By Dervish / Last Updated May 18, 2022

What is boot drive?

The boot drive is actually the drive containing the operating system, it is also called the system drive. The computer needs to be booted through BIOS/UEFI to start. BIOS/UEFI is a program that is solidified on the ROM chip of the computer motherboard. It stores the most important basic input and output programs of the computer, the self-check program after power-on, and the system self-start program.

Usually, we use HDD to store the operating system. At this time, the HDD is the boot drive. But some users may replace the HDD with SSD due to better performance. After replacing the SSD, you have to set the SSD as boot drive. Because every time the computer starts, the BIOS/UEFI loads first, and they tell the computer which drive it should use to start Windows. If you are booting from a new drive, you should change the boot order of new drive to the first.

Tip: Click Boot from Legacy or UEFI Successfully to know more about BIOS and UEFI.

How to change boot drive from BIOS

After understanding why need to change boot drive. Next, I will show you how to change boot drive on Windows 10, 11. This method works for ASUS, Dell, MSI, Samsung, etc. You can refer to the following steps:

Start the computer, and when the screen appears, follow the prompts on the screen (usually DEL, ESC, F1, F2, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12) to enter the BIOS or UEFI settings. Then, you will see the two different interface:

▶ UEFI interface

In the UEFI menu, you can directly use the mouse to click the new hard drive that requires boot priority. Then follow the prompts to save and exit.

▶ BIOS interface

In the BIOS menu, Press the arrow key on your keyboard to get "Boot" tab, and change the boot order settings to make new boot drive as first boot device. Then, follow the instruction given in the BIOS utility to navigate to "Exit" tab and choose the "Exit Saving Changes" option to save the changes you made to the boot order.

After changing the boot sequence, If you still could not boot the computer from the destination disk. The big possibility is because the computer is not using the correct boot mode.
If the boot drive is an MBR disk, you need to set the boot mode to Legacy/CSM.
If the boot drive is a GPT disk, you need to confirm that the computer motherboard supports UEFI boot mode, and then change it to EFI/UEFI boot mode.

Tutorial: How to change boot drive to SSD on Windows 10

Before changing boot drive you need to install the OS on the new drive first, you have two choices. If you just want to replace a better disk and are satisfied with the current OS you are using. Then you can migrate the operating system to SSD/HDD without reinstalling, saving time and effort. What's more, you can perform a clean installation on a new drive, but that will be a lot of trouble.

Method 1. Migrate OS to SSD/HDD

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can help you migrate OS to SSD/HDD, which is a professional disk partition manager. It has no operational difficulty and is suitable for all levels of Windows users. It can fully meet your needs for managing disks or partitions quickly and easily.

This software can migrate the Windows OS to another disk without losing data, all programs and personal data are still on the boot  drive. In addition to OS migration, it also supports clone a hard drive to another drive, allocate free space, achieve the mutual conversion between MBR and GPT, etc.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Choose “Migrate OS to SSD” under “Wizards” column.

Step 2. Select destination SSD/HDD and click “Next”.

Step 3. In the window, you can resize the partition being created on the SSD/HDD drive and click “Next”.

Step 4. Read the prompts, and then click "Finish".

Step 5. Back to the main interface, click “Apply” to commit the pending operation.

After that, you have successfully migrated the OS to the new hard drive. Then, you can change boot drive to boot from it as mentioned at the beginning of the article.

│Method 2. Clean install Windows in HDD/SSD

There are several ways to cleanly install Windows, such as using Windows Media Creation Tool, USB, or CD. Here, I will focus on how to use Windows Media Creation Tool to install Windows 10.

Things you need to prepare:
☞ Find your Windows product key.
☞ Prepare a USB lager than 10G.
☞ Prepare a SATA to USB cable to connect the new hard drive to the computer.

Step 1. Download Windows Media Creation Tool  in PC.

Step 2. Run and select "Create installation media". Click “Next”.

Step 3. Here, we select “USB flash drive”. Click “Next” and follow the instructions to create a bootable USB drive for installation.

Step 4. After that, we need to change the BIOS boot sequence to make the computer boot from the USB.

Step 5. Finally, choose to install Windows 10 on the new hard drive and follow the prompts to set the parameters yourself. 

After everything is done, you only need to replace the new hard drive to the old hard drive, and then change boot drive from BIOS/UEFI.


All in all, it is not difficult to change boot drive. In this article, I had showed you how to change boot system on Windows 10. Besides that, if you want to migrate OS to SSD, AOMEI Partition Assistant may be the one that suits you best, because as you can see, it's not only simple but also efficient.

If you plan to enjoy AOMEI Partition Assistant in Windows Server, please switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server which is designed for Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012(R2), 2008(R2), etc.