When the space on the original primary hard drive is drastically reduced by the ever-increasing data buildup, the computer will start up slower, and sometimes the system will even crash. Usually, you can upgrade the main hard drive on your computer or migrate Windows OS to another drive, both of which will give your computer better system performance.
But for most Windows users, this is not an easy task to move Windows to another drive, and you are likely to fail at any time during the whole process. In this guide, we have described two popular methods of moving windows to another drive, so read on to learn all the detailed steps you need to follow.
Part 1: The Most Popular Windows Migration Tools
How do I transfer Windows 11/10 to another hard drive? There are two common tools that can do this: iSunshare CloneGo and Windows System Image. You can choose the tool that suits you best. Here is a brief introduction to them.
1. Third-party cloning software – iSunshare CloneGo. The software developed by the iSunshare professional team is probably the most popular backup tool nowadays, besides moving Windows to another drive, it also provides many functions such as cloning, backup, and recovery. CloneGo can quickly migrate Windows 11/10 to a new hard drive without reinstalling.
2. Windows System Image. It is an exact copy of the hard drive, the system image contains all the contents of the system partition, including the operating system, applications, settings, personal data, etc. If the hard disk or computer does not work, the system image can be used to recover the entire contents of the computer. A point worth noting is that this feature only supports cloning a small hard drive to another larger one.
Part 2: How to Move Windows to Another Drive without Reinstalling
How to move Windows 11/10 to another drive easily? Turn your attention to the professional cloning software – iSunshare CloneGo. It is the easiest and fastest way to move Windows to another drive; that’s why I introduced it first. Let’s see how CloneGo can complete the task of Windows system migration within a few clicks.
Step 1: Preparations before Moving Windows to Another Drive
- Initialize the disk and create a new simple volume to set a new drive letter for the new disk.
2. Download and install iSunshare CloneGo on PC
Step 2: Start to Move Windows to Another Drive
- Launch the software and click the “Copy” option in the left toolbar.
- Select the system drive with your Windows OS as the source partition in the “Select a Source Partition” option, and then select the new disk as the target partition.
3. Click “Start,” check the warning message and click “Yes” to start copying the Windows OS.
4. Keep the computer on during this process until the program pops up with a “Copy successfully” message.
Step 3: Set the New Drive as the Boot Disk (optional)
Go to the BIOS menu of your computer and set the new drive with Windows OS stored in it as the new boot disk, then press “F10” or click “OK” to save the changes and restart your computer.
If the new drive will be installed on another computer or you have uninstalled the original HDD/SDD on this computer, you can ignore the step of setting the boot disk.
Part 3: How to Move Windows to HDD/SSD via Windows System Image
You can follow the steps below to move Windows 11 to another drive via Windows System Image. This method works only if the new drive has a larger capacity than the original drive.
Step 1: Create a new system image.
1. Connect the new hard drive to your computer.
2. In the search box next to “Start” on the taskbar, type “Control Panel” and open it. Then under the “System and Security” option, select “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)“.
3. Click “Create a System Image” and select the new drive as the location to save the Windows system image, click “Next” to continue.
4. Confirm your backup settings and click “Start Backup” to start creating the System Recovery drive, which is actually a backup of your Windows created to the new hard drive. The backup time will depend on the data capacity of the initial hard drive and will take about 30-60 minutes.
Step 2: Create Windows installation media
1. Download and install the Windows installation media on the USB drive.
2. After the boot disk is created, shut down the computer and then insert the USB drive into the computer.
Step 3: Migrate the Window system to another hard drive.
1. Check that the new hard drive containing the Windows system image is properly connected or installed on your computer.
2. Turn on the computer, press F1/F2/DEL to enter BIOS, and then set the installation media USB drive as the boot disk.
3. After loading, you will see the Windows setup screen. Click Next, then select “Repair your computer” > “Advanced Options” > “System Image Recovery”.
4. Now, select the available system image and the new hard drive, Click “Next” to continue.
5. Exclude the original system disk and click “OK” > “Next” button.
6. Click “Yes” to confirm that you want to continue, then click “Finish” and wait for the Windows restore process to complete. after that, Windows will restart.
Part 4: FAQ about Transfer Windows to New Hard Drive
Q1: Can I move Windows to another drive without losing data?
You can duplicate the entire hard drive without losing data. A dedicated Windows migration tool is the best solution for computer novices. Of course, the Windows System Image tool is another option to move Windows to another drive, but it requires you to carefully follow more than ten steps.
Q2: Is it possible to move Windows from a large SSD to a smaller drive?
The System Image Tool does not allow you to restore a backup image created on a large disk to a disk with less space. Therefore, if you want to transfer Windows OS from a large SSD to a smaller drive, you should go to the official iSunshare website to get CloneGo now.
Q3: Can I transfer Windows from HDD to a larger SSD with CloneGo?
Of course. Besides that, you can clone HDD to SSD, clone SSD to larger SSD, move Windows partition to an external drive, and so on.
It’s all content about how to migrate Windows to another hard drive. While it is possible to use the Windows System Image to migrate your Windows OS, this is never an effective method. If you want to be able to do the job of migrating Windows to another hard drive more simply, then a dedicated third-party tool should be your preferred solution.