How to clone hard disk on SSD in Windows, MacOS and Linux

If you’re wondering how to clone hard disk on SSD, I could help you. After long patience, you have decided to replace the hard disk which is installed on your computer, laptop, notebook, iMac or Macbook.

Want to make the upgrade replacing it with an SSD from 2.5 “ or M2. You know that after doing the PC will go fast. The big problem, though, is that data, partitions, operating systems and drivers are stored in the old HDD. So, you have relied on the web looking for a solution and, fortunately, you’ve come here.

In the following guide, I’ll explain how to clone hard disk on SSD. I will tell you what you need to do to copy all the data contained in the HDD or Macintosh HD (if you have Mac) on your new 2.5-inch SSD. Do not worry, I know that you want to create a bootable SSD, so you can permanently replace the old hard drive. Trust me, you will see that at the end of this guide you will be satisfied.

I state that the procedure is valid for any hard disk and SSD type SATA IIISATA 6 and  M.22.5 “ and 3.5 inches. It does not matter if they are produced by SamsungWestern DigitalSeagateAppleSan DiskCrucial or others. In addition, you can adapt the illustrated steps to any computer running WindowsLinux or MacOS. That said, if you agree, you just have to start.

How to clone hard disk on SSD


When one wonders how to clone hard disk on SSD, it can be solved in many ways. There are several cloning programs for WindowsMacOS and Linux, but most of them are chargeable. In this guide I recommend only one, quick and free, it’s called Clonezilla. Thanks to the block copy mechanism that it uses, cloning will be completed in a short time (variable based on the data contained in the hard disk). I can tell you that in half an hour, I loaded from hard disk to SSD the beauty of three operating systems in trial boot (including partitions) and about 250 GB of data. The result was perfect and I did not notice the change.

That said, here are the steps to clone hard disk on SSD. All you need to do is read and apply the procedures described.



Before revealing how to clone hard disk on SSD, I want to clarify that the local disks to be identical must be dismounted. For disassembled I mean not started, but equally turned on and connected to the computer.

In order for the copy to be identical, you must use a Clonezilla Live on a USB stick. In this way, hard drives and SSDs will not be started, but will be available as local disks.

Continuing the reading, you can understand how to create the Live of Clonezilla and how to use it to clone hard disk on SSD. Please do not put your old hard disk in until you are sure you have cloned the data to the solid state drive.

Required hardware

The first thing you need to do when you ask yourself how to clone hard disk on SSD is to find the necessary hardware. To perform the operation you need:

  • SSD disk of SATA type 3 GbpsSATA 6 GbpsM.2 or another. The brand is indifferent. Among the best there are Samsung, Crucial, San Disk, Kingston and Corsair (and not only).
  • 2.5 “external box or adapter cable to convert from moment SATA to USB 3.0 or from M2 to USB 3.0 the new SSD disk (just the time to clone it).
  • Cross screwdriver and cutting
  • Stronghold double-sided tape (only necessary for some iMac models that do not have a flap)
  • Torx and Allen keys
  • USB flash drive empty or to format

If you are not sure which type of SSD to buy, check the motherboard specifications before buying it. Based on those, proceed by choosing the fastest one for your computer.

Once you get the necessary hardware, you can proceed to clone hard disk on SSD. Now you do not really need anything else.

Hard disk backup


Another preliminary step that you have to implement when you ask yourself how to clone hard disk on SSD, is the backup of the HDD. While not deleting anything from the old hard drive, Clonezilla will manage its data during the cloning process. Therefore, if something went wrong or if the electricity went off, the data could become illegible in some way. To protect them, just make a backup to an external disk, a NAS, or another computer. In short, save your data elsewhere before doing something, in order to avoid problems.

Once this is done, simply create the USB stick with the Clonezilla live, proceed to clone hard disk on SSD and make the latter the main disk putting it in place of the other. By continuing to read, you can understand how it is done.

Creation of a Live of Clonezilla on USB

After reminding you to back up your old HDD, I can explain how to clone hard disk to SSD. First, Clonezilla is required to perform cloning. You have to mount the ISO or the ZIP package containing the Clonezilla Live on the USB stick. The ISO or ZIP file can be found at this address. Instead, to create the bootable USB stick, if you have Windows you could use LinuxLive USB Creator. Instead, if you have Mac or Linux, you must use a similar program, like Tuxboot.

After installing Clonezilla Live on the USB stick, you can finally use it to clone hard disk on SSD. Continue reading to understand how it is done.

Hard disk cloning on SSD


You have finally come to understand how to clone hard disk on SSD.

  • After creating the USB stick with Clonezilla Live, turn off the computer and insert it into it. Then, connect the new SSD to the computer via USB  using the External Box.
  • Then, if you have Windows, enter the BIOS and change the boot order by setting the USB stick first.
  • If you have Mac, hold down the  Option (⌥) key during startup and select the USB drive.
  • Instead, if you have Ubuntu, turn on your PC and when the Start menu appears, choose the USB stick.

In doing so, the Clonezilla Live will start.

  • Choose  Other modes of Clonezilla Live and after Clonezilla live (To RAM Boot media can be removed later).
  • Then, set the Language, select the keyboard layout and click Start Clonezilla.
  • Now, choose the option disk_to_local_disk.
  • In the mode local_disk_to_local_disk_clone, Clonezilla will clone hard disk on SSD.
  • Proceed by selecting the source disk from the list , ie the old hard disk.
  • It really paid attention to the letter sdasdb or sdc and to the name of the local disk that appears next.
  • Select the right one to avoid problems.
  • Once this is done, set the Target Disk , which is the new SSD.
  • Check again to have chosen the correct one and press Enter.
  • Finally, start the cloning by writing y  and pressing Enter twice in a row.
  • At this point, you just have to wait.
  • At the end of the cloning, the SSD disk should have become the exact copy of the old hard disk. In fact, it should contain its data and its partitions.
  • To find out, just start it (see below to learn more).

Starting from SSD

Now that you understand how to clone hard disk on SSD and you did it, try to start it. To give it a try, boot from SSD on an external USB box. If it does not work, initialize it or format it and try to clone it again. If it has been copied perfectly, turn off the computer, unplug the USB drive,  unmount the old hard drive (physically) and install the new SSD in the SATA or M.2 slot. Then, turn it on again. You will see that the boot will now be much faster.

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