By Delia / Last update December 19, 2022

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Clonezilla error: Destination disk is too small


Hi all, I want to use Clonezilla to make a clone of my system drive. So if the main drive fails, I have a backup in hand. If possible, I will do this procedure regularly.

When I run Clonezilla using disk to disk mode, I receive the clonezilla error: Destination disk is too small! And I have tried the -icds mode, but I get the same message. Could I shrink the disk first? If so, which partition should I shrink? Thanks in advanced.

Clonezilla Destination Disk Is Too Small

When will you receive “Clonezilla destination disk is too small”?

Clonezilla is an open source cloning and imaging software, which allows you to backup or clone hard drive. However, you may be troubled by Clonezilla target disk is too small.

Next, I’ll tell you when you will receive this error.

  • Clonezilla restore destination disk is too small. If you have backed up a large drive and want to restore it to a smaller disk, you will receive Clonezilla destination disk is too small error.

    Many users want to migrate OS form hard drive to an SSD, which is generally smaller, via backup and restore method. Clonezilla backups the original size of file system. When Clonezilla tries to restore the original file system onto a smaller disk, it cannot write beyond the destination disk boundary.

  • Clonezilla clone destination disk is too small. The clone function of Clonezilla uses the same way to clone data, so you may get the same error when you clone a larger hard drive to a smaller SSD.

Now, you may have this question: is it possible to let Clonezilla restore a backup of large disk to smaller one? Continue to see below and get clear ideas.

Workaround: Clonezilla to a smaller drive

According to the Clonezilla Official, Clonezilla is not supposed to clone from a larger disk to a smaller one. However, many users have such needs to clone or restore larger disk to smaller one when they want to replace HDD with SSD.

To satisfy users needs, Clonezilla provides an advanced –icds mode, which can let Clonezilla ignore disk size while cloning or restoring. That’s to say, if you use this mode, Clonezilla will not check the destination disk size before creating partition table.

To restore image to smaller drive using Clonezilla, see steps below:

1. Download, install and start Clonezilla. Then, launch this software, choose language > handing keymapsDon’t touch keymap” > “Start_Clonezilla Start Clonezilla” and hit “Ok” after each option.

2. Then, mount clonezilla image directory. Just select “device-image work with disks or partitions using images” > “local_dev Use local device” and hit “Ok” in turn. After that, mount a local device as /home/partimag and then choose the directory of local disk, hit “Ok” subsequently.

3. Select export mode and restore with image. Choose “Expert Export mode: Choose your own options” > “restoredisk Restore_an_image_to_local_disk” > select the image file to restore > press space key to select “-icds” option > keep the default values and select -p true Do nothing when clone finishs”, and click “Ok” one by one. After that, just wait until all the process ends.

Extra Parameters

Now, you may already use Clonezilla to restore image to smaller drive. But there still are some users unable to do so. If so, you can shrink the source drive via disk management till it is equal or smaller to the destination disk. After that, you can image or clone the source drive again.

Once and for all: Restore or clone larger disk to smaller disk

If Clonezilla says disk is too small after trying all above workarounds, you can consider using third-party software like AOMEI Backupper Standard. It’s a free yet effective hard drive imaging and cloning software, allowing you to restore or clone from a larger disk to the smaller one. You don’t have to do extra configurations or resize the partition beforehand, and it just works.

Here I will introduce how to restore larger disk to smaller disk as an example. You could also find detailed steps to clone larger drive to smaller drive.

Before restoration, you need to do some preparations:

  • Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it. Then, use it to create a system backup. Because a backup image is the premise of restoring to a new hard drive.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
  • Prepare a new hard drive or SSD to save backup image.

Now, let’s see how AOMEI Backupper restore from a large disk to a smaller one:

1. Connect the hard drive containing image and target drive to your computer, make sure both of them can be detected.

2. Click “Restore” and “Select Task” to find the backup image.

Select Task

3. Select system backup image and click “Next”.

Select Backup Image

4. Choose “Restore this system backup” and click “Next”.

Restore Entire Backup or Partition

5. Preview and click “Start Restore”.

Preview Restore

▪ The “Universal Restore” feature allows you to restore system image to computer with dissimilar hardware. It is available on AOMEI Backupper Professional.
▪ Beisde backup and restore, this software is also a SATA and M.2 SSD cloner, allowing you to clone HDD to SSD, M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD, etc. But if you want to clone disks with system installed, such as migrating Windows 10 to M.2 SSD, you will need to upgrade to Professional edition. 


With AOMEI Backupper, that Clonezilla destination disk is too small will never bother you again. It is a piece of cake to restore image to a smaller drive using AOMEI Backupper. What’s more, it's also a powerful disk clone software, which allows you to clone larger hard drive to smaller SSD, clone MBR to GPT, clone SSD to larger SSD without leaving unallocated space, clone Windows 10 to NVMe, and so on.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.