By Ivy / Last update November 16, 2021


GPT Disk Knowledge

Before we get to know the way to clone GPT disk, you may want to have a brief understanding about GPT partition style. That may make you understand the steps 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 supports hard disk up to 2TB in size, and up to four primary partitions.

GPT Disk

  • GPT supports hard drive lager than 2TB.

  • Windows can only boot from GPT on a UEFI-based computers.

  • Unlike MBR, GPT hard disk allows you to create primary partitions up to 128 due to system limitations.

  • GPT disks only support 64-bit Windows system while MBR disks support both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows system.

So far, the most current computers support GPT standard, which is compatible with MBR. For more information about them, you may want to see MBR & GPT. However, why is it necessary to clone GPT disk to smaller SSD drive?

Why Clone GPT Disk to Smaller SSD?

Compared with HDD, SSD is more reliable than traditional hard drive (HDD) due to its features, durability, faster speed, easy to carry, and no noise while working. Besides, the capacity of SSD drive probably smaller than HDD, is 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 2TB, etc due to the budgets. Thus, if you have a GPT disk, you may want to clone GPT drive to SSD, usually a smaller SSD, to get a better performance as well as shorter boot time, etc.

GPT Disk Cloning Software - AOMEI Backupper

How to clone GPT disk to smaller SSD without installing Windows and applications? First of all, prepare all-in-one HDD to SSD cloning software. To clone GPT HDD to SSD successfully, you’d better look for a hard drive cloning software with better comprehensive performance.

AOMEI Backupper Professional is such a powerful GPT disk cloning software for popular personal Windows operating systems, like Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10/11, etc. It’s highly recommended by users due to its versatility, reliable execution capability, and intuitive interface. This software supports both MBR and GPT partition styles, even dynamic disks, hardware RAID, UEFI boot mode, etc.

When the smaller SSD is not able to accommodate all stuff of selected GPT disk, the feature, System Clone, in AOMEI Backupper will help a lot. It will clone only system drive and boot related partitions to target SSD and ensure it's bootable to let you enjoy the benefits of high technology.

How to Clone GPT(UEFI) Disk to Smaller SSD in Windows 7/8/10/11

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

  • Make sure what kind of SSD you can use in your computer. Consult for your manufacturer to find the compatible SSD. Make sure the smaller SSD can hold all the data from the GPT disk.

  • Be sure the smaller SSD can hold all the data on the source disk while cloning HDD to SSD in Windows 10/11. Otherwise the cloning  process will fail.

  • Prepare some extracting tools, like screwdrivers, etc.

  • Please install and launch AOMEI Backupper Professional 30 day free trial to have a try(All the clone operations only can be demonstrated in the trial version, please upgrade to enjoy).

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Here is how to clone GPT HDD to smaller SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7:

Step 1. Connect the smaller SSD with your computer. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Professional, on the main interface, select "Clone" > "Disk Clone" in turn.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Choose your GPT disk as 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", and click "Start Clone" to clone GPT(UEFI) HDD to smaller SSD.

Start Clone

Step 5. (Optional) when the cloning process completes, swap the GPT disk with the cloned SSD, or change boot order to boot from the target. 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. 

There are some settings for you to set up before pressing Start Clone:

1. Edit Partitions: It’s especially useful while cloning disk to larger disk and enables you to adjust the partition size and location to fully use the storage space on destination disk during cloning.

Edit Partition

2. SSD Alignment: It will accelerate the reading and writing speed of the smaller SSD and its lifespan while cloning hard drive to SSD or cloning SSD to larger SSD.

3. Sector by sector clone: Checking this option will clone every sector on the GPT hard disk, whether it is used sectors, bad sectors, or blank sectors. And it will take much more time to clone. Tick this option will make the Edit Partitions option unavailable. Uncheck this option will skip bad sectors by default and helps you to clone failing hard drive.

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.

Write in the End

It's easy to clone GPT (UEFI) disk to smaller SSD, or larger SSD with the help of AOMEI Backupper. Besides, AOMEI Backupper Professional allows you to create WinPE bootable media to boot your system after cloning and perform command line cloning to execute unattended tasks.

Moreover, you could backup the GPT disk to external hard drive, then directly add a boot option by creating AOMEI Backuapper Recovery Environment, boot from it and restore the SSD easily. This is another way to clone GPT (UEFI) disk to smaller SSD.

 The AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus supports to protect unlimited computers within your company. Just give it a shot.