Can I clone a 1TB drive to a 500 gig drive?

I updated my 10-yr old laptop a couple of years ago to a 1TB SSD (I'm only using about 150G). I want to get a new laptop and get one with a 256G drive. I'd like to swap drives.

I've cloned drives before but it seems that you can only clone from a smaller drive to a bigger drive. Can I do it the other way?

Here's what I am thinking:
Drive A is the "old" 1TB SSD
Drive B is the new 256G SSD
Drive C is the 1TB transfer drive.

1. Clone Drive A to the Drive C, the transfer drive
2. Clone Drive B to Drive A
3. Clone Drive C to Drive B

Step 3 is the tricky part as I'll be cloning a 1TB drive to a 256 drive. Is there a way to do it? How about if I make a partition of less than 256, will that fake the software out?

Please help me with a way I can accomplish this.


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Re: clone

You can't clone the (contents of) the old laptop to the new laptop. Not because it's smaller, but because it has a new Windows and won't run the old Windows.

All you can do:
1. Reinstall the applications you used on your old laptop (if they are still necessary on your new laptop)
2. Copy your data (until the 256 GB is full).
The last point is not fully true. You need empty space to run, for updates and for new data. Don't fill it for more than 220 GB.

Post was last edited on October 11, 2019 9:01 AM PDT

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Let me share the tool I use.

But Kees should be heeded since we can't run Windows from one machine to the machine if there are any differences in the PCs.

Disregarding that, I use the Apricom USB 3.0 Clone Kit and software from same to clone from big to small, same to same and small to big drives. The kit is about 25 bucks and has made such work trivial.

That said I've seen folk work at this for weeks or longer looking for free solutions. That also said, EASEUS clone software is good but can challenge users. I do not intend this mention to imply I am their tech support.

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I use GParted

There's a bootable version for windows users. You shrink the partition from the empty space, but for safety leave a bit of empty space. You then have a much smaller partition to move. On windows however, I'd run defrag first before doing it.

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