Case: can you transfer Windows from one SSD to another?
I loaded Windows 10 onto a 256gb Samsung 840 Pro because I thought it was the fastest SSD on the market, and best place for the OS/Software/Games. But recently, my friend told me the 250gb 840 EVO is better. So I'm considering transferring Windows 10 to my EVO but have no clue how to get started. How can I do it? What software do I need?
As in the scenario, many people want to transfer Windows 10 from one SSD to another for better performance. More specifically, migrating OS to a new SSD can help you to increase the read-write speed and get larger capacity. Doing so in Windows 11 is the same.
But how to move Windows from one SSD to another?
How to migrate Windows 11/10 from one SSD to another
For most users, hard drive replacement is difficult because it involves a series of complicated steps including reinstalling the operating system and some other necessary applications. There's also the possibility that your computer can't boot from the new SSD properly.
Fortunately, you can migrate the operating system to another SSD without reinstalling Windows, which makes the process much simpler. Here I'll introduce 2 commonly used methods.
Method 1. Transfer Windows 11/10 from one SSD to another with built-in utility
Normally, you can create Windows 11/10 system image and then restore it to your new SSD to achieve the goal of transferring Windows 11/10.
This method can be accomplished by the built-in utility, but not very straightforward, or stable. Sometimes you may find system restore is not working in Windows 11/10 with an error message like, "System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer's system files and settings were not changed”.
If you are looking for a more direct and efficient way to perform Windows migration, Method 2 may suit you better.
Anyway, I'll introduce how it works for your reference.
◆ The new SSD and a matched screwdriver.
◆ A removable device that is large enough to save the system image. Connect it to your computer.
◆ A repair disc. If you don't have any, follow the guide to create a repair disc by yourself.
How to create Windows 10 image and restore it to new SSD:
1. Search for Backup settings in the search box and open it, then go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
2. Follow the wizard to Create a system image. You can backup it to a removable device like external hard drive.
3. Shutdown the computer to replace the old hard drive with the new one.
4. Connect the device containing the system image and insert the system repair disc into your computer.
5. Boot computer from the system repair disc. Change your system's BIOS settings to make sure it can boot from the CD/DVD by hitting the specified key (eg: ESC, F2, etc) on the first screen.
6. Click Next when you see the Windows Setup interface for the first time, then choose Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System Image Recovery > Windows 10 subsequently.
7. Tick Use the latest available system image and choose your restore destination drive, then click Next.
8. Choose Format and repartition disks option, then click Next > Finish > Yes to start the restoration.
Method 2. Easier way to move Windows 11/10 from one SSD to another
Compared with backing up Windows 11/10 at first and then restoring it to another SSD, cloning is a much easier way to move Windows 10/11 to SSD. It significantly simplifies the steps and therefore requires an effective clone software like AOMEI Backupper Professional, which supports Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP and Vista.
It is capable of migrating Windows 10 to SSD simply and quickly through System Clone. After that, the computer can boot from the new SSD successfully without reinstallation.
If you want to keep not only the OS, but all the data on the hard drive, you can try Disk Clone to migrate the entire SSD to another.
With the intelligent cloning technology, you can even clone large hard drive to smaller hard drive. And there is a feature called SSD Alignment that can accelerate the speed of SSDs.
◆ Install the new SSD alongside the old drive if your computer has more than one slot. Otherwise you need a SATA-to-USB adapter or enclosure to connect the second SSD as an external drive.
◆ Uninstall apps you don't use anymore, delete unnecessary files and transfer data that you don't want to be stored on the new SSD.
◆ Download and install AOMEI Backupper Professional.
How to transfer OS from one SSD to another SSD via cloning:
1. Click Clone on the left side of the interface and then choose System Clone on the right of the interface.
2. This software will select system required partitions automatically. So just choose your new SSD as the destination, then click Next.
3. Tick SSD Alignment option, because it will optimize the performance of cloned SSD. Then click Start Clone.
The clone is performed in intelligent mode by default. If your destination SSD has enough space and you want to clone all sectors no matter used or not, you can tick Sector By Sector Clone. Otherwise just leave it alone.
SSD Alignment will accelerate the writing and reading speed of the SSD and prolong its service life while you are cloning to an SSD.
4. Shut down your computer, replace the old SSD with the new one, and then Windows 10 should boot from the cloned drive normally. If not, you can press the specified key (depending on the manufacturer; you can check it on user manual) to go to BIOS, look for the Boot tab and set the cloned SSD as the first boot option.
Hit F10 to save the changes and exit the BIOS screen. Now you should be able to boot the computer successfully from the cloned SSD drive.
Tip: After selecting the cloned SSD as the first boot drive, you can also keep the old SSD (or HDD) as the secondary storage device.
Supplement: Will Windows 11/10 license be transferred to SSD?
A frequently asked question about migrating OS to SSD is "Will the Windows 11/10 license be transferred together?". Well, it depends. You can refer to the following cases:
If you upgraded from a retail version of Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, you can transfer your license (but only once).
If you have a full retail copy of Windows 10/11, you can transfer as many times as you want.
If you upgraded from an OEM (pre-installed by your computer’s manufacturer) Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 license, your Windows 10 or Windows 10 license is tied to the motherboard and cannot be transferred to different hardware.
To check out if your license is OEM, you can right-click on This PC and select Properties, then find the Product ID. If the product ID contains the three characters “OEM”, it is OEM license.
There are two ways to transfer Windows 11/10 from one SSD to another SSD. Using the built-in utility may seem convenient, but it actually requires more complicated operations. In this case, AOMEI Backupper is an easy and reliable choice to perform system migration. With the powerful cloning feature, you can easily transfer the system or even the entire disk to new SSD, such as clone SSD to larger SSD.
In addition, if you are a Windows Server user and you want to clone your system, you can choose the specially designed Server edition.