Question Replacing my old C: Drive

True Local

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Aug 22, 2021
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My PC came with a 125 gig SSD that I used as my C drive. When I tried to install windows 11 this week I realized that I am out of space and went out and bought a 500 gig M.2. After installing my m.2 and formatting it, how do I change the m.2 to be my new C drive so I can upgrade my windows from 10 to 11.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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My PC came with a 125 gig SSD that I used as my C drive. When I tried to install windows 11 this week I realized that I am out of space and went out and bought a 500 gig M.2. After installing my m.2 and formatting it, how do I change the m.2 to be my new C drive so I can upgrade my windows from 10 to 11.
How are you planning to move to Win 11?

A clean install, or an inplace Upgrade from Win 10?

Assuming this system is Windows 11 capable, it can be done either way. But procedures differ.
 

True Local

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Aug 22, 2021
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I plan on upgrading from my win 10 so I cloned my whole c drive over to the new M.2 drive but the only problem is I can’t upgrade to windows 11 because it wants to download win 11 on my c drive (where I have zero room). That is why I bought my new m.2, but until I figure out how to make it the c drive, I can’t install windows 11 on it.
How are you planning to move to Win 11?

A clean install, or an inplace Upgrade from Win 10?

Assuming this system is Windows 11 capable, it can be done either way. But procedures differ.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I plan on upgrading from my win 10 so I cloned my whole c drive over to the new M.2 drive but the only problem is I can’t upgrade to windows 11 because it wants to download win 11 on my c drive (where I have zero room). That is why I bought my new m.2, but until I figure out how to make it the c drive, I can’t install windows 11 on it.
You've not done the clone properly.

If the new drive is NOT the C drive, you are not booting from the new drive.

Redo this clone operation.

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Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
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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 SSD)
If you are cloning from a SATA drive to PCIe/NVMe, 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
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 specifiy 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
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.
-----------------------------
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Disconnect the old drive from the system. Once it is disconnected and you power up if you boot to Windows installation media it should automatically recognize your M.2 drive.

You should be able to simply create installation media for Windows 11 by going here and clicking on "Download now" just below Create Windows 11 installation media, to create the installer on a blank USB thumb drive.

https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows11


And then boot to the thumb drive, install Windows, when it asks for your activation code use the license key from your Windows 10 product, assuming you know what it is? During the installation if it doesn't want to accept it you may be able to simply click "I don't have it right now" or whatever the option is and it may automatically activate once you connect to the internet if your Windows 10 installation was activated and properly tied to your system id.
 

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