Clone OS from HDD to Smaller SSD Without Reinstallation

Tracy King updated on Jul 02, 2020 to Todo Backup Resource | How-to Articles

"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

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 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


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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.

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

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.

confirm the message

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".

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.


If you plan to clone Windows 10 to smaller SSD, EaseUS Disk Copy is a tailor-made software that makes a quick disk/partition clone of large HDD storage.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose EaseUS Todo Backup?

"The easiest way to protect your data and system files."techradar

"EaseUS Todo Backup Free is one of the most popular free data backup applications available. This software offers a myriad of features and is extremely user-friendly. It provides a full system backup, meaning you can back up your entire operating system."TopTenReviews

"EaseUS ToDo Backup Home is a great backup program, well suited to the home and SMB space."PCWorld

What is the difference between Clone and Backup? In what cases should I use Clone?

Clone will copy one disk to another or one partition to another (unallocated space is also supported). Usually, this option is used to upgrade the current disk by creating an identical copy. Backup will generate a .PBD image file containing the selected files or system that can be restored from the .PBD image if needed.

What is the difference between System Backup and Disk Backup?

System Backup will auto-select the system boot related partition(s) as the backup source to make sure the system image can be restored properly. Disk/Partition Backup will allow you to manually select a whole disk or speficy a certain partition as the backup source. You will get the same backup result as System Backup if you manually select the system and boot partitions with the Disk/Partition Backup option.

As a computer newbie, what features should I use to protect my computer?

You can use System Backup to back up the system and boot partitions, use Disk/Partition backup to back up the data partition and add plans to run an automatic backup. If you use the computer frequently or have software that may cause boot failure of the computer, we would suggest you back up the computer every 1 to 2 days. For other situations, you can backup the computer once a week. In addition, you can schedule File Backup to back up the files which are changed frequently.

What kind of storage service should I use to save my backup images?

EaseUS Todo Backup can save backup images to internal disks, external disks, network drives, or free cloud(Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive) and CD/DVD. It is suggested to save the images to the internal/external/network drives to save time as those kinds of disks have a better read-write speed. It is suggested NOT to save the image on the source disk, because once the disk is damaged, all the files on the disk will become unavailable and you will be unable to restore the image.

As a company network administrator, what features should I use to protect our internal computers?

It is recommended that you use the SQL Backup feature to back up your company's SQL server and Exchange Backup feature to back up the Exchange server. In addition, you can execute System Backup to back up the system and boot partitions on every computer and set a plan to execute the backup once a day or twice a week to ensure that the computer can be restored timely when it has boot issues. File Backup feature can be used to back up important user data. If there are a large quantity of computers, you can purchase EaseUS Backup Center to manage the backups on the client computers centrally.

About EaseUS Todo Backup

Be it a file, system, partition, or disk, EaseUS Todo Backup will help you back up or clone the item and provide you with multiple backup plans.