How do you Clone Windows Old Hard Drive to a Smaller SSD Entirely?

Posted by @Teresa

September 12, 2016

This article will show you how to clone Windows 7, 8, Vista old hard drive entirely to a new and smaller SSD like Crucial SSD in laptop with secure boot using AOMEI Backupper.

Old Hard Drive vs SSD

Every old hard drive comes from new hard drive. Why do you clone old hard drive to a smaller SSD? Apparently, the answer is clear. We store OS, software, programs, files, videos, music etc on our hard drive. As time goes by, the hard drive stores too much data and overwhelmed. Hardware on the hard drive will fail gradually, so all contents on the old hard drive has the risk to lose. You can clone this hard drive to a new one, yet obviously a new SSD is a much better choice.

As is known to all, SSDs like Crucial SSD, Samsung SSD, have more advantages on Read & Write performance, system running speed etc. SSDs come into our sight at an affordable price presently, and it is easy for us to purchase a properly sized SSD to store contents on the old hard drive. After purchasing the smaller SSD, you can merely clone boot drive to SSD if the old hard drive still can be used as the secondary storage. However, if the old hard drive is about to dying, or if you’re experience-oriented user, you may like more to clone old hard drive to a smaller SSD entirely.

What’s wrong with Cloning Old Hard Drive to Smaller SSD?

Given that you have purchased an SSD that is smaller than the current old hard drive. When you want to clone everything from the old hard drive to the SSD, you may get this “Target disk is too small for this operation” error using some cloning software. Actually, this is not a technical issue. This may be simply because the cloning software you use doesn’t support clone larger hard drive to smaller one.

Professional cloning software like AOMEI Backupper Professional should provide two cloning features, sector by sector clone and intelligent clone. You are able to clone old hard drive to a smaller SSD using AOMEI Backupper in laptop and desktop with secure boot as long as the SSD is no smaller than the used part of the old hard drive. AOMEI Backupper also provides corresponding functions in disk clone, "Live Disk Cloning", that can clone one disk to another without breaking off the running operating system and programs. That is to say, you can clone old hard drive in Windows 7, 8, Vista, 10 to a smaller SSD in the process of working and studying.

Clone Old Hard Drive to SSD via AOMEI Backupper

1. Install SSD to your machine. You can connect them via SATA-to-USB cable. Install and start AOMEI Backupper. Click Clone and then Disk Clone.

Disk Clone.gif

2. Select the current old hard drive as the source disk.

Source Disk.gif

3. Select the smaller SSD as the target disk.

Destination Disk.gif

4. Check Align partitions to optimize for SSD box since the destination disk is an SSD. The default cloning setting is intelligent clone, meaning clone only used part on the source disk. Click Start Clone.

Start Clone.gif


You may receive this information if you have more than 3 partitions on GPT disk and the SSD is formatted in MBR:

Note: The source disk contains over 3 partitions. Disk Clone only supports to copy 3 partitions at most from GPT disk to MBR disk. You could use Partition Clone to copy the remaining partitions to this destination disk.” Alternatively, you can merge partitions together to solve this issue. To boot from SSD, you may need to change boot settings or to remove HDD first.

In general, it is quite easy to clone old hard drive to a smaller SSD with the help of AOMEI Backupper. This cloning software is also a perfect backup solution, for example, scheduled backup to external hard drive. AOMEI Backupper is good alternative to File History in Windows 8, 8.1, 10 and Backup and Restore in Windows 7 as well. This all-around tool can be pretty helpful in building your PC backup strategy.