By Emily / Last Updated April 26, 2023

Why need to transfer OS to new hard drive?

Migrate to SSD

You may want to move Windows operating system to new HDD or SSD out of different reasons:

▸ Need more disk space. After years of usage, the available storage space of your hard drive can decrease and trigger the low disk space issue. It’s not a bad choice to move OS to a large disk and use the old one as a secondary device.
▸ Long for faster speed. The Windows operating system is currently installed on a hard disk drive (HDD) and you want to use SSD for OS and HDD for storage because an SSD can run the operating system much faster when compared with an HDD.
▸ The system hard drive is about to fail. Due to overload, service time limitation, virus, or other unknown reasons, your OS drive may fail to work. So, you can replace the failing hard drive with a new HDD or SSD. And moving OS to new hard drive from the old one helps you avoid reinstalling operating system and personal applications.
▸ Reinstalling the Windows system is troublesome. Another important reason of migrating Windows OS is to save time and effort of reinstalling and re-configuring systems and applications which are required in a clean install. To transfer OS to new drive with the help of OS migration software, you can keep system files and personal data intact.

Whatever reasons are in your mind, the next step is to figure out how to move your OS to new SSD or HDD.

Powerful software to transfer OS to new hard drive 

For some files and folders, such as the Documents, Music, Photos, or Videos folder, you can drag and drop them to new hard drive in Windows Explorer. However, it is not wise to just drag and drop Windows OS-related files to the new drive because it won’t be bootable afterwards.

Thus, here we would like to introduce a secure and effective OS migration software for Windows 11/10/8/7 (32/64-bit) – AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Its "Migrate OS to SSD Wizard" can copy all OS-related files and all other applications & files stored on system partition from your old hard drive to the new one. After cloning, you can boot OS successfully from the new hard drive.

What’s more, if you want to transfer all data from one hard drive to another even when the target disk is smaller, you can do it easily and safely with the Disk Clone feature. The following advantages also explain why you can choose this software

◆ It's easy to use and simple to follow. Its GUI interface is very friendly to all levels of computer users, so you can follow the guide to move os to new hard drive easily and quickly.
◆ It's very compatible. It can work on various computer brands including but not limited to Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, etc, and is able to migrate OS to hard drive of different types like HDD, SSD, USB hard drive, and so on.
◆ It's practical and applicable. This tool allows you to resize the partition on the new hard drive before OS migration so that you can make good use of the space on the new disk when you transfer OS from old hard drive to new.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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What to do before moving OS to new hard drive?

To transfer OS to new hard drive successfully, please make sure you have made the following preparations well:

1. Connect new hard drive

First, you have to connect or install the secondary new disk to your computer. If you are using a desktop, you can install the new hard drive internally. If you are using a laptop that has only one drive bay, you'll need an external SATA-to-USB adapter, dock, or enclosure to connect your bare drive to the computer. 

sata usb

2. Check the new hard drive space

Now, you can check how much unallocated space the new hard drive comes with. It has to be larger than the boot partition on the source hard drive. If not, it is advised to delete or shrink other existing partitions to get enough unallocated space.

3. Verify the partition style of new hard drive

Since the partition style has to be compatible with the employed boot mode (UEFI & Legacy BIOS). To avoid changing boot mode after cloning, it is better to make the partition style of the new hard drive as the same as the source hard drive's. So please convert the new disk to GPT or MBR when necessary.

4. Make a backup

Back up the OS in advance for a quick recovery in case that the cloning process was interrupted by some unexpected issues such as power failure. Besides, you also have to back up everything important on the new hard drive if there are because all data will be overwritten during the cloning process.

How to transfer old OS to new hard drive step by step

After everything is ready, please refer to the steps below to see the detailed steps to migrate OS to new HDD. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional offers you two options to make it, you can transfer OS directly or clone the whole hard drive with the system on it to the hard drive. Just select one based on your needs.

Option 1. Transfer OS to new hard drive via OS migration

Step 1. Install and open Partition Assistant Standard. Click Clone and select Migrate OS. Don’t be confused by its name because it can apply to HDD as well.

Migrate OS to SSD

Step 2. Choose the new hard drive here as the target disk. If there is a partition on SSD, check “I want to delete all partitions on the disk 2 to migrate system to the disk” and make “Next” available.

Select Disk Space

Step 3. You can drag the double-headed arrow to resize the system partition, or just type the desired number in the box below.

Resize Partition

Step 4. Read the Note in this window.

Note

Step 5. Click Apply and Proceed to execute the pending operations.

Apply

Option 2. Transfer OS to new hard drive via disk clone

Step 1. Install and launch the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Click on "Clone" >"Clone Disk".

disk-clone-wizard

Step 2. Choose a clone method: "Clone Disk Quickly" or "Sector-by-Sector Clone" and click "Next".

copy-methods

Step 3. Here select the PS4 hard drive as the source disk and click on "Next".

source-disk

Step 4. Then, choose the new solid-state drive as the destination disk and click "Next" as well. Remember to tick "Optimize the performance of SSD" to align the partition.

target-one

Step 5. In this window, you can resize the new partitions on the new hard drive. Click "Next" to move on.

edit

Step 6. Click "Apply" and "Proceed" to commit the operation to transfer os partition to new hard drive.

apply

Notes:

▸ This operation involves system partition, which requires it to be completed under PreOS mode.

▸ To transfer Server OS to new hard drive, you can switch to the Server edition.

How to boot the OS from the new hard drive

To boot from the new hard drive, you need to set it as the first boot device in BIOS. 

Step 1. Restart PC and press F2/F12/Del keys to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Under the boot tab, change the boot order to boot the OS from the new disk. Then, press F10 to save changes and exit.

Change Boot Order

FAQs

✍ Do you have to reinstall OS when changing hard drive?

When the old hard drive you want to change contains the operating system, you are certain to need to reinstall the system if you want to use your computer as usual. In addition to OS reinstallation, you should also need to reinstall the programs and games you usually use and recover your important files from the backup.

But if you apply the OS migration tool we recommended above, you can easily skip these tedious steps in reinstalling. Only with a few clicks, the OS or everything you need on the old hard drive will be moved to the new hard drive disk. That is to say, you don't have to reinstall OS when changing hard drive with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

✍ Can I move my OS to another drive without losing data?

Generally speaking, moving the Windows OS to another drive is not as simple as transferring a single file or folder by copying and pasting. If you don't want to lose any data during the OS movement, the best way is to resort to a reliable OS migration utility - AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. As we introduced above, aside from the operating system, all your installed software, stored files, and other settings will be kept in intact after transferring.

Conclusion

Either to transfer OS to new hard drive out of upgrading old disk or out of replacing the failing one, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional just lets your hassle away. If you can't boot into your Windows system normally, it can also allow you to clone hard drive via bootable USB so that you could transfer your OS effectively.

In the meantime, it helps you to manage partitions conveniently and overall. Basic partition operations, like Resize/Move Partition, Merge Partitions, Clone Disk/Partitions, Create/Format/Delete Partition, Split Partition, etc are provided by it.