Best Way to Clone GPT(UEFI) Disk to Smaller SSD (Bootable)

You can easily clone GPT(UEFI) disk to smaller SSD to enjoy the advantage of GPT disk and gain high performance of SSD. The cloned SSD will remain bootable.


By Jonna Updated on August 22, 2023

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User Case: Can I Clone GPT Disk to Smaller SSD?

"I just installed a 500 GB SSD on my laptop and I'm wanting to move windows and my programs onto it. My laptop currently has a 1 TB GPT HDD with about 80% of it full so it won't all fit on the new drive. I do however have a 2TB external hard drive that can be used to store extra data on my old disk. So what is the best way to clone GPT disk to smaller SSD? Thank. "

You can easily clone GPT disk to smaller SSD as long as the used space of GPT disk is equal to or smaller than SSD disk size. If not, it is still possible if you can transfer files from SSD to HDD and free up space on GPT disk. Upon this, you will also need powerful and safe GPT disk cloning software. 

GPT Disk Knowledge

Before we get to know more about cloning GPT disk to smaller SSD, you may want to have a brief understanding of GPT partition style. That may make you understand the following contents easier.

GPT stands for Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) Partition Table, which is a standard for the layout of the partition table on a physical hard disk. GPT is gradually replacing the old MBR (Master Boot Record) standard, which has some limitations that only support hard disks up to four primary partitions and 2TB in size.

GPT Disk

  • GPT supports hard drive lager than 2TB.

  • GPT can only boot from UEFI-based computers.

  • Unlike MBR, GPT disk allows you to create up to 128 primary partitions.

  • GPT disk supports 64-bit Windows systems while MBR disks support both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows system.

  • Most computers today support GPT and are MBR compatible. Click  MBR & GPT to learn more differences between them. 

Why Clone GPT Disk to Smaller SSD?

From above, you may have a basic understanding of GPT disk. Here we will continue to know more about the benefits of cloning GPT disk to smaller SSD.

  • SSD has faster reading and writing speeds. So you can move files from SSD to another one quickly.
  • SSD makes less noise because it does not have moving parts. 
  • SSD consumes less power because it does not require any power to spin the platter. 
  • Unlike HDD, SSD is more durable and resistant to high temperatures.

However, considering the price, most of you may choose to get one smaller SSD (such as, 500GB SSD or 250GB SSD) and use SSD for OS and HDD for storage. So you can enjoy both high performance and large capacity

Besides, the cloning method itself will include everything on the GPT disk, such as the operating system, system settings, and drivers, programs, data, etc. It saves you super time and effort without having to reinstall them.

Best GPT Cloning Software to Clone UEFI Disk to SSD

To enjoy the advantages of GPT disk and SSD disk, you need powerful GPT & SSD cloning software like AOMEI Backupper Professional. It will take care of the cloning process well with the following features:

  • Disk Clone: It supports cloning GPT/MBR disk and HDD/SSD disk with everything on it. And make sure the cloned SSD is bootable.
  • Intelligent Clone: It clones only used sectors from one hard drive to another one. This makes it easy to clone UEFI disk to smaller SSD (eg: clone large HDD to smaller SSD) without boot issue.
  • SSD Alignment: It is capable of further improving the reading and writing speed of SSD disk as well as the lifespan.
  • Convert MBR to GPT disk: If your SSD is MBR, to enjoy the advantages of GPT disk, you need to convert MBR to GPT with help of option in the Edit Partitions feature.

If you really can't clear out more space, try the System Clone feature to clone Windows 10 OS to smaller SSD . Hope it can help you. 

How to Clone GPT(UEFI) Disk to Smaller SSD in 5 Steps

Before cloning GPT disk to a smaller SSD, prepare the following things:

  • Make sure what kind of SSD you can use on your computer. Consult with your manufacturer to find a compatible SSD. And it can be any disk brand. AOMEI Backupper allows you to clone HDD to Samsung SSD, WD SSD, SanDisk SSD, etc.

  • Be sure the smaller SSD can hold all the data on the GPT disk. Otherwise, the cloning process will fail.

  • Prepare some extracting tools, like screwdrivers, etc.

  • Please download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install, and launch it. The Clone feature only can be demonstrated in the trial version, please upgrade to enjoy.

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Stepwise Guide to Clone GPT HDD to Smaller SSD 

Step 1. Connect the smaller SSD to your computer. On the main page of AOMEI Backupper Professional, select "Clone" > "Disk Clone" in turn.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Choose your GPT disk as the source disk to clone, and press "Next".

Source Disk

Step 3. Select the smaller SSD drive as the destination disk to save data from GPT HDD, then hit "Next".

Destination Disk

Step 4. Check "SSD Alignment" to accelerate the reading and writing speed of the smaller SSD, and click "Start Clone" to clone GPT(UEFI) HDD to smaller SSD.

Start Clone

Helpful Tips: 
Edit Partitions: It helps to convert MBR disk to GPT if you clone GPT disk to smaller SSD with MBR disk type. If you cloning disk to larger disk, it also helps adjust the partition size and location to fully use the target disk space.
SSD Alignment: It works only for SSD disks. For example, clone SSD to larger SSD.
Sector by sector clone: Just leave it unchecked. It will clone every sector on the GPT hard disk, whether it is used, blank or bad sectors, and cause system failure while cloning Windows 10 to smaller SSD.

Step 5. (Optional) when the cloning process completes, swap the GPT disk with the cloned SSD, or change the boot order to boot from the smaller SSD. Please make sure you're in UEFI boot mode, otherwise, you may not be able to boot successfully. You may want to know how to change Legacy to UEFI in BIOS. 

Change Legacy to UEFI

The cost time will depend on the data size on GPT hard drive. Besides, this hard drive cloning software allows you to clone MBR to GPT disk or clone GPT to MBR disk without any issues.

★ The way to clone GPT disk to SSD free

Except for the direct clone method, AOMEI Backupper still supports a free way to transfer everything from GPT disk to a smaller SSD. Like the cloning method, it has an intelligent sector backup feature that only backup used sectors of the file system.

If the GPT disk usage is is equal to or smaller than smaller SSD, you can backup GPT disk to external hard drive and perform UEFI restore to smaller SSD. If your computer is not bootable, you can choose to create bootable media or recovery environment to boot it. 

Select Image File Winpe

Write in the End

It's easy to clone GPT (UEFI) disk to smaller SSD as long as the SSD can hold all the data on the GPT disk. Powerful disk clone software - AOMEI Backupper Professional can deal with the cloning process well, whether the smaller SSD is GPT or MBR.

By default, it only clones used sectors from one hard drive to another one. And it supports 4k technology to boost SSD disk performance. For IT technicians, try AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus edition. It even allows you to create a portable version of this software and perform GPT disk clone on any PC without installing it.

Jonna · Editor
Jonna joined AOMEI in 2021 and has become a professional in the areas of computer backup and restoration, disk cloning, file synchronization, etc. She maintains a keen eye for the latest technology trends, ensuring that the information provided is always in step with industry developments.