How to Clone Windows 10, 11 to NVMe SSD (Step by Step Guide)

NVMe SSDs can be the perfect upgrade for your Windows 10/11 system and it is now easier than ever to clone Windows 10/11 OS to NVMe drive with a few simple steps.


By Teresa Updated on May 22, 2024

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What is NVMe?

NVMe, short for Non-Volatile Memory express, is the new standard host controller interface for connecting solid-state drives (SSD). It was first introduced in 2011 and now is built in as standard in many computers. Due to its high speed and low latency, many users would like to clone their boot drives to NVMe SSDs to improve their computers' performance.


This article will show you how to clone your Windows 10/11 OS to an NVMe SSD. Booting Windows from an NVMe SSD is now super fast as Microsoft has optimized Windows to take full advantage of the new technology.

Actually, NVMe is becoming the new industry standard for servers, laptop or desktop PCs, and even next-gen gaming consoles. So you can choose to clone SSD to NVMe M.2 in Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or Windows Server 2008 (R2), 2012 (R2), and 2016 as all the systems are supported. 

Newer systems since Windows 8.1 have an NVMe driver built-in (such as Windows 11 and Windows Server 2016), whereas, if you want to use an NVME drive in Windows 7 or other older systems you will need to download an NVMe driver from the SSD manufacturers’ website first.

Quick Navigation:
👉 Requirements to boot from an NVMe SSD
👉 Specialized NVMe SSD cloning software
👉 How to clone Windows 10/11 to an NVMe drive without reinstalling🔥
👉 Bonus tip: How to clone NVMe SSD with only one slot
👉 Frequently asked questions about SSD to NVMe Clone

Requirements to boot from an NVMe SSD

If you want to use an NVMe SSD as a boot drive, you need to make sure your computer meets the requirements below:

  • Newer computer hardware. Though NVMe is compatible with older computers, it works better with Skylake chipset or later.

  • An M.2 PCI-E x4 slot. If your motherboard was launched a long time ago and can't meet the condition, you may need a PCIe x4 adaptor.

  • UEFI firmware. Booting from an NVMe SSD is only supported on systems that support UEFI.

  • UEFI boot mode. If your computer is booting in Legacy boot mode, please change Legacy to UEFI mode in BIOS after you have transferred Windows 10/11 to the NVMe drive.

Specialized NVMe SSD cloning software

When you decide to clone HDD to NVMe or clone SATA SSD to NVMe, choosing the right specialist drive cloning software will save you lots of time and effort. Here we recommend you AOMEI Backupper Professional, because it has a range of excellent features to make the process smooth and ensure the SSD’s performance.

AOMEI Backupper
Easy NVMe Cloning Software
  • It offers the ‘Disk Clone’ feature to help you clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD as long as the new SSD is larger than the data you want to transfer.

  • It is embedded with the ‘System Clone’ feature which allows you to migrate only the OS to an NVMe SSD.

  • It owns the ‘SSD Alignment’ feature to help improve SSD performance and prolong its lifespan.

  • It is able to clone from a GPT disk to GPT disk or clone from an MBR disk to GPT disk while ensuring the destination GPT disk is bootable.

How to clone Windows 10/11 to an NVMe drive without reinstalling

This part will show you the detailed steps to clone Windows 10/11 to an NVMe drive. These steps apply to cloning HDD to NVMe and cloning SSD to NVMe (eg: clone SATA SSD to M.2 NVMe SSD).


Before you migrate Windows 10/11 to NVMe SSD, please do the following things in advance.

1. Connect your NVMe SSD to the M.2 PCI-E x4 slot on your computer.

Install NVMe SSD

2. Backup any important data on the target NVMe SSD because all the data will be overwritten during the cloning process.

3. (Optional) If the NVMe SSD is an MBR disk, initialize it as a GPT disk so that it can boot from UEFI boot mode.

Initialize SSD

Clone Windows to NVMe (3 steps)

1. Install and launch this disk clone softwareUnder Clone tab, select Disk Clone to clone hard drive to NVMe.

Disk Clone

2. Click on the current boot drive to select it as the source disk and then select the NVMe SSD as the destination disk.

Select Disk

3. Check the SSD Alignment option which will fix any SSD alignment issues you could face and then click on Start Clone to begin the process of HDD or SSD to NVMe SSD clone.

Start Clone

The cloning process is running in the background, you will still be able to use your computer as normal. Just wait patiently until the process finishes.

💡 Tips:

  • To only move OS to an NVMe SSD, you can choose "System Clone" in Step 2. 
  • If you want to clone operating system to an NVMe SSD without loading Windows, you may turn to "Create Bootable Media" feature. That is also suitable when system refuses to boot normally.
  • If you want to clone Windows 10 to new computer, you need to be sure the hardware on both computers is very similar. Otherwise, you may encounter boot error after cloning.
  • If you want to perform disk clone or system migration on multiple computers conveniently, you could upgrade to Technician or Technician Plus version to create a portable version of AOMEI Backupper on removable device, then connect it to any target computer for direct use.

Boot from the cloned NVMe SSD

If you don't know how to boot from the cloned NVMe SSD or want to check if it's bootable, please refer to the following steps.

1. Shut down your computer completely.

2. Restart your computer and press the specified key to enter the BIOS. The key is usually F2, Del, ESC, F10, etc. 

3. Go to the Boot option and set the cloned NVMe SSD as the first boot device. Then, keep the changes you made and boot from it.

Set New SSD as Boot Drive

If your computer boots successfully from the cloned SSD, you will be able to enjoy the fast speeds and performance it offers! Then, you can consider wiping the old drive for reuse.

Bonus tip: How to clone NVMe SSD with only one slot

If you want to clone NVMe to NVMe SSD but your computer has only one slot, there are two methods for your reference:

Method 1. Using an M.2 to PCIe adapter

Buy an M.2 to PCIe adapter and use it to connect the second NVMe SSD to your computer externally. Then, perform disk clone as mentioned above.

Method 2. Run backup and restore

AOMEI Backupper also works as a backup manager with powerful backup and restore features. If your computer has only one M.2 slot, you can use these steps to clone NVMe SSD to NVMe SSD:

  • Backup the original NVMe SSD to an external drive.
  • Create a bootable USB stick to start the computer after switching NVMe drives.
  • Replace old NVMe SSD with new NVMe SSD.
  • Boot your computer from the bootable USB and restore the backup image to the newly installed NVMe SSD.

Frequently asked questions about SSD to NVMe Clone

1. Can I install Windows 10 on NVMe SSD?

As mentioned earlier, if you want to clone HDD or SSD to NVMe and boot from it, there are some basic requirements that need to be satisfied. They are: Newer computer hardware, M.2 PCI-E x4 slotUEFI firmware and UEFI boot mode.

2. Can I put m 2 SATA to m2 NVMe?

The answer may be different due to the key of your SATA protocle. If the SATA protocol has the M key and/or B key, you can put it to NVMe. If it does not have either the M or B key, but others instead, you cannot. 

3. Is NVMe and M 2 the same?

The NVMe and M2 is not exactly the same. For NVMe, it's a protocol with faster transfer speed,  5 or 6 times than traditional SATA protocol. For M2, it's a more modern type of internally mounted expansion card using SATA or PCIe interface.


Many users would like to clone Windows 10 to NVMe SSD for its high speed and low latency. To simplify the process, specialist disk cloning software AOMEI Backupper could be a big help. It enables you to clone HDD or SSD to NVMe SSD with several clicks, or even transfer the operating system only.

In addition, it's still a remarkable backup and restore software, which can help you protect your disk and data on it by creating a disk backup on external hard drive. Once something bad happens, you can restore the disk image to new hard drive and use it to replace the old disk. 

Teresa · Editor
Joined AOMEI in 2015, Teresa has become an expert in the areas of data backup and migration. She shares her insights on setting up full protection for a Windows PC/Server and performing hard drive cloning. With a sharp focus on the latest technological trends, she ensures that the information shared is consistently aligned with the ever-evolving developments in the industry.