Clone Larger HDD to Smaller SSD

Tracy King updated on Sep 27, 2020 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

This page covers two parts of the guide for cloning HDD to a smaller SSD. If you are trying to replace your old HDD with a new smaller SSD by migrating the OS, follow through the tips below and you will successfully migrate everything to your new SSD.

  1. Part 1. You-Must-Do Preparations - Get your computer and SSD fully prepared for the cloning
  2. Part 2. Tutorial: Clone Bigger HDD to Smaller SSD - Secure & Detailed guide for upgrading HDD to SSD

Can I clone a larger HDD to smaller SSD?

"Lately, my desktop runs extremely slow and I want to do something to optimize its performance. The first idea I came up with is to upgrade the machine from the old HDD to a new SSD.

However, I found that many stand-alone cloners don't allow to clone larger HDD to smaller SSD. I used 500 GB HDD and the new SSD is 256 GB.  And the smaller SSD is far beyond the used space on the HDD. Can I just move the user data by cloning HDD to SSD? "

With faster writing and reading speed, being quieter, SSD becomes hot among users. Most people choose to move hard disk data to an SSD. As we all know, SSD is designed with a smaller capacity than that of HDD.

When it comes to cloning a larger HDD to a smaller SSD, people have difficulty in finding a proper cloning tool that can resolve the larger to smaller cloning issue. If you are having the same trouble, stay calm. On the following, you will find detailed guidelines to get rid of this issue, transferring everything from the old HDD to the new SSD.

Part 1. Preparations before clone HDD to smaller SSD

Here is a list of preparation jobs for you to get ready before  cloning hard drive:

# 1. Download the right tool for clone HDD to smaller SSD

EaseUS free partition software - EaseUS Partition Master Free, with its disk clone feature, allows people to copy the HDD data to SSD fast without damaging either device. You can apply it to upgrade disk on all Windows system based computers. 

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 Windows 10 is supported

# 2. Prepare the SSD

  • First, make sure that your SSD capacity is bigger than the used space on the HDD. 

If the HDD usage is bigger than the SSD capacity, you won't be able to clone the bigger HDD to the smaller SSD. To do so, you may need to delete or clean useless large files from the HDD in advance. 

  • Next, clean up SSD, leaving it unallocated.

To avoid cloning errors, we suggest you delete all partitions on the SSD disk, leaving the whole disk unallocated. 

Part 2. Tutorial: Clone Larger HDD to Smaller SSD

With the following tutorial, you can clone a 1TB HDD to a 500GB SSD or clone a 500GB to a 250GB SSD without any limitations. Once again, to clone bigger HDD to a smaller SSD disk, you need to confirm that the actual data usage space on the HDD is equal to or smaller to the SSD capacity. Then EaseUS Partition Master will clone all data to your new disk.

Now let's learn how to copy data from a larger HDD to a smaller SSD:


Step 1: Select the source disk.

Open EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click the disk that you want to copy or clone. Then, select "Clone".

select the disk that you want to copy

Step 2: Select the target disk.

Choose the wanted HDD/SSD as your destination and click "Next" to continue.

choose a suitable destination

Step 3: View the disk layout and edit the target disk partition size. 

Then click "Continue" when the program warns it will wipe out all data on the target disk. (If you have valuable data on the target disk, back up it in advance.)

confirm to continue the cloning process

You can select "Autofit the disk", "Clone as the source" or "Edit disk layout" to customize your disk layout. (Select the last one if you want to leave more space for C drive.)

Adjust disk layout

Step 4: Execute the operation.

Click the "Execute the operation" option and click "Apply" to start the disk cloning process.

If the source HDD is an MBR system disk, EaseUS Partition Master will diagnose whether your system support UEFI boot. If yes, the target SSD will a GPT disk and you need to change its boot sequence in BISO. 
If the source HDD is an MBR data disk, the cloned SSD will be MBR.
If the source HDD is a GPT system disk, after the cloning, your SSD disk will be GPT without any boot issue.
If the source HDD is a GPT data disk, the SSD will be GPT too after the cloning. And you don't need to do anything.  

If your system support UEFI boot and the SSD turned into GPT after the cloning, follow steps here to change BIOS boot order and make your PC bootable:

Step 1. Insert the SSD to your computer, restart PC and press F2/F12/DEL to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Go to the Boot section and use the arrow key on your keyboard to set Windows boot from the SSD.

Step 3. Save the changes and restart your computer.

After this, your data and system will be visible and work on the new SSD again. 

Sum Up for Clone HDD to Smaller SSD

On this page, we offered you a fast and secure solution to answer all the questions about cloning a larger HDD to a smaller SSD. With the help of EaseUS Partition Master, you can clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD, 500GB HDD to 250GB SSD. 

Besides disk replacement, EaseUS Partition Master also enables you to finish some advanced operations, such as to migrate OS to SSD, convert MBR to GPT, or GPT to MBR, etc.

People Also Ask

1. Can I clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD?

To clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD, you should consider using EaseUS Partition Master. Utilizing Partition Clone: it can copy data from a source partition to a target partition. You may use it to clone NTFS drive, FAT32 drive and so on.

2. How do I clone my hard drive to a smaller SSD for free?

You can use EaseUS Partition Master to easily clone your hard drive to a smaller SSD for free. Just run it, use the Clone Disk feature, choose the source & target disk, and start the cloning.

3. Can I clone a 1tb HDD to a 500gb SSD?

Yes. It is possible to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD. In fact, the answerer is positive, as long as the used space on the source HDD is not larger than the capacity of destination SSD.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

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Video Tutorial

How to Partititon a Hard Drive on Windows 10/8/7