By AOMEI / Last update September 16, 2021

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Need help: how to transfer operating system to new drive without reinstalling?

"I have an old 120GB hard disk drive, and now I want to upgrade hard disk by transferring operating system to another hard drive without reinstalling everything because I am tired of the low disk space problem. It makes storing new data and installing new applications impossible. The most unbearable point is that the computer works at a very low speed. So is it possible to transfer OS to another or new hard drive without reinstalling?"

Of course, the answer is Yes, you can definitely migrate OS to new drive without reinstalling Windows and application you will use in the near future. But Windows won't make this process simple, so you need to turn to third-party software for help. The simplest way is to clone entire OS to a new hard drive or SSD to gain big capacity or better performance.

Many users have reported the disk won't boot after clone, and this isn't the only case you may encounter during the process. Thus, to transfer OS to new hard drive while ensuring secure boot, you a professional OS migration software, here I strongly recommend you AOMEI Backupper Professional. For details, please keep reading to learn more. 

Why transfer OS to new hard drive?

Speaking of why transfer OS to another hard drive, there are two main reasons.

1. The system partition or entire disk is out of space. This is a very common reason for all computer users. In general, the disk comes along with your computer is very smaller. In addition, you may install many new programs and add a larger number of new files to your computer. At last, you will get a disk warning message.

2. The computer runs slowly and you get better performance. After using a computer for a period of time, you may find that your computer does not run smoothly as before. Then, you may want to transfer operating system to new drive or directly move OS to SSD.

Best OS migration software to clone OS to new drive

AOMEI Backupper Professional has been regarded as one of the best strategies to resolve problem about cloning OS to another hard drive in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista, widely used by 50+ million users, so please feel free to use it.  It provides two ways for successfully cloning, System Clone and Disk Clone, you can choose the way per your needs.

System Clone: It lets you transfer OS to new drive with the System Clone feature. All system-related drives like system reserved partition or UEFI partition will be cloned simultaneously. Further, system customized settings, personal files and installed programs on the system drive will be copied to target new drive as well. In that case, you could get a similar Windows operating environment.

Disk Clone: It also allows you to move OS to new drive by cloning entire large hard drive to smaller drive, as long as the target space is sufficient for copied stuff. This technology is set by default. If you want to copy every sector of the selected system drive, usually the C: drive, to the target, you can specify a sector-by-sector clone.

With the help of such a powerful cloning tool, you can accomplish the OS moving task effortlessly. Then, let's see the entire steps to move OS to new drive.

Connect your new hard drive for cloning

Before you start to move OS to new drive or SSD, you need to install or connect the target hard drive to your computer obviously and make sure it is detected. 

If the computer is a desktop computer, you can install it internally using the extra slot. But if your computer is a laptop, you will need a USB cable, adapter or enclosure to connect the target drive for cloning.

In most cases, the hard drive uses a  SATA slot, but it is safe to check before getting a new hard drive. Because there are other disk interfaces, such as, M.2, PCIe, IDE, SCSI etc.

In addition, the target disk needs to be equal to or larger than source disk, otherwise the cloning process will fail due to insufficient disk space.

Transfer OS to another hard drive in Windows 10 | 3 steps

Here you will use a professional disk cloning software to move OS to another drive in Windows 10. And it also applies to other Windows system, such as, Windows 7, Windows 8, etc. Below are the detailed steps:

Step 1. Click the download button below to download AOMEI Backupper Professional and install it. Then, launch this software, select Clone and System Clone in order.

Download Free Trial Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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System Clone

Notes:
♥ The "System Clone" feature in the free trial software can only be tried, to make the cloning process smoothly, you need to upgrade to the full version of AOMEI Backupper Professional. 
‚ô• If the target disk has enough space, you could consider cloning hard drive to SSD with Disk Clone feature. It will include OS and all the installed program, personal data on the non-system partition.

Step 2. The program will automatically select source partitions including OS drive and other boot required partitions. Therefore, you just need to select another hard drive as destination location (here is Disk1), and then click Next.

Destination Disk

If the destination location is a partition, a window will pop to prompt that this partition will be deleted or overwritten. Therefore, if ther are any important data, please backup files in advance.

Step 3. On the Operation Summary window, you can preview the operation: source partitions to target hard drive, and set customized settings. If there is no problem, click Start Clone to clone OS to new drive. When it’s completed, click Finish.

>> Please tick SSD Alignment if you are migrating operating system to SSD. It can improve SSD’s performance and prolong its lifespan.
>> The Sector By Sector Clone mode will copy all the sectors no matter used or not. If you want to migrate OS to new drive with only used sectors copied, just keep the default intelligent mode.

Preview Settings

Note: If you want to know how to transfer operating system from one computer to another with dissimilar hardware, please refer to clone old PC to a new one.

Tip on migrating OS to new drive or SSD in Windows 10 for free:

Honestly, cloning is the easiest way to move OS to new drive or SSD. But some users want a free way to complete this process or to use it on a computer with dissimilar hardware, in this case, you need to use another way - Backup and Restore. It's available in the free version of AOMEI Backupper, so you can use it to move OS on the same computer.

The entire process should be:

1. Download and install AOMEI Backupper Standard. Then, go to the Backup tab and select System Backup to create a system image by following its on-screen instruction. 

2. Go to Tools and select Create Bootable Media to create a bootable media. It can help you boot your computer when it's unbootable.

3. Boot your computer from the bootable media or just start it as before, open this software, select Restore and Select Task or Select Image File to find the backup image and use it for restore.

Boot from the new hard drive

Step 1. Shut down your computer completely.

Step 2. Install the new hard drive at the location of  the original drive using screwdrivers.

Step 3. Then, replace the computer back cover and connect the power cable. 

Step 4. Start your computer and press the specific key to enter BIOS, you will see it at the initial screen.

Step 5. Go to the Boot tab and change boot order for the new hard drive. After that, save changes and restart to see if it boots from the new drive.

Boot from the Cloned Hard Drive

Conclusion

That’s all for moving OS to another drive. AOMEI Backupper Professional is a powerful OS cloning tool which makes OS or disk transferring easier for common users. With it, you can successfully boot your computer from the cloned hard drive. Also, it still works for moving system reserved partition to another drive.

For advanced users, the software also provides command line clone, i.e. clone hard drive from command prompt, to complete unattended task. For administrators of companies, the Server edition is capable of OS migration to new drive on Windows Server operating systems. Go for it and enjoy your new journey.