By Ailsa / Last Updated June 1, 2020

Can I Clone a 1TB HDD to a 500GB SSD?

“I 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’m 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 a 1TB HDD to a 500GB SSD drive easily?”

Why 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 budgets.

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 1TB 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 respond time.

Best Free HDD to SSD Clone Software

Cloning hard drive between different sizes is not an 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 (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit).

Besides, AOMEI backupper will clone all the data to SSD, including partition structure, file systems, partition size, etc. And Windows installation, installed programs, system settings, all personal files will be transferred easily to SSD and ensure the cloned SSD bootable. It supports MBR/GPT disk, NTFS/FAT/EXT file system, dynamic disk, and hardware RAID, etc. This software also applies to all hard drives, like HDD, Samsung SSD, Toshiba OCZ SSD, SanDisk SSD, WD SSD, Kingston SSD, etc.

Before Clone

Get the following prepared:

  • Your computer installed 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.

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

How to Clone a 1TB HDD to a 500GB SSD without Reinstalling?

The steps are listed below to direct you how to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD (also applies to other cases: clone 1TB to 256GB, clone 500GB HDD to 250GB SSD, etc.):

1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard. Select Clone, then choose Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

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

Source Disk

3. Choose 500GB SSD drive to save all the data on 1TB HDD. Press Next.

Destination Disk

4. Press Start Clone if you have checked the SSD Alignment option.

Start Clone

✍SSD Alignment option checked will accelerate the reading and writing speed for destination SSD drive.
✍Make sure your destination disk is larger or equal to the source disk if you want to check the Sector by sector clone option.
✍Edit 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’s available in AOMEI Backupper Professional, and please upgrade to Professional to enjoy.

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 the operation of cloning 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD finished, 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 easy to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD in Windows 7, 8, 10 if the target drive is larger than the data capacity on source disk using best free HDD to SSD clone software - AOMEI Backupper. For who is running Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019 (including R2) and SBS 2003, 2008, 2011, please try AOMEI Backupper Server, and provides more advanced features like migrate OS to SSD, dynamic disk or volume clone, create disk backup, restore to different computer, merge backup images, real-time sync files, etc.