By Catherine / Last Updated October 12, 2019

Why clone HDD to smaller SSD?

With the development of technology, SSD (solid state drive) becomes more and more popular and common. Because of its advantages in read-write speed, noiselessness, energies saving and etc, you may want to replace your current HDD (hard disk drive) with an SSD. Due to price, the capacity of purchased SSD is smaller than the capacity of HDD’s.

If you don’t want to lose data and Windows operating system but afraid of the complicated operations of reinstalling OS and other applications one by one, you can choose to clone large HDD to smaller SSD.

Get a trusted tool for cloning to smaller SSD

Since Windows 10/8/7 doesn’t offer disk cloning software, you can turn to third party tool. I’d like to introduce AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to you out of its highlights presented below:

  • With the ability of cloning only used spaces, it enables you to clone disk to smaller one effortlessly, as long as the usable size of SSD is not smaller than the used space on the current HDD.

  • It is able to align SSD partitions to improve SSD’s performance while cloning to SSD.

  • What’s more, it is compatible with SSDs of different brands (like Samsung, Kingston and etc.), of various interfaces (SATA, MSATA and M.2).

It can work well under Windows 10/8.1/8/7, XP and Vista. For cloning hard drive to smaller SSD or larger HDD in Windows Server, please employ AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Clone large HDD to smaller SSD step-by-step

Before cloning:
1. Prepare an SSD whose capacity is not smaller than the used space of the current HDD. Connect it and make sure that it can be detected. If there is any important data on the SSD, you’d better back up them at first.
2. Delete unwanted files and uninstall unnecessary applications on your source HDD to decrease copy time.
3. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Or you can free download its demo version and have a try!

Then do as the following steps to perform HDD to small SSD copy.

Step 1. In the main interface of AOMEI Partition, go to All Tools > Disk Clone Wizard.

Disk Copy Wizard

Step 2. Here offers you two options, choose Clone Disk Quickly to duplicate used sectors only on the source disk.

Copy Disk Quickly

Note: If you need to clone BitLocker hard drive to SSD and the SSD’s capacity is larger than the source disk, you can choose Clone Sector-by-Sector.

Step 3. Select the large HDD as your source disk.

Select Source Disk

Step 4. Choose the smaller SSD as your destination disk and check Align SSD partitions…

Select Destination Disk

You’ll get a note about how to boot after cloning read it carefully and remember it.


Step 5. You can adjust partitions on the SSD or leave it alone.

Edit Disk

Step 6. Click Apply and Proceed to save changes.


Step 7 (Optional). To boot from the cloned SSD successfully, you could exchange the connection socket of the HDD and SSD or enter BIOS to change boot priority to the SSD.


  • If you clone GPT system HDD to smaller SSD or MBR to GPT SSD, you need to change boot mode between Legacy and UEFI.

  • It is available to clone boot related partitions only rather than the entire HDD to SSD via the function Migrate OS to SSD in AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

  • To free up disk space on original HDD, you can format or wipe HDD after confirming that you can boot from the cloned SSD successfully.

Final words

It is not a difficult task to clone HDD to smaller SSD, like copying 500GB HDD to 256GB SSD via AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. In fact, it is far more than a disk cloning tool. With it, you can manage disks and partitions conveniently and comprehensively. And it comes with Dynamic Disk Manager, capable of controlling dynamic disks and partitions.