By AOMEI / Last Updated May 7, 2021

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Why use Clonezilla to clone larger disk to smaller disk?

As an open source free software, Clonezilla can be used to clone or backup hard drive. Since it works with most of the operating systems largely used in company or home, many people love to use Clonezilla, especially when they want to upgrade hard drive with a new one. In this case, you can use Clonezilla disk to disk clone feature to clone a hard drive to another without reinstalling Windows and programs.

However, the destination drive to replace the old one is generally not the same size as the source drive - it could be larger or smaller. And because of the excellent performance and increasingly cheap price of SSDs, many users would like to clone larger HDD to smaller SSD using Clonezilla recently. If you happen to be in this situation, you can make some extra efforts to get this done, or try an easier alternative directly.

Clone Disk

Make Clonezilla clone to smaller drive possible

Officially, Clonezilla requires the destination partition to receive the clone to be equal or larger than the source one. Therefore, the only way to get this done is to shrink the source partition to fit the destination partition.

Then, let's learn how to clone larger drive to smaller one with clonezilla:

Step 1. Open Disk Management in Windows 10/8/7. If you are running Linux system, you can boot your computer from GParted media.

Step 2. Right click the source partition and click “Shrink Volume” and follow the wizard to shrink the partition.

Step 3. When you get that done, reboot to Clonezilla.

Step 4. Select the source disk and destination disk.

Step 5. Choose EXPERT mode and enable the “-icds” option. You need to also choose the option"Resize partitional table proportionally" in one of the following menus.

Extra Parameters

Step 6. Configure other Clonezilla options if needed and then type in “y” to confirm and start the clone.

In this way, you should be able to clone larger drive to smaller drive without receiving the error like Clonezilla failed to create a partition table on this disk. However, some users may feel this is too complicated and cumbersome.

In addition, it also needs lots of steps to finish the whole cloning process. And it’s possible to meet Clonezilla failed to clone issue due to the bad sector on your disk.

Fortunately, you can try another free disk clone software to clone larger drive to smaller drive directly without extra preparation. It just needs only a few clicks to finish the job. Please keep reading to learn more.

An easier way to clone larger hard drive to smaller drive

AOMEI Backupper Standard, a free backup, restore and clone software for Windows 10/8/7, allows you to clone hard drive to another one within a few clicks.

  • It allows you to clone drives with different sizes. You can easily clone larger HDD to smaller SSD or clone SSD to larger SSD.

  • It provides 2 free cloning solutions: entire disk clone and individual partition clone.

  • It allows you to boost performance of SSDs and prolong its lifespan. 

  • It has a user-friendly GUI compared to Clonezilla’s text-based interface.

  • You can enjoy more advanced features if you upgrade to Professional edition, e.g. clone system disk from GPT to GPT, MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR, copy dynamic volumes, perform system clone to migrate only operating system.

Check the following steps to see how to clone larger HDD to smaller SSD.

Step 1. Download and run it on your computer.

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

Step 2. At the main interface, click Clone and then select Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

Step 3. Select the source disk, and click Next to continue.

Select Source Disk

Step 4. Select your new hard drive as the destination to clone the source drive to. Then click Next to continue.

Select Destination Disk

Step 5. Check the operation summary and click Start Clone.

Start Clone

1. Edit Partitions allows you to resize partitions. Under this option, you can choose Copy without resizing partitions, Add unused space to all partitions or Manually adjust partition size. The last two features are only available in AOMEI Backupper Professional.
2. Select Sector By Sector Clone if you want to clone every sector no matter it is used or not, even it’s a blank sector or a logical bad sector.
3. If the target disk is an SSD, check SSD Alignment to improve the speed of reading and writing as well as prolong the service life of SSD.

In a short while, AOMEI Backupper will complete the cloning process, and then you can unplug the hard drive and boot computer from the cloned drive. Therefore, you do not have to do such tricks to make Clonezilla clone larger disk to smaller disk if you try AOMEI Backupper.

If you want to perform disk clone on multiple computers, you can use a built-in tool to create portable version of AOMEI Backupper (supported by Tech and Tech Plus edition), then connect it to any target computer for direct use.

More questions about cloning larger HDD to smaller SSD using Clonezilla

Q 1: Can clonezilla clone to a smaller drive?

Although you can find corresponding info on its website, but the premise is to shrink the source disk first and  be sure it can be fit on the destination disk.

Q 2: Can you clone hard drives of different sizes?

For Clonezilla, cloning a large drive to a smaller drive is a little tricky. Therefore, you'd better use disk cloning software to clone hard drive of different size, either to larger or smaller one.

Q 3: How long does cloning HDD to SSD take?

The cloning process depends on how many data your source disk has and the speed of both source disk and destination disk. Thus, it might be slightly different.


To let Clonezilla clone to smaller disk, you need to shrink the source partition to fit the destination partition. Or you can just try AOMEI Backupper to achieve the goal without any complicated operation.

Besides disk to disk cloning, AOMEI Backupper also offers various backup options including system/disk/partition/file backup to keep your data safe. You can also create bootable disk to help you boot your computer when a disaster happens. Go for AOMEI Backupper right now!

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.