By Delia / Last update December 13, 2021

Upgrade NVMe SSD via cloning

NVMe, short for non-volatile memory express, is the fastest SSDs with low data latencies in the market, which can help you speed up your computer. But after a long period of use, you may find that your computer speed drops and the disk space is insufficient. That's because you install many new apps and games on your computer. Therefore, some users want to clone NVMe SSD to larger NVMe SSD.

It's a wise choice to clone NVMe SSD drive, because cloning can free users from reinstalling Windows 11/10/8/7 and previous installed apps. Also, cloning can keep users important files intact.


What you need for cloning NVMe SSD

In order to transfer all data to or from NVMeSSD without reinstalling, first you need a professional NVMe SSD cloner. And there are also some criteria to be met in the selection of it.

Once having experienced the high performance of NMVe, you may not want to switch to other types of SSDs, so replacing the NMVe SSD with a larger NMVe SSD may be the most common scenario,  but you cannot rule out the case where the target SSD is smaller. In such cases, a cloning software that supports cloning disks of different sizes would be a convenient choice.

Also, since booting from NVMe PCIe SSDs is only supported on UEFI-based systems, your NVMe must be partitioned with GPT to support UEFI booting, and the cloning software you use should also support GPT disks.

With these information, I recommned you AOMEI Backupper Professional to complete the NVMe SSD cloning job. It supports both MBR and GPT data & system disks, and gives you options to clone entire disk, selected partitions or only operating system. With the intelligent-sector and partition editing capabilities, you can also clone NVMe SSD to larger drive or smaller drive easily.

Here's a free trial for you:

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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What if there is only one NMVe slot in a laptop

Q: How to clone NVMe M2 to larger NMVe 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. How to do in such situations?

First, if you still want to migrate your system and data via disk cloning way, then you need a M. 2 SSD to USB adapter or M.2 NVME SSD enclosure to connect the second drive.

nvme adapter

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 system image of the old NVMe SSD and restore it to the newer drive.

I will illustrate both the methods below:

How to clone NVMe drive 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 example uses the example of cloning NVMe SSD to a larger NVMe SSD.

Before you start:

  • Install the new SSD or connect it via connect, 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.

How to clone NVMe SSD to another NVMe SSD:

Step 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.

Select Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the source NVMe SSD, and select the target SSD on the next page.

Select NVMe SSD

Step 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.

Clone NVMe SSD to NVMe SSD

Normally it does not require a reboot and then the NVMe SSD clone will be finished within Windows. If some applications prevent AOMEI Backupper from accessing the source drive, then it will clone NVMe drive under Restart mode. When the cloning process is complete, you can shut down the PC, and replace the SSD with the larger one. Then you can boot your computer from the cloned NVMe SSD.

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 migrate NVMe SSD with only one slot in laptop

If your computer has only one slot for NVMe drive as most of the laptops, and you do not have a connection adapter, you can choose to create an image backup of the current SSD, and then restore to the new SSD.

In the following guide, I will complete the entire process via AOMEI Backupper, which is also a backup and restore tool for Windows.

How to migrate NVMe SSD with only one slot:

Step 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 operating system, choose "System Backup" then. You can save the backup image on a removable device or network location.

Select Disk Backup

Step 2. When the backup is done, click “Tools” >”Create bootable media” to make a bootable media that can boot your computer into WinPE.

Create Bootable Media

Step 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.

install nvme

Step 4. Connect the created bootable media, restart your computer and press the specific key (like F2, ESC) during 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.

Step 5. Click “Restore” -> Select Image Backup to locate the created image. Then restore the disk backup to the new NVMe disk following the wizard.

Restore Image to NVMe SSD

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. 

Wrap up

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 guarante 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. Even 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.