If you purchase an SSD and intend to use it as a boot drive, you may encounter a new dilemma: How do you install Windows 10 on the SSD? It is common to prepare an installation media and execute a clean installation from scratch.
Then, you will need to restore settings, reinstall programs, and copy necessary files from the old disk.
To make things simpler, I would like to introduce a more direct method – disk cloning. It can help you move your Windows installation to an SSD without reinstalling new software.
Is it possible to move the Windows 10 license to a new SSD?
When it comes to hard drive migration, a lot of people worry about licenses. If the Windows license can’t be transferred, you’ll have to buy a new one.
The good news is that both OEM and retail licenses can be transferred to an alternative drive on the same PC.
It is important to note that if you have changed the motherboard, the PC shall be considered as a completely new device, with only a retail license able to be transferred since an OEM license is tied to the motherboard.
The license type can be obtained by typing “slmgr /dli” into the Command Prompt and pressing Enter. Information will be displayed in a pop-up window.
The best freeware for cloning hard drives to SSDs
Disk cloning is the easiest way to migrate all the data from a hard drive, but since it is not available as a standard feature on Windows, you will need to use SSD cloning software.
You can see how AOMEI Backupper Standard works as an example.
It is an easy-to-use freeware program that works on all Windows laptops and desktops regardless of manufacturer. The powerful disk cloning utility enables you to copy a larger HDD to a smaller SSD or clone a smaller SSD to a larger SSD with secure boot.
You can now download and install the clone software.
How can I move my Windows installation to an SSD?
- Set up the new SSD. If you only have one drive bay on your PC, you might have to use an adapter.
- If your SSD has important files on it, you’ll want to back them up first, because the cloning process will overwrite everything.
Step the Clone Windows 10/8/7 to SSD without reinstalling:
- Launch the software, select the “Clone” tab, and select “Disk Clone” to copy the entire disk. The option “System Clone” (supported by the Professional edition) should be chosen in order to move only Windows installations.
2. Select the hard drive on which Windows is currently installed, then choose the SSD connected to that hard drive.
3. Select “SSD Alignment” to optimize the write and read speeds of the target SSD, then click “Start Clone” to start the migration.
4. You can now shut down the computer and replace the existing hard drive with the new SSD.
The older drive can be used as a secondary storage drive if the motherboard has more than one slot and you do not wish to replace it physically.
The user simply needs to reboot the computer, select the cloned SSD as the first boot option in BIOS, and then press the specific key during bootup. The PC will then automatically begin booting from the cloned SSD.
- You can choose “Sector By Sector Clone” to create an intact copy of all sectors, including the blank and bad sectors, on your target SSD if it is larger than or equal to your source SSD.
- Using our “Edit Partitions” (supported by Pro edition) function, you will be able to edit the partition size and assign space to each partition on the target SSD.
- It is also possible to erase the old hard drive using the “Disk Wipe” option available under the “Tools” tab after cloning.
In conclusion, how to install a SSD on a PC without reinstalling Windows
Comparatively to clean installation or system restore, disk cloning is a more straightforward means of moving Windows and all the data to SSD. The new SSD can therefore be used in the same way as a conventional hard drive, without having to undergo the cumbersome process of reinstalling and configuring it.
To do this, you need to download SSD cloning software like AOMEI Backupper to do the job. It has powerful cloning features to securely transfer the operating system and data. It can also be used for continuous data protection, system backup and restore, cloud backup, folder synchronization, bootable media creation, etc.