How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive

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Learning how to transfer Windows to one other drive may appear ineffective till it’s lastly time to improve your laborious drive. Technology outgrows present units, and to hold your system up to date, you’ll want to improve {hardware} parts each every now and then. For occasion, you may want to improve to an SSD (solid-state drive) for extra storage or improved efficiency.

When you improve your HDD, although, you’ll additionally want to migrate your working system. You’ll have two choices to select from for migrating Windows. 

First, set up Windows from scratch. You’ll want to set up a clear copy of Windows on the brand new SSD, reinstall apps, after which use your backup to get every thing arrange. The second, simpler choice is to switch Windows 10/11 to your new laborious drive so you possibly can skip the tedious Windows set up course of. We’ll stroll you thru the second technique on this information.

How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive

Things to Know Before Moving Windows to Another Drive

Before you migrate your working system, there are some things you want to know and have available.

First, be aware that when you can at all times transfer Microsoft Windows to one other laborious drive, you might or might not be ready to transfer it on a tough drive put in on one other pc, relying on the license you will have. 

OEM licenses are linked to the motherboard and may’t be transferred to a brand new pc like Retail or Volume licenses. If you don’t know your license kind, execute the next command in Command Prompt or PowerShell:

slmgr /dli

How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive

Second, you’ll want just a few issues:

  • An exterior storage gadget on which you’ll create a system picture and one other gadget to create a backup.
  • The new laborious disk put in in your pc. Hard disks are housed otherwise in desktop and laptop computer computer systems. However, your laptop computer could or might not be user-serviceable, so make certain to verify the handbook. 

Once the laborious disk is in place, join the SATA information cable (or IDE in case you use an outdated pc) to join the laborious drive to the motherboard. Next, boot the pc and verify your BIOS or UEFI firmware. If the firmware detects your laborious drive, it’s prepared to be used.

When you’re prepared to begin, be sure to have about 60 to 90 minutes of time for the method.

How to Move Windows 10 to Another Drive Using the Built-In System Imaging

Windows has a built-in instrument that permits you to create a system picture. You can use the system picture to transfer Windows to one other drive and keep away from a brand new Windows set up from scratch. 

However, it’s best to use this technique provided that your new laborious drive, whether or not HDD or SSD, is an equal or bigger dimension than your outdated HDD. If you do this technique anyway, Windows will cease you once you attempt to restore the picture with a message indicating that the brand new drive is simply too small. If your new drive is smaller than the outdated drive, use the following technique on this information.

There are two elements to utilizing the built-in instrument. The first half is the place you create a system picture. The second half is the place you utilize the system picture to migrate Windows.

Part 1: Creating a System Image

  1. Launch the Control Panel and choose Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. Select Create a system picture from the left sidebar.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. The system picture creation wizard will pop up and begin searching for disks the place it could possibly save the backup file. 

The wizard will select a disk routinely, however you can too select one by yourself. Ideally, it’s best to choose an exterior laborious drive or storage gadget, so that you don’t lose the backup in case of disk failure. When you’ve chosen a disk, choose Next.

How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. On the following display, you’ll give you the option to choose partitions you need to backup, however any partitions which can be required for Windows might be included by default. 

If you’re questioning why partitions apart from the system partition are chosen, it’s as a result of these disks would possibly comprise program information required to run the apps at present put in in your pc. Select Next when you’ve chosen the drives.

How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. Confirm if every thing is right on the final display, and choose Start backup.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. Once the wizard completes creating the system picture, it’s going to ask if you would like to create a system restore disk. It could also be a good suggestion to create one simply in case. If you modify one thing you’re not supposed to or find yourself corrupting the MBR or GPT boot information, having a system restore disk will come in useful.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive

Part 2: Moving Windows to Another Drive

Once you will have the system picture and the brand new laborious disk is put in in your pc, you’re prepared to begin migrating Windows to your new drive. 

  1. Start by launching a Windows set up utilizing your set up media. Click on Repair your pc as a substitute of Install now.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. Once the pc reboots, choose Advanced Options > Troubleshoot > System Image Recovery.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. At this level, the wizard will routinely detect the most recent obtainable system picture. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to choose the system picture you simply created. When you’re carried out, choose Next.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. The wizard will create the identical partitions as your outdated drive. However, in case you choose, you possibly can select to Exclude disks, after which choose Next.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. On the following display, click on Finish and make sure you need to proceed by deciding on Yes. After the method completes, reboot the PC by deciding on Restart Now. You also needs to change the boot order in BIOS or UEFI settings. Set the brand new drive because the default boot drive and reboot the PC.
  1. If your new drive is bigger, you’ll additionally want to allocate the additional area from the Disk Management console. Right-click on the disk and choose New Simple Volume to create a partition utilizing the unallocated area. You can customise the unallocated area as you see match. You can create a number of partitions or resize them as per your desire.

How to Move Windows 10 to Another Drive Using a Third-Party Tool

Windows received’t allow you to use the system picture for imaging to a smaller drive. If your new HDD or SSD is smaller in dimension than the older one, you’ll want to clone the drive to migrate Windows 10/11. There are a number of instruments for creating a replica of Windows, however we’ll illustrate the method utilizing AOMEI Backupper Standard.

  1. Start by putting in a third-party instrument like AOMEI in your pc.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. Select Clone from the left sidebar and choose System Clone to clone Windows.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. Select the vacation spot partition, i.e., the disk to which you need to migrate the system from the supply disk.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive
  1. Confirm that you really want to proceed by deciding on OK.
How to Move Windows to Another Hard Drive

Once the method is full, you’ll give you the option to boot into Windows out of your new laborious drive. You can both take away the outdated drive or reformat it from the Disk Management console after logging into Windows from the brand new laborious drive.

What if Something Goes Wrong?

If you comply with these steps fastidiously, the probabilities of one thing going mistaken are slim. Rarely sufficient, issues can go mistaken even in case you do every thing proper. For occasion, if there’s an influence outage when you’re nonetheless transferring Windows to one other drive, you possibly can’t do a lot about it except you will have a UPS or inverter or sufficient battery energy to final over an hour.

If one thing does go mistaken, you possibly can at all times clean install Windows on the brand new disk. Reinstalling Windows requires you to reinstall your apps and reactivate Windows, however you’ll nonetheless give you the option to switch your private information with none issues.

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