Question Will migrating my OS to my new ssd do the same as cloning

May 7, 2021
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I was wondering, I just bought a new m.2 ssd that I was planing on migrating my OS to, but i was wondering if migrating will do the same as cloning, leaving me with 2 drives in my pc that have an OS installed on them, or if only the OS is going to be moved, and my files will stay on my old drive.
 

Lutfij

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Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

Don't do either, reinstall the OS from scratch. Fabricate your OS installer using Windows Media Creation Tools on a 16GB Pen drive and then proceed to install the OS onto the new SSD. It's highly recommended to make sure your motherboard(in a laptop or desktop)'s BIOS is up to date prior to populating the motherboard with ram or SSD's.
 
May 7, 2021
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In that case can I just not use the windows installer again, basically reinstalling windows but just onto another drive ? my problem is that I do not want to spend all of my time trying to get all of my programs back because the only thing kept is my files. Also will reinstalling windows using the creation tool just not leave me with 2 SSD's with OS's installed on them ?
 

Eximo

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Make sure you back up all your important files on something else first. Like a USB drive.

If the rest of the system is staying the same no reason not to clone. Are you going from a HDD or a SATA SSD?

Migration tools that come with drives are often just per-device licensed cloning tools.

You would perform the clone and boot with only the new drive installed, just to see if it works. Re-install the old drive and make SURE the boot order is selecting your new M.2 drive, then you can delete the partitions off the old drive and re-use it, or keep it as a snapshot/backup.
 
May 7, 2021
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I am going from an ald sata SSD to an M.2, I know this sounds dumb but I don't want to clone my whole drive because I want the stuff like games and applications that I don't use that often to stay on that sata SSD
 

Eximo

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Doesn't work that way sadly. You can move a Steam library around, but each game will still re-install. Just won't have to download again.

But games installed in their directories can't really be moved around. Some could if they are really old or simplistic and don't care where they are run from, but many games have registry ties to their locations, user files, registry settings, and all kinds of other stuff that would get messed up by showing up on the D drive instead of C.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I was wondering, I just bought a new m.2 ssd that I was planing on migrating my OS to, but i was wondering if migrating will do the same as cloning, leaving me with 2 drives in my pc that have an OS installed on them, or if only the OS is going to be moved, and my files will stay on my old drive.
There is a right way to clone, and many wrong ways.

In common terms, cloning is the same as 'migrating'.
Done right, in the right conditions, it works.

Everything from Drive A goes to drive B.
Everything.

And in contrast to my friend above, there is nothing inherently wrong with a clone operation.
Need some details, though.

What motherboard?
What OS?
What is the make/model/size of the new SSD?
How much space is consumed on your current SSD?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I am going from an ald sata SSD to an M.2, I know this sounds dumb but I don't want to clone my whole drive because I want the stuff like games and applications that I don't use that often to stay on that sata SSD
No can do. You can't split it like that.
You can move the Steam library around, but you can't clone/migrate ONLY the OS portion to a different drive.
 
May 7, 2021
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I have now backed up my files to a flash drive, so can I now use the windows troubleshooter to reinstall windows onto the new drive, and if yes will that delete the old partition off of the old drive ? Last question would be how i could decide where my program installations go ?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I have now backed up my files to a flash drive, so can I now use the windows troubleshooter to reinstall windows onto the new drive, and if yes will that delete the old partition off of the old drive ? Last question would be how i could decide where my program installations go ?
What, exactly, are you wanting the outcome to be?
The 'what' determines exactly 'how' you proceed. And installing on a NEW drive does NOT automagically delete things from the old drive.

There is rarely a reason to have applications on a different drive or partition that the OS.

But if you DO want to do that, you do that when you install each application.
Do NOT try to force 'everything' to be installed elsewhere. Many many things will break.
 
May 7, 2021
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My ideal outcome would be to only have the operating system installed on my boot drive, while all of my files and apps stay on my old drive (the one that now has the OS installed on it)
 

USAFRet

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My ideal outcome would be to only have the operating system installed on my boot drive, while all of my files and apps stay on my old drive (the one that now has the OS installed on it)
Can't do it like that.
The applications that may live on the old drive will not work with a new OS on the new drive.

When an application installed, it makes dozens, sometimes thousands, of entries in the Registry and elsewhere.
The new OS knows nothing about them.
 
May 7, 2021
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My new drive is a 500GB SSD and my old SSD is a 1TB sata ssd with about 300 GB of consumed space, so the size doesn't matter in this case since i am not copying from a smaller drive to an older drive. My motherboard is the B450 tomahawk max from MSI
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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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)
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

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.
-----------------------------
 
May 7, 2021
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First question would be how to install the driver for the new ssd, second thing would be that only one of the SSD's is sata, so I can't swap the cables around, and lastly can't I just use the disc management tool from windows to simply format the old drive instead of using a 3rd party software ?
 

Eximo

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New SSD should not require drivers.

You can change boot orders in the BIOS, directly. Doesn't matter how they are connected. It would also include USB, CD-ROM, Floppy, etc if they were available.

You could use disk management to format the disk once you have successfully cloned.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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First question would be how to install the driver for the new ssd, second thing would be that only one of the SSD's is sata, so I can't swap the cables around, and lastly can't I just use the disc management tool from windows to simply format the old drive instead of using a 3rd party software ?
The line about changing cables refers to two SATA drives.

But...at the end of the clone process, you MUST power off, disconnect the old drive, and allow the system to try to boot up from only the new.
Just changing the boot order is not enough.
Physical disconnection.
 

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