How to Clone Larger Hard Drive to Smaller One

Many users are confused about how to clone a hard disk to a disk which has smaller storage capacity. This article will look at this issue and teach you how to achieve it.

Cloning a hard disk before data recovery can prevent further damage on original hard disk and drastically increase the chances for successful data recovery, such as PST recovery. Also, apart from in data recovery, when you want to replace or upgrade your computer hard disk, you have to clone the original hard disk, too.

To be honest, cloning a hard disk to another one which is with the same storage capacity is considerably easy. Many third party utilities can help you achieve it. However, it’s a bit difficult to clone a larger hard disk to a smaller one. Actually, if the occupied storage space on the source disk is smaller than the target disk’s total storage capacity, you still can accomplish cloning. Here we will teach you a workaround.

Clone Larger Hard Drive to Smaller One

1. Remove Useless Data & Software

First of all, in prior to cloning the source hard disk, you had better remove all the unwanted data and software on it. By this way, not only will it make disk cloning much faster, but also it will make later operations far easier.

2. Back up Source Drive Data

Subsequently, you are required to back up all the data stored in the original hard disk. This can prevent you from suffering unexpected data loss. In other words, it is able to facilitate later data recovery. For instance, if your hard disk fails during cloning, you still can get access to your data from backups.

3. Defrag the Source Drive

After that, you are better off defragging the source hard disk. By this means, your disk data will be stored more contiguously and in order. Under this circumstance, it will be much easier to clone a hard disk and improve your disk performance.

4. Shrink Source Drive Partition

After completing all the above 4 steps, you ought to adjust the partitions of the source disk. That is to say, you should resize the source disk partitions as per the partition size of the target disk.

5. Clone Partition One by One

Ultimately, you can start to clone the source hard disk to the target one. Instead of cloning the entire disk to the target one, you should clone every disk partition to the target disk partition individually.

Author Introduction:

Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including sql recovery and outlook repair software products. For more information visit

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