Can Clonezilla clone to a smaller drive? How do you clone from a larger drive to a smaller drive in Clonezilla? Yes, it can but the way is a bit complex and this post gives a step-by-step guide to you. Besides, you can find an easy way to clone a larger disk to a smaller disk in this post – running MiniTool software.

Speaking of a disk upgrade, using an SSD to replace the HDD is a good option since an SSD can bring fast read & write disk speed, letting you boot up the PC quickly and run programs & play games smoothly. To upgrade your hard drive, you may consider cloning the original disk to another disk without reinstalling the Windows operating system and apps to save time and be free from troubles. Today, we will focus on the topic – Clonezilla clone to smaller drive.

Why Clonezilla Clone to Smaller Disk

When it comes to disk cloning, your first thought may be cloning the hard drive to a larger hard disk. But you can choose to clone a larger drive to a smaller drive, especially when you use a large HDD but get a new smaller SSD and want to clone HDD to SSD to fix poor PC performance.

As an open-source program, Clonezilla can help a lot in cloning and disk imaging backup. Besides, it works with most of the operating systems including Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS. So, many users use Clonezilla to clone to a smaller drive.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clone M.2 SSD with Only One Slot
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clone M.2 SSD with Only One Slot

How to clone M.2 SSD with only one slot in Windows 11/10? See this post and you can easily clone M.2 SSD on a PC with a single slot.

Read More

Can Clonezilla Clone to a Smaller Drive

Is using Clonezilla to clone to a smaller drive possible? As per the official statement, Clonezilla says the destination partition must be equal to or larger than the source one.

If you use a 1000GB of HDD and 500GB of SSD, you cannot clone the HDD to SSD using Clonezilla although the HDD only uses 200GB of disk space. During the cloning process, you will receive the error message “Destination disk is too small”. This situation is reported by many users in some forums.

To clone a disk successfully, make sure you clone a hard drive to a larger hard disk. If you still need to clone to a smaller drive, the only way you can try is to shrink the source partition to fit the destination partition.

Next, let’s learn how to make Clonezilla clone to smaller drive possible.

Guide: Clone Larger Drive to Smaller Drive Clonezilla

Using Clonezilla to clone to a smaller drive is a bit complicated and you should pay much attention. To let you clearly know the process, the operations are divided into 3 parts.  Now, let’s delve into what you should do.

How to Use Clonezilla in Windows 10? Is a Clonezilla Alternative?
How to Use Clonezilla in Windows 10? Is a Clonezilla Alternative?

This tutorial introduces you to Clonezilla Windows 10, how to use Clonezilla to clone HDD to SSD, and an alternative to Clonezilla – MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Read More

Move 1: Shrink Volume on the Source Drive

As stated above, if the source disk doesn’t run out, you can shrink the volume on your source drive to meet the requirement so as to successfully clone to a smaller drive using Clonezilla. So, follow the instructions here to shrink the partition:

Step 1: In Windows 11/10, right-click on the Start icon and choose Disk Management.

Step 2: Right-click on the volume you want to shrink and select Shrink Volume.

Step 3: Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB and click Shrink.

shrink volume in Disk Management
Disk Management can help to shrink a partition that uses the NTFS file system. If the partition uses FAT32, this tool cannot shrink but you can run the professional free partition manager – MiniTool Partition Wizard to do this thing.

Move 2: Create a Clonezilla Bootable USB

To use Clonezilla to clone a disk, a bootable USB drive is required – just download a Clonezilla ISO file and use a USB drive, then follow the steps below to make one.

Clonezilla also supports using CD/DVD to make a bootable disc. Here, we take a USB drive as an example.

Step 1: Visit the Clonezilla download page – in a web browser.

Step 2: To download Clonezilla live, select the CPU architecture and file type based on your needs and click the Download button. Here, we choose to download amd64 Clonezilla ISO.

download Clonezilla ISO

Step 3: Burn the ISO to your USB flash drive.

  1. Download & open Rufus and connect your USB drive to the PC.
  2. Click SELECT, browse your disk to find the ISO you have downloaded, and choose it.
  3. After configuring something, click START to create a bootable Clonezilla USB drive.
Clonezilla USB drive

After getting things ready, next, you can see the guide below to learn how to clone a larger drive to a smaller drive using Clonezilla in Windows 11/10.

Move 3: Clonezilla Clone to Smaller Drive

Using Clonezilla to clone to a smaller drive requires you to boot the PC from the created Clonezilla USB drive to enter the cloning interface and then follow the instructions to begin the process. See the details below:

Step 1: Connect the USB drive and your small target disk like an SSD to your computer.

Make sure the target disk doesn’t contain important files since the cloning process can erase all the data. If yes, you had better have a backup created by the professional backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker. See the related post - How to Back up Files on Windows 10/11.

Step 2: Restart the Windows system and press a specific key like F2, Del, etc. (it varies from different PCs) to enter the BIOS menu. Then, go to change the boot sequence to start up the machine from the created bootable USB drive.

[5 Ways] How to Get Into BIOS on Windows 11 on Restart?
[5 Ways] How to Get Into BIOS on Windows 11 on Restart?

How to make your Windows 11 computer boot into BIOS settings? This post offers some easy and quick methods.

Read More

Step 3: Your PC will enter the following interface. You should choose Other modes of Clonezilla live and then choose “To RAM” to release the boot partition.

Clonezilla live modes

Step 4: Select a language and a keyboard to continue.

Step 5: In the Start Clonezilla interface, choose a mode. Here, we select to start Clonezilla.

Step 6: Use the arrow keys to choose device-device work directly from a disk or partition to a disk or partition for Clonezilla clone to smaller drive. Then, press Enter.

Clonezilla clone disk or partition

Step 7: Choose Expert Expert mode: Choose your own options to continue.

choose Expert mode in Clonezilla

Step 8: Then, you need to choose a cloning mode. To clone a disk to another disk, select disk_to_local_disk local_disk_to_local_disk_clone.

Step 9: Select the source disk (larger HDD) and the target disk (smaller HDD).

Step 10: To successfully clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD, you need to set a parameter – press the arrow keys to highlight –icds and press Enter to skip checking destination disk size before creating the partition table.

use icds parameter

Step 11: Decide how to check and repair the file system, and choose Create partition table proportionally.

create partition table proportionally

Step 12: Start the cloning. You are required to enter Y to confirm some operations. Then, the process of cloning a larger disk to a smaller disk will be finished successfully.

Step-by-Step Guide: Clonezilla HDD to SSD in Windows 11/10
Step-by-Step Guide: Clonezilla HDD to SSD in Windows 11/10

If you install Clonezilla, how to use this cloning software to clone HDD to SSD in Windows 11/10? Refer to this post to know step-by-step guide.

Read More

An Easy Way to Clone Large Drive to Smaller Drive

From the above parts of “Clonezilla clone to smaller drive”, you may find the entire process is fairly cumbersome – you need to shrink a partition on the source disk, make Clonezilla bootable, and perform a lot of steps to begin the cloning. If you are not careful enough, Clonezilla still fails to clone due to disk size.

To easily clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD, you can try the best cloning software – MiniTool ShadowMaker. Without extra preparation, it only needs a few clicks to complete the cloning process. As an excellent alternative to Clonezilla, it can work well in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 to clone a disk/SD card/USB drive to another disk/SD card/USB drive and move Windows to another drive.

Although the target drive is smaller than the source drive, you can do a successful clone as long as the target drive has enough disk space to hold all the data of the source drive. Clonezilla cannot meet the demand and you can know this point from the above part of “Clonezilla clone to smaller disk”.

Besides, it offers a very friendly user interface, letting you easily backup files, create a system image, sync files/folders, clone a hard drive, and more. Now, why do you still hesitate? Free download its trial edition to have a shot now.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Edition only allows you to clone a non-system disk to another disk. If you need to clone a system disk, upgrade to Pro or higher.

How to Clone to Smaller Drive Using MiniTool ShadowMaker

After downloading and installing MiniTool ShadowMaker, let’s see the steps for cloning HDD to SSD with a small disk size:

Step 1: Connect your smaller SSD to your computer.

Step 2: Run MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Edition and click Keep Trial to continue.

To clone a system disk to an SSD, register this cloning software after launching it instead of hitting Keep Trial.

Step 3: Under the Tools tab, tap on Clone Disk.

clone disk with MiniTool ShadowMaker

Step 3: Choose the larger HDD as the source drive and the smaller SSD as the target drive.

Before selecting disks, you can click Options to make some settings. By default, this tool uses the new disk ID so as to directly boot the PC from the target disk after cloning. Besides, if you need to clone a disk sector by sector, go to check the option of Sector by sector clone under Disk clone mode.

Step 4: Begin the cloning process by clicking the Start button. If you don’t register it, a popup will appear to ask you to do this thing when cloning a system disk.

MiniTool ShadowMaker clone HDD to smaller SSD

Another Alternative to Clonezilla: MiniTool Partition Wizard

If you think “Clonezilla clone to smaller drive” is complicated, you can run another MiniTool software – MiniTool Partition Wizard to clone a larger disk to a smaller disk besides MiniTool ShadowMaker.

As a partition manager, MiniTool Partition Wizard can help you easily manage disks and partitions including hard drive cloning. It allows you to only migrate the OS to an SSD and copy the entire disk to another one.

To clone a system disk, you need to use the Pro Edition or higher. Here you can free download its Demo Edition to preview some operations. Then, register it before the last step.

MiniTool Partition Wizard DemoClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Just launch this tool, tap on Copy Disk Wizard from the left pane, choose a source drive and target drive, choose a copy option, and finally click Apply to start the cloning process.

MiniTool Partition Wizard clone to smaller disk
What If Cloned Drive/SSD Won’t Boot Windows 11/10/8/7? Fix It!
What If Cloned Drive/SSD Won’t Boot Windows 11/10/8/7? Fix It!

If you run into the case – cloned drive won’t boot Windows 11/10/8/7, how to fix it? This post shows you multiple fixes to help you out.

Read More

Bottom Line

That’s basic information on “Clonezilla clone to smaller drive”. From this post, you know using Clonezilla to clone to a smaller drive is quite troublesome and you can also easily fail to clone.

To finish cloning a larger disk to a smaller disk, we strongly recommend using two cloning software – MiniTool ShadowMaker & MiniTool Partition Wizard. With one of them, you won’t need to shrink the volume of the source disk and make a bootable drive for the cloning – just only launch this program, click Clone Disk/Copy Disk Wizard, specify the source & target disk, and start cloning.

Clonezilla Clone to Smaller Driver FAQ

Can I clone to a smaller hard drive?
Of course, you can. MiniTool ShadowMaker can help you a lot in cloning a larger drive to a smaller drive. Make sure the smaller target disk has enough space to hold all the contents of the source disk.
Can I clone a hard drive to a different size?
You can clone a hard drive to a hard disk with a different size and all you need to do is to use a reliable cloning tool like MiniTool ShadowMaker.
  • linkedin
  • reddit