By Delia / Last update March 11, 2022

What is M.2 SSD?


M.2 SSDs refers a type of solid-state drives that conforms to a computer industry specification which was known as the Next-Generation Form Factor (NGFF) and pronounced M-dot-2. The M.2 specification supports applications such as Wi-Fi, USB, PCle and SATA.

M.2 SSDs are regarded as the replacement of existing mSATA SSDs, though they have different form factors and connectors. M.2 SSDs are rectangular, and comparing to mSATA SSDs, they are faster and can store more data. When you apply an M.2 SSD to computer, make sure that its motherboard supports M.2 slots. Otherwise, you’ll find M.2 SSD not detected in Windows 10 or other operating systems.

Samsung M.2 SSD for hard drive upgrade

Samsung's M.2 Solid State Drive is always the first choice for people who decide to upgrade hard drive to M.2 SSD makes system boot faster with little delay in loading. To experience an instant responding to Windows, it's time to change your clumsy hard disk drive to this most selected M.2 SSD.

Installing M.2 SSD as a boot drive, if you feel reluctant to reinstall Windows operating system or install Windows from scratch, use powerful Samsung M.2 migration software to migrate OS to M.2 SSD without reinstalling Windows or applications.

Free Samsung M.2 clone software for Windows

Samsung provides a free tool Samsung Data Migration to users who want to migrate OS to Samsung SSD. If you only need to clone C: drive to your Samsung SSD, you can use Samsung Data Migration software.

If you want to clone hard drive including recovery partition or other data, you need to choose another tool. Besides, under some circumstances, Samsung Data Migration may fail or stuck at some point. In that case, you need to choose better SSD cloning software. In order to copy hard drive to M.2 solid state drive, the cloning software you use must be reliable. Here are some features that a professional disk cloning tool should have.

✩ Clone hard drive with different sizes. Since generally, an SSD is smaller than an HDD, it must support cloning large disk to a smaller one.
✩ Supports MBR and GPT partition style. Recent computer hardware is using UEFI boot mode by default, so this software must fully support UEFI. It is even better if it can clone MBR to GPT disk (supported by AOMEI Backupper Professional) or back.
✩ Bootable clone. Many users upgrade system disk to M.2 SSD for better performance. The cloning software should clone all boot related drives successfully to ensure secure boot.

Luckily, there is a freeware known as AOMEI Backupper Standard that meets all these requirements. Besides, it even gives you more options in the event of hard drive cloning.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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  • Optimize for the use of SSD. It will take care of 4K alignment for SSD partitions to improve its performance and protect lifespan.

  • Hot clone. You do not need to create a bootable media using a USB drive or CD to perform the clone, and you can clone hard drive with Windows. Therefore, you can still use the computer to do whatever you like while the clone is in process.

  • User-friendly interface. All steps are easy to follow in the lucid interface. Even a computer novice can do a great job. Windows 10, 8.1/8, 7, XP and Vista supported. Free download (100% clean) to have a try.

Before cloning Samsung M.2 SSD

One of the most important steps of Samsung M.2 clone is to make it detected by Windows. Here are some precautions you need to pay attention to.

  1. Make sure your system supports M.2 SSD. Motherboards using the recently released Intel z97 and AMD FX 990 chipsets support M.2 SATA and PCIe SSDs. In addition, there are numerous notebooks already supporting the M.2 SSD. You can check your system specifications and user manual to see if it is compatible with M.2 SSD.
  2. The M.2 spec was designed to accommodate both a SATA and PCIe interface for SSDs. M.2 SATA SSDs will use the same controller currently on typical 2.5 in SATA SSDs. M.2 PCIe SSDs will use a controller specifically designed to support the PCIe protocol.
    An M.2 SSD can only support one protocol, but some computers have M.2 slots, one for SATA, the other for PCIe. You need to connect your M.2 SSD to the right slot or you cannot even see the M.2 SSD in BIOS.
  3. If your M.2 SSD’s communications interface is NVMe and your operating system is Windows 7, you need to install the NVMe on your computer and download the corresponding driver before cloning, because Windows 7 is an old system that does not include driver for NVMe SSD.

Important: when the Samsung M.2 SSD installed successfully and cannot be detected by computer, you may need to do some changes in BIOS.
● Press F5 to open Default settings.
● Press F7 to open Advanced settings.
● Under the Advanced tab, choose Onboard Device Configuration, and then change SATA Mode Configuration to M.2.

Step-by-step Guide: Clone hard drive to Samsung M.2 SSD in Windows 10

After connecting your M.2 SSD to your computer, make sure it is recognized by your computer. If it is shown in Windows Disk Management, then you can follow the steps below to clone hard drive to M.2 SSD.

  1. Install and run this free Samsung M.2 SSD clone software.
  2. At the Home screen, click on “Clone” and then select “Disk Clone”.

Disk Clone

Tip: If you prefer to clone only OS, you can select “System Clone”. It’s the advanced feature in AOMEI Backupper Pro edition, and you can upgrade to professional edition.

  1. Select the original hard drive as source disk and select the M.2 SSD as the destination disk successively.

Select Disk

  1. If your destination disk is large than the source disk, you can click Edit Partitions to resize partitions on the destination disk. Check the option SSD Alignment, and then click “Start Clone” to start the clone.

Start Clone

  1. Shut down computer on completion. You can replace hard drive with cloned M.2 SSD for a direct boot test or simply change boot priority to the M.2 SSD in BIOS, while the first method is recommended.


  • Edit Partitions: support to manage disk space on the M.2 SSD.

  • Sector by sector clone: clone all sectors, used or not, to target disk. It requires target disk equal or larger than the source. It also makes edit partition unusable.


If you prefer to clone via bootable USB disk, the process is the same after you boot from the bootable disk created by AOMEI Backupper. As you can see, besides the ability to clone HDD to M.2 SSD, it also allows you to backup hard drive or restore it when need be.

Besides regarding as Samsung M.2 migration software, AOMEI Backupper is also free backup and restore software. When your computer has only one M.2 slot and you want to clone M.2 disk to a new M.2 SSD, you can backup your hard drive to an external hard drive and then restore it to your new M.2 SSD. Also, you can transfer Windows 10 to NVMe SSD through the same method.