By Ivy / Last update October 21, 2021

Nowdays, there are many users who want to migrate Windows 10 to SSD without reinstalling OS but don't how to do it, just like the following case. Don't worry about too much, this article show you the entire process, from preparations to secure boot. 

My PC has one HDD and one SSD. I want to move my Windows 10 to SSD, but it’s installed on the HDD. I have no idea of how to transfer Windows 10 from HDD to SSD. My PC only have Windows on it, so I just need a way that works. Thanks in advance.

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Why migrate Windows 10 to SSD?

Compared with previous version, Windows 10 has improved the booting time, but users may still feel that the computer is not running fast enough. Therefore, many users try to move Windows 10 to SSD to optimize the overall performance of a computer, including booting time, writing and reading speed etc. It's said, an SSD is 10 times faster than the common HDD.

Hdd Vs Ssd

In addition, SSDs does not have any moving parts, so it's quieter and not easily damaged. To some extent, SSDs are more powerful in data protection. 

Also, if your computer comes along a smaller SSD, you may be frustrated by its low disk space. At this time, you may want to clone SSD to larger SSD for greater capacity.

Reinstall Windows from scratch or clone Windows 10 to SSD

Reinstall Windows means installing a fresh copy of operating system and drivers required to start computer. It's useful when the installed programs and personal data are stored on the non-system partition, because it will not cause any bad effect.

But if you save them on the system partition, the program will be uninstalled and the personal data will be deleted during the installation process. Then, you will spend much time reinstalling the programs you need and solve the reactivation issue. In addition, your will lose your data if you don't backup them in advance. 

Is there any easier way to transfer Windows 10 from HDD to SSD without reinstalling Windows, preferably a free way? You could clone hard drive to SSD with the best free disk cloning software like AOMEI Backupper Standard, though it's not the only solution. 

Cloning will include everything on the disk, including operating system(OS), drivers, disk layout, installed programs, personal data, working documents etc. Therefore, you could use it directly after cloning. 

Best free Windows 10 migration tool - AOMEI Backupper Standard

To keep programs and all the important data on the disk, you need the help of the best free Windows 10 migration tool - AOMEI Backupper Standard. It can help you migrate Windows 10 to SSD effortlessly and ensure a safe boot. Also, it's applicable to clone HDD to SSD in Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows XP, Windows Vista. Here are some precious advantages of it that can simplify the cloning process.

☞ It has a wizard-like guide, so users can easily and quickly understand this software and use it smoothly. 

☞ It supports "intelligent clone" feature, so you can not only clone hard drive to larger drive, but also clone Windows 10 to smaller SSD. You just need to be sure the used space on the old drive is smaller than or equal to the smaller SSD. 

☞ You can speed up SSD's performance and extend its lifespan with "SSD Alignment" feature. 

☞ You can choose to clone all sectors of the old drive with "Sector by sector clone" feature if your SSD is larger.

You can use it to clone all branded SSDs, whether SATA, PCIe, mSATA, M.2 or USB, such as, Samsung/Dell/WD/Kingston/HP SSD etc. Therefore, you can use it to migrate Windows 10 to Samsung SSD, WD SSD, SanDisk SSD etc.

How to migrate Windows 10 to SSD without reinstalling OS

Upgrading hard drive to SSD with SSD disk cloning software like AOMEI Backupper Standard can be the easiest and fastest way to speed up your computer. But its disk space is usually smaller than HDD. Therefore, the best practice is to use SSD as OS and HDD for storage, so you can enjoy greater performance and bigger capacity at the same time. Without futher ado, let's have a closer look at the entire process. 

Step 1: What needs to be done in advance?

Prepare for the disk: 

  • Get a right SSD to fit on your computer. Most laptops use a 2.5-inch hard drive unless you have an Ultraportable Notebook that may use a smaller 1.8-inch drive. And SSDs also have different thicknesses (either 7mm or 9.5 mm) and different interfaces.   

  • If your computer is a laptop, please prepare an SSD connector, usually a SATA-to-USB cable or adapter. 

  • Put a diet on the HDD if it's larger than SSD. You can delete useless files or temperary files, uninstall the programs no longer in use. Also, you can transfer large files to another disk, for example, movies, mp3, working documents etc.

Other preparations before migration:   

  • Check the disk partition style through its properties in the disk management. You need to ensure both disk are MBR or GPT disk

  • Set SATA Controller mode to AHCI to ensure faster speed.   

  • Create a system backup or disk image for your computer to prevent system crash or data loss. Even if the cloned SSD won’t boot due to certain reasons, you can recover your computer timely with the backup image. 

Step 2: Move Windows 10 to SSD with AOMEI Backupper Standard

1. Connect your SSD and make sure your computer can recognize it. Then, download AOMEI Backupper Standard and run it. Click Clone at the sidebar and then Disk Clone.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Disk Clone

2. Select the current HDD as source disk, and click Next.

Select Source Disk

3. Select the new SSD as destination disk, and click Next.

Select Destination Disk

4. Check "SSD Alignment" to increase the read and write speed of the new SSD. Then, click "Start Clone" to begin the process. 

Start Clone

Except for "SSD Alignment", there are two more options, namely, "Sector by sector clone" and "Edit Partitions(supported by AOMEI Backupper Professional)". The previous option allows you to clone all sectors of the disk whether it's used or not while the second one is to make full use of disk space on the target disk by "Add unused space to all partitions" or "Manually adjust partition size". If you check the "Sector by sector clone" option, then "Edit Partitions” will be unavailable.

Tips ✎...   
◎ It's suggested to create a bootable media after cloning, so you can boot your computer even if it's unbootable.
◎ To clone MBR disk to GPT SSD without converting partition style or migrate only Windows 10 OS to SSD, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional.

Step 3: Boot from the cloned hard drive

Switch hard drive in Windows 10 via screwdriver, restart your computer, press a specific key when you see a prompt like Press ESC to enter BIOS, go to the Boot tab and set the cloned SSD as first boot option, then press F10 to save changes and boot. 


Step 4: Format HDD for reuse

Type diskmgmt.msc in the Run window and click OK to open this tool. Right-click the HDD disk and select "Format...", then follow on-screen instructions.

Format HDD for Storage

Step 5: Restore files from backup 

If you create a file backup before you transfer Windows 10 from HDD to SSD, you can open AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Restore and Select Task, select the files need to be restored and destination to save files, click Start Restore

Select Task

If you make a system or disk backup before, you can click Tools and Explore Image, then select the previous system/disk image to mount as virtual partition(s) in file explorer and copy and paste the files you will use.

Wrapping things up

With the help of SSD disk cloning software AOMEI Backupper Standard, you can easily and quickly migrate Windows 10 to SSD without reinstalling OS. After cloning, you will find everything is the same as before, except for faster speed. If you check "SSD Alignment" feature, this experience will be more obvious. That's because this feature will further optimize the overall performance of SSD disk. 

Meanwhile, this software is still a Windows 10 backup and restore utility to backup system/disk/partition and files per your needs. It can achieve the same effect as cloning and save your computer no matter how serious the error is, just a little more effort required. And it has more backup options, including compression, encryption, schedule backup in daily/weekly/monthly, incremental/differential backup, USB plug in, etc.