How to Move Windows to an SSD Hard Drive
Do you have an old laptop that is running slow? Is your hard drive making a lot of noise? If your answer is yes, it may be time to upgrade your computer with an internal solid-state drive or SSD.
In the tech world, SSDs are rapidly replacing hard disk drives (HDDs). They process data at superior speeds and have an incredibly low failure rate because they don’t use moving heads to read or write information as traditional HDDs do.
This tutorial will show you how to move Windows from your old HDD to an SSD hard drive. In addition, we’ll answer any questions or concerns that might be on your mind about making this switch.
Migrating Windows 10 to an SSD Hard Drive: Is It Worth the Hassle?
Migrating from HDD to SSD may be a time-consuming exercise that demands a lot of care, but it comes with instant benefits. Moving your operating system to a speedy SSD is as beneficial as upgrading to another PC or desktop in terms of performance but without any of the hassle or expense.
For starters, Windows will take less time to boot up from an SSD and generally load faster. Programs and games will start more quickly with SSD. The old hard drive that served as the holding area for data is no longer a mechanical aspect of your system, so it doesn’t cause random access time when browsing files. Also, SSD’s flash-based technology is also tremendously speedy: it can read a whole unit of memory in one nanosecond and write it in 150 nanoseconds. That’s up to 100 times faster than on an HDD.
What Do You Need?
Before the process of migrating your Windows to an SSD drive begins, you’ll need a few things:
· An SSD
An SSD is a major upgrade for any computer because it unlocks performance levels you’d only dream of with traditional hard drives. But how do you pick the best? The easiest way to choose an SSD is to determine the size required for your data. A good rule of thumb is to get an SSD that is at least as big as your current drive.
In addition, make sure that your system can support its form factor. For example, most laptops on the market use 2.5-inch drives, but there are models that use mSATA drives. In addition, pay attention to power specifications. For example, SATA SSDs have lower power needs than PCIe SSDs. We also recommend looking at read/write speeds, warranty length and cost, and endurance (how much data it can write before wearing out). You can get all this information from your local retailer.
· A USB-to-SATA Dock
To start the migration process, you’ll need to connect both the SSD hard drive and the hard disk drive to your computer. But this can be a problem for laptops that have just one drive slot. Luckily, a USB-to-SATA dock offers a solution. It’s a hardware device that offers the convenience of connecting an additional SATA storage drive to your laptop or desktop computer via its USB port. You simply need to attach the SSD drive to the dock with its included caddy, then connect it to your USB port.
· Cloning Software
Moving Windows 10 to an SSD hard drive is not a simple copy-and-paste task. It’s more than merely creating a duplicate of your data. You need to read all the file system metadata from your old drive and then write this on the SSD drive in much the same manner as it was written on the original drive. In other words, you need to clone your old drive. Although there are a plethora of cloning tools on the market, the AOMEI Backupper is our pick. It comes with an intuitive interface that will take care of any quirks during the operation.
Once you’ve got all of these, you’re ready to start!
Step 1: Create a Backup of Your Data
As with any other Windows operation, it’s important to play it safe and back up your data before initiating migration. A simple mis-click can have terrible consequences and erase all your files.
If your SSD is smaller than your current hard drive, the cloning process will require some preparation beforehand. First, you’ll need to delete some files on your current drive, otherwise, you risk losing some of your data during the migration process.
Step 2: Connect Your SSD to Your Computer
At this point, connect your SSD drive to the USB-to-SATA dock and then plug the SSD into your computer. As with all new devices, your SSD may not pop up on your screen right away. You may need to give your system express instructions to recognize the new device that has just been plugged in. Here’s how:
- Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left corner.
- Enter “Partitions” into the search bar.
- Select “Create and format hard disk partitions.” This should open the disk management page.
- At this option, your system will prompt you to choose whether to initialize the SSD using the MBR or the GPT partition table.
- Select GPT if your computer runs on UEFI firmware. But if it’s still running on the traditional BIOS, you’ll need to select the MBR table.
- At this point, your computer should recognize the SSD drive as “unallocated space.” To begin formatting this unallocated space for use with Windows, right-click on any empty part of the window, then click on “New Simple Volume.” This will instantly create a new volume made up of your new drive.
- Close the disk management page.
If you’re not prompted to initialize your drive and don’t see it in Disk Management, double-check if it’s properly connected to your computer. Also, make sure all cables are plugged in correctly.
Step 3: Clone Your Hard Drive
Now is the time to clone your old drive. Here are the necessary steps:
- Open the AOMEI Backupper.
- In the sidebar on the left, select the “Clone” option.
- From the resulting menu, select “Disk clone.”
- Choose drive “C” as your source.
- Choose your SSD as the target disk.
- Click on “Start cloning.”
While choosing the destination disk, it’s extremely important to get it right. If you select the wrong one, you’ll lose any data in it. One of the best things about AOMEI Backupper is that if your SSD is not as big as your current drive, it will attempt to resize files to make them fit in. Of course, resizing may not work if your SSD is too small.
Cloning will take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the amount of data in your old drive. So, feel free to grab some popcorn while you wait. When the process is complete, you’ll see your SSD in file explorer.
Step 4: Install the SSD
Now is the time to install the SSD – complete with your data – on your computer. To do so:
- Shut down your computer.
- Open your computer and carefully remove your old hard drive and replace it with the SSD. If your computer has multiple drive slots, you can simply install your SSD in one of the empty slots and retain the old drive.
Step 5: Boot From the SSD Drive
All that’s left at this point is booting from your newly installed SSD. If your computer has a single drive slot, all you’ll need to do is turn on your computer. But if you have installed the SSD alongside your old drive, you’ll need to instruct your computer to ignore the old drive and boot from the SSD. Here’s how to go about it:
- Start up your computer.
- Open BIOS set up. To do so, you must press the BIOS key set by the manufacturer. That could be F1, F2, F10, F12, or DEL.
- Select “Change Boot Sequence.”
- Select SSD as the preferred boot drive.
- Save your new settings and exit the BIOS menu.
Your computer will reboot, but this time you will notice that it will do so faster than ever before, thanks to your SSD. If you want to be extra careful, you may verify that your SSD is in drive “C.”
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Can I Move Windows to SSD Without Reinstalling It?
1. Choose a disk cloning software program.
2. Clone your old hard drive to the SSD.
3. Choose your SSD as the destination disk.
4. Select “Start cloning.” This will clone Windows to the target SSD.
2. How Do I Boot Windows From My Newly Installed SSD?
1. Turn on your computer.
2. Open BIOS set up. To do so, you must press the BIOS key set by the manufacturer. That could be F1, F2, F10, F12, or DEL.
3. Select “Change Boot Sequence.”
4. Select SSD as the preferred boot drive.
5. Save your new settings and exit the BIOS menu.
3. Is It Better to Install OS on SSD or HD?
Most people prefer installing their operating system on an SSD drive as opposed to a hard drive. Having your OS installed on an SSD will reduce boot time. That’s because an SSD has lower seek times than traditional HDDs. Additionally, you’ll be able to perform tasks – such as copying files from one disk to another – much faster.
An HD will be the better fit if you don’t run heavy-duty programs and need extra storage space.
4. Do You Need to Reinstall Windows After Replacing Your HD With an SSD?
No, you don’t need to reinstall Windows if you’re replacing the SSD. All you’ll need to do is set the SSD as the preferred booting drive and then restart your computer.
Don’t Let a Slow Computer Frustrate You
Moving Windows to an SSD hard drive can be a game-changer. You will notice a major improvement in the performance and speed of your computer. However, you’ll need a few things before getting started, such as a new SSD drive, the disk cloning software of your choice, and an external backup drive. Thanks to this tutorial, you now know all the necessary steps.
Have you tried migrating Windows from an old hard drive onto an SSD? Let us know how it went in the comments below.