By Ivy / Last update October 19, 2021

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Can I Clone a 1TB HDD to a 500GB SSD?

‚ÄúI am planning to purchase a 500GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD drive to speed up my gaming computer. I have a 1TB hard drive used 200GB that I want to replace with. I‚Äôm wondering if there is a way to clone all the data (including Windows installation, activation, and installed programs and other my files) from 1TB HDD¬†to 500GB SSD drive without any issues? If it does, how to clone 1TB HDD¬†to 500GB SSD drive easily?‚ÄĚ

Yes! It's Possible to Clone Large HDD to Smaller SSD

In the view of the advantages of solid state drives, SSDs is much faster than its HDD equivalent on reading and writing; more durable than HDDs due to its special design no spinning parts. However, the price of SSD owning the same storage is more than twice that of HDD. Hence, you may get a smaller SSD due to the budget.

SSD Drive

Is it possible to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD? Actually, it can be done to clone HDD to smaller SSD as long as the smaller SSD can hold all the data from the large HDD. Besides, clone larger HDD to smaller SSD will make you get more benefits:

  • A shorter boot time.

  • Load programs or games faster.

  • Faster speed of reading and writing.

  • Faster response time.

Best Free HDD to SSD Clone Software

Cloning hard drive between different sizes is not easy work. Hence, you have to turn the powerful hard drive cloning software for help to clone 1TB to 500GB SSD. 

As the best free hard drive cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Standard not only clone smaller drive to larger drive but also clone larger drive to smaller drive without any issues in Windows PCs, like Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10/11 (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit). It supports MBR/GPT disk, NTFS/FAT/EXT file system, dynamic disk, and hardware RAID, etc. This software also applies to all brands of hard drives (HDDs & SSDs), like Samsung SSD, Toshiba OCZ SSD, SanDisk SSD, WD SSD, Kingston SSD, etc.

With AOMEI Backupper Standard, you could:

  • Clone all the data to smaller SSD¬†without losing data, including partition structure, partition style, file systems, as well as Windows installation, installed programs, system settings, all personal files, etc.

  • Ensure the cloned SSD bootable.

  • All the partitions will fit the smaller SSD automatically during cloning.

  • Automatically accelerate the overall performance of the smaller SSD while cloning HDD to SSD, including the lifespan.

Before Cloning

Get the following prepared:

  • Your computer with the original 1TB HDD installed.

  • Smaller SSD that you have, like 500GB, 521GB, 256GB SSD, etc. Make sure its capacity is enough to save the data from the 1TB HDD, or it will fail to clone.

  • SATA-to-USB cable to connect your smaller SSD with your computer if your computer is a laptop which only one hard drive slot. And ensure the SSD can be detected by Windows.¬† Initial the SSD and format.

  • Please download AOMEI Backupper Standard and clone larger HDD to smaller SSD for free.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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How to Clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD without Reinstalling

The steps are listed below to direct you how to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD with SSD cloning freeware - AOMEI Backupper Standard. And this software also applies to other cases: clone 1TB to 256GB, clone 500GB HDD to 250GB SSD, etc.

Note that this software will only clone used sectors to target disk, thus, you can clone HDD to SSD in Windows 10 successfully, even smaller one. Please be sure the target disk has enough space to hold all the data on the source disk.

1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard. select Clone > Disk Clone subsequently.

Disk Clone

2. Select 1TB HDD as source disk to clone and click Next.

Source Disk

3. Choose 500GB SSD drive to save everything on 1TB HDD and press Next.

Destination Disk

4. Tick the SSD Alignment option and press Start Clone to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD safely.

Start Clone

‚úćSSD Alignment option checked will accelerate the reading and writing speed for the destination SSD drive and its lifespan.
‚úćMake sure your destination disk is larger or equal to the source disk if you want to check the¬†Sector by sector clone¬†option. This option allows you to clone all sectors on the HDD, and the time will be longer.
‚úćEdit Partitions: It allows you to adjust the partition size on the destination SSD while cloning to fully use the storage space on the destination drive. It‚Äôs available in AOMEI Backupper Professional, and please upgrade¬†to Professional to enjoy.
‚ú欆To get larger space, you could choose to¬†clone SSD to larger SSD. While for best performance,¬†it's suggested to¬†clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD, because NVMe SSD has much faster transfer speed.¬†

The cost time will rely on your data size on your 1TB HDD (30 minutes or more). Take some coffee and have a rest.

Boot from the Cloned SSD

After cloning 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD, set up your BIOS from the cloned SSD according to the following:

  • For desktop,¬†restart your computer, repeat click F2, F10, F12, DEL or other keys depending on your manufacturer to enter BIOS to set up the first boot device is the cloned SSD, then boot normally.

  • For laptop,¬†shut down your computer, take out the 1TB hard drive, and put the 500GB SSD into the slot, restart your computer¬†to boot from the cloned SSD drive normally.

Until now, everything is done.


It’s quite easy to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7 using best free disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Standard as long as the target drive is larger than the data capacity on source disk. 

For those who are running Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022 (including R2) and SBS 2003, 2008, 2011, please try AOMEI Backupper Server. It provides more advanced features like migrate OS to SSD, dynamic disk or volume clone, restore to different computer, merge backup images, real-time sync files, etc.