How to Clone PCIe NVMe SSD
“I have a Samsung laptop with a 250GB PCIe NVMe SSD, and there is no enough space to store files and documents. And I don’t know how to clone a PCIe SSD without reinstalling Windows systems and applications. Please give me some advices, thanks.”
As you know, M.2 SSD uses three types of computer bus interface: PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express, PCI Express), SATA and USB. M.2 PCIe SSD use NVME (Non-Volatile Memory Express), which allows the SSD running faster than ever other SSDs. Hence, M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD is faster than SATA SSD, M.2 SATA SSD.
Does Your Motherboard Supports PCIe Slot?
If you want to clone your current SSD to PCIE SSD, you have to make sure the motherboard has the PCIE slot. You could turn to the manufacturer for help or search the model on Google, then it will show the specifications of your motherboard do supports PCIe slot or not. Like the below picture.
Here is the way to find your motherboard model:
Press Win + R key combination, and hit Enter.
Input msinfo32 and hit Enter to go System Information.
Go to System Summary -> System Model.
The Value for System Model is the motherboard model.
Best Free M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Cloner
Cloning NVMe SSD to another one is a big task, so it’s highly recommended to use the NVMe SSD cloner to transfer everything safely, including Windows operating system, installed programs, personal documents, and other settings.
AOMEI Backupper Standard is such a free NVMe SSD cloner for you to clone NVMe SSD to NVMe SSD with a few clicks in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10/11. Before cloning PCIe SSD, you may want to download it on your computer.
How to Clone M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD in Windows 7/8/10/11
A new larger M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD that your computer support.
USB to PCIe M.2 adapter. Using it to clone M.2 SSD with only one slot if your computer has only one slot for hard drive.
Anti-static wrist strap (optional) to help reduce the risk of electrostatic damage to the system, and it’s cheap.
2. Steps to Clone PCIe SSD to Larger SSD without Reinstalling Everything
Now, let go ahead. The detailed steps are listed below, just refer to these words to clone M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD to larger M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7:
1. Connect the larger M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD to your computer via USB to PCIe M.2 adapter. And verify it can be detected.
2. Launch SSD cloning freeware AOMEI Backupper after installing, click Clone -> Disk Clone on the main window.
3. Choose the original smaller M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD as the source disk, then hit Next.
4. Select the larger M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD as the destination location to save all the files from source PCIe SSD, press Next.
5. Tick SSD Alignment option to optimize the performance for M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD drive. Click Start Clone to clone PCIe SSD to larger PCIe SSD.
Also, you can use Sector by sector clone to keep the old partition layout or Edit Partitions to adjust the partition size on the destination disk. And the latter one is more practical since it resolves two potential issues during the cloning process.
#1: The cloned drive not show full capacity.
By default, all the cloning software makes an exact copy of the source disk unless you change the partition size while cloning. To prevent this from the beginning, try the following 3 options. And the last two options are available on the Professional version.
👉 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.
#2: The cloned drive not bootable after cloning.
One of the biggest reason is the destination and source disk has different partition style and you don't convert them to the same before cloning. In this situation, you can simply check Convert the destination disk from MBR to GPT or vice versa, depending on the disk partition styles of them.
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).
- Similarly, check the disk partition tyle of the destination disk. If it is still MBR, you can clone PCIe for free. To clone GPT to GPT (eg: clone NVMe to NVMe), MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR, try a professional version.
Wait for 30 minutes or so, Clone PCIe SSD to larger PCIe SSD will be completed successfully, and the cost time depends on the data size on your source M.2 PCIe SSD.
3. How to boot from the cloned M.2 PCIe SSD
If you cloned M.2 SSD with only one slot:
Then use the anti-static wrist strap and the screwdriver to take out the original PCIe SSD drive carefully.
Put the larger M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD drive into the SSD slot.
Boot your computer from the larger M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.
If you cloned M.2 SSD with more than one slot:
Restart your computer to enter BIOS.
Change boot order to make the larger M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD as the first boot device.
Restart to boot from the cloned M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.
If you cloned MBR HDD to GPT SSD (only supported in AOMEI Backupper Professional), it’s essential for you to change the boot mode from Legacy to UEFI to make the cloned SSD bootable. On contrast, you may need to change UEFI to Legacy.
How to clone M.2 SSD with only one slot
As mentioned eariler, you can use USB to PCIe M.2 adapter to connect hard drive for cloning if your computer only has one slot. However, if you cannot find such adapter to connect your M.2 SSD disk, you still can use an SATA diskor USB to SATA adapter for middleman. You can follow the following steps to clone M.2 SSD with only one slot.
1. Connect your SATA disk via USB to SATA adapter. Then, be sure it's recognized.
2. Launch MVME clone software - AOMEI Backupper Stanadard, then clone M.2 SSD to SATA disk with its Disk Clone feature.
3. Shut down your computer completely and swap the old and new M.2 SSD disk.
4. After that, restart your computer, change the cloned SATA disk as the first boot option and boot from it.
5. Then, launch MVME clone software - AOMEI Backupper Stanadard again, clone the SATA disk to NVME SSD with the Disk Clone feature.
Some brands of SSD comes with built-in data migration software to help you clone PCIe SSD. However, it’s limited to migrate data to other brands of SSDs. AOMEI Backupper is suitable for any brands of HDD/SSD, like Intel, Samsung, WD, Kingston, Crucial, Toshiba etc.
Besides, you could clone Windows 7/8/10/11 only, or create disk backup, then restore the backup image to the larger SSD, or restore to dissimilar hardware computer, etc.
For server users, you could try AOMEI Backupper Server or Technician Plus edition.