Clonezilla Clone Larger Disk to Smaller Disk-Workaround

Posted by @Cody

November 29, 2017

You may have failed to use Clonezilla to clone Larger disk to smaller disk. Follow this trick and you can work this around. It is super easy, only a few more steps.

Why use Clonezilla to clone larger disk to smaller disk?

As an open source free software, Clonezilla can be used to clone or backup hard drive. Since it works with most of the operating systems largely used in company or home, many people love to use Clonezilla, especially when they want to upgrade hard drive with a new one. In this case, you can use Clonezilla to clone a hard drive to another without reinstalling Windows or installed programs. 

However, the destination drive to replace the old one is not generally the same size or larger than the source drive. Since the excellent performance of SSDs and they have become increasingly cheaper recently, many users want to transfer data with Clonezilla from larger drive smaller SSD. If you happens to in this situation, you can make some extra efforts to get this done.

How to clone larger drive to smaller one with Clonezilla?

Officially, Clonezilla requires the destination partition to receive the clone to be equal or larger than the source one. Therefore, the only way to get this done is to shrink the source partition to fit the destination partition.

Clonezilla clone partition to new disk:

1. Open Disk Management in Windows 10/8/7. If you are running Linux system, you can boot your computer from GParted media.

2. Right click the source partition and click “Shrink Volume” and follow the wizard to shrink the partition.

3. When you get that done, reboot to Clonezilla.

4. Select the source disk and destination disk.

5. Choose EXPERT mode and enable the “-icds” option. You need to also  choose the option"Resize partitional table proportionally" in one of the following menus.

Extra Parameters

6. Configure other Clonezilla options if needed and then type in “y” to confirm and start the clone.

In this way, you should be able to complete the cloning process without receiving the error like Clonezilla failed to create a partition table on this disk. However, if you think this is too complicated and cumbersome, you can try another freeware to clone from large disk to small one directly without extra preparation.

An easier way to clone larger hard drive to small one

AOMEI Backupper Professional is an excellent cloning software for Windows 10/8/7 that allows you to clone hard drive to small drive with a few clicks. It provides 3 different cloning solutions, system clone, partition clone, and disk clone. What’s more, it also fully supports cloning disks between MBR (Legacy-BIOS based) and GPT (UEFI based).

To start clone large HDD to small SSD:

1. Download and run it on your computer.

2. At the Home screen, click “Clone” and then select “Disk Clone”. You can also select “System Clone” or “Partition Clone” based on your needs.


3. Select the source disk and destination by clicking on it, and click "Next" to continue.

Select Sourece

4. If the destination disk is an SSD, check the “Align partition to optimize for SSD” option. Then confirm the operation, and click “Start Clone” to start if no problem.

Start Clone

In a short while, AOMEI Backupper will complete the cloning process, and then you can unplug the hard drive and boot from the cloned drive. Therefore, you do not have to do such tricks to make Clonezilla clone larger disk to smaller disk if you try AOMEI Backupper. Besides, it also regarded as a free backup and restore software just like Clonezilla.