How to Clone an OS to an SSD with Ease

Roxanne updated on Jan 16, 2020 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles


"I am currently trying to replace my 1 TB Western Digital Blue SATA HDD with a 128GB SSD for better performance. As you can see, the SSD will lack sufficient storage space if I clone the whole HDD. So I figured that I could only copy the OS (both the system and boot partition) to the SSD and keep everything else on the HDD. How can I do it?"

HDD has dominated the computer hardware over the decades. But this situation is being broken by the increasing popularity of SSDs (Solid-State Drives). Given the excellent performance of SSDs, shifts from an HDD to an SSD surge. Many users are attempting to switch from the HDD to an SSD, expecting an enhanced performance of their computer.

To replace an HDD to an SSD without reinstalling Windows, many users decide to clone the disk directly. However, since the capacity of an HDD is much bigger than that of an SSD in general, many users determine to clone the OS to the SSD only instead of cloning the whole HDD to the SSD. That must be done with the help of third-party software because manually copying the files from the system partition to the SSD will surely cause boot issues in the future.

How to Clone OS to an SSD

To ensure you can clone the OS to an SSD smoothly, choosing the proper software is critical. Using the partition tool - EaseUS Partition Master is a tested and proven way to copy the OS to an SSD successfully.

The elaborate guide to clone an OS to an SSD:

Procedure 1. Prepare the Tools

  • A SATA cable used to connect the SSD to the computer
  • An SSD
  • The partition tool - EaseUS Partition Master
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 Windows 10 is supported

Make sure you get a working cable, or you will encounter hardware recognition problems. Besides, download and install EaseUS Partition Master on the computer where the HDD is installed.

Procedure 2. Prepare the SSD 

To clone the OS to an SSD without boot issues or other problems, you need to make the SSD meet the requirements below:

About the Capacity

The capacity of the SSD should exceed the used space on your system and boot partition(s). 

  • If there is enough unallocated space in the front of the SSD, you don't need to delete any existing partition.
  • If there is enough unallocated space but not in the front of the SSD, you can use EaseUS Partition Master to move it forward.
  • If there isn't enough unallocated space, EaseUS Partition Master will delete the existing partition(s) to ensure sufficient space for the OS to be cloned. In such a case, you should back up your files in advance.

It's worth emphasizing that you should make sure the capacity of the SSD is larger than the used space on the system and boot partition(s). Even if the capacity is equal in size, you will receive a prompt saying, "The destination disk is too small."

About the Partition Style

Different partition styles (MBR and GPT) use different boot modes (BIOS and UEFI). To avoid boot issue, you should keep the partition style of the SSD identical to the source disk before the cloning. You can check the partition style of the drive in the EaseUS Partition Master and convert MBR to GPT or vice versa using the tool when necessary.

Procedure 3. Clone OS to SSD with EaseUS Partition Master

Note: The operation of migrating OS to SSD or HDD will delete and remove all existing partitions and data on your target disk. If you saved important data there, back up them to an external hard drive in advance.


Step 1: Run EaseUS Partition Master, select "Migrate OS" from the top menu.

select migrate os

Step 2: Select the SSD or HDD as the destination disk and click "Next".

Warning: the data and partitions on the target disk will be deleted. Make sure that you've backed up important data in advance. If not, do it now.

Then click "Migrate" to continue.

select the destination disk

Step 3: Preview the layout of your target disk. You can also click the disk layout options to customize the layout of your target disk as you want. Then click "Proceed" to start migrating your OS to a new disk

preview the lay out

One of the advantages of using EaseUS partition management tool to copy the OS to an SSD is that you don't need to enter BIOS to set the computer to boot from the newly cloned SSD. After a restart, the computer will boot from the SSD automatically.

Issues You May Encounter

Based on the feedback given by our Customer Service Department, you may have the following questions after cloning the OS to an SSD.

"Why are my applications and files also cloned?"

When you use the "Migrate OS" feature, EaseUS Partition Master will clone all the content on the system and boot partition(s). Thus, if you have installed programs or saved files on these partitions, they will also be copied to the SSD.

For your information, both system partition and boot partition are necessary for Windows to boot properly. They could be the same partition or two different partitions.

"Why can't I boot my computer from the SSD?"

Generally, if you followed the preparations strictly, there will be no boot issues. Yet there are expectations. There are various reasons that may cause boot failure from the SSD. To solve the problem effectively, you are recommended to contact our support team ( for remote assistance.

"The destination disk is too small."

When there is insufficient space on the SSD, you will receive the message saying the destination disk is too small. You have two solutions in such a case: transfer some applications and files to another drive or switch to a larger SSD.

"There are some errors occurring while reading/writing sector on the disk."

If you see a message indicating there are some errors occurring while reading/writing sector on the disk, it's highly likely there are bad sectors on the source/target disk. 

To check for bad sectors, select the disk or partition and choose "More" > "Surface Test" in EaseUS Partition Master. If there are bad sectors on the disk, indeed, remove bad sectors first and then clone the OS to the SSD. If you fail to repair these bad sectors, you can use EaseUS Disk Copy to clone the HDD to the SSD. Disk Copy will skip these bad sectors while cloning.

The Bottom Line

To clone the operating system from an HDD to an SSD could be simple with the help of third-party software. But do make sure the SSD meets the requirements of a success cloning process. If unexpected errors occur, don't worry. The most frequent problems that may arise and the solutions to them are also provided. If you encounter any issues that you can't solve, you are always welcomed to contact our support team ( for help.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.

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