By Bryce / Last Updated September 2, 2019

Scenario

“Hello, guys! I have a Lenovo computer running Windows 10 that installed on a 1TB HDD. Now, I plan to buy a 500GB SSD to replace my system HDD but I don’t want to reinstall Windows operating system and other applications on SSD.

Is it a wise choice to clone my Windows 10 hard drive to SSD? If is, can I clone boot drive to SSD through Windows built-in tool – Disk Management? If can’t, can you recommend reliable software to clone system disk to SSD with secure boot? Thanks a lot!”

Bootable hard drive cloning software for Windows 10/8/7

Actually, you are not supported to clone boot drive to SSD via Windows 10 Disk Management as it is not embedded with Clone function. Thus, here introduce you a 3rd party free yet powerful bootable hard drive cloning tool – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which can work under Windows 10/8.1/8/7, XP and Vista. It definitely will be my first choice for disk bootable clone out of these elements:

  • Supports copy only used space on source disk. That is to say, it can clone boot hard drive to smaller SSD, as long as the used space on the original disk not larger than the capacity of SSD.

  • Enables you to align SSD partition along during cloning, to improve target SSD’s performance.

  • Compatible with SSDs of different brands (like Samsung, Kingston, Intel etc.), of various types (SATA, M.2, NVME or PCIE).

  • Easy and clean install: its installation package is small and without advertisement. You can install it easily and quickly.


What’s more, apart from cloning entire boot hard drive, it can clone only boot related partitions with Migrate OS to SSD feature or clone single specific partition (like cloning Recovery partition) via Partition Copy Wizard.

Clone boot drive to smaller SSD without reinstalling

To clone boot drive to SSD with AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, firstly, you should prepare an SSD whose capacity is not smaller than the used space of the boot disk. Then, connect the SSD to your computer and make sure it can be detected.

If you want to clone system disk to SSD on laptop, a SATA SATA-to-USB adapter might be necessary. If there are important data on target SSD, you’d better make a back up as this operation will erase all data on it.

Now, you can free download AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard and follow steps given below.

Step 1. Run this cloning software, click “All Tools” and choose “Disk Copy Wizard”.

Step 2. Between two options, choose “Copy Disk Quickly” and click "Next". If you clone boot system disk to larger disk, you can also choose “Sector-by-Sector Copy”.

Step 3. Choose the boot hard disk drive as source disk and click “Next”.

Source Disk

Step 4. Select the new SSD as destination disk and Check “Optimize the performance of SSD” to make SSD partition alignment. Then, click “Next” button.

Target Disk

Step 5. There are three options but only two are available for you to choose because the source disk is smaller the destination disk. Choose one and click “Next” .

Edit

Note

Step 6. Return to the main interface, confirm operation and click “Apply”>“Proceed” to implement it.

Apply

Step 7. After cloning boot disk to SSD, you can remove your old disk or enter BIOS to change boot priority, so that you can boot OS from the cloned SSD successfully.

Notes:

  • Do not wipe or format C drive to free up disk space on your original HDD before you can boot operating system from SSD successfully.

  • AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is able to clone MBR boot disk to MBR SSD. If you need to clone MBR boot disk to GPT SSD or GPT boot disk to MBR/GPT SSD, please upgrade to Professional version.

Final words

Within simple steps, you can clone boot drive to SSD under the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant in a success. In fact, it is featured with many other functions like resize, delete, create and split partition, make bootable media, rebuild MBR and so on. All in all, it enables you to manage disk and partition conveniently.