[SOLVED] Transferring Windows 10 SSD to New PC?

Nov 7, 2019
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Hi,

On my current PC I have the OS (Windows 10) installed on a 60GB SSD, along with some files I need. I am going to build a new PC and need some help on how to go about moving Windows 10 across. I have a retail Windows 10 license and it is linked with my microsoft account so I believe activation shouldn't be a problem. However I don't think it is as simple as plugging the SSD into the new PC and being good to go. I have done a bit of research and it looks like there would be a problem with drivers since my current PC and new PC are quite dissimilar in terms of hardware. I saw one tutorial on YouTube where he uninstalls various drivers on his current PC and then moves the SSD across and installs the new drivers for the new hardware - is this a possible method? Or is my best option to buy a new SSD for the new PC, install all necessary drivers, install and activate Windows 10 using my microsoft account and then go about getting the files on the old 60GB SSD across to the new SSD?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Archie.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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You are correct in thinking the drive can't simply be moved into new hardware.

Doing this, there are 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It boots up just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It boots up, but you're chasing issues for weeks or months.
I've seen all 3.

Do NOT rely on what you see on utube. What you see there does not include the 20 previous times when it failed. It is far more than just uninstalling some drivers.

A clean install in the new hardware is strongly recommended, often required.

Given a current 60GB SSD, by FAR the best way forward is a new drive.
60GB is ancient, slow, and possibly on its last legs.
A new SSD can be had at 1TB for ~$100.

And if all new current hardware, seriously look at an NVMe drive.
An Intel 660p 1TB generally retails for $100. (when they're in stock)
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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You are correct in thinking the drive can't simply be moved into new hardware.

Doing this, there are 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It boots up just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It boots up, but you're chasing issues for weeks or months.
I've seen all 3.

Do NOT rely on what you see on utube. What you see there does not include the 20 previous times when it failed. It is far more than just uninstalling some drivers.

A clean install in the new hardware is strongly recommended, often required.

Given a current 60GB SSD, by FAR the best way forward is a new drive.
60GB is ancient, slow, and possibly on its last legs.
A new SSD can be had at 1TB for ~$100.

And if all new current hardware, seriously look at an NVMe drive.
An Intel 660p 1TB generally retails for $100. (when they're in stock)
 
Nov 7, 2019
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Hi,

I am planning on getting a new SSD anyway since the 60GB one is full. However the 60GB one does have some stuff I really can't lose (Program Files, Program Files x86, AppData files, ProgramData namely) that I would need to transfer to a new SSD. So lets say I installed a fresh new SSD to the new PC and installed Windows onto the new SSD, how would I be able to then get those folders across and would everything work as it should?

Thanks,
Archie.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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You can't transfer those folders and the applications to a new drive.
They WILL need to be reinstalled.

When an application is installed, it makes dozens, sometimes thousands, of entries in the Registry and elsewhere.
The new OS on the new drive knows nothing about them.
 
Nov 7, 2019
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Hi,

Ah I see. I have some games on a HDD which I was going to transfer to the new PC too but you're saying they won't work is that right? I would have to reinstall all applications? What about things like Photoshop and Sony Vegas?

Cheers,
Archie.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Photoshop and Vegas, absolutely need a reinstall.

Games...if they are Steam games, probably not.
You'll install a new Steam client with the new OS and drive.


What drive are these games on?
If some drive other than the OS drive, then you tell this new Steam client where these games are.

Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder
 
Nov 7, 2019
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Hi,

Ah that is a shame that they will need a reinstall, I was hoping switching machines would be fairly simple. The other main application I use is a flight simulator called Prepar3d, I imagine this would need reinstalling too?

Archie.
 

jexorz

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Nov 26, 2013
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If they're samsung ssds you might be able to just clone them and avoid the reinstalls (im not sure how paid software works with this) but all of my programs and game worked just fine after using their clone program to replace my old hdd
 

Corwin65

Admirable
If they're samsung ssds you might be able to just clone them and avoid the reinstalls (im not sure how paid software works with this) but all of my programs and game worked just fine after using their clone program to replace my old hdd
That would work when upgrading the SSD on the same system, not a new one which requires reinstallation of the OS and applications.
 

USAFRet

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If they're samsung ssds you might be able to just clone them and avoid the reinstalls (im not sure how paid software works with this) but all of my programs and game worked just fine after using their clone program to replace my old hdd
From one drive to another drive in the same system, cloning is a viable option. Samsung Data Migration or Macrium Reflect are both good tools.

Moving to a whole new PC, no.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Hi,

Ah that is a shame that they will need a reinstall, I was hoping switching machines would be fairly simple. The other main application I use is a flight simulator called Prepar3d, I imagine this would need reinstalling too?

Archie.
Yes, your flight sim too.
And AV, hardware drivers, all those other utilities you use...
You're starting from a brand new blank PC.
 
Nov 7, 2019
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Hi,

Okay thankyou for the information. In terms of files what is transferable? I guess document files I would be able to copy across to the new PC?

Archie.
 
Nov 7, 2019
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Okay thankyou for all your help! I guess it will be best for me to just put a new SSD in the new PC, get windows installed and all drivers installed, then once everything is set up nicely and configured correctly I can put the HDD from my current PC in the new PC and delete everything apart from any files I need and from there start reinstalling the games etc?

Archie.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Okay thankyou for all your help! I guess it will be best for me to just put a new SSD in the new PC, get windows installed and all drivers installed, then once everything is set up nicely and configured correctly I can put the HDD from my current PC in the new PC and delete everything apart from any files I need and from there start reinstalling the games etc?

Archie.
The best way is to transfer any personal files you want to the new drive (or elsewhere), then wipe that old drive completely.
Carving out 'everything but personal' is more a pain in the butt.

And if you can, copy those files now, before you start down the whole upgrade path.
If you do it after, you might run into permission issues.

Copy the actual files, not the default Libraries (Documents/Pictures/etc).
Those libraries are permission locked to the current OS user. With the new OS, you are a different 'user', and those folders will balk at the new user accessing them.
 
Nov 7, 2019
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Hi,

Okay gotcha thankyou! I better start going through the HDD folders and copying what I need/can transfer now:) Many thanks.

Archie.
 

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