How to Transfer OS to SSD in Windows: A Step-by-step Guide for Beginners

Written By Axel Nash | Aug 18,2020

“I have got a new SSD drive and now I want to move my Windows 10 operating system to it. Can someone tell me how to transfer OS to SSD in detail?”

As I read this query, I realized that so many Windows users also encounter a similar situation and would like to move their operating system to a new disk. Since an SSD is faster and more reliable than an HDD, it will certainly give you a smoother experience. Though, unlike copying our data, learning how to transfer OS from HDD to SSD can be a bit tedious. For this, you can either create a system image of your PC or use a cloning tool. In this post, I will let you know how to migrate OS to SSD in a stepwise manner that anyone can implement.

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How to Transfer Operating System to SSD in Windows: A Detailed Solution

Most of the Windows versions follow the same technique to move the operating system to a new hard drive. Ideally, there are three ways to do this:

  • • You can use a cloning tool to copy your OS from HDD to SSD
  • • You can create a system image of your PC and later restore it to your SSD
  • • Also, you can download an ISO of your Windows and install it fresh on your new drive

If you don’t want to use any third-party application, then creating a system image of your disk would be the safest option. Now, let’s proceed and learn how to transfer operating system to SSD in a Windows PC.

Step 1: Make your SSD Ready

Before you start, make sure that your SSD can accommodate your Windows data. For this, you can just use an SSD to USB connecting cable and plug it to your computer. Once the drive is connected, go to its Properties to check its available space. You can go to its General tab and use the Disk Cleanup feature to make more space in it. Alternatively, you can format the connected SSD as well.

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Besides that, make sure that the connected SSD has an updated firmware running on it. You can connect it to your system and use its installer to update it.

Step 2: Take a Backup of your Data

If the process of transferring your OS to a new SSD goes wrong, then you can end up losing your important files in the process. Therefore, I would recommend taking a backup of your important data in advance. You can just upload your data to the cloud or use any other external hard drive to transfer your files. Furthermore, you can also go to Windows Settings > Backup to maintain a File History of your data.

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Step 3: Create a System Image of your Windows PC

Great! Now when you have met all the prerequisites, you can easily learn how to transfer OS from HDD to SSD. For this, we will first create a system image of our Windows PC by visiting Control Panel > Backup & Restore and selecting the “Create a System Image” option from the sidebar.

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This will launch a dedicated wizard that you can follow to create a system image of your PC. You need to first select your hard disk where the system image would be created.

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To proceed, you further need to select the partitions and drive you want to include in the image. Here, you need to make sure that you have selected the Windows Drive (which is C: in most cases) to be included in the image.

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Now, you can start creating the system image of your OS drive and wait for a while for the process to be completed. Ideally, it can take 30-60 minutes for Windows 10 to create a complete system image.

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Step 4: Install Windows on your SSD

Once a system image is created, you need to install a fresh copy of Windows on your connected SSD. Don’t skip this process as it is important for learning how to migrate OS to SSD. For this, you can just launch the Windows Media Creation Tool on your PC and choose to create an installation media on another PC.

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You can select the connected SSD as a source to install the Windows firmware. When you would be asked what you wish to keep, you can choose to retain your data. If you wish to install a fresh copy of Windows, then you can choose to keep nothing and complete the installation.

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Step 5: Perform the System Image Recovery

Afterward, you can replace your HDD with SSD and restart your computer. When your system boots, you can press the designated key to enter its advanced startup instead of the standard boot.

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From here, you can choose to boot your system from the connected drive. If everything goes well, then you will get a Windows setup display on your system.

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Now, you can just select the language and enter preliminary details to install the firmware. When the setup is ready, you will be notified so that you can install the OS. Instead, you can choose to Repair your computer from here to enter its advanced settings.

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As you will get dedicated repairing options, browse to Troubleshooting > Advanced Options and click on the “System Image Recovery” feature.

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This will again launch a dedicated wizard, letting you select the image file that you wish to recover.

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You can now go through a simple click-through process and wait as the system image would be restored on your drive.

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Since the restoring process might take a while, it is recommended not to halt it in between. When the process is completed, you will be asked to restart your system to boot it in the standard mode.

That’s it! By following this process, you can easily learn how to transfer Windows 10 from HDD to SSD. Later, you can defragment your disk and perform a quick cleanup process to make more space on your drive and get rid of any unwanted data. If the process won’t work, then you can also use any cloning tool to transfer OS from HDD to SSD as well. Go ahead and try this technique or share it with others to teach them how to migrate OS to SSD like a pro.

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Axel Nash

staff Editor

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