Question Moving OS to SSD

Jul 21, 2020
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I'm building a new pc and along the way have ended up with an extra SSD is there a way to only move windows 10 onto it if I install it into my old PC just to liven it up a bit as I still use it for work it's just to out dated for gaming. Thanks!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
To "move" Windows 10, ONLY? No. In fact, the very last thing you'd EVER want to do is move the OS from one machine to another, unless they had identical hardware OR at least motherboards with the exact same chipset type, because there are simply too many differences in the hardware driver and registry support from one machine to another, especially when they are different platforms.

If you are needing Windows 10 on a different machine with a "new" or "extra" SSD, and it doesn't already HAVE Windows 10 on it, then you want to do a clean install and start from scratch.

What OS is on that "just too outdated for gaming" machine right now? Likely you will want to do the free upgrade with a clean install and use it's product key to validate the digital entitlement if possible.

Was this older system custom built or was it a prebuilt system with an OEM Windows license? It's possible you might have to do the free upgrade on that machine first so that you can tie it's digital entitlement to YOU rather than the machine/motherboard, and THEN do a clean install of Windows 10 afterwards.

Trying to just "move" the OS, or even clone it to the SSD, from another machine, will only result in headaches and pain in most cases. Rarely does that end well. In fact, almost never that I've seen.


 

jwcrellin

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Dec 3, 2016
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Yes, there's free software from macrium and others but it can be complicated and messy. I've done it in the past but the recommended way is to back up all your important stuff and do a fresh install of win 10. Making a win 10 install usb isn't hard, but you will have a watermark until you can get a win 10 license key.
 
Reactions: Lateralzero
Jul 21, 2020
14
0
10
0
To "move" Windows 10, ONLY? No. In fact, the very last thing you'd EVER want to do is move the OS from one machine to another, unless they had identical hardware OR at least motherboards with the exact same chipset type, because there are simply too many differences in the hardware driver and registry support from one machine to another, especially when they are different platforms.

If you are needing Windows 10 on a different machine with a "new" or "extra" SSD, and it doesn't already HAVE Windows 10 on it, then you want to do a clean install and start from scratch.

What OS is on that "just too outdated for gaming" machine right now? Likely you will want to do the free upgrade with a clean install and use it's product key to validate the digital entitlement if possible.

Was this older system custom built or was it a prebuilt system with an OEM Windows license? It's possible you might have to do the free upgrade on that machine first so that you can tie it's digital entitlement to YOU rather than the machine/motherboard, and THEN do a clean install of Windows 10 afterwards.

Trying to just "move" the OS, or even clone it to the SSD, from another machine, will only result in headaches and pain in most cases. Rarely does that end well. In fact, almost never that I've seen.


It's not from one machine to another it's a left over brand new ssd that I was going to put in my old pc to breathe some new life into it. Thanks for all the info..
 
Jul 21, 2020
14
0
10
0
Yes, there's free software from macrium and others but it can be complicated and messy. I've done it in the past but the recommended way is to back up all your important stuff and do a fresh install of win 10. Making a win 10 install usb isn't hard, but you will have a watermark until you can get a win 10 license key.
I have the license key for the copy of windows 10 that came with it so I will just take your advice and do a fresh install to save some headaches. Thanks for the help.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Ok, well if you're just trying to ADD an SSD to an existing computer, and you want to clone the OS that's on that computer now for use afterwards on that same computer, then that is absolutely doable. The main question though becomes what is the FULL size of the used space currently on that HDD and what is the full total capacity of the SSD you want to use?

Because if the size of the SSD is not at least somewhere in the neighborhood of about 25% larger than the full used space of what's currently on the HDD, then it can't be cloned to it and you would HAVE to do a clean install of the OS in that case.
 
Jul 21, 2020
14
0
10
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Ok, well if you're just trying to ADD an SSD to an existing computer, and you want to clone the OS that's on that computer now for use afterwards on that same computer, then that is absolutely doable. The main question though becomes what is the FULL size of the used space currently on that HDD and what is the full total capacity of the SSD you want to use?

Because if the size of the SSD is not at least somewhere in the neighborhood of about 25% larger than the full used space of what's currently on the HDD, then it can't be cloned to it and you would HAVE to do a clean install of the OS in that case.
Both the new ssd and old hdd are both 1 TB the old drive has just a touch over 300gb being used. Is there still an advantage to doing a fresh install over cloning?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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What specific SSD?
Both drives are 1TB, and the current used space on the existing drive is ~300GB?
Does the system boot up with ONLY the one existing HDD connected?


-----------------------------
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
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

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 specifiy the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
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.
-----------------------------
 
Reactions: Lateralzero
Jul 21, 2020
14
0
10
0
What specific SSD?
Both drives are 1TB, and the current used space on the existing drive is ~300GB?
Does the system boot up with ONLY the one existing HDD connected?


-----------------------------
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
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

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 specifiy the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
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.
-----------------------------
The new ssd is a ADATA SU720 1 TB and yes the PC it will be going in just uses the one hdd. Thanks
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
That is the series of steps I was going to give you, thanks to USAFRet, if you got back to me with sizes that were suitable for doing so, which they are. It is ALWAYS preferable, in my mind, to do a clean install when making a major change of hardware but it's not always convenient to do so. If it can be done, it's actually a good idea to do so anyhow, even without hardware changes, at LEAST every couple of years. I like to do them every time Microsoft releases a major spring or fall update to Windows 10 because these updates are often more like new versions of Windows so if you've already been though several of those between the last time you did a clean install and now, it might not be the worst idea ever to simply DO a clean install.

Otherwise, the steps he listed above are your avenue for not having to do so.
 

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