clone system to HDD or SSD easily in simple steps. And you can enjoy the following benefits during the clone process: 

Clone OS on HDD/SSD, or MBR and GPT disk: It supports cloning system between two MBR or GPT disks, and from GPT to MBR disk and vice versa.
Clone system to HDD or SSD with different size: By default, it clones only used sectors of the system partition, thus you can clone larger drive to smaller drive or SSD if the used space of system partition is less than or equal to it. If the target disk is larger, you can add unallocated space to system partition automatically.
Clone HDD to SSD with Alignment: It is able to clone hard drive to SSD and further accelerate the reading and writing speed of SSD disk as well as its lifespan.
Clone all kinds of HDDs and SSDs, whether it’s SATA or NVMe disk, such as, clone HDD to Samsung SSD, replace laptop HDD with SSD, clone NVME SSD, etc.

In addition, it still provide you with two other cloning method, Disk Clone (to clone the entire disk including system partition and other data partitions) and Partition Clone, and you can use the previous one if your target disk include all the data on the disk. It allows you to add unused space to all partitions or manually adjust partition size on the target disk.

How to Perform System Clone in Windows 10 with AOMEI Backupper Step by Step

Firstly, connect the destination drive, HDD or SSD, to your current Windows 10 computer. Please make sure the selected drive is large enough to contain the system partitions. If it’s a laptop, you still need an external disk enclosure or USB-to-SATA cable.

Then, download this software and install it on your computer. It applies to Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.

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

1. Launch the system migration software - AOMEI Backupper Professional. Then, click Clone on the left column then select System Clone.

System Clone

2. The system related partitions are selected by default. Select the connected drive or SSD as the destination location to clone your system drive to.​

Select Destination Disk

If the selected location is partitioned, a window will pop up to prompt that this partition will be deleted or overwritten, click "OK" to continue. If you don't have a copy of files on the destination disk, please make a file backup first. 


3. Then, you will access the Operation Summary window, confirm the disk information and click Start Clone to perform system clone to SSD or HDD

System Clone to Larger Drive

Helpful cloning feature you may need:
"Sector by Sector Clone": It’s to copy all sectors of the system partition, and migrate it to larger drive, HDD or SSD. And it may take more time to complete. Don't tick this feature if the destination disk is smaller, otherwise the cloning process will fail.
"SSD Alignment": This option can also be selected to optimize the performance if the target is an SSD.
"Make full use of disk space": It ensures that all the unallocated space on the target disk is fully utilized and it is checked by default if you are moving system to a larger drive.

After cloning successfully, you still need to check if the cloned drive or SSD is bootable. Please follow the steps below:

  • Shut down the computer completely.
  • Remove the source drive from the disk drive bay and install the newly cloned drive or SSD on it.
  • Then restart the computer to let it boot from the new drive or SSD. You may need to enter the BIOS/UEFI settings and ensure the newly replaced disk is the first bootable device if it’s not bootable.

Change Boot Order

Cloning problem you may encounter

The cloning process seems to be very easy. You can finish in 3 simple steps. However, some users report that the cloning process fails or has problems. Here we summarize some common cloning problems and corresponding solutions for you:

  • The cloning process fails. The most common reason is target disk does not have enough space. To fix this problem, you can choose to: 
Free up disk space by deleting useless files or uninstalling programs.
Find a disk cloning software that supports cloning only used sectors of system partition. This may be called Intelligent Clone feature.
  • Cloned drive won’t boot: This may be caused by wrong boot mode (Legacy BIOS or UEFI) or boot order, missing cloning the system reserved partition, etc.
Make sure the cloned drive is connected internally to your motherboard, not via an external USB connector.
You can choose to set correct boot mode or boot order.
For missing system reserved partition, you need to clone all sectors of system partition with disk cloning software. You need to use a feature called “Sector by Sector Clone” or similar.
  • SSD slow boot Windows 10 after cloning: The main cause of this problem is the disk is 4K misaligned. In this case, the data on one cluster is stored on two physical 4K sectors, which costs much more time. To fix this problem, you need to:
Find a disk cloning software that supports 4K alignment technology to align SSD disk during the cloning process.  In disk cloning software, this may be referred to as the "SSD alignment" feature.



  • Before cloning OS from MBR to GPT disk, please confirm that your motherboard supports EFI/UEFI boot.
  • To clone all partitions (hidden partitions and data partitions included) to another hard drive, you can use the Disk Clone.
  • After the OS successfully boots from the SSD, you can wipe the HDD to use it as a data disk.


You can easily perform system clone to another drive, HDD or SSD, with a reliable system migration software - AOMEI Backupper Professional. It supports cloning all kinds of disks, regardless of disk type (MBR, GPT) and interface (SATA, NVMe, M.2, PCIe, etc). And it also provides other highlight features to make this process easily, such as, Make full use of disk space, SSD Alignment, Sector by Sector Clone, etc. 

Anyway, download it and try yourself. For unlimited PCs or severs, try its Technician or TechPlus edition.



Q: Why the drive I would like to clone to is not listed?

A: The might reason is that your system partition and boot partition are located on different physical drives so both drives are taken as your source system drive.

Q: After cloning OS, will the source system be deleted or not bootable?

A: Cloning system won’t take any effect on source system so you can still boot from the source system drive.

Q: Can I manually delete or wipe the original OS drive as a data drive to make full use of the drive space?

A: Once the system clone is finished and your PC boots from the new drive without any problem, you can delete it as a data drive.