Case: how do I clone NVMe to NVMe?
Anyone wants to clone NVMe to another NVMe may have similar confusion - what's the simplest way to do it? NVME to HDD to NVME clone is too much trouble, especially for users who have only one M.2 slot on the laptop. Think about it, if you use an adapter with SATA, the new NVMe disk can only be connected internally, and you need to use another SATA external disk as a transit.
Luckily, with the method introduced in following sections, you can directly clone NVMe to NVMe with an M.2 to PCIE adapter and reliable hard drive cloning software.
Why clone NVMe to NVMe?
Before taking action, let's go through some basic information about NVMe and determine whether to copy NVMe to NVMe.
First of all, what is NVMe SSD? Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe), operates across the PCle bus, is a communication protocol developed especially for SSDs by a consortium of vendors including Intel, Samsung, SanDisk, Dell, and Seagate. It is a host controller interface for connecting SSDs.
The most outstanding feature of NVMe SSDs is high performance and low latency, i.e. really fast. If your computer was purchased in the recent two years, you may have experienced the insanely running speed.
In this case, many people would like to replace hard drive with an NVMe SSD. But what are the benefits to clone an NVMe SSD to another NVMe SSD, clone M.2 NVMe to M.2 NVMe, for example? Well, there are 2 main reasons:
1. Gain greater storage. Generally speaking, NVMe SSDs do not come with high capacity, the first batch of produced SSDs in particular. More and more files, documents, projects, games, and applications need to be installed. As a result, upgrading smaller NVMe SSD to larger NVME SSD for more space becomes an unavoidable trend.
2. Back up valuable files or transfer data from NVMe to NVMe. From another perspective of view, NVMe SSD clone is a good way to safeguard important data and operating system, and a fast way to transfer files. Anyway, no matter what cause leads you to NVMe cloning, you may want to know how to perform the cloning.
What do you need in NVMe to NVMe cloning?
In general, cloning HDD to NVMe SSD requires you to meet following conditions for secure boot:
However, if you have already run operating system on NVMe SSD, those pre-conditions can be omitted. All you need to pay attention to is following two aspects:
Fortunately, AOMEI Backupper Professional is such an assistant that combines disk clone and disk image features. All Windows operating systems are supported, thus you can clone Windows 10/11 from NVMe to NVME as well as Windows 8/8.1/7/XP/Vista. Free download it and have a try.
For migrating OS to NVMe SSD on Server systems, please refer to AOMEI Backupper Server edition (tutorials are the same).
How to clone SSD to NVMe SSD without reinstalling
Two ways of NVMe SSD data migration will be presented in following paragraphs. Choose the one that suits you most to clone NVMe to NVme with NVMe cloner - AOMEI Backupper Professional.
Method 1: Clone NVMe SSD to another NVMe SSD directly
Step 1. Connect the target NVMe SSD to your machine via M.2 to PCIE adapter and make sure it can be detected. Install and run AOMEI Backupper on your computer as well.
Step 2. Click on Clone and then Disk Clone. to clone NVMe boot drive
Step 3. Choose the source NVMe SSD and the target NVMe SSD. Be sure you’ve chosen the right disk, because the target disk will be override.
Step 4. Here comes the Operation Summary. Set up clone settings and click Start Clone to execute the NVMe clone process.
Edit Partitions: To make full use of unallocated space left on the target disk. It's mainly used to clone disk to larger disk, regardless of HDD or SSD.
SSD Alignment: To accelerate the writing and reading speed of SSD disk and improve its life span using 4K alignment technology.
Sector by Sector clone: To clone all sectors of original disk to target drive with larger or the same disk space. Please note this feature can make "Edit Partitions" disappear.
• To clone SSD to NVMe without booting operating system, it is suggested to create WinPE bootable media with AOMEI Backupper and do the cloning without Windows environment.
• To clone OS to NVMe SSD only, please use the System Clone feature.
• AOMEI Backupper Professional also allows you to clone hard drive in Command Prompt.
Method 2: Clone NVMe to larger NVMe via backup and restore
If you want to clone NVMe SSD with only one slot and you don’t plan to purchase an M.2 adapter, you can complete the cloning without an adapter through another way.
To be specific, backup NVMe SSD and save the image to external hard drive (or flash drive, NAS, shared folder, or anywhere you can access within WinPE mode) in the first place. Then, replace old NVMe SSD with the target empty NVMe SSD manually. Finally, restore the backup image to the newly installed NVMe SSD. Here come the detailed steps to clone NVMe drive to larger NVMe.
Preparations to copy NVMe to NVMe:
A USB drive greater than 8GB in size used to create bootable media.
An external storage, NAS, or network shared folder to store backup image.
Step 1. Run AOMEI Backupper Professional on your computer. Connect the external drive if any.
Step 2. Click on Backup and then Disk Backup. Follow the wizard to create a backup image by choosing source NVMe SSD, external storage, and starting backup successively.
Step 3. Remove the external storage (if any) after the backup process completes. Plug in the USB drive and run AOMEI Backupper again.
Step 4. Click on Tools > Create Bootable Media. Complete the creation with on-screen wizard. It is suggested to choose WinPE mode.
Step 5. Shut down your computer and remove USB drive after that. Replace the original NVMe SSD with the new NVMe SSD manually.
Step 6. Insert the bootable USB drive again. Boot from the USB drive and you’ll enter into WinPE mode and see a loaded AOMEI Backupper. Connect the external drive that contains your backup image to your computer (if any).
Step 7. Click on Restore tab and select the disk backup image. Follow the guide to restore image and make sure you’ve checked SSD Alignments for SSD before restoring. Wait patiently.
Step 8. Eject the bootable media after restoring successfully, and then boot your computer from the new NVMe SSD.
Tip: To restore computer with dissimilar hardware, please tick "Universal Restore" before clicking "Start Restore". This option is available in both disk restore and system restore.
FAQ: How do I make a cloned SSD bootable?
Normally your computer should boot up properly after cloning NVMe to NVMe. However, if you failed to boot from the cloned SSD, we also collect some possible causes:
1. The source disk has bad sectors.
2. The OS corrupted during cloning.
3. Missing cloning boot related drives like system reserved partition.
4. Set wrong drive to boot.
5. MBR & GPT conflict.
For more information about this question, please turn to cloned drive won’t boot in Windows.
That’s all for how to clone NVMe to NVMe in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista. Follow one of them according to your situation. If you are tired of cloning from NVMe to HDD to NVMe, you'd better use M.2 to PCIE adapter instead of M.2 to SATA adapter. The latter can only connect SATA SSD. Other than NVMe SSD cloning, AOMEI Backupper can also be used as IDE to IDE hard drive duplicator. Download freely and give it a shot.
For IT technician, you could use AOMEI Backupper Technician or Technician Plus, which allows you to create portable version of this software and directly run off a USB flash drive without reinstalling. Then, you can clone, backup & restore, sync or use tools in this software.