By Bryce / Last Updated January 24, 2019

Need to clone my hard drive with smaller SSD

“I’m planning to replace my existing 500GB boot hard disk drive with a new 256GB solid state drive. The boot disk is installed with Windows 10 and the used space of it is 200GB. As I don’t want to reinstall all the programs and Windows 10 operating system, I want clone my 500GB disk to 256GB disk. Is it possible to clone larger drive to smaller drive?”

Powerful drive cloning software – AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional

It is common to clone boot hard disk drive to solid state drive as the fantastic performance of SSD. If the new drive is larger than or equal to the old drive, it is not tough to clone hard drive to larger drive. But when it comes to cloning to smaller drive, you need to choose hard drive cloning software cautiously as some are unsupportable.

Here AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is my preference. It can clone larger drive to smaller SSD or HDD in Windows 7/8/8.1/10, if the used space of the old drive is not larger than new drive. Put it specifically, if the capacity of the original drive is 1TB and the new drive is 500GB; as long as the used space is not larger than 500GB, you can copy larger disk to smaller one successfully.

Even if the new drive is too small to contain all the data on the existing drive, you don’t need to worry. AOMEI Partition Assistant is featured with another useful function: Migrate OS to SSD, allowing you to clone only OS partition to new disk.

Clone larger drive to smaller one step by step

Before cloning larger disk to smaller one via AOMEI Partition Assistant, you need do the following preparation work:

  • Connect the new hard drive to your computer. If your computer is laptop, a cable might be necessary.

  • Uninstall unnecessary applications and delete unwanted files on the old hard drive. If it is HDD, defrag it (omissible).

  • Backup all important files on the source drive as it will be overwritten during cloning process.

Then, follow the steps below to clone larger drive to smaller drive:

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Click Disk Copy Wizard on the left side. Then, choose Copy Disk Quickly and click Next.

Copy Larger Drive to Smaller Drive

Step 2.Choose the boot drive that you want to replace as the source disk (here is disk 1).

Source Disk

Step 3. Choose the new SSD as the destination disk (here is disk 2) and check the option Optimize the performance of SSD to align SSD partitions (If the target disk is HDD, uncheck the option).

Destination Disk

Step 4. In this window, you can choose to fit partitions or edit partitions on disk 2. The first option is unavailable as disk 2 is smaller than disk 1.


Step 5. ANote about how to boot from cloned disk (here is disk 2) will appears. Read and remember it, so that you can boot form the cloned drive successfully.


Step 6.Here you can preview the result. If you are satisfied, click Apply to perform the operation.



  • As it involves system partition, it need to be performed under PreOS mode, thus a reboot is necessary.

  • If you clone GPT disk to smaller MBR SSD or MBR to GPT, it is necessary to change boot mode between UEFI and Legacy after clone.

  • After booting successfully from cloned hard drive, you can format the old drive to free up disk space.

Final words

Obviously, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant to clone larger drive to smaller drive without any effort even you are a green hand in computer knowledge. In fact, it is not only helpful in disk & OS partition copy, but partition management. It allows you to extend C drive without data loss, shrink volume beyond limitation and convert MBR disk to GPT without deleting etc. Install it now and experience the great functions of it.