By Ivy / Last update October 28, 2022

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Basic Information of 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, M.2 SSDs are known for their small size and fast speeds.

960 Pro M.2 SSD

User Case: Need to Clone M.2 SSD

How to Copy M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD?

"Hi all, currently I have my OS on my old M.2 SSD and games/other files spread across some other HDDs.  I'd like to remove the need for HDDs and simply have a new M.2 SSD with my OS on, and a Sata SSD for my games/other files. What is the easiest way to clone HDD/SSD to M.2 SSD? "

If you are like the user in the case and want to replace or upgrade the old SSD with a new or larger one, you may need a reliable disk cloning software to help you complete this operation. The software provided in this article can help you transfer your OS or files to M.2 SSD with just a few clicks. It also ensures that you can safely boot your computer from the cloned M.2 SSD without encountering any boot issues. Read on for more details.

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 a very slow response. 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.

  • It clones everything (including Windows OS, installed programs, and personal files, etc.) from an M.2 SSD drive to a new M.2 SSD, so you don't need to reinstall Windows.
  • It applies to all brands of M.2 SSD, such as Samsung M.2 SSD, Crucial M.2 SSD, SanDisk M.2 SSD, WD M.2 SSD, etc. Besides SSD, it also supports all brands of HDD.
  • The SSD Alignment feature it provides can accelerate and improve the overall performance of M.2 SSDs.

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

Here is the step-by-step guide to safely clone SSD to 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.

Preparations for Cloning M.2 SSD to Larger M.2 SSD

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

  1. Prepare an M.2 clone adapter to connect the larger M.2 SSD with the machine if there is only one M.2 slot on your computer. 
  2. Initial the M.2 SSD in Disk Management and format with MBR or GPT partition style according to your demands.

Stepwise Guide to Clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD

 Video tutorial on how to clone  M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD:

★ Note:  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 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

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 small amount of time, but the more data on the source drive, the longer time it will take. Because the cloning time depends on the transfer speed of both M.2 SSD and data size of the source M.2 SSD drive.

★Helpful Tips
1. Sector by sector clone: It enables you to clone all the sectors (blocks) on the source M.2 SSD even if it’s a blank or bad sector, and much longer time it will take. Uncheck this option will skip the bad sectors if there exist, which helps to clone failing hard drive to prevent data loss.
2. Edit Partitions: You could click this option to fully use the storage space after cloning M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD or change partition style of the destination disk. There are four options that you may need:
 Copy without resizing partitions: don't check this option if you are cloning smaller disk to larger disk, or there will be unallocated space left. If there is unallocated space left, 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: it’s selected by default to help you make full use of storage space on the larger destination drive.
◑ Manually adjust partition size: you can resize each partition based on your needs.
◑ Convert the destination disk from MBR/GPT to GPT/MBR: if you are cloning MBR disk to GPT disk or vice versa, you can use this option to make the two disks have the same partition style.

Edit Partitions

Now you have mastered cloning M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD. Besides, AOMEI Backupper enables you to clone a specific partition to the target disk using the Partition Clone function or clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD (just make sure the smaller SSD can hold all the data from the larger HDD).

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 has only one M.2 slot: shut down your computer, remove the old M.2 SSD, and replace it 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

* 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 the backup and restore method. To be specific, you can backup M.2 SSD, replace smaller M.2 SSD with larger one, and then restore image to the larger M.2 SSD. Refer to how to upgrade laptop drive via backup and restore to get detailed information.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cloning M.2 SSD

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

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

2. Is M.2 faster than SATA SSD?

The answer is YES. Usually, the transfer speed of SATA SSD is up to 600MB/s while M.2 SSD 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 Protocole, 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 all-around SSD clone software, which 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 are provided, like PXE boot tool, full server backup, etc.