By Ailsa / Last Updated December 20, 2019

"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?"

What is an M.2 SSD?

Before learning how to clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD, you may want to know these information about M.2 SSD. As manufacturing techniques have improved, components have become smaller and smaller which has allowed for the development of ultraportable devices such as Ultrabooks and tablets. In keeping with the trend for smaller and ever thinner devices, SSDs have undergone a revolution and are now smaller than ever before in order to fit a wide variety of different devices according to their physical expansion interface.

960 Pro M.2 SSD

SATA (or mSATA) SSDs use the PCI Express Mini Card physical card layout and connectors, which is now widely used in the SSDs market. However, M.2 SSDs (formerly known as Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) SSDs) are smaller and more suited for modern ultraportable devices 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.

Why clone smaller M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD?

Generally speaking, many small devices like laptops, Ultrabooks, and tablets use a small capacity SSD drive as their boot drive and slower HDDs for storage. Once you have the OS, applications, and games installed, you’ll soon find that the drive has run out of space. To fix this you will need to clone your M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD drive to get more space and speed up your system. After cloning your short boot time will return and the computers performance will speed-up.

To clone your drive, you can use the specialist ‘M.2 SSD cloner’ in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP - AOMEI Backupper Professional - that clones Windows OS’s, installed programs, and personal files from a smaller M.2 SSD drive to another larger M.2 SSD without damaging the data.

How to Copy M.2 SSD to Larger M.2 SSD Step by Step?

As mentioned above, AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition can help you clone your M.2 SSD – below is a step by step guide. Before you start to clone your old M.2 SSD, you’ll need to make sure that the new M.2 SSD is compatible with your laptops or desktop PCs motherboard.

Preparations for transferring M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD:

1. Before you start, please make sure the M.2 SSD is the correct type of M.2 SSD for your computer.

2. Install M.2 SSD correctly. In the first place, please disconnect battery or cut off the power supply. On a laptop, open M.2 slot, slide and fix the SSD. On a desktop, open the main box cover, find the M.2 connector (labeled with SATA/PCLe), and install the SSD.

Notice: If there is only one M.2 slot on your computer, it is suggested to first connect the target M.2 SSD with machine using M.2 to USB adapter. Please note that the cloning operation might be easier to failure than directly install through this way due to connection issues.

Clone M.2 SSD to another step by step:

Step 1. Install and run the program, on the main interface, at the “Clone” tab, select “Disk Clone”. To move operating system to another M.2 SSD only, click "System Clone" then.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the original (the smaller one) M.2 SSD 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

Helpful tips: If there is any data on the destination disk it will be erased during the cloning process. You should backup any important data first using AOMEI Backupper.

Step 4. In the ‘Operation Summary’ window select ‘SSD Alignment’ and then click ‘Start Clone’ to continue.

Disk Clone Preview Align Ssd Checked

Helpful tips: you can click on ‘Edit Partitions’ to resize the partitions on the destination disk. Usually, you will find that the first option has been selected automatically and that there is still unallocated space available. This is a normal problem that many users face when cloning disks to a larger one. To allocate the unallocated space to one of the partitions you need to select either the second or third options from the menu.

Edit Partitions

Now wait for a few minutes while the operation completes. Usually, this only take a short amount of time, but larger disks can take longer as it depends on the size of the original drive.

Step 5. After the cloning process has finished, shut down your computer and remove the old M.2 SSD replacing it with the newly cloned larger M.2 SSD, or change boot priority to the cloned drive. Remember to replace the mounting screws to secure the drive in your machine.

Install M.2 SSD

Now you have mastered cloning an M.2 SSD to a larger one, you might want to try cloning a larger SSD to smaller drive either by moving only the operating system, only cloning a specific partition to the target disk using the ‘partition clone’ function, or even cloning a hard drive to a different partition style (GPT to MBR or vice versa).

Another secure way to perform M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD migration when there is only one M.2 slot is that you can backup M.2 SSD, replace smaller M.2 SSD with larger one, and then restore image to that disk. AOMEI Backupper Professional could do the same task. For detailed steps, please refer to how to upgrade laptop drive via backup and restore.

The End

In general, in order to clone your M.2 SSD to a larger M.2 SSD you need to first check that the new drive is compatible with your PCs motherboard and carefully install the drive correctly. Next, use specialist disk cloning software like AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition to clone the disk ensuring that it will boot without any issues.

If you are using a Server version of Windows, you will need to download AOMEI Backupper Server Edition rather than the Professional version and follow the same steps above.