By Bryce / Last Updated July 21, 2020

How to transfer Windows 10 to new hard drive?

“I have a laptop with Windows 10 installed on an SSD. The capacity of SSD is about 200GB and it is almost full. I want to know how to move Windows 10 operating system, kinds of files, apps to a new & larger SSD rather than reinstall OS and programs on the new SSD. Any advice will be appreciated!”

Windows transfer tool: AOMEI Partition Assistant

If you transfer OS & apps to new storage drive, like SSD by copy & paste, you can find that OS and some apps unable to boot normally. This is why you need a reliable and professional Windows migration tool. Here I would like to introduce AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional (PA Pro) out of those reasons:

✎ It can transfer Windows operating system, apps, files from one disk to another without losing data.
✎ It supports different types of storage devices, including traditional hard disk drive, solid-state drive (SATA SSD, M.2 SSD, and NVMe SSD), SSDHD, USB flash drive, VMware virtual disk, etc.
✎ It supports migrating all data from MBR to GPT, GPT to MBR, MBR to MBR or GPT to GPT.
✎ It is able to move all things on Windows disk to another one of different sizes (larger, equal, smaller) with secure boot.
✎ It enables you to align partition to optimize performance when you migrate all data to SSD.

✔ You can free download the demo version of AOMEI Partition Assistant to have a try!

A detailed guide on migrating Windows to another disk (SSD/HDD)

Now, let’s see how to use the Windows transfer tool to move Windows and all other things from one disk to another.

Step 1. Connect the new disk to your PC. Install and run the tool. Click “All Tools” and choose “Disk Clone Wizard”.

Step 2. Select one between the two options (the first way is recommended) and click “Next”.

The differences:

Clone method
Clone Disk QuicklySector-by-Sector Clone
Clone scope
Clone only used spaceClone every sector
Capacity Requirement about Target DiskShould not be smaller than the used space of source diskShall not be smaller than the capacity of the source disk
Time spentLessMore
Suitable conditionsClone to a smaller diskClone disk with bad sector; clone BitLocker encrypted disk

Step 3. Choose the current OS disk as source disk and click “Next”.

Step 4. Select the new hard drive as destination disk. Then, click “Next”.

Step 5. Here you can adjust partition size on target disk.

Step 6. A Note shows how to boot OS from the destination disk will pop up. Keep it in mind and click “Finish”

Step 7. Then, you’ll be back to the home interface. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the operation.

✍ Notes
► This operation won’t damage the data on the source system disk. You can keep the old system disk as a backup disk in case of some events, like system crash; or erase all data on the old disk to reclaim disk space.
► PA Pro can also complete many other operations related to disk & partition, like copying partition and converting dynamic disk into basic.
► PA Pro is compatible with Windows 10/8.1/8/7, XP, and Vista (64bit and 32bit). If you want to manage partition and disk in Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 (R2)/2008 (R2/2003, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

How to: boot from new hard drive after migration

After the Windows transfer tool migrates Windows and all other things to the new drive, you may wonder how to boot OS.

If there is only one disk bay on your laptop, replace the old drive with the cloned new disk; And you may need screwdriver to assist you.

If you plan to keep the old hard drive and the new one at the same time, you need to change boot order to boot from the new drive:

  • Reboot your computer and press the functional key to enter BIOS setup while the first screen appears.

  • Choose “Change boot order” and change the new disk to the top of the listed devices.

  • Save and exit the BIOS setup. And your PC will boot from the cloned disk.

Note: If you migrate Windows from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR, you need to change boot mode between Legacy and UEFI.