By Ivy / Last update October 20, 2021

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User Case: Need to Clone M2 SSD

How to Clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD?

I recently bought a larger Samsung M.2 850 256GB SSD for my laptop to upgrade it, but how am I going to clone my current 120GB M.2 SSD to my new larger M.2 SSD? Is there an easy way to do it?


Before learning how to clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD, you may want to know this information about M.2 SSD. 

What Is M.2 SSD?

M.2 SSD (formerly known as Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) SSDs) are smaller and more suited for modern ultraportable devices (Ultrabooks and tablets) compared to older SATA SSDs as they allow for different module widths and lengths to adjust for different connectors. As a result, M2 SSDs are known for their small size and fast speeds.

960 Pro M.2 SSD

Why Clone M.2 SSD to Larger M.2 SSD?

Generally speaking, many small devices like laptops, Ultrabooks, and tablets use a small capacity M.2 SSD drive as their boot drive and HDDs for storage. Once you have the OS, applications, and games installed, you’ll soon find that the drive has run out of space or has very slow respond. To fix this you will need to clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD drive, then you will:

  • Get more storage space.

  • Speed up your system.¬†

  • Get shorter boot time.

Best M.2 SSD Cloner - AOMEI Backupper

To clone to M.2 SSD safely, whether to clone NVMe M.2 SSD, or clone M.2 PCIe SSD, you could try the specialist M.2 SSD cloner in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP - AOMEI Backupper Professional -  that clones everything (including Windows OS, installed programs, and personal files, etc.) from an M.2 SSD drive to new M.2 SSD without reinstalling Windows.

Besides, it will clone M.2 to M.2 with simple clicks, accelerate the overall performance for the M.2 SSD with SSD Alignment, and ensure it's bootable after cloning without any issues. And it applies to all brands of M.2 SSD, such as, Samsung M.2 SSD, Samsung NVMe SSD, SanDisk M.2 SSD, WD M.2 SSD, etc.

Please download AOMEI Backupper Professional 30 day free trial and have it a go (Clone features in free trial can only be demonstrated, please upgrade to enjoy):

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to Clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD Easily in Windows 11/10/8/7

Here is the step-by-step guide to safely clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7. Also, you can use it to move Windows 10/11 from HDD to M.2 SSD and other operating systems.

✤✤Before cloning M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD, do the following✤✤:
‚ėā Make sure that the new¬†larger M.2 SSD is compatible with your motherboard, or consult your computer manufacturer.
‚ėā Install the larger M.2 SSD correctly. Please disconnect battery or cut off the power supply¬†before installing.
>> On a laptop, open M.2 slot, slide and fix the SSD.
>> On a desktop, open the host cover, find the M.2 connector (labeled with SATA/PCIe), and install the SSD.
‚ėā Prepare an M.2 clone adapter¬†to connect the larger¬†M.2 SSD with machine¬†if there is only one M.2 slot on your computer.¬†
‚ėā¬†Initial the M.2 SSD in Disk Management and format with MBR or GPT partition style according to your demands.

Step 1. Perform this M.2 SSD cloner after installation, select Clone > Disk Clone. Click System Clone to move operating system only to another M.2 SSD if you prefer.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the M.2 SSD system disk as the source disk and hit Next to continue.

Source Disk

Step 3. Choose the larger M.2 SSD as the target disk, and then press Next to continue.

Destination Disk

‚ėÖTips:¬†If there is any data on the destination M.2 disk, it will be erased during the cloning process. Please¬†backup files¬†before the M.2 SSD cloning.

Step 4. Tick SSD Alignment to speed up for M.2 SSD, and then press Start Clone to safely clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7.

Disk Clone Preview Align Ssd Checked

Usually, this only takes a short amount of time, but the larger the disk is, the longer time will be. Because the cloning time depends on the transfer speed of both M.2 SSD and data size of the source m.2 SSD drive.

‚ėÖHelpful Tips:¬†
1. Sector by sector clone: It enables you to clone all the sectors (blocks) on the source M.2 SSD even it’s blank or bad sector, and much longer time will spend. Uncheck this option will skip the bad sectors if there exists, which helps to clone failing hard drive to prevent data loss.
2. You could click on Edit Partitions to resize the partitions on the destination disk automatically and you could fully use the storage space after cloning M2 SSD to another M2 SSD. There are three options that you may need:
‚úćCopy without resizing partitions: it‚Äôs selected by default. There will be an unallocated space available after¬†cloning smaller disk to larger disk¬†if this option checked. Then, you could merge unallocated space to C drive or other existing partitions, or even create a new partition to store data separately.
‚úćAdd unused space to all partitions.
‚úćManually adjust partition size.
If you would like to adjust the partition size automatically during the cloning process, please select the second option or third option.

Edit Partitions

How to Boot from Cloned Larger M.2 SSD

After cloning M.2 to M.2, to boot from the cloned larger M.2 SSD correctly, do the following:

  • For the computer that only one M.2 slot:¬†shut down your computer,¬†remove the old M.2 SSD, and¬†replace with the newly cloned larger M.2 SSD, boot from the cloned M.2 SSD.

  • For the computer that has more than one M.2 slot: Restart your computer and repeatedly press a certain key (usually F2, F10, F12, ESC, DEL, etc.) to enter BIOS or UEFI BIOS, change boot priority to the cloned larger M.2 drive.

Remember to replace the mounting screws to secure the M.2 SSD drive in your machine.

Install M.2 SSD

Now you have mastered cloning M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD, you might want to try cloning a larger HDD to smaller SSD, make sure the smaller SSD can hold all the data from the larger HDD, cloning a specific partition to the target disk using the Partition Clone function, or even cloning MBR disk to GPT disk, or vice versa.

If your computer only has one slot, you still can use another secure way to clone M.2 SSD with only one slot, it is backup and restore method (refers to: how to upgrade laptop drive via backup and restore). To be specific: backup M.2 SSD, replace smaller M.2 SSD with larger one, and then restore image to the larger M.2 SSD. 

Frequently asked questions about clone M2 to M2

1. How do I clone NVMe SSD to another NVMe SSD?

Similar to clone M2 to M2, you just need to a reliable disk cloning software that supports cloning NVMe SSD disk. AOMEI Backupper Professional is a great option. 

2. Is m2 faster than SSD?

The answer is YES. Usually, the transfer speed of SATA SSD is up to 600MB/s while M.2SSD may vary from 1000MB/s to 2000MB/s. If your SSD supports PCIe x2 bus, its transfer speed is around 1000MB/s. If your SSD supports PCIe x4 bus but does not use NVMe protocol, the transfer speed is about 1500MB/s. If it supports both PCIe X4 bus and NVMe Protocle, its transfer speed will be up to 2000MB/s.

3. Is NVMe and M 2 the same?

NVMe and M.2 are closely linked, but they are different. NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is an interface protocol mainly used for M.2 form factor while M.2 is a newly modern type of internally mounted expansion card that directly connect to the motherboard using M.2 connector slot

Summing Up

To clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD safely, you need to first check that the new M.2 SSD drive is compatible with your motherboard and carefully install the drive correctly. Next, use powerful M.2 cloner like AOMEI Backupper Professional to clone the disk ensuring that it will boot without any issues. 

As a matter of fact, this software is still a free SSD clone software, whch allows you to clone all kinds of SSDs to another one, such as, clone NVMe M.2 SSD, clone M.2 PCIe SSD, clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD, clone SSD to Samsung M.2 SSD, etc.

If you are using Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019 (including R2), SBS 2003, 2008, 2011, please try AOMEI Backupper Server and follow the same steps above, and more advanced features provided, command line backup/restore/clone, universal restore, real time file sync, etc.