Two ways to migrate OS to SSD/HDD for free
If you want to transfer the operating system (OS) to a new hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD) without reinstalling Windows, you can use the Windows built-in backup and restore tool or third party free OS migration software.
1. Migrate OS with Windows built-in tool
If you want to migrate OS without third-party tool, you can create a system backup and then restore it to the new hard drive or SSD. In Windows 10 or Windows 7, you can create an image backup including all critical volumes. If you are using Windows 8 or 8.1, you can still create a system image.
However, before you do, you need to confirm the following:
1. The destination drive must be equal or large to the hard drive that you backed up.
2. Only NTFS formatted volumes can be protected. You may need to format or convert partition to NTFS file system.
3. The destination drive must have the same partition style (MBR or GPT) as the source drive.
2. Migrate OS with the free OS migration tool
If the first way is a little bit complicated for you, you can move the operating system to another SSD or HDD drive using a third-party free OS migration tool like AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This freeware comes with "Migrate OS to SSD Wizard", enabling you to migrate operating system and all applications in the boot partition (usually the C: drive) to another drive so that you don't have to spend lots of time on reinstallation. Now, free download it and see the detailed steps:
- AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard only supports OS migration between MBR and MBR disks. If you need to migrate OS from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR/GPT, you can employ its Professional version.
Step 1. Connect the SSD to your computer; install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard; then, click Migrate OS to SSD and read the information.
Step 2. Choose an unallocated space on your target SSD.
Step 3. Here you can adjust the partition on the destination disk. Then, keep the Note in mind.
Step 4. Click Apply and Proceed to commit operation.
After transferring OS and booting computer from the destination SSD successfully, you can format the old C drive on the source disk to free up the disk space.
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard runs well with Windows platforms, including Window 10/8.1/8/7, XP and Vista. If you want to transfer all content on your current hard drive, you can employ its "Disk Copy Wizard" to clone the entire disk. To migrate Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003 OS to another hard drive, you can use the Server edition.