Clone Hard Drive VS Clean Install SSD - Which One Is Better

Should I clone my hard drive or fresh install? When you get a new SSD, you may get caught up in the questions of “Which is better to clone it fresh install SSD”. In this article, you will get an in-depth guide to teach you what to do. Get Clone hard drive vs clean install now!

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Tracy King

Updated on Feb 26, 2024

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"Should I clone my HDD to SSD or fresh install?" It is a question posed by a user on Quora. If you already bought a new HDD replacement, the next step is to fresh install or cloning the hard drive as same as the source disk.

Both methods will help you configure your Windows OS and other data. In terms of results, there is no difference. However, depending on your health of disk sector and personal needs, you will need to pick your best solution. Read on to see which one is suitable for you to configure the OS.

Should I Clone or Clean Install
How to Clone HDD to SSD with EaseUS Disk Copy
How to Clean Install on SSD

Should I Clone or Clean Install

1. Clone Hard Drive to SSD

One of the reasons why choose cloning hard drive is to save time and get 100% copy. Disk cloning will do the one-to-one copy, includes Windows operating system, existing programs, personal data, updates, and more. See the 3 tips to select a clone hard drive:

  • Windows OS running well.
  • System files and other files perform well.
  • Unable to install drivers and programs one by one.

2. Clean Install

A clean install means you need to install all the drivers, the existing software. And you are going to reconfirm the Windows updates, reconfigure each system file and password. Check the 3 reasons to choose fresh install:

  • If your running OS has a problem that causes the PC does not work correctly, please select clean install.
  • If your old disk stores a lot of cache files and harmful files, you don't want to fix it and bring it to the new disk, then the fresh install is a good choice.
  • If your old disk has a lot of bad sectors that affect the computer running, of course, a clean install is a way to go.

How to Clone HDD to SSD with EaseUS Disk Copy

1 - Prepare Screwdriver, SATA Hard Drive Adapter, and Disk Cloning Software

  • Screwdriver: prepare to remove your computer case in step 4.
  • SATA Hard Drive Adapter or USB 3.0: connect a hard drive to the computer.
  • Disk Cloning Software: Download the professional hard drive tool - EaseUS Disk Copy on your computer. It is capable of cloning a hard drive. Download and activate the software first:

2 - Initialize New Hard Drive via Disk Management

Step 1. Connect SSD to PC > Press Windows + X to click Disk Management > Right-click the old disk to choose “Properties”, and then choose volume to check partition style.

Step 2. Right-click on the new hard drive and select “Initialize Disk”.

3 - Follow Simple Steps to Clone HDD to SSD

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Activate EaseUS Disk Copy for a smooth disk copying or cloning process.

1. Download, install and run EaseUS Disk Copy on your PC.
Click Disk Mode and select the source disk that you want to copy or clone. Click Next to continue.

Select sorce disk to clone

2. Select the destination disk where you want to clone/copy the old disk and click Next to continue.
Click OK to confirm if the program asks to erase data on the destination disk.

Finish copying or cloning disk to new disk.

3. Check and edit the disk layout as Autofit the disk, Copy as the source or Edit disk layout.
Autofit the disk is recommended.

  • Copy as the source option will copy/clone the same layout of partitions on your source disk to the destination disk.
  • Edit disk layout allows you to manually resize or move partition layout on the destination disk.
  • If your destination disk is an SSD drive, do remember to tick Check the option if the target is SSD.

Click Proceed to start the disk cloning or disk copying process now.

Select the destination disk to clone or copy disk

4 - Boot from a new hard drive

  • Shut down the PC and remove the computer case via screwdriver.
  • Use power cable and SATA cable to connect cloned SSD on PC.
  • Restart the computer and press F2 or Delete to access BIOS.
  • Choose Boot tab > scroll down to check "Boot Option Priorities" > Set computer boot from cloned SSD.
  • Save all the changes and restart the computer.

Also, you can check our video tutorial:

How to Clean Install on SSD

Step 1. Prepare Windows installation media and insert it to PC.

You can create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) by Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

create windows 10 installation media

Step 2. Run the Windows tool, choose "Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC".

create installation media 2

Step 3. Follow the guide to create media.

Step 4. Remove the computer case and connect the new hard drive to the computer.

Step 5. Modify the boot priorities.

Restart PC > Press F2 or Del to enter BIOS > Set boot from CD/DVD > Save changes

Step 6. In the Windows Setup screen, click "Install now".

Step 7. Click "Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)".

clean install windows os

Step 8. Choose partitions on a hard drive to install Windows.

Cloning or Clean Install? Get Your Answer!

To sum up, if your Windows OS performs well, we recommended using the clone method in part 1. Otherwise, you can apply clean install in part 2 if your old disk has problems that bother the normal running. Any questions, please contact us via [email protected].

EaseUS Disk Copy

EaseUS Disk Copy is a well designed and very easy-to-use HDD/SSD cloning and migration tool, a tool which should be ideal for anyone wanting to quickly and easily migrate an existing system disk to a new disk (or newly installed SSD drive) with the minimal of configuration required.

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  • Written by

    Tracy King

    Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.…
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