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How to Copy Hard Drive to SSD with Everything, Including the OS, Installed Programs and Data

Written byLucienUpdated on Jul 11, 2023
Gerhard Chou
Approved byGerhard Chou

Table of Contents

Before we start: Do you know how to copy all the content from a hard drive to a new SSD without reinstalling OS and programs? In this article we will introduce a disk cloning software for Windows to help you transferring data from a hard drive to SSD.


Why clone a hard drive to SSD?

SSD is the abbreviation for solid state drives or solid disk. SSD is a hard disk made of solid-state electronic storage chip array, which is composed of control unit and storage unit (flash chip and DRAM chip). Its interface specification, definition, function and usage are completely the same as those of ordinary hard disk. SSD is widely used in military, vehicle, industrial control, video monitoring, network monitoring, network terminal, electric power, medical treatment, aviation, navigation equipment and other fields.

Advantages of Solid State Drives:

1. Lightweight and small volume

Compared with the mechanical hard disk, SSD is smaller and lighter. Generally speaking, the size of the mechanical hard disk of a desktop computer is 3.5 inches, while the size of the SATA interface solid-state disk is only 2.5 inches. Moreover, the m.2 interface solid-state disk size is almost as light as the U disk.

2. mute

There is no noise durning running your PC. The noise value is 0 dB when the solid-state drive works since the solid-state drive has no mechanical motor, which is similar to the U disk.

3. Faster reading and writing speed

The reading and writing speed of SSD is faster than that of a mechanical hard disk. The reading speed of a hard disk cannot exceed 200m/s, and the writing speed is hard to exceed 100m/s. SSD hard disk has excellent advantages in transmission speed. The reading and writing speed of sata3 interface solid-state disk is usually 3-5 times faster than that of mechanical hard disk, while the solid-state disk of m.2 nvme protocol is more than ten times or even higher. The system booting time is much shorter than traditional hard drives if you clone your system drive to SSD.

4. Low calorific value/power consumption

Compared with a mechanical hard disk, a solid-state disk is more energy-saving and power-saving for it has lower power consumption with lower calorific value.

5. Shock resistance and fall resistance

The solid-state drive does not have any mechanical moving parts, so it is not afraid of collision, impact, or vibration with excellent shock and drop resistance. When the hard disk is working, it is less likely to be damaged when it tilts over or falls accidentally, or collides with hard objects.

Best way to transfer a hard drive to SSD

So many users would like to transfer the Windows OS, installed programs and data from a hard drive to an SSD due to its advantages. How do you copy the hard drive to SSD? There are usually two ways:

Solution 1: Backup and restore. You can back up and create a disk image of the hard drive and then restore the disk image to the SSD. However, this way is complex and time consuming. Moreover, you will need more disk space to store the restore images.

Solution 2: Disk clone. It can copy all the content of the hard drive to SSD directly with a disk cloning software. The hard drive cloning software saves a lot of time and efforts. It ensures you to boot from the cloned SSD. And there is no need to reinstall various applications.

In summary, the second cloning solution is the best way to copy all the content of hard drive to an SSD. Then we will introduce a professional SSD cloning software - Donemax Disk Clone to clone hard drive to SSD.

How to clone hard drive to SSD with Donemax Disk Clone?

Step 1: Select the source and target disk to clone.

Select the hard drive as the source disk in the pop-up clone window. The target can be a new or empty SSD. Click "Next".

Select hard drive and SSD to clone

Step 2: Edit the disk layout of target disk.

You can select auto fit disk layout to clone the same as the source disk, or manually edit disk layout.

Edit SSD disk layout

Step 3: Perform hard drive cloning.

After confirmation, click "execute" to start to copy hard drive to SSD.

Start hard drive cloning

Donemax Disk Clone also has the following advantages:

  1. There is no need to reinstall the system and software if you clone boot drive to SSD with Donemax Disk Clone.
  2. If the system disk is migrated to the solid-state disk, the 4K alignment will be automatically performed to improve the solid-state performance
  3. You can copy the hard disk to SSD with different capacity size.
  4. Completely clone the hard disk to another hard disk or SSD in 3 steps to replace the old hard disk
  5. Support 32-bit and 64 bit systems in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7

FAQs on cloning hard drive to SSD

To clone a hard drive to an SSD follow the steps:
  1. Conenect the SSD to your PC.
  2. Download and install Donemax Disk Clone for Windows on your computer
  3. Launch the software and select Disk Clone
  4. Select the hard drive as source disk and the SSD as the destination
  5. Click "Next" to clone hard drive
  6. And then the hard drive will be cloned to SSD
It's recommended to replace your system drive with an SSD that can dramatically improve the performance of your older computer and greatly shorten your booting time.
Yes, if SSD is large enough to hold all the data on the hdd. It is possible to clone a 2TB hard drive to a 1TB SSD if the SSD's capacity is larger than the used space of the source HDD. That's to say, if the hdd is used less than 1TB, you can clone a 2TB disk to a 1TB SSD with Donemax Disk Clone.
Yes, you can clone the entire sysyem drive to a new SSD with Donemax disk clone. To ensure you boot from SSD succesfully, you'd better choose 'Disk Clone' to copy all the system and boot informations from hard disk to SSD.
Contributing Writer


Lucien is a writer and a chief programmer of Donemax software who has worked in the company for 5+ years. He has written much of the content on the site and devotes to providing troubleshooting and solution for Windows and Mac users including disk cloning, data recovery, migration, eraser, error fixes.

Gerhard Chou
Editor in chief

Gerhard Chou

In order to effectively solve the problems for our customers, every article and troubleshooting solution published on our website has been strictly tested and practiced. Our editors love researching and using computers and testing software, and are willing to help computer users with their problems