Clone OS from HDD to Smaller SSD Without Reinstallation

When you need to clone Windows 10 from HDD to smaller SSD without reinstalling the operating system, you can use the system clone feature of EaseUS Todo Backup to do it with ease. This tool enables you to migrate OS to smaller SSD with no startup problems easily.

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Tracy King

Updated on Feb 26, 2024

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"Can I clone Windows 10 HDD to a smaller SSD? My computer becomes slower and slower after upgrading to Windows 10. I've heard that SSD works more efficiently than HDD, then I bought a new 128 GB SSD (smaller than the old HDD), trying to resolve the issue by cloning OS from HDD to the smaller SSD. But the problem is I don't know how to do it. Can anyone show me how to make it?"

Why Need to Clone OS from HDD to Smaller SSD

With the fast spread of SSD, more and more computer and laptop manufacturers are using SSD as system disk to optimize system performance and speed up the device for worldwide users.

Here are SSD’S advantages compared with HDD:

  • Better stability.
  • Fast reading and writing speed.
  • Less power consumption.

Thus, more and more users, especially the game players, are trying to clone OS from HDD for SSD on their computers to improve performance.

But how to migrate Windows 10 from HDD to smaller SSD? Can you clone a larger hard drive to a smaller SSD without reinstalling Windows? If you are having the same problem, relax! Here, you'll find an effective and simple method to clone OS to SSD.

The Best Software to Clone Windows 10 to Smaller SSD

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EaseUS Disk Copy is a perfect and professional tool that allows for disk clone and partition clone. Its disk clone feature will automatically select the current HDD and target SSD to be cloned, ensuring that the disk can be properly started after migration. This cloning software also supports resizing partition when copying disk. You can use it to copy HDD to smaller SSD and clone corrupted hard drive.

Actually, how to clone HDD to smaller SSD is a simple task. One important thing is that the smaller SSD hard disk has enough capacity to fit the contents of the HDD disk.

Another primary feature of EaseUS Disk Copy is partition clone. If your important files are all stored in one partition, you can use it to accomplish the partition clone.

In addition to these main functions, EaseUS Disk Copy can clone NVMe SSD to NVMe SSD and create a bootable disk, which can solve the problem that OS can not be used. When you finish creating a bootable disk, you can go ahead and do the disk/partition clone. 

How to Clone Windows 10 to smaller SSD with EaseUS Disk Copy

You can follow the video tutorial or detailed steps provided below to migrate OS (Windows 10/8/7) to smaller SSD without reinstalling Windows. If you need to clone a laptop HDD to SSD, you can click it to get further reading.

Video Guide to Clone OS from HDD to Smaller SSD, No Reinstallation

For a direct guide, you may follow the video tutorial to clone OS with everything from HDD to a smaller SSD:

How to Clone Hard Drive to SSD

Clone OS from HDD to Smaller SSD Step by Step

All operations are performed on the current computer. Do not take the HDD disk to another device for migrating to smaller SSD.

Step 1: In "Disk Mode", select the HDD that you want to clone.

select the hard drive that you want to clone

Step 2: Select the SSD as your destination.

select the SSD

Step 3: Edit the disk layout and then click "Proceed" to continue.

As the destination is an SSD, you are suggested to tick "Check the option if the target is SSD".

confirm the message

A warning message tells you that the data on the SSD will be erased. Click "OK" to continue if you do not have important data on the destination disk.

check the diak layout

Step 4: Wait for the process to complete.

click proceed to start the cloning process

After this, insert your new SSD into your computer and reboot PC, change the boot order to set computer boot from new SSD with cloned Windows 10 system:

  • Restart PC and press F2 or F8 to enter BIOS settings.
  • In the Boot option, select new SSD as the new boot drive and save all the changes.
  • Exit BIOS and restart the computer, you should be able to see Windows 10 running on your new disk without any problems.

Helpful tips about cloned SSD won't boot after copying HDD to Smaller SSD:

Method 1: Change HDD or fix the source disk error.

The HDD hard drive itself may have disk errors. You shall change a new HDD disk or fixing HDD errors before cloning to a smaller SSD.

Method 2: Do not take out HDD to another computer.

If you insert HDD to another computer, the HDD's operating environment will change, so your cloned SSD won't boot after cloning hard drive to smaller SSD.

Method 3: Use a common sata cable for connecting SSD.

If you use a USB cable to connect the target hard drive, it will be recognized by the computer as an external disk. So the cloned disk won't boot after accomplishing the cloning process.

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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