How to Clone SSD to HDD in Windows 10 via Freeware (Secure Boot)?

November 14, 2019

This tutorial will teach you how to clone an SSD with secure boot enabled to a HDD in Windows 10, 8, and 7 using free and easy to use specialist disk cloning software.

Why should you clone SSD to HDD in Windows 10?

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 a HDD than from an SSD. If you are not familiar with Windows 10 and are afraid that you might lose crucial files by mistake, cloning your SSD to a HDD could be a wise choice as it’s easier to recover data.

  • Clone for data backup. You can backup Windows 10 to external hard drive for an extra layer of protection.

What Windows 10 cloning software should you use?

No matter if you’re using Windows 10 or Windows 7/8, it is hard for you to perform an SSD to HDD clone using the built-in utilities. As a result, you should instead look to use reliable third-party cloning software to clone your SSD to a HDD.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is one such secure, reliable, and free disk cloning software that allows you to clone SSDs to HDD partition/disks without reinstalling in Windows 10 (both 32 bit and 64 bit). Here are the main features that are used when cloning SSD drives.

  • 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 a specific partition to the HDDs partitions with the Partition Clone feature Why don’t you download it and have a try?

How to clone SSD to HDD with secure boot in Windows 10?

Note: Everything on the destination disk will be overwritten during cloning. Back up important data in advance.

Step 1. Connect the HDD to your PC. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition. Click on Clone and then click Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Now you need to select the source disk, you should choose your SSD.

Select Source Disk

Step 3. Select the destination hard drive.

Select Destination Disk

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.

Start Clone

Step 5. Shut down your computer after completing the cloning process. You can now change the boot priority in the BIOS so that you can boot Windows 10 from the cloned HDD. We suggest you remove the source disk when performing the boot test.

Helpful Tips:

  • You might find unallocated space on your hard drive after the cloning process. Don’t worry, you can fully make use of the unallocated space by referring to the unallocated space after cloning guide.

  • 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 an SSD to an SSD in Windows 10, please check the SSD Alignment feature to improve the read and write speeds of the destination SSD.

  • If you want to only transfer the operating system to another hard drive, please upgrade to the advanced version: AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition.

  • Above steps also apply to cloning an SSD to a HDD in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows XP.

Troubleshooting: Cloning an SSD to a HDD in Windows 10

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 this is correct then it is likely to be a boot mode issue (UEFI/BIOS). If you have cloned GPT to MBR disk (supported by AOMEI Backupper Professional), you will have to change from UEFI to Legacy (or vice versa) in the startup menu.

If this still doesn’t fix your problem and you’re unable to boot Windows 10 from the cloned drive, then please refer to the cloned Windows 10 won't boot guide for more solutions.

Verdict

AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition is a fantastic tool when you want to clone SSD to HDD in Windows 10. It has an entire range of useful features and functions and can also help you clone a HDD to an SSD (even when the SSD is a smaller drive). AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition also includes a raft of powerful backup features that lets users perform incremental or differential backups in Windows 10 to keep their data safe. These allow you to easily restore your system with disaster recovery in case anything goes wrong.