Computer components are updated at a rapid pace. Even if the old one has not broken, you may want to use a new one to get better performance.
For example, replacing a spinning hard drive with a solid-state drive that has no moving parts is known to bring big speed improvements. But considering the operating system installed on it and all the personal data accumulated for so long, you may want to migrate the hard drive to the new SSD directly.
How to migrate OS and files from HDD to SSD?
For ordinary files, you can transfer them to the new SSD by simply copying and pasting them. But this method does not apply to system files or hidden files, and it is not fast enough for large files.
Another approach is to back up the system to a removable device first, and then restore them to the new disk. This is indeed a feasible method, but is relatively complicated and also error-prone during the whole process, especially with the built-in Backup and Restore utility.
To perform hard drive migration more easily and quickly, the easiest solution is using disk clone software. Thus you can clone Windows installation and all the data partitions from HDD to SSD with secure boot.
Can you transfer Windows license to new SSD?
There are three main categories of Windows licenses: Retail, Volume, OEM. Simply put, they can all be transferred to a new hard drive on the same computer, but there are some restrictions to be aware of.
For the Retail license, if you are upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 retail copy, the key can only be transferred once.
For the OEM license, it’s bundled with the motherboard and can only be used on specific hardware.
To check your license type, you can open “Command Prompt” and run the command “slmgr /dli”.
Hard drive clone software for Windows 10/8/7
Although Windows comes with backup and restore tools, unfortunately, there’s no disk cloning feature by far. So you have to look for a third-party program to accomplish this operation. Here I will use AOMEI Backupper Standard as an example.
As a powerful hard drive clone software for all Windows PCs, it enables you to clone an entire HDD/SSD including OS and all the files, or copy individual partitions to another disk.
It runs in an intelligent mode by default to copy only used sectors, and therefore allows you to clone larger HDD to smaller SSD. If your target disk is larger, you can also perform sector-by-sector clone to create an intact copy of the source hard drive, including the blank or logically bad sectors.
With all these functions, it’s still easy to operate. You can follow this simple guide to clone hard drive.
How to clone hard drive to SSD securely?
First, install the disk clone software on your Windows computer following a simple wizard, and connect the new SSD to the PC properly. If your PC has only one slot, you can use an USB to SATA adapter to connect it.
Note the cloning operation will overwrite the target SSD, so if you’ve stored any important data on it, please make a backup in advance. You can run AOMEI Backupper and use the “File Backup” feature under the “Backup” tab.
Now let’s get to cloning the hard drive:
- Navigate to the “Clone” tab, select “Disk Clone”. If you want to migrate only OS to SSD, you could choose “System Clone”, which is available in the Professional edition.
2. Select your current system disk as the source disk, click “Next”.
3. Select the SSD as the destination disk, click “Next” to continue.
4. Confirm the operation and tick “SSD Alignment” to improve the reading & writing speed of the target SSD and prolong its life span. Then click “Start Clone” to execute the task.
When the cloning is complete, you can shut down the computer and replace the HDD with SSD to boot from it.
If your computer has more than one drive bay and you want to keep the HDD as a secondary storage device, then you can restart the computer, press the required key to enter BIOS, select the SSD as the first boot option, and press F10 to save the settings. Thus your computer will boot from the SSD.
If everything is fine and you want to erase the old hard drive, AOMEI Backupper also includes this feature. Just switch to the “Tools” tab, and choose “Disk Wipe” to proceed.
To transfer OS and files from HDD to a new SSD and make it bootable, a powerful hard drive clone software is necessary. With it, you can clone disks of different sizes within several simple steps.
Not only a clone, but it also has complete backup and restores features. You can schedule automatic backup to protect Windows operating systems and files in normal use. Internal/external drive, USB flash drive, NAS, network share, and cloud drive are all supported as the storage.