About transferring OS to new hard drive in Windows
Sometimes, you may need to clone OS (operating system) from the old hard drive to a larger new one spontaneously. Perhaps, it is a personal reason or system's need. No matter which purpose you come from, it is always a waste of time to backup all the data or reinstalls the OS. This brings you into a difficult circumstance.
The migration of OS cannot be done manually, because there're lots of hidden files and data you can't find, which only can be detected by professional software. Is there any reliable cloning software to copy the entire OS to a new hard drive without reinstalling?
Luckily, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is free OS migrating software. Such a problem is a piece of cake with this disk manager software. Moreover, the Standard edition is free for home users and you can easily solve the problem completely. It supports Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 (32 bit or 64 bit). Now, Windows 11 has been released, this tool is also perfectly compatible with this latest Windows OS. With its simplified interface, even a computer novice can operate it.
How to copy OS to a new hard drive via AOMEI Partition Assistant
There are 2 methods provided by AOMEI Partition Assistant.
No.1: "Migrate OS to SSD"
You can migrate OS from an MBR disk to another MBR disk, HDD and SSD are both available. You can boot the target disk without reinstalling it. However, if the source disk is an MBR disk while the destination disk is a GPT disk, you'll need AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, and don't forget to change the boot mode after the migration.
No.2: "Disk Clone Wizard"
This function copies all data of the drive to another disk and the data on the target disk will be all erased. The new hard drive is a duplicate of the original one. All files and hidden files and settings will be the same as the source disk. Also, you don't need to reinstall your OS, just need to pay attention to the boot mode if the target disk is a GPT disk. You'll have two choices to do the disk clone:
▶ Clone Disk Quickly
This way only clone the used space to the destination disk, and after the clone, you can adjust the size of partitions. If you need to clone an HDD to a smaller SSD, you can clone just the utilized space. Because the drive contains both utilized and empty space, cloning solely used space will lower the occupied space without duplicating the unused space on the disk.
▶ Sector-by-Sector Clone
In this way, you can clone all sectors on the source disk no matter used or not. If you need to clone a smaller HDD to a larger SSD or SSD of the same size, you may do so in this manner, and AOMEI will ensure the job's success even if there are blank sectors or logically faulty sectors.
Steps to copy OS to new hard drive in Windows
Now, let's see details to clone OS to a new hard drive with this free clone software.
▌No 1. Migrate OS only to another disk
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 the operation.
▌No 2. Clone disk Wizard
As we mentioned above, this feature will erase all data on the target disk, if you have a new disk or a disk without any important files, you can continue. Otherwise, we suggest you make a backup before we start.
Step 1. Click "All Tools" ->“Disk Clone Wizard” in the left pane.
Step2. In the pop-up window, choose “Clone Disk Quickly” or “Sector by sector Clone”.
Step 3. Choose the HDD as the source disk (here is Disk 1).
Step 4. Choose your SSD as destination disk (here is Disk3), and tick the box before “Optimize the performance of SSD” to clone HDD to SSD alignment.
Step 5. you can adjust the partition size on SSD here.
Tip: If the target disk is smaller, the first option will be greyed out.
Step 6. You'll receive a note, after you read it, click “Finish” back to the main interface.
Step 7. you can preview the result, and do remember to “Apply” the operation.
Then you can reboot from the destination disk: please press a specific key to enter BIOS, elect the cloned SSD/HDD as the prior boot drive, press "Enter" to boot from it.
Note: If this clone is from an MBR to a GPT disk, please choose AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.
These two methods can help you safely, quickly, and easily copy OS to a new hard drive. AOMEI Partition Assistant is a powerful disk/partition manager for Windows users, many other helpful features in this utility can solve practical issues. You can also clone your OS to an external hard drive, or create a Windows to Go USB to enjoy your Windows wherever you are.