Recently, SSDs are at a discount, and so, I bought a 1TB one in our local digital store. I had heard that to install Windows 10 on SSD can enhance the performance of the PC so I decided to do that. However, I am a complete novice. So, where should I start?
Install Windows 10 on SSD or HDD?
SSD is short for solid-state drive. It’s a storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data persistently, typically using flash memory while HDD stores and retrieves digital data using magnetic storage and one or more rigid rapidly rotating platter coated with magnetic material. So, should we install Windows 10 on SSD or HDD?
Compared with HDD, SSD is much faster since it uses flash memory to read and write data while the HDD uses the spinning disks to read and write data. Besides, SSD has no moving parts, so it is safer than HDD and more resistant to shake and vibration; it can also help reduce the noise while working.Moreover, its tiny size can also save much precious space for your computer case. Due to those merits of SSD, I recommend installing Windows 10 on SSD instead.
(Check the following table to learn its other advantages of SSD:)
Tutorial 1: How to install Windows 10 on SSD from USB?
In most cases, users prefer to install OS with CD while nowadays, many computers especially laptops have no CD drives. In this case, a USB installation media is a better alternative. And also, USB is more portable and a safer place to store Windows 10 because CD could be scratched sometimes and the data on it could be damaged. So, this time, I will put the Windows 10 installation file into a USB flash drive to make an installation USB drive for example.
Part 1. Create a Windows 10 installation USB
If you already have prepared an installation USB, just ignore Part 1 and go straight to Part 2. Otherwise, you should create one by using Microsoft’s media creation tool.
1. Download the media creation tool and run it as an administrator.
2. Hit “Accept” in the “Applicable notices and license terms” window.
3. Tick “Create installation media for another PC” and hit “Next”.
4. Select language, architecture, and edition and click on “Next”.
5. Tick “USB flash drive” and hit “Next”.
To ensure a successful Windows 10 installation, the USB flash drive needs to be at least 8GB.
6. Choose your prepared USB flash drive from “Removable drives” and then, hit “Next”.
7. Once completed, Windows 10 will be installed to the device and thus, the installation media is created.
Part 2. Boot the PC from the USB drive
1. Shut down your PC. Remove the old drive from it and install the new SSD. In order to make the installation easier, you’d better keep only the SSD attached to the PC and after the installation is done, you can consider installing the old hard drive back to your PC if you wish to.
2. Plug your USB flash drive to the PC.
3. Boot the PC, press and hold the BIOS key right away (F2, Del, F10, or F12, depending on the manufacture) until the BIOS screen is displayed.
4. In BIOS, navigate to Boot Manager and set the installation USB to be the first boot device.
5. Save the settings and quit BIOS. Then, your PC will boot from the installation USB.
Part 3. Start installing Win 10 on SSD from bootable USB
1. When the computer boot again, you will enter Windows Setup. There, you’ll select language, time and currency format, and keyboard or input method. After it’s done, click on “Next” to proceed.
2. Click on “Install Now”.
3. To activate Windows 10, you must enter your product key. If you don’t have one, just click on “I don’t have a product key” and you can still finish the installation.
4. Select your desired Windows 10 edition from the list.
5. Tick “I accept the license terms” and hit “Next”.
6. Select the custom installation.
7. Select the SSD drive where you want to install the OS and hit “Next”.
8. Now, Windows 10 is being installed. Just wait the installation to be completed.
9. When it’s finished, your PC will be rebooted again.
10. Once Windows 10 restarts, immediately press and hold the BIOS key again to enter the BIOS. Then, select your SSD drive as the first boot drive.
11. After Windows 10 reboot, select a region and hit “Yes”. On the next page, select your keyboard layout and hit “Yes”.
12. Now, what’s left is to follow the onscreen guide to finish the setup of your computer. Answer the questions appearing on the screen and set up an account to log in to Windows 10. Both Microsoft account or a local offline account is allowed.
Wait a few minutes. Windows 10 will get all things ready and automatically log you onto the desktop. After that, you can install any drives you want to make your Windows 10 PC run more smoothly.
If still confused at the steps above, you might as well watch the YouTube video tutorial.
Tutorial 2: How to install Windows 10 on SSD from HDD?
The above method is to clean install Windows 10 on solid-state drives via the created installation USB media. And that required you to reinstall other programs on the new system drive. What if you just want to install the Windows 10 to SSD from the current HDD, and not reinstall everything from scratch? Or you don’t have the proper USB flash drive or CD for Win 10 installation?
To put your current Windows 10 operating system onto SSD from HDD, the easiest way is to use some third-party software to migrate OS from your old drive to the new SSD. In this way, you needn’t reinstall the operating system which frees you from much trouble. Here, I recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard that supports migrating Windows 10 from MBR disk to MBR disk within clicks. More than this, this freeware is also able to clone hard drives, clone partitions, and wipe system disk.
1. The standard version of this software can only migrate OS from MBR to MBR. If you wish to migrate OS from MBR to GPT, GPT to GPT, or GPT to MBR, you must upgrade to the pro version.
2. If you migrate OS from MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR, you must change the boot mode (either from Legacy BIOS to UEFI or from UEFI to Legacy BIOS) to let the OS boot normally.
Free download the disk manager to migrate OS from an old disk to a new SSD.
Step 1. Connect your new SSD to your PC; install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard; click “Migrate OS to SSD” in the upper left wizard.
Step 2. Select a piece of unallocated space on your target SSD. Then, hit “Next”.
Step 3. Here, you’re able to customize the size of the partition on the destination disk. After it’s done, hit “Next”.
Step 4. After returning to the main interface, click on “Apply” on the upper left and hit “Proceed” to start the migration.
After it’s completed, you should boot your computer from the destination SSD.
If you want to transfer all data (not only the operating system partition but also other data partitions) from the old drive to the new SSD, please consider trying the feature of disk clone.
Common issues about installing Windows on SSD
There’re 2 extra common problems you could run into in Windows 10 installation. In the following content, I’ll explain what they are and meanwhile, provide fixes.
1. Can’t install Windows 10 on SSD
When you try to install Windows 10 on your new SSD, you might meet the error messages such as “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style” and “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks”. Thus, the easiest way is to correspondingly convert GPT to MBR or MBR to GPT with AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.
Besides, you can also change the boot mode. For example, if the PC shows the first error mentioned above and meanwhile, your motherboard supports Legacy + UEFI/CMS boot, you can enable UEFI boot mode in BIOS to fix the error.
1. Reboot the PC and hold the function key to enter BIOS.
2. Locate the Boot tab with the arrow keys on your keyboard and select “UEFI/BIOS Boot Mode” > “UEFI”, then, hit “ENTER”.
2. SSD won't boot after Windows 10 installation
There’re computer owners complaining that after installing Windows 10 on SSD, they cannot boot from the new drive. This error can be caused by the factors: 1. The SSD is not the first boot device; 2. The system partition is not active; 3. The Master Boot Record of the cloned SSD is damaged. So, correspondingly, to fix the error, you might as well consider setting the SSD as the first boot device in BIOS, make the system partition active, and rebuild MBR of the SSD.
To install Windows 10 on SSD is never an easy job without a proper guide. So, in this tutorial, I have tried to explain every step in the most explicit words and hopefully, you’ve gotten the gist of them and now, you can perform those operations on your own. Meanwhile, in the other half of the article, I provided some pragmatic ways to help deal with 2 common Windows 10 issues – failed SSD Windows 10 installation and unsuccessful Windows 10 boot on SSD. I believe with the help of the AOMEI product, you can handle them with ease.