“Can M.2 SSD drives be cloned?”
Hi, all. I have a computer with a Toshiba M.2 128GB SSD drive which has the Windows OS in it, and I need to clone it into a Samsung 970 EVO 250GB NVMe M.2 SSD since the Toshiba M.2 SSD is almost full. The problem is that I don’t know how to clone M.2 solid-state drive. Would anyone be able to suggest a reliable and elaborate way to do it? Thanks a lot!
What is M.2 SSD?
M.2 is a form factor for SSDs (solid-state drives) that's shaped like a stick of gum. An SSD, which conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage expansion cards of the M.2 form factor, is called as M.2 SSD. The NVMe M.2 SSD is an M.2 SSD drive that applies the Non-Volatile Memory Express communication protocol.
Top reasons for cloning M.2 SSD drive
Just like cloning other types of hard drives, the main and most popular cloning the M.2 Solid-State Drive may include:
1. Upgrade an smaller M.2 SSD drive to a larger SSD drive to expand the storage space.
2. Replace the current M.2 SSD drive that is experiencing the sings of failure before it completely stops working.
3. Migrate or transfer all data from one M.2 SSD drive to another one conveniently.
Select the proper M.2 SSD cloning software
No matter what’s your purpose of cloning the M.2 SSD drive, the core point is how to do it. The easiest way is to select a proper M.2 SSD cloning utility. Here we strongly recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional (32-bit and 64-bit of Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows XP/Vista are supported). This powerful disk cloning software supports cloning almost all drives with different interfaces, like SATA, mSATA, U.2, M.2, and PCIe. You can clone clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD, M.2 SSD to SATA HDD , clone SATA HDD to NVMe SSD, etc. Moreover, it has the following amazing functions:
- Two different disk cloning methods: “Clone Disk Quickly” and “Sector-by-Sector Clone”. The former method supports cloning larger disk to smaller disk since it will only clone the used sectors to the destination disk, whereas the latter one will clone all sectors to another disk.
- Align partitions on SSD or HDD: 4K alignment partition can better serve operating systems and improve the performance of hard drives.
- Permit you to boot from the cloned hard drive successfully as long as you set the right boot order and boot mode after cloning.
Tutorial: clone M.2 SSD and boot from the cloned SSD
Now comes the most important part: how to clone M.2 SSDD drive in Windows 10/8/7 step by step. 3 Steps are necessary in total.
Step 1. Install the destination M.2 SSD drive in your computer
First of all, we need to make sure that your computer has an M.2 SSD lot available. Then connect the target M.2 SSD drive to your computer and ensure it is detected.
- ✎If you are using a laptop:...
- Take off the back cover of your laptop. You may need to unscrew the entire back panel or just a portion of it depending on your personal laptop.
- Look for the M.2 slot where the destination SSD will fit into. Remove the screw.
- Put the M.2 SSD into the slot and make sure all the pins are matched correctly.
- At last, screw the SSD in place with the screws you just removed before installing the SSD. Then put back your cover, and the laptop should detect the SSD drive.
- ✎If you are using a desktop:...
- On the motherboard, look for an M.2 connector, usually labeled with “PCIe”. Remove the mounting screw located across from the M.2 slot.
- Carefully insert the M.2 SSD into its slot and pay attention to the notch. The SSD will naturally stand at an angle when inserted.
- Press the M.2 SSD down and hold it while you replace the mounting screw. That will help secure the SSD in place.
Step 2. Start cloning M.2 SSD drive via AOMEI Partition Assistant
After installing M.2 SSD drive into your computer, you can back up SSD before cloning because this operation will delete all data inside. Then carry out the procedures below:
Note: This demonstration is based on cloning system disk on to a larger drive. The demo version cannot execute the final operation.
1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Select “All Tools” and then “Disk Clone Wizard”.
2. Choose a disk cloning method according to your situation and needs. Then click “Next”. Here we select “Clone Disk Quickly”.
3. In this window, choose the system disk as the source disk and click “Next”.
4. Choose the destination disk and click “Next”. You can tick “Optimize the performance of SSD”, which will align partitions on SSD to boost its performance.
5. Here, you can adjust the partition size on the destination disk as you require and click “Next”.
6. A note about how to boot from the destination disk will pop out. Read it carefully when necessary and click “Finish”.
7. At last, click “Apply” and “Proceed” to start cloning M.2 SSD drive.
If you want to clone only OS partition on the M.2 SSD drive to another hard drive, you can try “Migrate OS to SSD” wizard.
Step 3. Boot your computer from the cloned M.2 SSD drive
When you cloned the M.2 solid-state drive to another hard drive via AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, you also need to change the boot order to set PC boot from the cloned disk. If you are cloning the data M.2 SSD drive, you can skip this part.
1. Restart your computer and long press “ESC”, “F1”, “F2”, “F8”, or “F10” during the initial startup screen to access the BIOS environment.
2. Choose to enter BIOS setup. Use the arrow key to select the Boot tab and system devices will appear in order to priority.
3. To give the cloned hard drive boot sequence priority over other hard drives, move it to the first position in the list.
4. Save and exit the BIOS setup utility. Then the computer will restart with the changed settings.
Further reading:clone M.2 SSD with only one slot
Well, the above cloning tutorial is based on the precondition that the computer has an extra slot for connecting the destination M.2 SSD. What if your computer has only one M.2 slot? Don't worry, there are two workarounds for this situation.
1. Use an M.2 SATA to USB adapter. Connect your destination SSD drive to the SATA adapter, and plug the adapter into a USB port on your laptop. Then your laptop should detect the destination SSD as an external hard drive. At last, you can perform a cloning operation as shown above. After cloning, you can remove the old hard drive and install the new M.2 SSD on your computer.
2. Apply a piece of computer backup software. First of all, back up M.2 SSD and save the image to external hard drive (flash drive, NAS, shared folders, or other locations you can access within WinPE mode). Then, create a bootable USB drive. Replace the old M.2 SSD with the target SSD drive manually, and reboot your computer from the bootable media. Finally, restore the backup image to the newly installed SSD in the WinPE environment.
This article not only shows how to clone M.2 SSD to M.2 SSD with two slots but also tells you how to clone M.2 SSD with only one slot. So, no matter which situation you are in, you can find the perfect solution. Besides cloning M.2 SSD drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can also be used to clone USB drive, SD card, and more in Windows PC. To clone M.2 solid-state drives in Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server can help.