Why clone NVMe SSD to another drive?
NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express) is the fastest SSDs with low data latencies in the market, which can help you speed up your PC. But after installing a lot of apps and games, you may find that your computer speed drops and the disk space is insufficient. Therefore, you want to upgrade NVMe SSD to another drive, such as a larger NVMe SSD.
Compared with backup & restore, cloning NVMe SSD is a wise choice to keep your important data intact without reinstalling Windows 11/10/8/7 and previously installed apps. But since Windows does not come with a clone feature, you need the help of a specialized tool.
What you need for cloning NVMe SSD?
In order to transfer all data to or from NVMe SSD without reinstalling, first you need a professional NVMe SSD cloner. And there are also some criteria to be met in the selection of it.
With the above information, I recommend AOMEI Backupper Professional for completing the NVMe SSD cloning job.
- It gives you options to clone entire disk, selected partitions or only operating system.
- It supports both MBR and GPT data & system disks.
- With the intelligent-sector and partition editing capabilities, you can clone NVMe drive to larger drive or smaller drive easily.
You can hit the download button below to have a try:
*The cloning feature in free trial is for demonstration only, please upgrade to enjoy full functionality.
What if there is only one NVMe slot in a laptop
Q: How to clone NVMe M2 to larger NVMe with single slot in computer?
My laptop has a single slot Nvme m2 ssd, i would like to clone this to the newly bought larger Nvme m.2 ssd. How can I do this? Is there any option to do it without adapter?
If you have an extra M.2 PCIe slot to connect a second NVMe drive, the whole cloning process would not be much of a problem. However, some computers, especially laptops, have only one PCIe slot that can connect NVMe SSD. What to do in such a situation?
>> If you still want to migrate your system and data via disk cloning way, then you need an M.2 SSD to USB adapter or M.2 NVME SSD enclosure to connect the second drive.
>> If you don't have an adapter and don't want to buy one (just as the user in the above case), you may need to create a full disk image of the old NVMe SSD and restore it to the newer drive.
I will illustrate both the methods below:
How to clone NVMe SSD with extra slot or adapter
Disk cloning is the easiest way for NVMe SSD migration. It can duplicate the OS and all the files from the source drive to target drive directly, eliminating the need to backup and then restore. The following tutorial uses the example of cloning NVMe SSD to a larger NVMe SSD.
Before you start:
- Install the new SSD or connect it via an adapter or enclosure. Make sure it can be detected.
- Install and launch AOMEI Backupper. If there's any important data on the target SSD, backup it first, because the cloning will overwrite everything on it.
Steps to clone NVMe SSD to another NVMe SSD:
1. Navigate to “Clone” and then select “Disk Clone” for NVMe SSD clone. If you want to migrate only OS to SSD, you can choose "System Clone" instead.
2. Select the source NVMe SSD, and select the target SSD on the next page.
3. At the Operation Summary screen, tick "SSD Alignment" to further improve the performance of target NVMe SSD, and optionally, click "Edit Partitions" to resize partitions and assign unallocated space. Then, click “Start Clone” to execute the operation.
👉 Copy without resizing partitions: It will not resize the partition size.
👉 Add unused space to all partitions: It will reallocate the unallocated space to each partition of the target disk, appropriate for the disk size.
👉 Manually adjust partition size: It allows you to extend unallocated space to any partition on the destination disk you want. And it requires you to select a partition and then drag it to the left or right side.
👉 Convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT: It helps to convert the partition style of the destination disk if it is different from the source disk.
💛 Both MBR and GPT are two different disk types for data storage. And you can check its disk properties in Disk Management. The overall steps are below:
- Press Win + R to open the Run window. Then, type diskmgmt.msc and hit OK to open disk management.
- Then, right-click the disk you want to clone and select Properties in the pop-up window.
- In the Properties window, select the Volume tab and confirm the partition style. It can be MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table).
Normally it does not require a reboot and then the NVMe SSD cloning will be finished within Windows. If some apps prevent AOMEI Backupper from accessing the source drive, then it will clone NVMe drive under Restart mode.
The same steps also apply to cloning M.2 SSD, cloning Windows 7 to NVMe SSD, cloning SATA SSD to NVMe SSD, etc.
• For cloning method, it will clone only used sectors by default, which allows you to clone larger drive to smaller drive. To clone all sectors of NVMe SSD indiscriminately, please tick "Sector By Sector Clone" option.
• For cloning NVMe drive to larger NVMe, you cloud consider using "Edit Partitions" feature, which can help you adjust the partition size of destination disk without leaving unallocated space.
• For server users, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Server. It supports all the server system, ranging from server 2003 to 2022.
How to clone M.2 NVMe SSD with only one slot in laptop
If your computer has only one slot for NVMe drive like most laptops, and you do not have an available adapter, you can choose to create an image backup of the current NVMe SSD, and then restore to the new drive.
In the following guide, I will complete the entire process via AOMEI Backupper, which is also a backup and restore tool for Windows.
Steps to migrate NVMe SSD with only one slot:
1. Open AOMEI Backupper. Click “Backup” -> “Disk Backup” and follow the wizard to create a disk image of the NVMe SSD. If you want to transfer only the OS, choose "System Backup" then. You can save the backup on a removable device or network location.
2. When the backup is done, click “Tools” > ”Create bootable media” to make a bootable media that can boot your computer into WinPE.
3. Shutdown the PC, plug out the power cable and other cables. Detach the screws to remove the battery and back panel, so as to take out the old disk. Install the new NVMe SSD, and assemble the back panel again.
4. Connect the created bootable media, restart your computer and press the specific key (like F2, ESC) at startup to enter BIOS, then go to "Boot" tab and set the USB device as the first boot option. Wait patiently and it will load AOMEI Backupper automatically.
5. Click “Restore” -> “Select Image File” to locate the created image. Then restore the disk backup to the new NVMe disk following the wizard.
When the process is complete, you can boot your computer from the new NVMe SSD. When you try to boot the new SSD, do remember to eject the bootable media and change boot order in BIOS.
How to boot from the cloned drive
When the cloning process is complete, you can shut down the PC, and replace the old NVMe SSD with the new one. Then you can boot your computer from the cloned NVMe SSD.
If you have more than one slot, you can also keep the old drive connected as a secondary drive. Just press the BIOS key (depends on make and model) at startup, and select the cloned new drive as the first boot option. If it can boot into Windows normally, then your cloning is successful, and you can decide what to do with the old drive. For example, you can wipe the hard drive and keep it for storage.
If you are still having problems with your startup, please refer to: How to Make Cloned Drive Bootable
Cloning NVMe SSD to NVMe SSD with disk cloning software is a great choice for users who want to upgrade disk to a larger one or get higher performance. Because it can guarantee the normal operation of your system and the integrity of data.
Also, if you want to clone NVMe SSD with only one slot, you can use backup and restore feature. It can acheive the same effect as clone. The only drawback is you need to restore the image before booting Windows. What's more, if you want to restore the system image to dissimilar hardware, you can use the "Universal Restore" feature to make sure the computer is bootable after restoration.