Are you going to change your HDD for a new SSD? We show you how to clone your hard drive, so you do not have to reinstall Windows 10 or copy all your data from one disk to another.

Update your PC by changing the HDD by an SSD is one of the best updates you can make to your computer and is recommended even in ancient computers.

And what happens when it comes time to install it on your computer? Am I going to lose all my data? Will I have to reinstall Windows from 0? We tell you how to clone your current hard drive so that switching to an SSD is much faster and easier.

Copy, migrate, clone: ​​they seem the same, but they are not

It may seem that copying or migrating the system may be the same as cloning it, but in reality, some differences affect its operation.

Some tools allow you to migrate your current Windows installation to another computer. However, this operation actually refers to migrating the settings and data of your current Windows, to a clean installation of Windows 10 on another disk.

This solution is appropriate when changing computers since it allows you to migrate all the settings and file structure that you currently have on your computer to a new one to avoid having to configure it from scratch.

However, this option is not adequate to change the disk drive on which Windows is installed by a new SSD drive that is still empty.

The same happens with the Windows backup options offered by some tools -including Windows 10 itself- that allow you to restore your data and settings in a new installation of Windows 10.

These options force you to install Windows 10 from scratch, then dump your data and avoid the configuration. But what if instead of having to waste time installing Windows 10, you could clone your current hard drive to a new SSD drive? This would not only save you having to configure Windows 10, but you ‘ll even protect yourself having to install Windows 10 from scratch.

Cloning your hard drive into a new SSD is really simple, and several tools allow it. We tell you how to clone your Windows 10 on an SSD.

First of all, prepare your space
To clone a hard drive you would like to install an appropriate program that copies bit by bit all the contents of the disk, including the boot and recovery partitions that remain hidden, but that is what allows Windows 10 to start when you press the power button. your PC

To do this, first of all, you will have to adapt the size of the Windows installation to that of the new SSD.

We assume that before buying your SSD you have taken into account the capacity you need, and it will be similar to the one currently occupied by your Windows installation but, even so, it is advisable to make a small space optimization by eliminating everything you do not need to not drag things unnecessary to the new unit.

Press the Windows key and begin typing Disk Cleanup, so that, before you finish the first word, access to the application appears. Next, choose the unit where you have Windows installed.

In the Disk Cleanup window, click on Clean system files to clean Windows more thoroughly and click on OK.

After a few minutes, the Disk Cleanup window will reappear. Now, check the boxes that appear in the Files box that can be deleted.

With this, you will be able to eliminate several gigabytes that correspond to the temporary files of the updates reducing the size of the installation of Windows considerably.

Clone your hard drive in an SSD drive

To clone your hard drive in an SSD drive, we will use one of the many tools that exist for this purpose. This is AOMEI Backupper, a free application that allows you to clone discs and that you can download from your web page.

You will also need to connect the SSD to your computer. You can do it directly from a SATA3 port on the motherboard of your computer, using a SATA3 to USB 3.0 adapter or mount it in an external box for SSD and connect it via USB.

If you are going to install it directly on the motherboard, remember to turn off the computer entirely and disconnect it from the power outlet.

Next, start AOMEI Backupper and enter the Clone section. Here, choose the Clone disk option. Select the drive where you have Windows 10 installed and click Next.

With this, you select the origin, so the next step is to choose the target disk of the cloning. Once selected the SSD drive where your hard drive is going to be cloned, continue the process with Next.

The application will tell you that all the content you have in the destination SSD will be deleted. Click Yes to continue the process.

In the following table, the information of origin and destination is detailed, but also, it allows you to establish a series of exciting options. The most important is to check the box Align partition to optimize the SSD that you will find in the lower part of the window.

This option will adjust the storage blocks to get the best performance with the SSD. HDDs start writing the first partition starting from block 63, while SSDs begin from 64. This mismatch causes that, if they are not aligned correctly, the SSD unit takes the same pattern as the HDD and will not work as I should.

Once this option is checked, click on Start Clone and the cloning process will start.

Start from your new cloned SSD
Once you have finished the cloning process, you can start using your new SSD storage unit, but for your PC to boot from it, it is best to disconnect the hard disk you were using until now and connect the SSD in the same SATA that occupied the HDD.

If you are replacing an HDD with an M.2 SSD, you will have to access the BIOS (or UEFI) to select your new SSD drive as the boot disk for the system.

With these settings, the next time you start your computer, Windows 10 will start much faster as it will from the new SSD, but all your programs, settings and data will be in the same way you left them the last time you used them.