Question Can I replace C: Drive Without Re-installing Windows?

Mysteryman2

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I have a PC running Windows 10 and this is installed on a SSD drive.

I would like to replace the SSD as it is tight on space.

Is there a way to do this that doesn't involve re-installing Windows and all the apps that are on the current C: drive?
 

Mysteryman2

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The SSD is a KINGSTON SV300S37A120G and, as far as I can see, it does not have cloning software.

Can anyone suggest a suitable app I can use - preferably free!

Also, just so I can confirm I have got this right, is this what I need to do?
  • Install a new SSD in my PC
  • Run cloning software to make an exact copy of my existing C: drive to the new SSD
  • Remove old SSD and move the new SSD into its place
Then, switching on PC, it should looks exactly same as previously except the C: drive will now have more free space

Does this sound right?
 
Cloning will work.

Imaging will work.

Macrium Reflect does both.

Either can fail. If one fails, try the other.

Imaging is a 2 step process. Make the image file; restore it. All or some partitions. Your choice.

Cloning is one step; direct "copy" of entire contents of one drive to the other.
 

Mysteryman2

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Cloning will work.

Imaging will work.

Macrium Reflect does both.

Either can fail. If one fails, try the other.

Imaging is a 2 step process. Make the image file; restore it. All or some partitions. Your choice.

Cloning is one step; direct "copy" of entire contents of one drive to the other.
Thanks.

So, sounds like cloning is what I want. Will the steps I outlined previously do what I want (replace SSD with larger capacity one)?
 
You have it over-simplified.

The clone is a "real time" transfer (copy). The destination drive should be immediately bootable where it sits, after you remove the old drive.

Imaging: you run the software, telling it to make one image file that represents all partitions on the old drive. You save that file on some other drive big enough the to hold the file. You shut down. You remove the old drive. You install the new drive and boot. What do you boot from? You boot from a USB "recovery media" stick that you made a few minutes earlier in Macrium before you disconnected your original drive. The recovery media itself contains Macrium. You arrive at the Macrium interface just as if you had run it from your now disconnected old drive. You tell it to restore that image file you just made to the new drive. The new drive should then be bootable and would be a replica of the original drive as of the moment in time when the image was made....that might be 10 minutes ago or 3 years ago. Make a new image file whenever you want.

Imaging sounds more complicated. Not really. You have more control over which partitions.

Imaging is generally thought of as a "backup" or "disaster recovery" process to use when you are in a jam of some type.

Cloning much less of a backup. More of a transfer from a small drive working well to a larger new drive.

Reliability of both somewhere in the 95% range? I use imaging as I am concerned with backups.
 
I have a PC running Windows 10 and this is installed on a SSD drive.

I would like to replace the SSD as it is tight on space.

Is there a way to do this that doesn't involve re-installing Windows and all the apps that are on the current C: drive?
you can add a second drive and assign it to be a subdirectory of c:\
using junctions. google something like how to mount a second drive into a folder.
or maybe this:
How to mount hard drive as folder on Windows 10 | Windows Central

It assumes that your first drive is not failing and just lack space.

some people clone onto a new bigger drive.
I would check the status of the first drive using crystaldiskinfo.exe to make sure there are no issues popping up.

I did this to extend the life of my old system. Still working just fine.
 
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USAFRet

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I have a PC running Windows 10 and this is installed on a SSD drive.

I would like to replace the SSD as it is tight on space.

Is there a way to do this that doesn't involve re-installing Windows and all the apps that are on the current C: drive?
Yes, multiple ways to do this.

But first, give us some details.
What specific drive(s) and motherboard is involved here?
 

Mysteryman2

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Yes, multiple ways to do this.

But first, give us some details.
What specific drive(s) and motherboard is involved here?
The current drive is a KINGSTON SV300S37A120G

The new drive is a Samsung 870

and the mother board .....
Manufacturer ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC.
Model Z97-P (SOCKET 1150)
 

USAFRet

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The current drive is a KINGSTON SV300S37A120G

The new drive is a Samsung 870

and the mother board .....
Manufacturer ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC.
Model Z97-P (SOCKET 1150)
OK.

You can clone directly from the Kingston to the new Samsung.

Pay attention to the middle part of this, where it talks about the partition on the target drive (the 870)

Thusly:
-----------------------------
Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
-----------------------------
Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Both drives must be the same partitioning scheme, either MBR or GPT
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung target SSD)
If you are cloning from a SATA drive to PCIe/NVMe, you may need to install the relevant driver for this new NVMe/PCIe drive.
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up

Verify the system boots with ONLY the current "C drive" connected.
If not, we have to fix that first.

Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

[Ignore this section if using the SDM. It does this automatically]
If you are going from a smaller drive to a larger, by default, the target partition size will be the same as the Source. You probably don't want that
You can manipulate the size of the partitions on the target (larger)drive
Click on "Cloned Partition Properties", and you can specify the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing
[/end ignore]

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD. This is not optional.
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD


(swapping cables is irrelevant with NVMe drives, but DO disconnect the old drive for this next part)
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
-----------------------------
 
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Mysteryman2

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OK.

You can clone directly from the Kingston to the new Samsung.

Pay attention to the middle part of this, where it talks about the partition on the target drive (the 870)

Thusly:
-----------------------------
Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
-----------------------------
Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Both drives must be the same partitioning scheme, either MBR or GPT
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung target SSD)
If you are cloning from a SATA drive to PCIe/NVMe, you may need to install the relevant driver for this new NVMe/PCIe drive.
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up

Verify the system boots with ONLY the current "C drive" connected.
If not, we have to fix that first.

Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

[Ignore this section if using the SDM. It does this automatically]
If you are going from a smaller drive to a larger, by default, the target partition size will be the same as the Source. You probably don't want that
You can manipulate the size of the partitions on the target (larger)drive
Click on "Cloned Partition Properties", and you can specify the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing
[/end ignore]

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD. This is not optional.
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD


(swapping cables is irrelevant with NVMe drives, but DO disconnect the old drive for this next part)
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
-----------------------------
Thank you so much! I really appreciate the lengthy and very informative reply.....it helps me a lot 😀
 

Mysteryman2

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Just one more question.......at some point in the future I will replace the motherboard/cpu/RAM - will I be able to use a cloned C: drive with the upgraded PC or will this entail a fresh install of Windows and all the apps?
 
Just one more question.......at some point in the future I will replace the motherboard/cpu/RAM - will I be able to use a cloned C: drive with the upgraded PC or will this entail a fresh install of Windows and all the apps?
Fresh install is the standard recommendation if you change motherboards.

BUT......hook the old drive up on the new system and see what happens. Try to boot.

You may live happily ever after or have minor fixable issues or not boot at all.

If you can't boot at all, you would be forced into a clean install, so be prepared for that beforehand.
 

Mysteryman2

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Fresh install is the standard recommendation if you change motherboards.

BUT......hook the old drive up on the new system and see what happens. Try to boot.

You may live happily ever after or have minor fixable issues or not boot at all.

If you can't boot at all, you would be forced into a clean install, so be prepared for that beforehand.
Thanks!
 

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