By Bryce / Last Updated September 3, 2019


“To have better experience in booting operating system or loading programs, I have purchased a 256GB Toshiba Q Series Solid State Drive and I have an 500GB HDD with only 129GB used. Now, I want to replace my existing 500GB HDD with the SSD.

But I’m really unwilling to make a fresh install of Windows and other applications on SSD. Thus, I want to clone 500GB HDD to 256GB SSD. I know that it is available to clone hard drive to larger drive. But is it possible to clone larger HDD to smaller SSD without data loss? If is, how can I do it?”

Great cloning software: clone to smaller disk at ease

It is common to choose purchase a SSD whose capacity is smaller than HDD’s due to SSD’s price. To copy HDD to smaller SSD in a success, it is important to find out a proper HDD to SSD copy tool. Here I’d like to introduce you AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

With the ability of cloning only used space of source disk, it allows you to larger HDD to smaller SSD, like 500GB HDD to 256GB SSD, 2TB HDD to 500GB SSD and etc. without data loss, as long as the used space of source HDD is not larger than usable capacity of SSD. And it can make SSD partition alignment to improve SSD’s performance while copying HDD to SSD.

The tutorial to clone 500GB HDD to 256GB SSD

To start 500GB HDD to 256GB SSD cloning in Windows 10/8/7, you need to connect the SSD to your PC and make sure that it can be detected by your OS. If what you own is laptop, you might need a USB-to-SATA cable.

Step 1. Install and run it. Click "All Tools" and "Disk Clone Wizard".

Clone Disk

Step 2. Choose "Clone Disk Quickly" as you need to clone to smaller SSD. Then, click "Next".

Copy Method

Note: Sector-by-Sector Clone is very helpful in cloning BitLocker encrypted disk but it requires that the capacity of target disk not smaller than source disk’s.

Step 3. Choose your source disk and click "Next".

Source Disk

Step 4. Choose your destination disk and click “Next”. As the target disk is SSD, tick the box before “Optimize” to make partition alignment on SSD.

Target Disk

Step 4. As you move data from large hard drive to smaller SSD, there are only two available options for you to clone. Make your decision and clcik "Next" to continut.

Edit Disk

  • Fit partitions to entire disk”– automatically adjust the partition size to entire destination disk based on the scale of source disk.

  • Edit partitions on this disk”– manually adjust the size of partition in line with your demand.

Then, you will see a Note about how to boot operating system from the target disk. Read it and keep it in mind.

Boot Note

Step 5. Confirm the pending operations and click “Apply” to implement operation



  • If you want to keep your 500GB HDD as your data storage simultaneously, you need to swap out your hard drives or enter BIOS to change boot order.

  • If you clone HDD to larger disk, you might get unallocated space after cloning, you can add unallocated space to another partition make full use of it.

A faster way to upgrade HDD to SSD without reinstalling

With the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, provided that the used space of HDD is not beyond the size of SSD, you can easily transfer all the data on HDD to smaller SSD without reinstalling Windows. But what if the used space is larger than the capacity of SSD?

If you aren’t care about other applications, turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional and it can tackle with this situation via moving HDD OS related partitions to smaller SSD. Then you can upgrade HDD to SSD without Windows reinstallation. The detailed steps to migrate HDD OS to smaller SSD are as follows:

Step 1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional and select "Migrate OS to SSD" and "Next".Migrate OS to SSD

Step 2. Choose disk space on the SSD and click "Next".

Select Space

Step 3 . Adjust the system partition on SSD as you like.


Keep the Note about how to boot from destination disk in mind. Then, click “Finish”.

Step 4. Click “Apply” to performance the operation.

Bottom Line

When you need to upgrade your 500GB HDD to SSD and the SSD is 256GB or 250GB, you can clone 500GB HDD samller SSD without data loss via AOMEI Partiton Assistnant Professional. If the used space is larger than SSD, you can delete unnecessary files and uninstall unnecssary applications before cloning and migrate only OS realted partitions to SSD for upgrding to SSD withotu OS reinstalltion. No matter which situation you are, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is able to help you. To get to know more features of it, you can refer to its help guides.