[SOLVED] Migrating all files and programs from HDD to new SSD without reinstalling anything? (Windows not included)

Aug 27, 2019
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Hi,

I just got a new SSD (Samsung 850 evo V-NAND) for storage and want to transfer all my files and installed programs from old HDD to this new SSD.

The HDD does NOT have windows installed in it, so I don't need to migrate anything OS-related. I already have windows installed on another SSD. The old hdd and new ssd are also the same capacity so space is not an issue.

Simply put, I just wanna transfer all my files, data and installed programs (apps, games, other softwares), without having to reinstall each one individually, if possible.

I would also like to know an efficient way to backup all my files, in case there's something faulty about the new ssd, so I don't lose any important work files. That's my main concern.

Also, if migrating all programs without reinstalling them is not a good idea, i'll be fine reinstalling everything from scratch, but it'll take me a while, so I'm just trying to save some time, if there's a faster way.

I saw some relevant apps like easeus partition master or minitool partition wizard, but all the tutorials are focused on OS migration, which doesn't interest me. I could try doing it myself, but I prefer to ask here for some advice first so I don't put any valuable files at risk or accidentally corrupt the drive.

Thanks in advance!
 

USAFRet

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OK.
In this particular circumstance (a secondary drive), copy/paste is no different than a clone.
You can do it either way.

Just be sure the new drive ends up with the same drive letter as the old drive.
 

13thmonkey

Titan
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Reinstallation of non-windows software.

Generally as windows has to know what it is and where it is providing it appears to be in the same place as windows expects it to be, you'll be fine, i.e. d:\xyz\abc

Games are easier as they are often 'installed in place' i.e. the game files are self contained.
 
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popatim

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Since you have the OS already installed along with all the applications that are on the HDD, this is rather trivial.
Clone HDD to SSD > Shutdown > Disconnect HDD > Plug SSD into the same Sata port the HDD was using > boot up & enjoy.

Use the HDD as your new backup. You could even put it into a USB external enclosure or just leave it disconnected (power & sata) in the PC until you need it.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Hi,

I just got a new SSD (Samsung 850 evo V-NAND) for storage and want to transfer all my files and installed programs from old HDD to this new SSD.

The HDD does NOT have windows installed in it, so I don't need to migrate anything OS-related. I already have windows installed on another SSD. The old hdd and new ssd are also the same capacity so space is not an issue.

Simply put, I just wanna transfer all my files, data and installed programs (apps, games, other softwares), without having to reinstall each one individually, if possible.

I would also like to know an efficient way to backup all my files, in case there's something faulty about the new ssd, so I don't lose any important work files. That's my main concern.

Also, if migrating all programs without reinstalling them is not a good idea, i'll be fine reinstalling everything from scratch, but it'll take me a while, so I'm just trying to save some time, if there's a faster way.

I saw some relevant apps like easeus partition master or minitool partition wizard, but all the tutorials are focused on OS migration, which doesn't interest me. I could try doing it myself, but I prefer to ask here for some advice first so I don't put any valuable files at risk or accidentally corrupt the drive.

Thanks in advance!
I think we need a clearer picture of what is on each drive.
Please list ALL drives, what is on each, and what OS this is.

I had a whole thing written out, but this might be a LOT simpler than you're thinking.
Maybe.
 
You really can't just 'migrate'/moved the installed apps over to a different location, as most programs are not really 'portable'.

Removing via uninstall your applications properly clears/removes them from existing OS drive. Reinstalling them to new D/E/ or F drive (whichever applies) then has WIndows properly cognizant of the new install destination...
 
Aug 27, 2019
41
0
30
0
You really can't just 'migrate'/moved the installed apps over to a different location, as most programs are not really 'portable'.

Removing via uninstall your applications properly clears/removes them from existing OS drive. Reinstalling them to new D/E/ or F drive (whichever applies) then has WIndows properly cognizant of the new install destination...
Can't do that even if I replace the HDD and it's respective letter? (i.e. old drive is H, will remove it and replace with new drive and label it H after cloning is done)

Just asking this detail, because I thought the OS searches for the needed files to run the applications by knowing their paths, thus keeping the same drive letter shouldn't impact the file paths. I might not recall this correctly though...
 
Aug 27, 2019
41
0
30
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I think we need a clearer picture of what is on each drive.
Please list ALL drives, what is on each, and what OS this is.

I had a whole thing written out, but this might be a LOT simpler than you're thinking.
Maybe.
So I currently have 2 drives installed:
- One Samsung 830 series SSD of 120GB capacity, from which Windows 10 boots. It's used only for booting the OS and only has, at most, a few pc-maintenance-related software programs worth a few tens of MB, and the usual user folder files. This should stay the way it is, I do not intend to touch this drive during the clone process.

- One WD Black HDD of 1TB capacity - my main storage drive - this is the drive I wanna clone it's contents to the new 1TB SSD I mentioned in the first post (Samsung 850 evo 1TB);

- Edit: the 850 evo is currently not connected at all to the pc. It's untouched, didn't even get to format it yet.

In this HDD (the WD Black) I have installed the bulk of all my work-related softwares (premier, photoshop, office, etc.), folders full of study papers, word files, excel sheets, other important notes, photos, videos, music albums, movies, installed video games including my whole steam library.

I intend to clone the contents of the HDD to the SSD, so I can replace the former with the latter. Can I do this without having to reinstall everything?
 
Last edited:

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Can't do that even if I replace the HDD and it's respective letter? (i.e. old drive is H, will remove it and replace with new drive and label it H after cloning is done)

Just asking this detail, because I thought the OS searches for the needed files to run the applications by knowing their paths, thus keeping the same drive letter shouldn't impact the file paths. I might not recall this correctly though...
As requested....a complete list of the drives, what is on them, and what you've done so far.
 
Aug 27, 2019
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OK, so this is NOT the OS drive.
We may be able to do this easily.

First, you test.
Power OFF
Disconnect ALL drives except the current boot drive, the 120GB 830.
Power UP

Does it boot correctly?
Yes, I unplugged the WD Black and left only the 120GB 830.

It boots correctly, entered desktop normally.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Yes, I unplugged the WD Black and left only the 120GB 830.

It boots correctly, entered desktop normally.
OK then...this should not need a 'clone' at all.
Simple copy/paste of ALL from the HDD to the new SSD. Be sure you retain the exact folder structure.
Swap the drive letters around so the new drive has the same drive letter as the HDD did.

Currently, all the OS cares about is that folder structure and the original drive letter. Doesn't matter which physical drive it is on.
 
Aug 27, 2019
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OK then...this should not need a 'clone' at all.
Simple copy/paste of ALL from the HDD to the new SSD. Be sure you retain the exact folder structure.
Swap the drive letters around so the new drive has the same drive letter as the HDD did.

Currently, all the OS cares about is that folder structure and the original drive letter. Doesn't matter which physical drive it is on.
Oh, okay, if it's just that, then I guess I have no more questions.

I will then do the new SSD's first format, copy/paste ALL folders (with all their respective content) from the very first page of the HDD to the SSD and once I remove the HDD, I'll go to disk management and assign the SSD the HDD's former drive letter.

Please leave a quick correction if I'm doing something wrong in the previous paragraph. If not...

Thank you all for the replies!! :)
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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157,240
18,630
OK.
In this particular circumstance (a secondary drive), copy/paste is no different than a clone.
You can do it either way.

Just be sure the new drive ends up with the same drive letter as the old drive.
 

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