Are you looking to improve your PC’s performance but afraid of losing important files? Well, cloning your hard disk to SSD is one of the best ways to optimize the loading time of the operating system and still preserve data.
This operation makes it possible to transfer all the information – from the operating system to the installed programs – from one hard disk drive to another, without the need to reinstall or reconfigure all the software applications.
In addition, solid state disks, or SSDs, are designed without moving parts, which is more reliable and durable than traditional hard disks.
In this sense, they can be an ideal replacement if you plan to upgrade the hard disk of notebooks or desktops that are experiencing performance problems.
This allows the system to boot up and shut down more quickly, as well as load applications and execute other commands at an equally faster rate.
To learn about the advantages and how to clone your hard disk to an SSD, follow the article we have prepared for you below. Happy reading!
What is hard disk cloning?
Hard disk cloning is basically the process of creating an identical copy (sector by sector) from one disk drive to another so that there are two identical drives with the same file structure.
Hard disk cloning is essential not only to preserve data, but also to keep an exact copy of the programs installed on the PC, as well as the characteristics of the operating system and the organization of folders and files.
In this way, it makes it possible to transfer all the information without the user wasting time reinstalling or reconfiguring all the software applications.
This is all possible using software that mirrors all the information from the hard disk to the SDD without losing anything, keeping the files and elements as if they had never been modified, but with a slight change in the location of the operating system.
Why clone a hard disk to a smaller SSD?
There is nothing new about the fact that cloning a hard disk (hard disk drive) to an SSD (solid disk drive) makes your PC or notebook faster, more reliable and less energy-intensive.
But did you know that there are many other reasons to opt for disk cloning? We have listed the main ones below.
Operating System Transfer
Cloning the disk will be very useful if you want to preserve all the operating system settings, such as updates, installed programs, program information, as well as files and documents on the C drive.
This is because this process ensures that you don’t have to install or download programs again, or waste time reorganizing your information manually. You also avoid having to download or locate driver or operating system updates.
Hard Disk Upgrade
It is normal for a hard disk’s firmware to become outdated after a few years of use, and for the disk itself to show signs of wear and tear.
In this sense, it is worth doing the cloning process to use your PC as it was with the previous disk. This process will help minimize failures and keep your machine performing at its best.
Users will often want to migrate their information to another storage device. The reasons vary, from gaining more space and file organization or even because of security.
The fact is that cloning a hard disk is a very convenient method of data migration, as it reduces the risk of data loss – something very common to occur when the user simply copies and pastes information.
Transferring data to another disk is recommended if you don’t want to be totally dependent on your hard disk or SSD, or even worry about the security of your information in the event of a problem.
Disk cloning is therefore the best option. In this scenario, the information will be on both the new device and the original disk, making it easier to access and maintain all the settings.
No hard disk or SSD is free from failure. This is why performing a disk copy can be the solution. This operation will copy all the data from the disk and, when it is transferred to the new device, it will be possible to process it with all the information and settings.
So even if the source disk is defective, cloning can help recover files – such as documents, programs and settings, for example – as long as they are on the source drive.
How do I clone a hard disk to an SSD without losing anything?
But how do you clone a hard disk to an SSD without losing data? We can say that you need to start with two steps: preparing the SSD and cleaning up unwanted files on the disk.
Prepare an SSD
The SDD disk you bought is probably smaller than the old one. You will therefore need to check whether the space used on your hard disk is less than the total capacity of the new SSD disk.
To do this, open Windows Explorer by pressing the “Win+E” shortcut key. Then right-click on drive C and choose the “Properties” option. On the “General” tab, check the data displayed in the “Used space” field.
Delete unwanted files from your hard disk
If the space used on the C drive is bigger than the total capacity of the SSD disk, you will need to free up space on the drive until it is smaller than the total capacity of the SSD.
It is therefore essential to delete unwanted files on the hard disk and, after freeing up the necessary space, it is worth defragmenting the drive. This will allow all the files to be moved to the beginning of the disk.
To do this, you can use the MyDefrag program to move the data to the beginning of the disk. Simply run the program, select drive C and the “consolidate free space” option.
Step by step to clone large disk to SSD
Before you start cloning your hard disk to an SSD, you need to make sure that the SSD doesn’t contain any important data.
You should also make sure that the space available on it is bigger or equal than the disk space used on your source disk.
After this check, download the free MiniTool Partition Wizard and take advantage of the Copy Disk feature to clone the data disk.
Remember that if you need to deal with the system disk, you should get the Pro Edition or a more advanced program.
Next, let’s take a step-by-step approach to cloning a hard disk to an SSD:
Step 1 – Start the disk copy process
The first step is to define the hard disk you want to clone to. Once this has been defined, click on “copy disk” of the conversion disk in the action panel or right-click on the source disk to select the “copy” feature.
Step 2 – Choose the destination disk
After the previous step, you will need to select the destination disk where the contents of the source disk will go.
It is important to note here that all the files on the destination disk will be destroyed and all the files on the source disk will be copied. Then click “yes” to continue the process.
Step 3 – Select partition options
First, select whether you want to “fit partitions to entire disk” (the size of the destination disk partition will be automatically adjusted to fit the entire disk) or “copy partitions without resizing” (the size of the source disk partitions will be used), depending on your needs.
Here, we will take the “fit partitions to entire disk” option as an example. Then, to improve the performance of your SSD, check the “align your partitions to 1 MB” option.
Finally, to clone your system disk in the style of an SSD partition with GPT, check the “use GUID partition table for destination disk” option.
Step 4 – Boot from the destination disk
To boot the PC from the new disk, change the boot order in the BIOS settings. Then ignore the warning that appears to copy only the hard disk.
Step 5 – Apply the copied partitions
Look and make sure that all the partitions are being copied to your SSD. Then, if everything is OK, click “apply”.
One tip for migrating system-related partitions to another disk is to use a feature called Migrate OS to SSD/hard disk, which is present in the MiniTool Partition Wizard.
In this post, we saw how cloning a hard disk to an SSD is the best way to make your PC or notebook perform better. All without losing data or having to reinstall programs, the operating system and settings.
You can clone a disk yourself, but it is always recommended that you seek the help of a specialist to ensure the best chances of success with the procedure.
An expert will clone your hard drive to SSD using the best software on the market without you having to worry about a thing.
With over a decade of experience, Bot is a company specializing in technology and has a team of highly qualified professionals. We can help with a variety of IT challenges, from hard disk, external disk and SSD data recovery, among others, to secure data destruction.
If you need expert help to clarify your doubts and carry out all the procedures, contact us now!