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how to move windows to another drive

Suppose you’re currently using a traditional hard drive as your primary boot drive. In that case, you may greatly benefit from shifting Windows onto a different drive, preferably a solid-state drive. If you want to keep your information while enjoying the benefits of SSD speeds, you’ll have to transfer Windows operating systems (and every data it stores) to your new storage device. This isn’t as hard as it may sound. However, it allows you to be back up and running much faster than if you began with a blank slate.

Windows 10 doesn’t make this simple, but the steps below will make cloning and switching your Windows 10 install to a new drive as simple as possible.

This guide will show you how to transfer Windows 10 to an SSD in only several steps. Be aware, however, that this guide is targeted at those who only want to switch drives, though this technique could work in the case of creating a new system or changing computers, depending on your configuration. It is likely not to be compatible with any virtualization program. However, you can get the services you need when you’re willing to pay them.

Before you transfer Windows 10 to a new drive, it’s essential to install the new one to ensure it’s in good shape for the move. For more information on this, read our comprehensive tutorial on the best way to construct a PC.

Do I have the ability to migrate Windows 10 from HDD to SSD?

“Hi, Recently I have been looking for solutions to clone Windows 10 to SSD from a large HDD. Currently, Windows 10 is installed on a 1TB internal hard drive. I purchased a 256GB SSD and want to add it to the desktop, for I was told computer will be faster if Windows is installed on SSD. What I really want is moving Windows to the SSD and keep other files intact on the HDD. I’m not skilled in computer staff and do not know how to make a clean install of OS. I tried two software claiming that moving OS to SSD free of charge, and yet I need to purchase it first. Do you have any free tool to transfer Windows OS to a smaller disk?”

Compared to previous versions of Windows, Windows 10 improved inefficiencies considerably, such as speedier booting times, enhanced performance, and a more user-friendly experience. If Windows 10 is installed on an SSD instead of the traditional hard drive, the performance and booting times will be much faster. Therefore, many prefer to connect an SSD to their computer and set it as their system drive. But many computer users would not like to install Windows and apps or alter settings or other settings. The process is lengthy and complex. If you’re one of those, there’s an easier way to move Windows to a new SSD. All you have to do is connect the SSD to the computer, and the free Windows software for migration will take care of the rest of the tasks for you.

Preparations: Make Everything Ready for Moving Windows 11/10

Work that you need to be doing before the time.

1. Prepare a New Hard Drive – HDD/SSD

Before Windows 10 migration, you must join or set up a brand new hard drive to make sure that your PC can recognize it with these tips:

Step 1. Create a new HDD/SSD and a SATA cable.

Be aware that the space on the new drive/SSD needs to be larger than the C drive in the system. that was used in the original disk.

Step 2. Connect the new HDD or SSD to the PC and initialize the disk.

Connect your SSD/HDD to your computer using power cables and SATA Find and click on your new drive in Disk Management. Choose “Initialize Disk” > Set the disk to either MBR or GPT (the same as the source operating system disk).


If the destination disk is equipped with partitions with data, You should backup your partition and disk to a different device first before deleting the partitions and then continuing.

Use a System Image to Move Windows to a New Hard Drive

With a brand new system image of the existing drive in place, you can utilize it to make a complete duplicate of the Windows system on a brand-new hard drive. We’ve already mentioned that it is only possible to make this happen when your new drive is the identical size or more significant than the system drive you previously had.

To start, you must place in and insert your Windows installation media with the portable USB disk or memory stick. After inserting, you can boot your PC and verify the BIOS settings or UEFI settings are set to prioritize the drive over other drives. When it appears, the Windows installation menu is displayed. Select Next, then choose to Repair your PC in the lower left corner.

Within the Advanced Options menu, select Troubleshoot > System Image Recovery.

Windows will detect the system image of the external drive under the Re-image menu on your computer. If not, click the Select an image from the system to search for it manually. In other cases, leave the Use the most current available image for the system (recommended) choice selected and then click Next to proceed.

The new image for your system and your HDD will now be formatted using identical partitions to the old drive. If you wish to remove the partitions, first select Exclude disks and remove them. If not, choose Next to proceed.

Click Finish, then OK to start the disk imaging process, which may take a few minutes to be completed. When the process is complete, click Restart Now to boot into your computer. You can remove the Windows installation disk or drive at this point. Moreover, you might need to alter your BIOS/UEFI settings to ensure that your new disk is chosen as the primary boot disk.

If you’ve cloned your files onto a new drive that is the identical size, you don’t require any additional steps at this point. Windows will start like regular, and you’ll be able to restart your computer. If you’ve copied your drive to a bigger capacity, you might need to follow additional steps to make the most of the additional space.

The process of moving Windows 10 to an SSD deletes your old drive.

After completing the process, turn the computer back on and boot up from the SSD. You might have to enter the boot menu and choose your SSD to select the device you want to boot from.

This is where you’ll notice the speed improvement as Windows will now begin and appear on the desktop much faster than before. However, we’re not finished yet. The next step is to start your File Explorer and wipe the old drive (make sure it’s not an archive).

It is done by clicking on the right side of the old drive and selecting the format and the information about the capacity of the disc present within the first dropdown menu. In the second, you should check if it is the standard NYFS has been selected, and the last dropdown menu must have the “Default allocation size” turned on. Before you exit, ensure the box ‘Quick Format’ is checked (it must be! ). Then, you can choose the Start button.

How do I copy Windows 10 from SSD to SSD?

You can easily copy Windows 10 from SSD to SSD using this professional and essential cloning tool, MiniTool Partition Wizard. Run this program, then click on to migrate OS onto SSD/HD Wizard, select option B, choose an appropriate disk, choose an option for a copy, review the boot note, and click Apply.

How can I transfer the contents of my OS into my SSD?

MiniTool Partition Wizard, the standard system migration software, gives a compelling feature called Migrate OS to SSD/HD Wizard. It lets you not just transfer the entire disk but also only your Operating System into SSD and HDD. Select option B if you wish to transfer all of your OS into an SSD.


If you want to securely and directly transfer your Windows 10 installation to another drive, the most efficient method is to use a disk clone program. AOMEI Backupper is an excellent option with its robust disk clone and system-clone features. It can move your operating system data from an HDD to a bigger HDD or a smaller SSD.

Suppose you’re looking to move your hard drive to a new machine without having to reinstall windows 10. In that case, you can use the Universal Restore feature to ensure the computer can boot following an unrelated hardware restore. Download it and give it a test!

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