By Ailsa / Last Updated September 17, 2020

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The Problem to Clone M.2 SSD

How to Clone M.2 SSD to Another One?

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 (PCIe) 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, then you will:

  • Get more storage space.

  • Speed up your system.

  • Get shorter boot time.

To clone to M.2 SSD, you could try the specialist M.2 SSD cloner in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP - AOMEI Backupper Professional - that clones Windows OS, installed programs, and personal files from a smaller M.2 SSD drive to another larger M.2 SSD without affecting the original OS and data.

How to Clone M.2 SSD to New larger M.2 SSD in Windows 10/8/7?

As mentioned above, AOMEI Backupper Professional will help you clone your M.2 SSD easily and safely, below is a step by step guide.

Before you start to transferring M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD, do the following:

1. Make sure that the new larger M.2 SSD is compatible with your laptops or desktop PCs motherboard, or consult your computer manufacturer.

2. Install the larger 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/PCIe), and install the SSD.

3. Prepare an M.2 to USB adapter to connect the larger M.2 SSD with machine if there is only one M.2 slot on your computer.

4. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional 30 day free trial and have it a go (Clone feature in free trial can only be demonstrated):

Safely Clone M.2 SSD to Larger M.2 SSD Step by Step

Step 1. Perform this M.2 SSD cloner after installation, select Clone tab on the main interface,and then choose Disk Clone. Click System Clone to move operating system only to another M.2 SSD if you prefer.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the original smaller 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

Tips: If there is any data on the destination M.2 disk it will be erased during the cloning process. Please backup files or folders that value to you first.

Step 4. Tick SSD Alignment to speed up for M.2 SSD in the Operation Summary window, and then press Start Clone to safely clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD.

Disk Clone Preview Align Ssd Checked

Usually, this only take a short amount of time, but the larger the disk is, the longer time will be cost as it depends on the data size of the original drive.

★Helpful Tips:
1. Sector by sector clone: It enables you to clone all the sectors (blocks) on the source disk even it’s blank or bad sector, and much longer time will spend. Uncheck this option will skip the bad sectors if there exists.
2. You could click on Edit Partitions to resize the partitions on the destination disk. There are three options that you may need:
Copy without resizing partitions: it’s selected by default. There will be an unallocated space available after cloning smaller disk to larger disk if this option checked. You could merge unallocated space to C drive or other existing partitions, or even create a new partition to store data separately.
Add unused space to all partitions.
Manually adjust partition size.
If you would like to adjust the partition size during the cloning process, please select the second option or third option.

Edit Partitions

How to Boot from Cloned Larger M.2 SSD?

After the cloning process has finished, 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 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 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.

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

Summing Up

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 powerful hard drive cloning software like AOMEI Backupper Professional to clone the disk ensuring that it will boot without any issues.

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.