By Ivy / Last Updated October 19, 2020

Can I clone a large HDD to a smaller SSD in different size?

“owing to some reasons, I cloned my1 TB hard drive to a new SSD. I know the size is not the same, but my drive only has 157GB used space. How do I clone hard drive different size without reinstalling Windows? It makes me confused. Any ideas?”

Clone HDD to Smaller SSD in Different Size

Do you have similar questions when cloning HDD to smaller SSD in different sector size? This article can solve it. Besides, some users still want to clone hard drive to larger drive in Windows 7/8/10. In a word, all you need is a free yet powerful disk clone software.

Disk cloning issues you need to know

In general, your computer comes with a hard drive. However, with the increasingly files added and programs installed, your disk may run out of space and the computer become slower and slower. In this case, you may want to replace a hard drive in Windows 7/8/10. Yeah, it's best way to get more capacity and gain better performance. But before you start to clone HDD to SSD with different sector size, you need to get the common issues of hard drive upgrade.

◒ SSD disk is smaller than HDD in most situations. It's a little tricky for users to clone large HDD to smaller SSD, because a few disk cloning software can do disk cloning to smaller SSD. And many users report that they only use a part of the space. Thus, you need such a magic disk cloning software with intelligent clone technology to do this.

Cloned hard drive shows wrong size. This situation usually happens when you clone a smaller drive to larger one. Disk clone is to make an exact copy of original disk, so you will find the cloned hard drive are exactly the same as your orignal disk after cloning. Where did the extra space go? It still lies on the disk, but is marked as unallocated space. To make fully use of it, you could consider adjust the partition size of your disk during the cloning process or later.

For example, if you clone 130 GB to 500GB, then the 500GB hard drive shows only 130GB of space and in the Disk Management the remaining 370GB of space will be shown as unallocated space.

How to clone hard drive different size without reinstalling Windows?

There are many disk cloning software which allows you to upgrade hard drive in Windows 7/8/1 to larger drive, but a few disk cloning software can clone large hard drive to smaller SSD. This is what I want to share with you in this article. I recommend you AOMEI Backupper Standard from the bottom of my heart.

With this software, you can clone hard drive with different sector size effortlessly, whether larger or smaller. Please note the used space on larger disk requires to be equal to or smaller than SSD, then you can use this software to clone HDD to smaller SSD free. If not, you can choose to migrate Windows 10 to smaller SSD with “System Clone” feature. This feature is only available on the advanced version, such as, AOMEI Backupper Professional.

Here is a quick navigation to clone and replace hard drive.

Before you start to clone hdd with different sector size in Windows 7/8/10, you need to download free disk cloning software AOMEI Backupper and install it on your computer. Then, connect the target disk via USB cable and make sure it can be detected.

Clone large HDD to smaller SSD free step by step

Step 1. Launch this software, click Disk Clone under the Clone tab.

Disk Clone

Note: This version only supports cloning system disk with the same partition tyle, such as, cloning GPT disk to GPT disk. If you want to clone GPT disk to MBR SSD or vice versal, you could consider upgrading to AOMEI Backupper Professional.

Step 2. Select the large hard drive as the source disk and click Next.

Large HDD

Step 3. Select the smaller SSD you plug in before as the destination disk and click Next.

Smaller SSD

Step 4. Preview and click Start Clone to run the pending operation.

Clone Large HDD to Smaller SSD

Notes:
◒ It's suggested to tick "SSD Alignment" if your target disk is an SSD. Because it can accelerate the reading and writing speed for SSD disks using 4k alignment technology.
◒ Please do not check "Sector by sector clone", otherwise the cloning process will fail. Because it will clone all sectors of disk to SSD but the SSD does not have enough space to hold everything on the larger disk.
◒ You can clone any size of disk to another one, such as, clone 2TB HDD to 1TB SSD, clone 1TB HDD to 250GB SSD, clone 500GB HDD to 250GB SSD, clone 1TB HDD to 500GB HDD etc.

Clone 500GB HDD to 1TB HDD/SSD in detail

Step 1. In the main page of AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Clone and Disk Clone in order. Then, select the old 500GB HDD as the source disk and click Next.

500GB

Step 2. Select 1TB HDD/SSD as the destination disk and click Next. Then, back to the operation summary window, click "Start Clone" to clone a hard drive to larger one.

1TB

Notes:
◒ Please remember to check "SSD Alignment" to keep your SSD in the best condition.
◒ Beside cloning HDD to SSD, you still can clone smaller SSD to larger SSD in different size, such as, clone 250GB SSD to 500GB SSD, clone 250GB SSD to 1TB SSD, clone 1TB SSD to 2TB SSD etc.

Cloned hard drive show wrong size

As you know, the cloned hard drive show wrong size is a common question. But how to solve it? You can use "Edit Partitions" in the advanced version, such as, AOMEI Backupper Professional.

It has three options, you can use any of them, including "Copy without resizing partitions", "Add unused space to all partitions", "Manually adjust partition size". The last option is more flexible, you can select any partition you want to adjust including system partition.

Unallocated Space after Cloning Fixed

Wrapping things up

AOMEI Backupper is a great choice for you to clone hard drive with different size, because it works well in disk cloning and can ensure secure boot. You can use it to clone large HDD to smaller SSD if the used space is smaller than or equal to SSD disk. Even if your SSD disk cannot hold all the data on the hard drive, you still can choose to clone Windows 10 to smaller SSD with "System Clone" feature.

Also, you can use it to clone 500GB to 1TB HDD/SSD without the cloned hard drive different size not right issue. In brief, after cloning disk to larger disk, your target disk will show full capacity and you can use it to store files and install programs etc.

In addition, the advanced version has more useful features. You are allowed to clone GPT disk to smaller SSD, clone 2TB MBR disk to 3TB GPT disk, fix unallocated space after cloning a hard drive to larger drive with "Edit Partitions", migrate OS with "System Clone" if destination disk is too small etc. Want to enjoy these features? Please download AOMEI Backupper Professional at least.