By AOMEI / Last Updated October 27, 2020

Need to upgrade smaller SSD to a larger SSD

You may have replaced your old HDD (hard disk drive) with a small SSD (solid-state drive), as SSD has better performance. However, your SSD with small capacity might be almost full when days go on. To solve the issue, it's wise to upgrade the small SSD to a larger SSD.


Clone smaller SSD to larger SSD or clean install?

After getting a new larger SSD and deciding to replace the smaller one, should you do a clean install or clone SSD to larger SSD? There is no standard answer. It mostly depends on your situation.

Clean installing means reinstalling your Windows operating system followed by all the applications you were using and preference settings. So it is a time-consuming and onerous process. In addition, you will need to install all the Windows updates to your new OS and you have to prepare the installation media to install those programs. Moreover, you need to configure all settings from scratch. If you are very satisfied with your current system and want to save time, cloning the smaller SSD to a larger SSD is more recommended.

Freeware to clone SSD to larger SSD with secure boot

Some SSDs come with built-in disk clone software. For example, Samsung Data Migration can clone data from the existing storage device to a new Samsung SSD. However, you may receive "clone failed" error. Besides, if your SSD is not Samsung, what to do?

Then the free partition manager named AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a great choice. It is a free yet powerful hard drive cloning software for Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP and Vista. It supports all brands of SSD, including Samsung, SanDisk, Intel, Kingston, Crucial, etc. Besides allowing you to clone smaller SSD to larger SSD drive, this freeware permits you to clone larger SSD to a smaller SSD via the “Clone Disk Quickly” method as long as the destination SSD has enough space to hold all used sectors on the source SSD drive. Now, you can free download it and have a try.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

✍ Notices:
☛ For cloning system disk, AOMEI Partition Assistant supports MBR to MBR. If you need to clone MBR system disk to GPT or GPT system disk to MBR/GPT disk, please upgrade to Professional version.
☛ All data on the destination disk will be erased; if you have any important data on it, back up these files before cloning.
☛ It is available to clone boot related partitions only rather than the entire SSD to larger SSD via the function Migrate OS to SSD in AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Step 1. Connect the larger SSD to your computer and ensure it can be detected. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Click "All Tools" > "Disk Clone Wizard".

Disk Copy

Step 2. In the pop-up dialogue, choose one way to clone to larger SSD.


Note: If you need to clone HDD to smaller SSD, such as cloning 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD, choose Clone Disk Quickly.

Step 3. Select the small SSD as your source disk and click Next.

Source Disk

Step 4. Choose the larger SSD as your destination disk and you can check "Optimize the performance of SSD" to align SSD partition automatically if necessary. Then, click Next.

Target Disk

Step 5. Here you can choose Clone without resizing partitions, Fit partitions to the entire disk or Edit partitions on this disk.


A note on how to boot OS after cloning will show up. Keep it in mind and click Finish.

Step 6. Back to the main interface, click Apply and Proceed to commit SSD to larger SSD copy operation.


Why is my SSD capacity smaller after cloning?

Above is how to clone smaller SSD to larger SSD. However, some users find their larger SSD shows smaller capacity after clone. Why and how to fix it?

First of all, when you clone smaller SSD to larger SSD, the exceeding space will be shown as unallocated space in Disk Management, and you cannot see such space in Windows File Explorer. So, you will find the SSD capacity is smaller than its actual size. In this situation, you can create a new partition using the unallocated space or add the unallocated space to another partition you need to extend like C drive.

Besides, if the destination cloned SSD is over 2TB and of MBR partition style, you cannot the rest space surpassing 2TB because the MBR-based disk has a 2TB size limitation. In this case, you have to convert SSD to GPT to use its full capacity.

Another reason why the cloned SSD is smaller after cloning is that when you clone a smaller SSD to a larger SSD, the system recovery partition prevents the cloning software from scaling the C drive properly. If this occurs, you will get a recovery partition that eats up most of the disk space, being larger than a typical recovery partition of around 10-15GB. And the recovery partition is not always visible in Windows File Explorer. Thus, you can use the free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to change partition size without losing data.

Follow up work after cloning

After cloning to larger SSD, to boot from the cloned SSD, you should reboot computer, press a specific key (F1, F2, Esc or other specific keys) to enter BIOS to change boot order. For the old small SSD, you can keep it untouched for a period of time. After you make sure that the new larger SSD is functioning properly and running smoothly. you can use format or wipe the smaller SSD and take it as a secondary drive for data storage.