Content of this article:
Can I clone a drive to a larger drive?
“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?”
You may receive low disk space warning if your computer is aging or you install many programs or save a lot of data on it. In this case, you can only replace it with a larger drive and it is possible.
Why clone hard drive to larger drive?
The first and most common reason for cloning hard drive to larger drive is to handle low disk space warning. Besides, there are 4 main reasons in the following:
👉 Get more space. If you replace your smaller disk with larger one, you can obviously get more space, install more programs, store many data on it.
👉 Boost performance: Usually, the more free space on a system disk, the smoother your computer will run - boost faster and run multiple programs without sticking, etc. If the larger disk is an SSD, then the boost will be even more dramatic.
👉 Replace old or damaged disks: In this case, you have to replace it. Otherwise, it will either affect the performance or break down completely.
👉 Double data protection. Data is fragile and easily corrupted unless you duplicate it or the disk containing data. If not, your data will be deleted and there are many killers, such as system crash, virus attack, malware, BSOD, etc.
Prepare for your new hard drive
Well then, how to clone disk to larger drive with it? Connect the new disk and clone it with a reliable disk clone software. Before that, you need to prepare this new hard drive.
👉 Select destination disk: It can be HDD or SSD, depending on your purpose, larger capacity or and better performance. If you have more budget, SSD will be a better choice.
👉 Check the disk size: 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.
👉 Prepare connector: For desktop, you can directly install the new hard drive on the extra socket. For laptop, you will need a cable or adaper, for example, SATA-to-USB, and it may be different because of the disk interface (SATA, NVMe, PCIe, etc).
👉 Alternatives: If you don't have any connector, you can still choose to backup Windows to NAS, then swap your disk to larger disk and restore the backup image.
Powerful hard drive cloning software to clone disk
Please wait after preparing, since you still need the best disk cloning software, AOMEI Backupper Professional, for example. It provides you with 2 practical ways, namely, using "Disk Clone" and "Disk Backup and Restore" feature.
Both of them will include the operating system, boot files, personal data, installed program, etc, and handle disk space or compatible issues well. However, there are some differences between the two methods. You can check this in the following:
- Disk Clone: it supports cloning HDDs/SSDs, and MBR/GPT disks, even with different sector sizes. For SSD disk, it is capable of aligning partition sectors between HDDs and SSDs to maintain its performance.
- Disk Backup and Restore: it offers you different options, schedule backup, and backup scheme that helps to create multiple backups using less disk space or directly delete backup images to free up space for new backups. All the data are compressed into an image file.
Please download this software to have a try!
Whether you use cloning or backup and restore method, you are able to create a bootable USB to perform both operations without booting into Windows.
Top 2 ways to clone disk to larger disk in Windows 10 or 11
In this part, I'll introduce you both methods to clone smaller disk to larger disk or SSD. Please note that this software only supports Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.
👉 Try Method 1 if you want a fast way to clone a hard drive.
👉 Try Method 2 if you are more concerned about data security and want to protect it continuously. This is the safest way.
Method 1: Clone smaller disk to larger disk with Disk Clone
Step 1. Open AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Clone and Disk Clone subsequently.
Note: The Clone feature can only be demonstrated in the trial version. If you want to directly clone HDD to Samsung SSD, please upgrade Pro trial to the full version of AOMEI Backupper Professional.
Step 2. Select your source disk (here is Disk0)and then the destination disk (here is Disk1). Click Next in order after selecting disk.
Step 3 (Important). Click Edit Partitions to clone and resize hard drive with the following 3 options. Besides, if the source disk and destination disk has different disk type, you will also see "Convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT" or vice versa. Please check it if the following window shows.
- Copy without resizing partitions: It will not resize the partition size.
- Add unused space to all partitions: It will reallocate the unallocated space to each partition of the target disk, appropriate for the disk size.
- Manually adjust partition size: It allows you to extend unallocated space to any partition on the destination disk you want.
📔How to check disk type (MBR or GPT) of a disk:
If you want to be sure both disk types, and boot from the cloned drive successfully, you can refer to the overall steps in the following:
- 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).
- Similarly, check the disk partition tyle of the destination disk. If they have different disk partition style, please convert MBR to GPT or vice versa with Edit Partitions option.
Step 4. Check "SSD Alignment" to optimize performance of SSD disk if you are cloning disk to larger SSD. Then, confirm the details of both disks and click Start Clone.
Now, you may already clone hard drive to larger drive successfully, 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.
Method 2: Copy boot drive to larger drive with Disk Backup & Restore
Except for cloning HDD to larger HDD or SSD with "Disk Clone" feature, you still can use Disk Backup & Restore in AOMEI Backupper. And it focuses on continuous system and data protection - backup all the data currently on the disk and changes made later automatically.
Backup a hard drive in Windows 10
Step 1. Open AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Backup and Disk Backup.
Step 2. Select the source disk you want to backup and the destination disk to store the backup image.
Step 3. Set daily, weekly or monthly scheduled backup, and once it is enabled, this software will backup only changed files in a scheduled task. Besides, you still can use the Event trigger and USB Plug in features on the full professional version. Finally, click Start Backup to complete this task.
📔 Important: good and sustainable data protection
AOMEI Backupper will continuously create backups for your computer until the backup disk is full. To avoid this, try to enable automatic backup cleanup in Backup Scheme. It will delete backup files automatically to free up disk space for new backups.
Restore disk image to get computer back quickly
You don't need to restore disk backup immediately after backing up and do this in a disaster or it behaves abnormally. This process will also include the Edit Partitions to help you make full use of disk space and avoid boot failure due to different disk types.
Step 1. Connect both backup disk and new drive to receive backup image. Then, open this software, click Restore and Select Task in order.
Step 2. Then, you will be asked to select the disk image, restore items and destination disk. Just do so and click Next in each step.
Step 3 (Important). Click "Edit Partitions" to adjust partition size on the destination disk. If you mover Windows to new computer, please check the "Universal Restore" to ensure a secure boot. It will install all the necessary drivers required to start a PC.
Step 4. Preview the details and click Start Restore to restore disk backup to new hard drive. If your target disk is an SSD, please tick "SSD Alignment" to make your SSD achieve its best performance.
📔 Advanced feature: Explore Image - restore only individual files from a disk
AOMEI Backupper has a "Explore Image" tool that allows you to perform hard disk image file restore. With it, you can assign drive letters for all or some of the partitions on the disk and mount the backup image in Windows Explore. Then, you can directly access it and copy files to another location.
📔 Advanced feature: AOMEI Image Deploy - restore image to two or more computers
In the Technician or Techplus Edition, AOMEI Backupper allows you to easily deploy system image to multiple computers simultaneously over network with its image deployment software - AOMEI Image Deploy. And you can preset computer name, IP address and universal restore for all the computers you want to restore.
How to 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 talk about a rough process.
Step 1. Switch the smaller disk and larger disk with a screwdriver.
Step 2. Restart your computer, press a specific key (eg: Del, F2, ESC) on the initial screen to enter BIOS.
Step 3. 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.
You can easily clone disk to larger disk with help of all-in-one disk clone software - AOMEI Backupper. It provides you with 2 practical ways to do so and you can choose one of them based on your purpose, such as, fast disk upgrade or long-term data protection.
With it, you can clone hard drive in Windows 10 or backup disk for it. And you can enjoy many advantages during the process, such as, accelerate disk performance for SSD disk, add unused space to all partitions automaticaly, schedule backup disk in Windows 10, etc. All in all, it's a worth trying software!