Why clone SSD to HDD in Windows 10/11?
In the majority of cases users want to clone their HDD to an SSD to gain better performance, for example, see this guide: clone Dell hard drive to SSD. But why would somebody clone their SSD drive to a hard drive?
Actually, it can be quite helpful in some of the following situations:
Get larger disk capacity. If you have stored a lot of stuff like the operating system and all your applications on a small SSD and it has become full, then you have to either clone SSD to new SSD or clone it to a larger HDD. As everyone knows, traditional HDDs are far cheaper per GB than SSDs so if you need a lot of storage on a budget it makes sense to buy a traditional hard drive
Prolong disk’s lifespan. A traditional HDD doesn’t have built-in limits for reading and writing on the drive, which means that they last longer than SSDs.
Easier to recover lost data. Due to the fact they have different hard disk structures, it is far easier to recover data from an HDD than from an SSD. If you are not familiar with Windows 10/11 and are afraid that you might lose crucial files by mistake, cloning your SSD to an HDD could be a wise choice as it’s easier to recover data.
Clone for data backup. You can backup Windows 10/11 to external hard drive for an extra layer of protection.
What Windows 10/11 cloning software should you use?
No matter if you’re using Windows 10/11 or Windows 7/8, it is hard for you to perform an SSD to HDD clone using the built-in utilities. Because Microsoft does not provide any disk cloning software. As a result, you should instead look to use reliable third-party cloning software to migrate SSD to HDD.
AOMEI Backupper Professional is one such secure, reliable, and specialized disk cloning software that allows you to clone SSD to hard drive in Windows 10/11 (both 32 bit and 64 bit) without reinstalling. Here are the main features that are used when cloning SSD drives.
Multiple cloning options. AOMEI Backupper provides System Clone, Disk Clone, and Partition Clone for different demands.
Intelligent clone. By default, AOMEI Backupper clones only the used part from the source disk, which makes it possible to clone larger drives to smaller drives.
Sector by sector clone. This will clone all of the sectors on the source disk, whether they are used or not. This is a good way to recover data from sectors that have not been overwritten yet, but this method requires the destination disk to be equal to or larger than the source disk.
Hot clone. The cloning operation can be completed in the background of Windows allowing you to do other work on the computer while the cloning.
Bootable rescue media. AOMEI Backupper supports creating bootable media with USB drive or CD/DVD so that you can perform a drive clone or backup without Windows.
In addition, bad sectors will not prevent the SSD from being cloned as AOMEI Backupper supports cloning a hard drive with bad sectors. If you prefer not to clone the entire drive, you can clone only system drive and boot related drives to hard disk drive with System Clone feature. Why don’t you download it and have a try?
How to clone SSD to HDD securely in Windows 10/11
- Cloning a drive will delete everything on the destination disk first. Please back up important data in advance.
- Be sure the target disk has enough space to hold all the data on the source disk while cloning Windows 10/11 to new hard drive, especially smaller one. Otherwise, the cloning process will fail.
Step 1. Connect the HDD to your PC. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition. Click on Clone and then click Disk Clone.
Step 2. Now you need to select the SSD disk in Windows 10/11 as source disk.
Step 3. Select the new HDD as destination hard drive.
Step 4. The default setting will only clone the used part of the SSD. If you prefer to clone the entire drive, you should select Sector by Sector Clone. When you are happy with the selections, hit Start Clone to clone SSD to HDD in Windows 10/11.
* It is possible to edit the partitions on the HDD by clicking Edit Partitions. It will be unavailable if you check the Sector by sector clone box.
* If you clone hard drive to SSD or clone SSD to larger SSD in Windows 10/11, please check the SSD Alignment feature to improve the read and write speeds of the destination SSD.
Step 5. Shut down your computer after cloning SSD to HDD. You can now change the boot priority in the BIOS so that you can boot Windows 10/11 from the cloned HDD. We suggest you remove the source disk when performing the boot test.
You might find unallocated space on your hard drive after cloning SSD to HDD in Windows 10/11. Don’t worry, you can fully make use of the unallocated space by referring to the unallocated space after cloning guide.
To get the best performance from a cloned drive, it's suggested to clone Windows 10/11 to NVMe SSD. Because it has the fastest transfer speed on the market.
Above steps also apply to cloning an SSD to an HDD in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows XP.
All clone features in free trial edition only support simulating the operations.
Troubleshooting: Cloned hard drive won't boot in Windows 10/11
Some users have complained that the newly cloned hard drive won’t boot after the cloning process has finished.
The first thing you should check is the boot order.
If the boot order is correct then it is likely to be a boot mode issue (UEFI/BIOS). If you have cloned GPT to MBR disk, you will have to change from UEFI to Legacy (or vice versa) in the startup menu.
If you’re still unable to boot Windows 10/11 from the cloned drive, then please refer to the cloned Windows 10/11 won't boot guide for more solutions.
AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition is a fantastic tool when you want to clone SSD to HDD in Windows 10/11. It has an entire range of useful features and functions and can also help you clone an HDD to an SSD (even when the SSD is a smaller drive). It also applies to clone all kinds of HDDs and SSDs, such as clone Windows 10 to M.2 SSD, clone HDD to Samsung SSD in Windows 10, replace laptop HDD with SSD, clone SSD to larger SSD, clone hard drive to WD SSD, etc.
The complete disk cloning software also includes a raft of powerful backup features that lets users perform incremental or differential backups in Windows 10/11 to keep their data safe. These allow you to easily restore your system with disaster recovery in case anything goes wrong.