I have a hard drive which is 153 GB with 116 GB free space. I would like to clone this drive to a hard drive which is a 149 GB big (this is the largest hard drive I have... It would be typical that my largest drive is only 4 GB to small).

Is there any way to do this (preferably with free or open source programs)? I am running Windows XP.

4 Answers 4


Symantec Ghost v11 will do that, you can clone the source drive to any destination as long as the used data do not exceed the disk space available on the target drive.

EASEUS ToDo Backup is a free alternative to clone disks, with similar capabilities.

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  • Can backup exec system recovery do this also? (it cannot via clone disk, the clone function requires equal or larger disk in system recovery 2011) thx! Jun 8, 2012 at 2:37
  • I successfully used EasUS Todo Backup to copy a (spinning platter) hard drive to a much smaller (SSD) hard drive, so I am now a fan.
    – mhenry1384
    Jul 27, 2012 at 1:50

I've been saying it a lot recently! I recommend Gparted, I do not think you can do a copy to a disk of a different size disk straight away, but you can shrink then copy and stretch it again.

There are many other tools that can do this, but Gparted is free and easy to use.

  • "I do not think you can do a copy to a disk of a different size disk straight away". yes you can. any cloning soft can clone to drives equally or larger (which is DIFFERENT, isn't it) in size, the 2 products i have posted can clone to drives that are smaller as long as the ammount of used data does not exceed the available space. i'm sure there are others too, i think Acronis TI can do it as well, but not 100% sure.
    – Molly7244
    Dec 27, 2009 at 17:12

You could shrink the partition using gparted to a few GB below your destination drive, create a partition the EXACT same size on the new drive, and then ghost the partition over to the new drive (dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/sdb1 - note sda1 not just sda)

  • Original question is tagged for Windows XP, not *nix.
    – devstuff
    Dec 27, 2009 at 16:41
  • if you 'ghost' you don't need to shrink, Ghost can clone to smaller target drives as long as the used data do not exceed the available space. if you're using 'ghosting' as a generl term, then it depends on the software you're using, Clonezilla for example does not allow this and you will have to shrink the partition first.
    – Molly7244
    Dec 27, 2009 at 16:46
  • Why would you ever do a live resize of a partition? Gparted is a free download, and liveCDs are an excellent way to do this.
    – Dentrasi
    Dec 27, 2009 at 21:02

Norton ghost will do it, but what about if your hard drive crashed and you need to get your data ASAP and you don't have norton ghost? I always prefer open source solutions. I personally love Clonezilla which can do whatever Norton Ghost does and more. (like multicasting) There is a really interesting alticle I found on how to do it with Clonezilla, here it is:


Hope you find it useful.

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