By Ivy / Last Updated November 18, 2020

Can I clone a hard drive to a larger one?

“A few days ago, I received a “low disk space warning” window when I open my computer. After that, no matter what I do, it will pop up and says,”the disk space is not enough”. So, I cannot add any files, folder or install any programs on my computer. Is it possible to clone disk to larger disk? Thanks.”

Low Disk Space Windows 10

Of course, you can clone hard drive to larger disk. But considering security issues, you need to use a free yet professional disk clone software, which can save you much time and effort. Here I strongly recommend you AOMEI Backupper Standard.

It could not only help you clone hard drive to larger drive(most software can do), but also clone large HDD to samller SSD with intelligent clone technology, which is not supported in majority of software. Thanks to its clear interface and user-friendly design, all the computer users can use it smoothly, even the novices.

Well then, how to clone disk to larger drive with it? Please keep reading below to get the detailed steps.

How to clone disk to larger disk in a few steps?

Cloning disk to larger drive with disk cloning software like AOMEI Backupper Standard in Windows Vista/XP/7/8/10 is the prior choice, because it will completely transfer your system, previous installed programs, files and folders to another disk. And you can boot successfully from the cloned disk. In addition, you can do whatever you want during the cloning process, because it will run in the background.

To finish disk cloning process, you need to do some preparations ahead of time.
Prepare a larger disk, either HDD or SSD. If you want to gain high performance and have more budget, an SSD will be better choice.
If your computer is a laptop, please prepare a SATA-to-USB cable or adapter. Both are the way to connect the target disk for cloning. If you do not have any of them, you can backup Windows to NAS first, then swap your disk to larger disk, boot your computer using bootable disk and restore it to the larger disk.
Check the capacity of both disk. Usually, the new HDD or SSD needs to be larger than or equal to the old hard disk, which refers to the used space. If not, the cloning process may fail finally.

Step by step guide: upgrade to a larger hard drive with AOMEI Backupper

Things to know before hard drive upgrade:

  • All the data on the destination disk will be deleted eventually, so please backup your important files in advance.

  • You can HDD/SSD, MBR disk or GPT disk, even with different size.

  • The free version only supports cloning system disk with the same partition style, such as, MBR to MBR or GPT to GPT.

To check partition style between two drives, you could go to disk management, right click the hard disk or the SSD, choose Properties -> Volume -> Partition Style, then you will see its partition style, either MBR or GPT.

Disk Partition Style

Step 1. Plug the prepared disk into your computer and be sure it can be detected. Download the disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Standard and install it.

Step 2. Launch this software, and you will see its deep-blue main page. Then, click Clone and Disk Clone subsequently.

Disk Clone

Notes: To clone MBR disk to GPT disk or vice versa, please consider using the advanced version - AOMEI Backupper Professional.

Step 3. Select your Source Disk (here is Disk0)and click Next.

Select a Source Disk

Step 4. Find the disk you plug in and set it as Destination Disk (here is Disk1), then click Next.

Select a Destination Disk

Step 5. Confirm the details of both disks and click Start Clone. If you are cloning disk to larger SSD, it's recommended to tick "SSD Alignment" to accelerate the writting and reading speed of it.

Clone Disk to Larger Disk

The cloned hard drive shows wrong size is a great headache for users who want to clone HDD to larger HDD or SSD. But in the professional version of AOMEI Backupper, it can be easily solved by "Edit Partitions" feature, which allows you to adjust the size of destination disk during the clone process.

Edit Partition

Notes:
• You can also use this software to clone laptop hard drive to larger disk, clone smaller SSD to larger SSD, clone SSD to larger SSD Samsung, clone larger hard drive to smaller hard drive etc.
• To clone C drive to larger drive, you can use its "System Clone" feature in the professional version, which will contains the operating system and boot-related partition(s) of your computer.

Another Way to copy boot drive to larger drive

In addition to cloning HDD to larger HDD, AOMEI Backupper still offers you another way to achieve the same effect - it's backup and restore. This way is very useful in case of unexpected failure, such as, system crash, disk failure, virus attack etc.

Please note that you need to create a disk backup ahead of time, then you can restore disk image when needed. If not, you have to reinstall Windows and the programs you will use in the near future, which is a time-consuming and tedious operation. Even worse, you will lose your data forever.

Then, let's have a closer look at how it works, which includes the entire process.

Step 1. Create a disk backup with AOMEI Backupper. At the main page, click Backup and Disk Backup, then finish the rest of steps via on-screen instructions.

Disk Backup

Step 2. Connect the disk containing image you want to restore and another disk to save the image. Then open this software, click Restore and Select Task in order.

Select Task

Step 3. Select the disk image from the list and click Next.

Select Backup Image

Note: If you cannot see any disk image or system image listed on the restore window, please go back to previous page and click "Select Image File" to find the image manually.

Step 4. Tick Restore the entire disk and click Next.

Select Entire Disk

Step 5. Select the destination disk(here is Disk2) and click Next.

Select Destination 1

Step 6. Preview the details and click Start Restore. If your target disk is an SSD, please tick "SSD Alignment" to make your SSD achieve its best performance.

Preview And Restore

Note: If you want to restore disk image to a computer with different hardware, it's suggested to use the "Universal Restore" feature in the professional version. It resolves the driver compatibility issue of different computers.

Boot from larger cloned or restored disk

Whether you use the "disk clone" or "disk backup and restore" method, the boot process is very similar, so here I'll only talke about a rough process.

To boot from the new disk, you need to switch the smaller disk and larger disk, then restart your computer, press specific key (eg: Del, F2, ESC) on the initial screen to enter BIOS, go to the Boot tab and change the new disk to the first boot option, finally save changes and restart your computer. Please note that you need to pull out the old disk at 30 or 45 degrees, so do the installation process.

Bios

Plus: why clone hard drive to larger drive?

For reasons to clone smaller disk to larger disk, the most commonly reasons is to solve low disk space issue and increase disk capacity. Besides, there are some others reasons. See below and get the details.

Low disk space warning

Many of computer users will encounter “low disk space warning” in the daily life. And you couldn’t install any applications or save any files or folders to computer after this error message occurs. Even worse, your computer will run more slowly than before.

To solve this problem, some users try to clone smaller disk to larger disk, because they know only when this error disappears, they could mount applications or files to computer again.

Low Disk Space Warning

Other reasons to clone disk to larger disk

  • Just want a larger disk. With a larger disk, you can save more files, pictures, video, etc. Anyhow, a larger disk could be a greater choice. Thus, sometimes, you just want a larger disk and there's no reason for it.

  • Replace old disk with a new one. When you use a disk for several years, you may feel it’s too old and cannot satisfy your needs from all sides. You may want to replace it with a newer disk.

  • Increase the performance of your computer. If you are not satisfied with the performance of your computer and want to run computer more smoothly, you can clone SSD to larger SSD.

Summary

When you search “clone disk to larger disk” in the forums, such as, Reddit, Microsoft, you may get some information about”cloned hard drive won’t boot”. In a word, the cloning process failed. So, a trust and reliable disk cloning software like AOMEI Backupper Standard is essential for disk clone.

It can help you easily and quickly clone HDD to larger HDD or SSD and ensure secure boot after cloning. And you can clone all sectors of the disk to a larger one with its "Sector by sector clone", get an SSD with peak performance through its 4k technology. In addition, you can achieve the same effect by its "disk backup" and "disk restore" feature. Download this software to have a try right now!