By Delia / Last update October 20, 2020

Quick Navigation:

Case: migrate hard drive to SSD 

I'm installing a new 1TB SSD tonight, and a little worried about potential risks when migrating my 1TB HDD containing the system partition to the SSD. After I've done it, will I still be able to keep my original system drive so I can boot from it in case of any failure of the SSD? Any other advice or words of caution?

Such problems are not uncommon nowadays when SSD becomes an increasingly popular option for computer users. If you are thinking about upgrading HDD to SSD, or have the same confusion for hard drive migration, this article may solve some of your problems.

Migrate Hard Drive To Ssd

Why migrate HDD to SSD?

People may migrate hard drive to new SSD for different reasons, but essentially they can be summarized as following:

◆ Better performance: Compared with HDD, SSDs have better performance in writing and reading speed, system security, compatibility, etc. Most of people replace old HDD with an SSD for this reason, especially for game enthusiasts.

◆ SSD for OS and HDD for storage: Sometimes, you may receive a low disk space warning message, and your computer may run slower and slower. Therefore, it is a good choice to clone current HDD to SSD. Thus you can take the SSD as the boot drive, and use the HDD to store data only.

◆ SSDs are affordable now: In the past time, SSDs are more expensive than traditional hard drives, so the application of SSD is not widespread. But nowadays, most of people can afford an SSD like Samsung 970 EVO, Samsung M.2, etc. It's a natural need to migrate HDD to SSD after buying a new HDD.

How to clone hard drive to SSD safely and easily?

Normally an SSD is smaller than an HDD at the same cost, so the SSD you buy is very likely smaller than the old HDD, which may cause trouble in your data migration process. Besides, a hard drive containing system partition is prone to various errors after cloning. Even with great care and all the preparations, there's no guarantee that you can successfully clone larger HDD to a smaller SSD. In this case, it is very important to choose a safe and efficient software.

Among all the similar products on the market, AOMEI Backupper Standard is an excellent clone software for Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. It has many significant advantages, for example:

  • It's completely FREE unless you are interested in advanced features.

  • With the free Disk Clone, you can clone hard drive to SSD without reinstalling operating system and applications.

  • It is possible to migrate larger hard drive to smaller SSD with the intelligent clone technology.

  • The operation of hard drive data transfering is rather simple within in an intuitive interface.

  • If your SSD is small and you only want to migrate your system, you can use System Clone feature to clone Windows OS to the new SSD. You could upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional to enjoy it.

Download Freeware

Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP

Secure Download

Migrate hard drive to SSD with the best clone software

Before getting started, there are some preparations you should do:

◆ Connect the SSD to your computer and make sure it can be detected. If you are using a laptop with only one drive bay, then use an USB-to-SATA adapter to connect the SSD as an external hard drive.
◆ Please back up files to external hard drive in advance because all the data on SSD will be covered after cloning.
◆ Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it.

Note: If your laptop’s HDD encounters a major malfunction and Windows cannot boot up. You can try to clone hard drive to SSD via USB.

Now, I'll show you the approach to migrate larger hard drive to smaller SSD.

Step 1. Click Clone on the left side of the interface, then choose Disk Clone.

System Clone: as mentioned earlier, it's available in advanced editions and enables you to clone only OS to SSD.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the source disk by clicking on the HDD you want to clone, then click Next.

Select Source Disk

Step 3. Select the SSD as the destination disk. You can see it's smaller than the source HDD. Click Next to continue.

Select Destination Disk

Step 4. Tick the option SSD Alignment to improve SSD’s performance and prolong its lifespan. Then click Start Clone.

Edit Partitions: it's available in advanced editions allowing you to adjust the partitions size or location on the destination disk. 
Sector By Sector Clone: AOMEI is running in intelligent mode by default, which clones only used sectors and enables you to clone larger to smaller disk. If you want to clone all the sectors no matter used or not, you can tick this option.

Start Clone 2

Step 5. Restart your computer and press required key to enter BIOS, then select the cloned SSD as the boot drive.


No matter you want to migrate hard drive to SSD for better performance or larger capacity, AOMEI Backupper will help you to complete it with ease and ensure cloning disk to SSD with secure boot

After migration, you can also use AOMEI Bakcupper for daily data protection, for example, you can backup Windows 10 system or important files in case of accidental system failures and data loss.