There is no doubt an SSD has more advantages over a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD). For example, an SSD boots faster, launches apps faster, and has faster overall performance. Therefore, most people use SSD for installing operating system, programs, and games. However, SSDs normally have smaller capacity than HDDs. As a result, an SSD is running out of space after a period of time. Then, what will you do? With the SSD's price dropping and capacity increasing, the best solution is to buy a new larger SSD to replace the old smaller one.
Clone SSD or Clean Install?
Clone smaller SSD to larger SSD or do a clean install? There is no standard answer. It's up to you. Normally, clean install has to reinstall your Windows operating system followed by all the applications you were using and preference settings which is a time-consuming and onerous process. In addition, you will need to install all the Windows updates to your new OS and you may not have the installation media to install those programs. If you are happy with your current system and want to save time, just cloning SSD to larger SSD.
How to Clone Smaller SSD to Larger SSD?
Some SSDs come with built-in disk clone software. For example, Samsung Data Migration can clone data from existing storage device to new Samsung SSD. However, you may receive "clone failed" error. Besides, if your SSD is not Samsung, what to do?
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a reliable, easy-to-use, free hard disk partition management software for Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, Vista and XP. It supports all brands of SSD, including Samsung, SanDisk, Intel, Kingston, Crucial, etc. Besides, you can resize partition without data loss to use full capacity during the process of cloning smaller SSD to larger SSD.
Step1: Download, install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Click "Disk Copy Wizard" from the left side.
Step2: Select disk copy method between "Copy Disk Quickly" and "Sector-by-Sector Copy". Here we select the first one for example.
Step3: Select source disk (namely the smaller SSD), and then click "Next" to continue.
Step4: Select destination disk (namely the larger SSD) and check the box before "Optimize the performance of SSD" to align SSD partition automatically. And then click "Next" to continue.
Step5: To use full capacity of the new larger SSD, please choose "Fit partitions to entire disk". You can also choose "Edit partitions on this disk" to resize specified partitions.
Step6: The program will give an instruction on how to boot computer from the destination disk. After that, you can preview the partition layout. To save the changes, please click "Apply" to perform the pending operations. The whole process will be running under PreOS Mode. The time depends on how much data on your old SSD.
If the old smaller SSD only contains system and boot drives, you can also use "Migrate OS to SSD" to clone SSD to larger SSD.
"Copy Disk Quickly", also known as file-by-file copy, only enables you to clone the used space of the SSD to another, and supports to clone larger SSD to smaller SSD only if the used space is smaller than the SSD size and resize partition during the clone process.
"Sector-by-Sector Copy" enables you to clone all sectors of the SSD to destination, no matter whether it is used or not. This method will cost much more time and won’t support to resize partition during the clone process. However, you can resize partition to use full capacity after cloning is completed.
If the larger SSD has partitions on it, the program will delete it. You can backup SSD before cloning.
How to Deal with Old Smaller SSD?
The old smaller SSD contains a functional Windows installation. At the very least you'd better to keep it disconnected and untouched for a period of time until you are satisfied there is no problem on the new larger SSD. Finally, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant format and partition the smaller SSD as a secondary drive for data storage once the new larger SSD is functioning properly and running smoothly.