If you regularly use a hard drive as your primary boot drive, you better move Windows to another drive, better SSD hard drive. To keep your data like that while still taking advantage of the speed of the SSD, you need to move your operating system (and all of its data) to the new drive. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and it means you can get up and run again much faster than if you started from the left.
Windows 10 doesn’t simplify things, but the instructions below make cloning and replacing your Windows 10 installation on the new hard drive as easy as possible.
We’ll show you how to run Windows 10 on an SSD in just a few steps. Keep in mind, however, that this guide is for people who are just swapping drives, although this method may work if you are building a new rig or swapping computers, depending on your setup. . It probably won’t work on a virtualization project, even if you can find these services if you’re willing to pay for them.
Before you start trying to run Windows 10 on a new disk, it is important to install the new disk so that it is ready for the process.
Download Macrium Reflect for free
For the purpose of our guide, we will use Macrium Reflect Free. This software will allow you to clone your main disk where Windows 10 is installed to the new SSD for free. Note that you will also need a destination SSD that is larger or equivalent to your primary disk for cloning. Otherwise, it will not work.
Step 1: Go to the website and select the Reflect 8 Free Commercial option. Click the button Free download and enter your email. Choose I need a free personal license.
2nd step: If you have selected this option, click the button Keep then see your email for download instructions.
Step 3: Visit the link in your email, download the app, and install it. During installation, select the option free and select To download at the bottom of the page. Make sure the Run the installer directly after downloading is also clicked to automatically install the application.
Step 4: Follow the instructions on your screen. keep clicking succession at the prompts and uncheck all boxes for installing additional software. Click the button In conclusion and install the app. When the installation is complete, click Launch now.
Configure Macrium Reflect 8 for disk cloning
Once Macrium Reflect 8 is installed, you can open the software and begin the cloning process. Here’s how.
Step 1: Click the button Local disks at the top of the page and select your main disk with your data. Select the tab Clone this disk in the middle of the app. You will know that this is your primary drive because it has multiple partitions.
2nd step: Next, click all the checkboxes for the primary disk. Make sure all and all partitions are checked.
Step 3: Go to Select a disk to clone then select your new SSD from the app list. If you don’t see it, restart the app. You must select Pass the disk and pass the SSD to be blank like our screenshot below.
Step 4: To continue, select Copy the selected partitions when I click next and make sure it is checked. Click the button succession to continue.
Step 5: You will be taken to an optional programming page. Ignore it, and click Next. You can find a summary of everything you are about to complete, as we have below. Click the button In conclusion buttons.
Step 6: From the context menu, select the option Run this backup now box. Accept any warnings, and click Keep > OK ra.
Step 7: Sit back and wait while your drive is cloned. This can take a while, depending on the speed of your PC and the type of SSD you are using. Our clone lasted seven minutes.
Step 8: When you’re done, you should see that your disk is now completely cloned and looks the same as Macrium Reflect 8’s utility as shown above.
To complete this process, you will want to set your new disk as the primary boot drive. You can leave the old disk on your PC if you plan to use it for another. If not, you can also remove it physically.
Step 1: Boot into the BIOS or UEFI settings on your PC. Usually the ESC key will work for this, or you can use the function To pass . If you are unsure, check the PC manufacturer’s online guides or support page.
2nd step: Go to Startup Parameters and remove or disable your old disk as one of the boot options, then add or enable the new disk in its place. Some BIOS or UEFI allow you to swipe the drive or select it from a checklist.
Step 3: If you already have your new hard drive as your primary boot option, click the “Boot” button. Save and Exit button, usually marked in the BIOS. Your system should now boot your new SSD!
Is it worth moving Windows 10 to the new SSD?
Transferring your data from a traditional spinning hard drive to an SSD has huge performance benefits. SSDs are faster than HDDs, which means that if you can move Windows 10 to the new disk, your PC will boot faster. Your games will also load faster and the apps will also perform better. We have a dedicated guide that explains the differences, but eventually your entire system will be more responsive once you install Windows on an SSD.
Do I need to reinstall Windows if I move to the SSD?
You do not need to reinstall Windows when moving to a new disk. Just use the software we discussed in this article.
Using special software, you can “clone” your disk and copy Windows exactly when you left it. In the worst case, you will need to reactivate Windows after migrating the SSD, which should not be a problem. Our separate guide covers Windows activation issues.
If all else fails, you can backup your existing Windows 10 installation and restore it later after installing Windows 11 on the new SSD on your PC. Our guide also covers backup and installation.
In our guide, we used Macrium Reflect 8 as clone software, but there are many more, such as EaseUS Todo Backup Free or AOMEI Backupper Standard. Also, if for some reason you have a problem, we suggest that you restore your old drive to your PC and back it up to a separate external SSD. Then do a clean installation of Windows and restore your files and apps manually.