Free method to migrate HDD to a smaller SSD


I have run into this enough times, I thought I should make a mental note for myself.

Make sure the actual content on the HDD is able to fit onto the smaller SSD. If the HDD contains 900GB worth of data, it is not going to fit onto a 512GB SSD.

Check to see if the SSD manufacturer have some free software that can be downloaded for the task. Frequently they might have a restricted version of some commercial software that will only work with their SSD. That should be the easiest way forward.

If this option is not available, most supposed free version of disk imaging or cloning software will have a few restrictions in place so that you will upgraded to their paid software. For example, they might only clone to a drive of the same capacity.

Here is one way of migrating the HDD to a smaller SSD for free.

1. Use MiniTool Partition Wizard to resize your HDD to a size that is smaller than your SSD. The partition move/resize functions of this software is free, but the cloning function is only available if you upgrade.

2. Then use Macrium Reflect Free to clone your HDD to the SSD. The clone function is free for this software, but it is not able to clone to a smaller drive, nor is it able to move/resize partitions.

3. Once that is done, use MiniTool Partition Wizard again to resize the migrated partition on the SSD so that it fills up the entire drive.

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