By Yuka / Last update November 1, 2022

Simple Comparison: M.2 SATA SSD and M.2 NVMe SSD


The M.2 form factor (formerly known as the Next Generation Form Factor, or NGFF) is a more modern type of internally mounted expansion card that replaces the previous mSATA (Mini-SATA) standard. Unlike standard HDDs and SSDs, M.2 drives are not connected to the motherboard through a cable, but directly plugged into the motherboard using a dedicated M.2 connector slot. M.2 SSD can be SATA-based, PCIe-based with NVMe or PCIe-based without NVMe.

Here I briefly introduce M.2 SATA SSD and M.2 NVMe SSD. SATA drives tend to be more affordable options compared with NVMe drives. For example, at the time of publication, a WD 1TB SATA SSD retails for around $100, while a WD 1TB NVMe drive starts at around $200. However, NVMe drives are faster than SATA drives. If you plan to transfer a large number of large files or want the highest gaming speed, then the more expensive NVMe SSD is worth the investment.

When Upgrade M.2 SSD on Your Computer?

When will you want to upgrade M.2 SSD? Many users want to replace the original M.2 SATA to a larger M.2 SATA SSD to get more storage space to store more software, games, videos, photos, and documents. What’s more, some of them want to upgrade M.2 SATA SSD to NVMe SSD to get better computer performance. Software and large files on the computer can be loaded faster.

If you use a disk cloning software to help you upgrade M.2 SSD contains Windows on your computer, you can avoid the trouble of reinstalling the operating system, save time and effort, and do not need to manually reconfigure the system to the original settings.

Best M.2 Cloning Software without Boot Issues

The computer's own system does not have a built-in special disk cloning software, so it is particularly important to find a reliable M.2 cloning software to help you upgrade your M.2 SSD. AOMEI Backupper Professional is a powerful third-party software that can help you migrate your system and data to the new M.2 SSD with just a few clicks. It ensures the integrity of the data and ensures that you can safely boot from the new hard drive. See what this powerful software can do for you:

❈ Clone a wide range of hard drives: You can use it to clone HDDs, SATA SSDs, NVMe M.2 SSDs, USB flash drives, and SD cards, etc.
❈ Clone all brands of SSDs: It supports all brands of SSD on the market. You can use AOMEI Backupper to transfer data to Inland SSD, Western Digital SSD, etc.
❈ Different clone methods: You can perform Disk Clone (clone an entire hard disk to another), Partition Clone (clone a partition or volume from one to another) and System Clone (clone or migrate only system to SSD or other disk).
❈ Supports different disk partition styles: It allows you to clone system disks from MBR to MBR, GPT to GPT, MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR. You don't need to convert the partition style.
❈ Clone hard drives of different sizes: It provides you with Intelligent Clone and Sector-by-sector Clone. The former one allows you to clone a larger drive to a smaller drive. The latter one allows you to make a 1:1 copy of the hard drive.

After understanding the brief information of this M.2 SSD cloning software, I will show you how it works when you want to upgrade M.2 SSD without reinstalling Windows. Click the download button below to install it on your computer.

Download DemoWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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How to Upgrade M.2 SSD in Laptop or Desktop

Here, I take the upgrade to larger M.2 SATA SSD as an example to show you how to upgrade M.2 SSD without reinstalling Windows using this software. Before upgrading the M.2 SSD, you need to do some preparations. Follow the detailed steps below.

Note: The data on the target location will be overwritten after the cloning process. If you plan to clone Windows to a used M.2 SSD and there are some important data on it, please backup files in advance.

#1. Install and Initialize New M.2 SSD

  1. Turn off the computer and disconnect the power source. Then install the new M.2 SSD in the laptop/desktop.
  •  If your Laptop/Desktop has only one SSD slot, connect the new M.2 SSD to the computer via M.2 SATA SSD to USB adapter.

M.2 SATA SSD to USB Adapter

  •  If your laptop or desktop contains two SSD slots, open the back cover of the laptop or the computer tower case with a tool, find the M.2 SSD slot. Insert the SSD into the slot, and then fix it with a screwdriver.

Install M.2 SATA SSD

  1. Next, restart your computer. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box, type diskmgmt.msc and click OK to open Disk Management.

Disk Management

  1. Right-click on the new SSD and select Initialize Disk. Set the partition style the same as the source disk (MBR or GPT) and click OK to confirm.

Initialize Disk

#2. Clone M.2 SSD to Larger M.2 SSD without Losing Any Data

After the preparation work is completed, you can use AOMEI Backupper to clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD, please follow the graphic tutorial for details.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper, click Clone in the left panel and select Disk Clone on the right menu.

Disk Clone

Step 2. Select the original M.2 SSD containing Windows as the source disk and click Next.

Source Disk

Step 3. Select the larger M.2 SATA SSD as the destination path to clone the source disk and click on Next.

Destination Disk

Step 4. Then you will see the Operation Summary page. Check SSD Alignment option to improve the writing & reading speed of SSD disk. Confirm all other settings and click Start Clone.

Start Clone

💜 Sector by Sector Clone: it allows you to clone all sectors of a hard drive to another one including the bad sectors or empty sectors. And it will make Edit Partition becomes unavailable.
💜 Edit Partitions: you can adjust partition size of destination disk with this feature to fix the problem the cloned hard drive show wrong size issue. Also, you can use it convert disk type if the destination disk is different from source disk.

 By comparison, the Edit Partitions feature is more practical and you have 4 options in the following. Please select one or more of them if the new M.2 SSD is larger. 

>> 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. 
>> 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. 

Add Unused Space

#3. Safe Boot from Cloned M.2 SSD

  1. To boot from a cloned M.2 SSD: If your computer has only one SSD slot, you should replace the old M.2 SSD with a cloned M.2 SSD; if there are two slots, just insert the cloned M.2 SSD into the empty slot.
  2. Restart PC and press F2/F8/F11 or Del to enter BIOS, and change the boot order to boot from the cloned SSD.

Change Boot Order

  1. Press F10 or save the changes, then restart the computer.


This article tells you in detail how to upgrade M.2 SSD without reinstalling Windows. If you follow the steps and use reliable cloning software, you won't encounter any startup problems. No need to reinstall the system can save you a lot of time and effort, and you don’t need to manually reconfigure the system to its original settings.

With the help of AOMEI Backupper, you can also make full use of your old M.2 SSD. It can also help you to perform HP Omen 30L SSD upgrade, Asus X505ZA SSD upgrade, etc. In addition to the Clone function, it also embeds Backup, Restore and Synchronization functions to provide daily data protection for your computer. What are you waiting for? Try it now!