Clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD in 4 Steps [Secure Boot]

Can I clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD? How to replace 1TB HDD with 500 SSD? Many of you may have this question, continue to read this article and get a clear answer.


By Ivy Updated on August 24, 2023

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Can I Clone a 1TB HDD to a 500GB SSD?

“I am planning to purchase a 500GB Samsung 860 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 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD drive easily?” – Reddit

SSD Drive

Considering SSDs have high performance, such as shorter boot time, faster reading and writing speed, etc and it's more durable due to their special design - no spinning parts, many users want to replace HDD with SSD. However, the price is more than twice that of an HDD with the same capacity, thus you may opt a smaller SSD due to the budget.

Fortunately, it's possible to clone large HDD to smaller SSD like cloning 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD as long as the used space of a large HDD is smaller than the SSD. At the same time, you need one intelligent SSD cloning software that supports cloning only used sectors from large HDD to smaller SSD.

Intelligent Cloning Software for Smaller SSD Migration

One intelligent cloning software like AOMEI Backupper Professional will, not only migrate everything including the operating system, system files, drivers, installed program, personal data, etc., but also make sure the cloned SSD is bootable, even if it's smaller, such as clone 1TB to 500GB SSD.  Here are some key features you may use during this process:

  • Disk Clone: Clone HDD/SSD and MBR/GPT disks,  and boot successfully.
  • Intelligent Clone: AOMEI Backupper's default clone mode clones only used sectors that ensure it is possible to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB, even cloning 1TB HDD to 250GB SSD.
  • Edit Partitions: Convert disk type from MBR or GPT or vice versa to prevent cloned SSD won't boot due to the wrong partition style.
  • SSD Alignment: Align the sector size between HDD and SSD and make your SSD boost performance.

In addition, this software is compatible with a wide range of SSD brands, such as Samsung, Toshiba OCZ, SanDisk, WD, Kingston, etc. So no matter what brand of SSD disk you get, you can easily clone 1TB to 500GB SSD.

Please download this intelligent SSD clone software to clone your large HDD.

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

Before cloning, get the following prepared:

1️⃣ Your computer with the original 1TB HDD installed.

2️⃣ Smaller SSDs like 500GB, 250GB SSD, etc. Make sure its capacity is enough to save the data from the 1TB HDD, or it will fail to clone.

3️⃣ SATA-to-USB cable to connect your smaller SSD and clone SSD with only one slot.

4️⃣ Initialize the smaller SSD in Disk Management. Right-click it and select Initialize Disk. Then, select MBR or GPT and click OK. Note the partition style needs to be the same as large HDD.

Here are simple steps to check the disk partition style:

  • Press Win + R to open the Run window. Then, type diskmgmt.msc and hit OK to open disk management.
  • Then, right-click the disk you want to clone and select Properties in the pop-up window.
  • In the Properties window, select the Volume tab and confirm the partition style. It can be MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table).

Disk Partition Style

Then, follow the steps below and learn how to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD effortlessly. This software also applies to other cases: clone 1TB to 256GB, clone 500GB HDD to 250GB SSD, etc.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Professional. select CloneDisk Clone subsequently.

Disk Clone

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

Select Disk

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

Choose Destination Disk

Step 4. Tick the SSD Alignment option to accelerate its reading and writing speed and lifespan. Then, press Start Clone to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD safely.

Start Clone

  • If your HDD and SSD has different partition style but you don't convert them to the same, click Edit Partitions and check Convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT or vice versa.

  • Don't check the Sector by sector clone option. It will clone all the sectors from one hard drive to another including the empty sectors and bad sectors. 

  • This software also support cloning SSD to larger SSD, such as clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD to get better performance.  

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

How to Boot from the Cloned SSD Successfully

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, 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 one intelligent SSD disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Professional as long as the target drive is larger than the data capacity on the source disk. 

It also provides more advanced features like System Clone to migrate OS to SSD, Dynamic Disk or Volume Clone, Real-Time Sync, Universal Restore, etc. 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.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.