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Can I 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 with previous versions of Windows, Windows 10 improves a lot in efficiency, for example faster booting time, overall improved performance, better user experience. If Windows 10 is installed on SSD instead of traditional hard drive, computer booting time and performance will be faster. Hence, many users prefer to add an SSD to computer and make it as the system drive. However, not all computer users want to reinstall Windows, install application, configure settings, etc. for the process is quite time-consuming and complicated. If you are one of them, there is an easier solution: migrate Windows to new SSD. All you need is connecting the SSD, as free Windows migration software will complete all rest tasks for you.
Step four: Finishing up your drive install
Now that you have a clone of your original drive, don’t do anything on your primary drive that puts data on your computer you’d otherwise want to save, because that won’t appear on your cloned drive. I recommend placing a text file on your desktop that says “THIS IS THE OLD HARD DRIVE,” or something more witty than that, and then power down your computer.
If you’re replacing your old hard drive with your new SSD, disconnect your old hard drive from your desktop or laptop (likely a SATA and power cable) and plug in your new SSD right where your old drive used to be. You shouldn’t have to tweak anything else in your system’s BIOS—it should boot directly to your primary Windows partition on your new SSD. (Or, at least, mine did.)
If you’re keeping your old hard drive around, reconnect it to another SATA port on your desktop system. Check to make sure your computer doesn’t accidentally boot to it instead of your new SSD by seeing if the total size of your c:\ drive (in bytes, in its “Properties” screen) matches the capacity of your new SSD, not your old hard drive. That, or look for the “THIS IS THE OLD HARD DRIVE” text file on your BIOS, assuming you didn’t skip that step. If you’re booting to your old hard drive instead of your new one, you’ll have to change your system’s boot order in your BIOS.
Assuming that your computer is correctly booting to your new SSD, pull up Computer Management (via the Start Menu), click on Disk Management, find your old hard drive, right-click on its various partitions, and select “Delete Volume” for each one. If this option is grayed out, you might need to use a third-party app like Paragon Hard Disk Manager (the free version) instead. Same concept, it’ll just allow you to delete your old volumes and re-partition the drive as a big fat chunk of empty space.
How do I migrate Windows 10 to SSD using free system migration software?
Preparations before moving Windows 10 to SSD
- Install the SSD to your desktop or laptop properly. Your computer will be able to boot from system on this new SSD after migrating Windows completes, thus, you should make sure it is correctly connected.
- Backup files. If the SSD chosen as the destination disk contains files, you need to backup files beforehand, for the Windows migration process will remove and overwrite files on target disk.
- Clean up useless files and uninstall unwanted application for original disk. For example, you can use Windows cleanup tool: right-click on system partition in File Explorer > Properties > Disk Cleanup. You can choose files you want to delete and click OK button; if you want to free up more disk space and delete system files, then click Clean up system files.
Here goes the step-by-step guide of moving Windows 10 from HDD to SSD with DiskGenius Free edition
Step 1. Free download, install and run DiskGenius Free from your computer, and click Tools > System Migration, as follows:
Step 2. Select destination disk.
The pop-up window lists all disks except system disk, and you need to find out and choose the SSD as the target disk and click OK button.
If the target disk contains too much free space, you can resize partitions on the disk by dragging mouse.
Moreover, DiskGenius supports to move all partitions from system disk to target disk if target disk is large enough, for example, if source disk contains other partitions apart from those related Windows such as drive (E:), you can right-click on partition and choose to migrate it as well.
Step 3. Change boot sequence for UEFI-based computer in advance.
For UEFI-based system, you can set whether to change boot sequence after Windows OS is migrated to new SSD: check the option “When finished, change computer boot sequence“, and you can choose either “Automatically set to boot from migrated target system” or “Automatically enter BIOS after rebooting (manually set)“. What do they mean? If you choose “Automatically set to boot from migrated target system”, after system migration, computer will automatically boot from the system on the SSD which is set as the destination disk; if you choose the other option, when DiskGenius finishes migrating OS, your computer will enter BIOS firmware interface where you can manually change boot sequence. If you leave the option “When finished, change computer boot sequence” unselected, your computer will continue booting from the original disk. These options are only available for UEFI-based computers.
Step 4. Click Start button, and you will receive following message.
All files and partitions on target disk will be removed and overwritten, please backup files for target disk in advance. Then click OK button to continue.
Step 5. Choose the way to migrate Windows.
DiskGenius provides two system migration ways: Hot Migration and Reboot to WinPE, and you can choose either one based on your own requirements. Hot migration moves Windows 10 to SSD without closing current system, and you won’t be disturbed by the entire process. Such system migration method is powered by Windows VSS technology, which is stable and effective. If you choose “Reboot to WinPE”, DiskGenius will create the WinPE environment and then reboot to DiskGenius WinPE edition to complete rest operations. Thus, hot migration is recommended considering convenience and simple in operation.
Step 6. Wait for the process to complete.
Migrate Your Windows 10 to SSD Without Reinstalling
I am going to show you two different ways to perform the migration. Both of them are very easy to perform. Either of them should work perfectly.
A Little Heads-up
Before starting the migration process on your Windows 10, the SSD drive of yours needs to be formatted properly. If not, you may face some problems and the migration may not be done perfectly which later may cause some issues.
Furthermore, you might want to keep a backup of your operating system, if something goes wrong in the mid-way, you might lose your valuable data and all of this would be for nothing. So, keeping a backup of your C drive and operating system is a safe measurement.
If your operating system drive occupies a larger space than your SSD capacity then you need to delete some unnecessary files and software to free up some space and make your operating system’s drive to occupy less space.
Method 1: Direct Copy
Copying is the operating system from your old HDD to the new SSD is a comparatively safe, fast, and easy way to perform the migration.
Unlike regular copying performance, copying the operating system can not be done that simply. It can be done with the software iSumsoft Cloner that I have mentioned earlier.
Step 1: Download and install iSumsoft Cloner.
Step2: Open and launch the iSumsoft Cloner. After launching this software, it will automatically detect all of your active drives on your computer including your Solid-State Drive or SSD, and show them on the screen.
Step 3: Click on the Copy option. You can see it on the pane on the left side of the software window.
Step 4: Then you will see “Select a source target”. Go there and select the system partition which is usually the C drive of your HDD. This is the drive on which your operating system is currently installed.
Step 5: After selecting the target source now it is time to set up the destination folder. Go to “Select destination target” and select your SSD partition to which you will migrate or move the operating system from your HDD.
Step 6: Click start and a tips dialogue will pop-up. Click ok and proceed. The copying will start and it will take some time.
Wait till the copying process finishes and you are done.
Step 7: Now restart your computer and access the BIOS settings and set the SSD as your first boot device. Then exit the BIOS Settings and it is done.
Now your computer will perfectly work as it used to work before.
Method 2: Backup and Restore
The previous method was based on a direct copy via the software called iSumsoft Cloner. This is another method to copy your Windows 10 operating system from HDD to SSD without reinstalling. This the backup and restore method using the same software that we have used in the previous method.
Note: This method is a bit complicated and risky compared to the previous method.
In case the first method did not work for you then try this method by following the steps below:
Step 1: Make sure to have a backup of the Windows 10 operating system. Then open and launch iSumsoft Cloner, then click on the Backup option and then select the partition that contains your Windows 10 operating system. Usually, it is the C drive of your hard disk.
Then select a path to save the backup on your computer. Save it on the hard disk so that the backup file does not occupy your limited SSD space.
Then Click Start to start the process. A dialogue box will popup click ok and proceed to start the backup process of your operating system.
Wait for a few minutes until the backup process is finished. You will see a popup saying mission completed.
To make sure the backup is done correctly go to the selected path and you will see a .icg file in the selected location of your hard disk.
Step 2: Now it is time to restore the backup of your operating system to the SDD.
Go to the iSumsoft Cloner and launch the software again. Then select the Restore option from there.
Click Choose and select the backup file you just created in the last step. After that select the SSD partition to which you want to migrate your Windows 10 operating system from “Select the restoration destination”.
After that hit “Start” and a dialogue box will pop up. Hit ok and proceed. Wait for a few minutes for the restoring process to be finished.
Step 3: Finally, restart your computer and enter the BIOS settings. Set the volume from the SSD drive to boot your computer.
When it is done, your computer will work perfectly as if nothing happened.
These are two ways to migrate your Windows 10 operating system from your old HDD to a newly installed SSD without reinstalling the whole operating system. Also, you can do a system restore for your Windows OS so that you can always come back to a previous stable state.
Have a great day.
With AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, you can free migrate Windows 10 to SSD without reinstalling operating system. Moreover, apart from moving OS only to SSD, AOMEI Partition Assistant also provides “Disk Clone Wizard” that can clone entire hard drive to SSD in Windows 10. It offers “Partition Clone Wizard” that could help you move Windows 10 OEM to SSD as well.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is specialized in partition management. It is much powerful and flexible than Disk Management in Windows 10. So if you are the user who wants to manage your partitions easily, you can’t miss this free but professional software. If you are Windows Server users and want to manage disk partition in Server operating system, just try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.