By Ivy / Last update June 14, 2022

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About M.2 solid state drive (SSD)

M.2 SSD is a solid state drive, known as the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF), which is especially designed for small devices like Ultrabooks or Tablets. Here are some features of it.

  1.  Has smaller size, high-performance, lower consumption.
  2. More flexible to use with many board size options.
  3. Support PCIe, SATA and USB interface.

M.2 SSD

Why clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD drive?

Here are 3 main reasons in the following why do you want to clone M.2 SSD to another M.2 SSD.

  1. Get larger capacity. Typically, the brand computers will install an M.2 SSD drive as boot disk, however, it will be filled up eventually after a long time use. So you may want to clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD drive to expand disk space.

  2. Get better performance. You may find that your computer run smoothly at first, but it will get slower and slower after a period of time. That is because your computer does not have enough space and you need a bigger M.2 SSD.

  3. Replace the damaged disk. Owing to many unexpected error, such as, virus, hardware failure, your disk may be corrupted. In this situation, clone failing hard drive to prevent data loss and replace the old disk with the new one could be the best choice.

Then, you may want to know which is the best free M.2 cloning software? Please keep reading to learn more.

The best free M.2 SSD cloner - AOMEI Backupper

To be honest, there are so many M.2 drive duplicators you can find on the Internet, but it’s difficult to distinguish which one is the best. Here, It's strongly recommended to try the free M.2 clone software - AOMEI Backupper Standard, because its advantages are in the following.

Offer "Disk Clone" to help you clone HDD to SSD in Windows successfully, even to a smaller one. You can also copy a particular partition via "Partition Clone".
◑ Improve the performance of M.2 SSD disk and its lifespan with the powerful feature “SSD Alignment”.
◑ Support cloning all branded M.2 SSD disk, such as WD M.2 SSD, Samsung M.2 SSD, SanDisk M.2 SSD, etc. It also supports different disk types like PCIe, NVMe or SATA.
Support all the Windows PC operating systems, including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit).
Ensure secure boot after cloning M.2 to M.2.

How to clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7

Below text, we will describe to you how to clone SSD to M.2 for free with the best M.2 SSD cloner. The overall operation steps are divided into two parts.

#1. Preparations before cloning M.2 SSD

  1. Check if your computer has an M.2 connector. Usually, it’s a horizontal slot about an inch wide labled with “PCIe” or “SATA” or both. If there is, please prepare an M.2 SSD drive, preferably bigger.
  2. Prepare an M.2 clone adapter if you want to clone M.2 SSD with only one hard drive slot in your computer. Then install and initialize new M.2 SSD in Disk Management.

M.2 SATA SSD to USB Adapter

  1. Set the PCI Express X4_3 Slot Bandwidth to “M.2 Mode” and Storage Boot Option Control to UEFI in BIOS, or your computer cannot recognize the M.2 SSD as a new storage device.
  2. Your Windows computer installed the smaller M.2 SSD.
  3.  Free download the M.2 drive duplicator - AOMEI Backupper Standard.
Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download 

#2. Steps to clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD

Now, see below and learn the detailed steps to clone M.2 SSD to larger M.2 SSD with M.2 cloner in Windows 11/10/8/7.

1. Connect the larger M.2 SSD to your computer via M.2 clone adapter and make sure it can be detected. Open the M.2 SSD clone software to enter its main interface after the installation. Select Clone > Disk Clone in turn.

Select Disk Clone

Note: The Standard edition only supports cloning system disk from MBR to MBR. To clone a disk containing OS from MBR to GPT, GPT to MBR or GPT to GPT, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or higher editions. You can also clone Windows 10 operating system to M.2 SSD without any issues via the System Clone feature in Pro edition.

2. Choose the smaller M.2 SSD drive as the source disk to clone, go to Next.

Choose Smaller M2 SSD

3. Select the larger M.2 SSD as the destination disk, go Next.

Select Larger M2 SSD

4. Tick SSD Alignment to optimize the performance for M.2 SSD disk and click Start Clone to perform M.2 clone safely with M.2 SSD cloner. 

Start Clone

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 later 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 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. 

Add Unused Space

#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 their disk partition styles. 

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).

Disk Partition Style

  • Similarly, check the disk partition tyle of the destination disk. If it is still MBR, you can clone hard drive from bootable USB for free. To clone GPT to GPT (eg: clone NVMe to NVMe), MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR, try professional version.

Tips:
👉 Besides cloning, you can choose to backup M.2 SSD drive to external hard drive, then restore disk image to larger M.2 SSD. If it is not bootable, you need a  WinPE bootable media or recovery environment created by AOMEI Backupper.
👉 This software is still an M.2 NVMe SSD cloner, so you can use it to clone M.2 NVMe SSD, clone PCIe SSD, clone NVMe to NVMe SSD, clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD, clone M.2 SATA to M2 NVMe, etc. 

How to boot from the cloned M.2 SSD

After cloning M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD, you may need to boot from the cloned M.2 SSD. If you don't know how to make it, please refer to the following steps:

1. Remove the mounting screw from the M.2 slot and take out the old M.2 SSD.

2. Plug the new M.2 SSD into the slot and pay attention to the notch.

Install M2 SSD

3. Secure the M.2 SSD with the mounting screw removed earlier. Then, replace the back panel.

4. Start your computer and press the specified key in the initial screen (eg: F2, ESC) to access BIOS, then make sure that the PCI Express X4_3 Slot Bandwidth is M.2 mode and Storage Boot Option Control is UEFI. After that, save the changes and exit BIOS.

M2 Mode

Now, you could boot from the cloned M.2 SSD drive and use your computer as normal.

In the end

To clone M 2 SSD to M 2 SSD effortlessly, you need a great M.2 SSD cloner like AOMEI Backupper. It could not only clone hard drive with secure boot, but also improve the performance of your computer. On its advanced version, you are allowed to adjust the partition size of destination disk and fix the cloned hard drive show wrong size.

If you want to protect unlimited PCs and Servers, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus to enjoy more advanced features, like command line utility to backup/restore/clone, migrate OS to SSD, restore to dissimilar hardware computer, delete old backup images after exceeding the backup number to retain, etc.