How to Replace C Drive Without Reinstalling Windows [Easily Done]

If you plan to replace C drive but don’t want to reinstall Windows, programs, files, etc, just read this post to get a step-by-step guide on how to replace C drive with SSD or a larger HDD without reinstalling anything.


By Hedy / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Is it possible to replace C drive?

"My 1 TB hard drive on my desktop is partitioned into a large D drive for my data, and the smaller C drive for my operating system. I'm getting close to a full drive, so I'm wondering about buying an SSD and making it my C drive. Will I have to uninstall and reinstall the OS if I replace C drive? Is there any good way to avoid reinstallation?"

In most cases, the C drive undertakes most of the storage tasks, especially storing the operating system and the related files as well as other default programs. So it’s easy to find C drive full or receive low disk space warning on C drive.

Apart from adding space to the C drive or moving programs to another drive, many users are wondering whether they can replace C drive with SSD or a larger HDD. Of course, they can, but is it necessary to make C drive replacement? The answer is also yes!

In addition to solving the C drive is full issue, replacing C drive Windows 10 can also speed up the computer if your change the current C drive to a faster SSD or fix some hardware failure.

How to replace C drive without reinstalling OS in Windows 11/10/8/7?

Although you can install a new drive on your computer to replace C drive directly and do clean installation of Windows, the whole process is laborious and time-consuming and you will lose everything on your original drive. And it’s complicated to reinstall all the applications and remove old file from the old drive to the new one.

To avoid such harassment, the specialized disk cloning software - AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can be your good helper. It helps you change C drive without reinstalling anything by copying the single C drive, cloning the entire hard drive, or migrating only OS to another HDD/SSD.

You can benefit a lot from its practical functions:

  • It's compatible with almost all editions of Windows systems including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.

  • It applies to different brands and types of SSDs. It can clone SATA to NVMe, migrate Windows 10 to M.2 SSD, clone NVMe SSD, etc.

  • It supports cloning larger disk to smaller SSD. You can select "clone disk quickly" to clone only used space to the new place, which will save space on the target hard drive.

  • It allows you to maintain or change the partition size on the destination disk and make 4K partition alignment to optimize SSD.

  • It provides "hot clone" feature. It means you can continue using your computer during the cloning process.

Now, download the demo version and see how to replace C drive with SSD without reinstalling or rebooting Windows OS.

◆ Preparation:
 Connect the target SSD to your computer and make sure it can be detected by your computer. It's recommended to install the SSD on your PC if there is an extra SSD slot.
If the SSD is new and not in use, you need to initialize it before it can be used.
 Back up important files on the destination disk if the SSD is not new because all the data will be erased during the process.

Simple steps to replace C drive via disk cloning

Step 1. Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Go to "Clone" and "Clone Disk".


Step 2. Select a disk clone method as you like, Here we take "Clone Disk Quickly" as an example, click "Next" to move on.


Step 3. Select the source disk where the to-be-replaced drive is stored and click "Next".


Step 4. Then select SSD as the destination disk and click "Next", tick "Optimize the performance of SSD", and click "Next".


Step 5. In the new windows, you can resize the partitions on the new drive. Select the one you like and click "Next".


Step 6. After reading a note about how to boot from the destination disk, click "Finish" and then click "Apply" to commit the operation.


Important: If your source and destination disk are in different partition types (MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR), you need to change boot mode from Legacy to UEFI or UEFI to Legacy so that you can boot from the cloned drive successfully. 

Then, you will finish replacing C drive Windows 10.


With the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, you can easily replace C drive with SSD or a larger HDD. After cloning, you can still use other wonderful features of AOMEI software to help you manage your disks and partitions better such as: resize/move partition, format partition, convert FAT 32 to NTFS for copying large files, delete large files, etc.

If you want to change C drive to SSD in Windows Server, you may try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. Enjoy this tool right now!

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.