Are you buying a new SSD for your Windows PC or upgrading the current SSD to a newer SSD? If yes, then this guide is for you. This guide will help you change the default Windows drive without reinstalling Windows or losing your data. We are going to use the cloning concept to shift Windows from one drive to another drive. Here you will know how to clone Windows to SSD from HDD or another SSD.
Reasons to Switch from HDD to SSD
If you are using a brand new PC for your daily task then you will find your PC faster. But once you start installing various software and games you will start noticing lag and a decrease in performance. And who likes the slow performance, absolutely no one. So, in that case you can clean your drive to boost the performance. But is it effective? No, the drive will fill up and it will start lagging again. So, what’s the permanent solution for this? Well, you can upgrade your storage to M.2 SSD or NVMe SSD for smooth and fast performance.
SSD also known as Solid State Drive is disk storage with high read & write speed. It speeds up all the processes and activities performed on that disk. And it includes Windows performance, games, software, copying/moving speed, etc.
I guess you are switching to a new SSD drive considering all the advantages of the SSD drive. But switching to a new SSD is not an easy task. You have to first install the SSD correctly on your computer and later you need to set it up for maximum performance. And here we will help you to migrate Windows 10 to SSD from HDD on an old SSD.
Which SSD you should choose
There are different types of SSDs available in the market. And currently, NVMe SSDs are quite popular because of the high write and read speed in comparison to other SSDs. But there’s a catch that some computers don’t support NVMe SSD.
First, you need to make sure which type of SSD your computer supports. If your computer doesn’t support NVMe then you don’t have many options other than M.2. But you can choose between DRAM-less and DRAM SSD. To help with the selection, DRAM M.2 SATA SSDs are faster. And if you have an option for NVMe then go with it.
Mostly the performance of the same type of SSDs from different brands are similar so you can check their benchmarks for comparison.
Now if you have the correct SSD and already installed it on your PC. Then you are just one step behind on using it.
In case you just want to use the SSD as storage and not want to transfer windows to SSD. Then check if it is recognized in the file explorer. But if not then you can simply configure it from the disk management.
But if you want to migrate or copy Windows 10 to a new SSD hard drive from the previous drive, then you can follow the method given below.
Steps to Clone Windows to SSD
After installing the SSD drive make sure your computer detects the SSD which you can check in file explorer. And if your PC is still not detecting the SSD, then open the Disk management and it will ask you to choose MBR or GPT for your new SSD. And once you choose it according to the other drives then it will start reflecting in the file explorer. Once the new SSD drive is visible then you are good to follow the Windows cloning steps.
Note: If you have a partition in the drive where Windows is installed, then cloning Windows will also create a partition in the new SSD. Let’s say if you have one drive with 1TB and you allocated 150GB to the C drive then cloning Windows will also divide the SSD into two partitions. One with 150GB and the other with the remaining space.
There are many software packages that allow cloning Windows to SSD such as EaseUS, Acronis True Image, Minitool partition wizard, Macrium Reflect, etc. I tried some of these tools but most of the tools didn’t work properly. EaseUS cloned Windows drive to SSD, but not in bootable format. Acronis True Image is time-consuming, and the mini tool partition wizard is not free.
At last, Macrium Reflect worked out just fine. So here I will share a guide to migrate Windows 10 to SSD by cloning windows using Macrium Reflect. Most of the steps will be similar if you are using a different tool.
Step 1: Download and install the Macrium Reflect tool on your PC. You can also use other software you like.
Step 2: Now run the Macrium Reflect on PC. It will show ‘Create a Backup’ page by default.
Step 3: Deselect all drives in disks and then select the disk where Windows is installed. Then click on ‘Clone this disk’.
Step 4: In the destination, tab click on ‘Select a disk to clone to’ and select your new SSD drive.
Step 5: Now from the source section select necessary drives you want to clone such as Recovery, Unformatted Primary, FAT32 Primary, and your Windows (C). You need to select all drives with the Windows icon.
Step 6: After selecting Windows related drives click on Next > Next and it will show the information which is set to clone. Click on Finish to continue.
Step 7: It will show a warning message that it will erase data from SSD, so select the checkbox and click Continue. Remember it will format the destination disk which I guess already empty if you are using a new SSD.
Step 8: It will start cloning Windows to SSD. The process can take time depending on the hdd and ssd speed. So, wait for the cloning process.
Step 9: That’s it, the Windows cloning process is done. And your SSD is ready to use with Windows.
After cloning Windows 10 to an SSD from HDD, now you need to set up the boot sequence. So that Windows can boot from your new SSD instead of the old drive. To know the process, follow the below steps.
Steps to Boot Windows from SSD
Step 1: Restart your PC and when the first screen/logo appears, press F2 or any specific button assigned for your model to boot the PC into BIOS mode. You can Google for the correct key to boot into BIOS mode.
Step 2: In the BIOS mode go to the boot section, and set the SSD as your first boot preference.
Step 3: Save the settings and exit from the BIOS mode.
Step 4: Now the Windows will boot from the SSD, and you will start noticing it right away with boot time.
Step 5: After booting Windows from the SSD, you can delete Windows from the old drive if you want. To do that, format the drive from the disk management section.
Step 6: Also make sure to allocate the remaining SSD space to a new volume or you can also extend the SSD drive where Windows is installed.
So that’s all you have to follow for migrating Windows to SSD without losing user data. I hope you find the guide helpful and already running Windows on your brand new SSD. Share with your friends who are planning to buy new SSD and don’t want to fresh install Windows. And in case of any issues regarding the guide, let us know in the comment section.
Windows 10 Guides: