How to Transfer Windows OS to another Drive without Reinstalling?

Posted by @AOMEI

March 29, 2019

Looking for the best way to move OS to new drive in Windows 10/8/7? This article tells how to transfer Windows operating system to another hard drive without reinstalling and ensures secure boot. Detailed steps included.

Why transfer OS to another hard drive? 

"I have an old 120GB hard disk drive, and now I want to upgrade hard disk by transferring the operating system to another hard drive without reinstalling everything because I am tired of the low disk space problem. It makes storing new data and installing new applications impossible. The most unbearable point is that the computer works at a very low speed. So is there any good solution to move OS to new drive without reinstalling?"

From the case above, we could know that there are two main reasons for OS migration to new hard drive, upgrade hard drive capacity and speed up computer. Besides, some users would like to move OS to SSD to improve computer building. 

Thoughts before transferring Windows operating system

Transferring operating system to another drive may be more serious than we think. To be specific, there is a question we should care: if the OS is able to boot after migration? Many users find their disk won't boot after clone

To ensure secure boot, we have to use professional disk cloning tool that transfers all boot required drives and files to the target disk. In addition, the steps to switch hard drive after cloning are also matter a lot. As a result, it is vital to figure out how to successfully complete the OS transferring in Windows. 

How to operating system to another hard drive in Windows 10/8/7?

The reliable cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Professional, has been regarded as the best strategy in resolving the problem of "transfer operating system". It provides two ways for successfully cloning, Disk Clone and System Clone. While using the “System Clone” feature, all system related drives like system reserved partition or UEFI partition will be cloned simultaneously.

Further, system customized settings, personal files and installed programs on the system drive will be copied to target new drive as well. In that case, you could get the similar Windows operating environment.

More important, AOMEI Backupper supports transferring operating system from large hard drive to smaller drive, as long as the target space is sufficient for copied stuff. This technology is set by default. If you want to copy every sector of selected system drive, usually the C: drive, to the target, you can specify sector-by-sector clone.

With the help of such as powerful cloning tool, let’s see how to accomplish the OS moving task in detailed steps.

Example: transfer Windows 7 to new hard drive via AOMEI Backupper

Preparations: please first install or connect the target hard drive to your computer. Make sure it is detected. Then, install and run AOMEI Backupper Professional.

Note: the target hard drive or the selected partition on target drive will be overwritten. Back up important files in advance if necessary.

Step 1. Select "Clone" option in the left side of the main interface. Then, select "System Clone" to transfer OS.

Transfer OS

Step 2. The program will automatically select source partitions including OS drive and other boot required partitions. Therefore, you just need to select another hard drive as destination location (here is Disk1), and then click "Next".

Select Another Hard Drive

Step 3. On the "Operation Summary" window, you can preview the operation: source partitions to target hard drive. If there is no problem, click "Start Clone" to perform the operation.

Start Clone

Step 4. When system clone progress is completed, click "Finish".

Click Finish

Step 5. Shut down your computer. Replace the cloned drive with the original drive or change boot order in BIOS to make Windows boot from cloned drive. The former way is recommended. 

Tips:

  • Sector by sector clone: clone every sector from the source to the target, no matter it is used or not. This method requires the target disk or partition is equal or larger than the source.

  • Align partition to optimize for SSD: check this option to improve SSD’s performance and prolong its lifespan if you migrate operating system to SSD drive. 

  • If source disk and destination disk cannot be connected to your computer at the same time, you can transfer os to another hard drive by creating a system image first and restoring system image to another hard drive under bootable media.
  • If you need to transfer OS to another hard drive in a different computer which has dissimilar hardware, please refer to clone old PC to a new one.

Conclusion

Indeed, it needs time and effort to transfer OS to another hard drive in Windows and ensure secure boot. However, AOMEI Backupper Professional is the comprehensive software you could rely on in OS migration. It aims to make data transferring and computer operations easier and more acceptable for common users.

For advanced users, the software also provides command line clone, i.e. clone hard drive from command prompt, to complete unattended task. For administrators of companies, the Server edition is capable of OS migration to new drive on Windows Server operating systems. Go for it and enjoy.