By Ivy / Last update October 19, 2021

You will learn:

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.

Connect your new hard drive

The source drive (you want to clone) and the destination drive (where you want to clone hard drive to) are definitely what you need for cloning disk to larger disk. The destination drive can be HDD or SSD, but if you want a better performance and have more budget, the later will be better.

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, you need to free up disk space by deleting larger files or uninstall useless programs, otherwise the cloning process may fail finally.

In addition, you still need a way to connect the hard drive for cloning, which may vary depending on the type of computer. If your computer is a desktop, you can directly install the new hard drive on the extra socket. But if your computer is a laptop, you will need a SATA-to-USB cable or adaper. 

If you don't have any of them in hand, you can still choose to backup Windows to NAS, then swap your disk to larger disk and restore the backup image.

Get free yet professional disk cloning software

Except for source and destination hard drive as well as related items, you still need a free yet professional disk cloning software to complete the cloning process effortlessly. It should include all the boot drives required to start your Windows, and other items stored on the disk, such as, personal data, installed program, etc. 

Usually, it not only supports cloning features to copy boot drive from hard drive to another, but also integrates with imaging feature for regularly backup. Thus, you can choose to perform one-off clone with "Disk Clone" feature, or from a long-term perspective, you can create an one-to-one copy of your hard drive with "Disk Backup". AOMEI Backupper Standard is such software you need.

As for a disk cloning software, it supports cloning HDDs/SSDs, MBR/GPT disk, even with different sector size. It supports 4k techology to accelerate reading and writting speed of SSD disk. Please note that this process will erase all the data on the destination disk. If there are some important data, you need to backup files in advance. 

As for a disk imaging software, it supports complete backup and restore solutions, such as, "Disk Backup", "System Backup", "Partition Backup", "File Backup", so you can backup what you want. Also, it still provides some useful features, including, schedule backup, incremental backup and differential backup, backup options etc.  Don't wait and download it to have a try right now!

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Directly clone disk to larger disk with "Disk Clone" feature

Cloning is very useful when you want to clone disk to larger disk, 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.  And in most cases, this is a one-time operation, works best when your computer is runing properly.

Step 1. With the second hard drive connected and free yet professional disk cloning software in hand, you can start to upgrade ato a larger hard Cdrive. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, then click Clone and Disk Clone subsequently.

Disk Clone

♥ The free version only supports cloning system disk from MBR to MBR.  Thus, if you want to clone MBR system disk to GPT disk, GPT system disk to MBR disk, or GPT system disk to GPT disk, please consider using the advanced version - AOMEI Backupper Professional
♥ 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 2. Select your source disk (here is Disk0)and click Next.

Select a Source Disk

Step 3. Find the connected destination disk and select it (here is Disk1), then click Next.

Select a Destination Disk

Step 4. 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 optimize performance of SSD disk. 

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

Now, you may already clone hard drive to larger drive successully, you can try to boot from it. But if your destination disk is smaller, the cloning process may fail. In this case, you can choose to migrate OS  only with "System Clone" feature in the professional version. It will contain the operating system and boot-related partition(s) of your computer. 

Note: this software is still an SSD cloning sofwtare, thus you can use it to clone hard drive to SSD, replace laptop HDD with SSD, migrate Windows 10 to M.2 SSD, clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD, etc.

Copy boot drive to larger drive with "Disk Backup" feature

Except for cloning HDD to larger HDD or SSD with "Disk Clone" feature, AOMEI Backupper still offers you another way to achieve the same effect - it's backup and restore. This way is very useful to protect your system and data continuously, which will backup the entire disk and changes made later(if you enable schedule backup feature). 

And it's a great way to reduce the losses when your computer encounters unexpected failure, such as, system crash, disk failure, virus attack etc. And you don't need reinstall Windows and programs you will use in the near future. The primise is to backup hard drive image ahead of time. 

To create a disk backup, you just need to open this software. Then, in the main page, click Backup and Disk Backup, select the source disk you want to backup and the destination disk to store the backup image, finally, click Start Backup to complete this task.  

Disk Backup

Then, when something bad happens, you can restore disk image to new hard drive and make your computer bootable. The steps are in the following. 

Step 1. Connect the disk containing disk and the new hard drive. Then open this software, click Restore and Select Task in order.

Select Task

Step 2. 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 3. Tick Restore the entire disk and click Next

Select Entire Disk

Note: If you have multiple backups, you can click the backup time to select which backup you want to restore, here is 2019-07-02 01:11:04. Then, you will see all of your backups together with its backup types, it can be full backup, incremental backup, differential backup.

Step 4. Select the destination disk(here is Disk2) and click Next.

Select Destination 1

Step 5. 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.


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.


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 it also applies to clone hard drive Windows 10, clone HDD to Samsung SSD, copy data from one SSD to another, clone HDD to SSD via USB cable, clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD, etc.

In addition, you can enjoy many useful features during the cloning process. For example, 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!