Cloning a SSD to hard drive

Cloning a hard drive is a long process and shouldn’t be rushed.

Before starting the cloning, check for compatibility. The computer needs a SATA connection. Thankfully most modern computers use SATA so this shouldn’t be an issue. Similarly the new SSD will need the same or increased capacity as the hard drive that is being cloned. Lastly, make sure there’s a data backup, in case anything goes wrong.

Assign drive letter
Connect the new SSD externally through a USB port. If the drive is already assigned a letter (e.g. F: drive), skip this step. Otherwise type diskmgmt into the Windows search box and select disk management. The SSD should be listed as Disk 1 under the main hard drive. Right click the SSD and select ‘change drive letter and paths’. Choose a new letter.

Clone the drive
Install the cloning software that came with the SSD, run the migration tool and follow any steps. This is usually a slow process and shouldn’t be interrupted.

Connect the SSD internally
Once cloned, switch off the PC or laptop, open the case and look for the existing hard drive. Unplug the connectors and release the fixings. For more information how to do this read our article ‘How to install a new hard drive in your computer’. Once connected and mounted, simply power up. This process should be much quicker with the new SSD.


Further reading

How do HDD and SSD data recovery techniques differ?

Wear levelling and SSD lifespan

Should I disable TRIM on my SSD