How to Clone an Old Hard Drive to a Smaller SSD without Data Loss?

How to clone an old hard drive to a smaller SSD? Windows doesn’t provide any methods for disk clone and thus, you’ll learn to use a reliable third-party software utility to get it done in only a few clicks.


By Michael / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Why clone an old hard drive to smaller SSD?

Nowadays, the Solid-State-Drive has become a critical part of PC’s hardware. Compared with traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD), SSD provides high read/write speed and better computer performance and thus, many people replace their old HDD with a new SSD.

However, SSDs are relatively smaller in size compared with HDDs of the same price. So, when they replace an old HDD with a new SSD with disk clone, actually, they're cloning an old hard drive to a smaller SSD.

Is it possible to clone HDD to smaller SSD?

Cloning the source disk to the new disk in hard disk replacement is an ideal way to preserve all the original data. However, as mentioned above, sometimes, the original hard disk drive is bigger in size than the destination SSD. How can it be possible to clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD? Actually, once you find the proper tool, it’s just a piece of cake. In the following post, a powerful third-party disk cloner will be introduced to help clone only used space from the old HDD to a smaller SSD.

How to clone HDD to smaller SSD without data loss?

There’re plenty of software utilities on the market claiming to be able to clone hard disk. However, most of them are not as efficient and secure as AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional – a powerful and full-featured disk cloner that helps clone an old hard drive to a smaller SSD in only a few clicks and without data loss. More than disk clone, you can also use it to clone partitions or migrate OS to SSD. And of course, there’re many more useful features waiting to be discovered.

To copy an HDD to a smaller SSD, try the best disk cloner to get it done without hassles.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP

Preparations beforehand

1) Prepare an SSD whose capacity isn’t smaller than the used space of the old HDD. Connect it to the computer and ensure it can be detected. If there’s any important data on the new SSD, remember to make a backup of it.

2) Delete files you no longer need or uninstall unnecessary apps on the source HDD to reduce the time the disk clone takes.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.


Click “Clone Disk” in the right menu.

Step 2. Here’re 2 options, namely “Clone Disk Quickly” and “Sector-by-Sector Clone”. Here, we choose the first method.

Clone Disk Quickly: Clone only used space to another disk and allowed to adjust the size of partitions.

Sector-by-Sector Clone: Clone all sectors to another disk, whether used or not.


Step 3. Select the source HDD disk.


Step 4. Choose the SSD as the destination disk and then, tick the option “Optimize the performance of SSD”. Then, you’ll be prompted with a notification that tells you how to boot after the disk clone.


large to small

Step 5. Here, you should edit the disk. We choose “Fit partitions to entire disk” for example.


Step 6. Hit “Apply > Proceed” to commit the pending operation.


Wait a short while before the disk clone gets completed. And to boot from the target SSD normally, you should enter BIOS and change the boot order by putting the SSD onto the first place.

1) If the disk clone is between MBR and GPT partition styles, then, after the clone, you need to switch the boot mode between Legacy and UEFI.
2) If you only want to clone the system partition along with boot-related partitions to SSD, you can try the feature “Migrate OS to SSD”.
3) When you’ve confirmed the target SSD works normally, you can wipe the source disk and take it as a new data disk.


How to clone an old hard drive to a smaller SSD without any data loss? From the post above, you can learn both why do it and how to get it done. To make the disk clone flawless, a reliable third-party disk cloner – AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional – is introduced to help copy an HDD to a smaller SSD in only a few clicks. The post takes a Windows PC for example and if you’re a Server user, you can try the Server edition of this AOMEI product.

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.