Windows 10: Transfer only the OS (W10) to a different drive Solved

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  1.    1 Week Ago #1

    Transfer only the OS (W10) to a different drive


    I have a 1TB HDD drive that has Windows 10 on it and a large data directory that has 574GB of information on it.

    I have a 200GB HDD drive, completely empty.

    I want to move the entire OS along with Program Files and Users over to the 200GB drive and use the 1TB drive strictly for data.

    So far I find that the tools I looked into want to try to clone the entire drive and obviously I do not have the space for that..

    Is my only solution to go out and buy another drive or is there something out there that will target the OS and related files?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 4,479
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       1 Week Ago #2

    For the best results, in mind and experience, the best way is to have only the 200GB drive plugged in and do a clean install and after Windows is up and running connect the larger drive to use as Data. I've done both cloning with Macrium reflect and clean installations. I've also had the computers plugged into a UPS/Uninterruptible Power Supply to avert any power issues during the process. Another issue in using a small-capacity HDD may be its speed, usually is slower than the larger HDDs of the last few years, probably will affect overall speed/performance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    1 Week Ago #3

    Thank-you!

    This may be a stupid question, but as my presumptions have lately lead to a number of disasters, I am going to ask... When I reconnect the larger drive after doing a fresh install on the smaller, how do I make sure it is booting off of the new installation on the smaller drive instead of reverting to the older Windows installation on the larger?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 1,881
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
       1 Week Ago #4

    You just go into the Bios and disable everything except the drive you want to boot from.

    It will be under the Boot tab in the Bios.

    If you have a dvd drive you want to keep in the boot list, set that as 1st and the new drive 2nd and disable everything else.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    1 Week Ago #5

    brucemc777 said: View Post
    I have a 1TB HDD drive that has Windows 10 on it and a large data directory that has 574GB of information on it.

    I have a 200GB HDD drive, completely empty.

    I want to move the entire OS along with Program Files and Users over to the 200GB drive and use the 1TB drive strictly for data.

    So far I find that the tools I looked into want to try to clone the entire drive and obviously I do not have the space for that..

    Is my only solution to go out and buy another drive or is there something out there that will target the OS and related files?
    Ok, in simple terms, you NEED a backup drive that will be as large as ALL your existing data and then some.

    Thus is ABSOLUTELY essential. All drives fail sooner or later, and can happen at no notice.

    So in your case, you could backup all data to a new drive at least 1TB in capacity. Then you could wipe 1TB drive of the data and clone the remainder it to a second internal drive if you wish, finally copying data back.


    TBH, using an old 200GB HDD drive is not really worth the effort. If you are going to use a second smaller drive, an SSD is a much better solution.

    If you really cannot currently afford a new hdd, use that 200 GB drice for DATA BACKUP, backing up data that is truly valuable eg photos, documents.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 1,881
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
       1 Week Ago #6
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    1 Week Ago #7

    Hi folks

    perhaps I've mis-understood here - however slow old small HDD's are so SLOW even on fast computers you'll want to chick the computer in the bin after doing the operation. Most of the time I read on these boards about poor performance it's usually slow / terrible quality HDD's --probably the "Cinderalla" bit of computers.

    There's absolutely no excuse now not to use an SSD for the OS - imporoves performance absolutely hugely even on slow machines -- a 500GB SSD is quite cheap now and 250 GB one's - probably ideal size for the OS) won't break the back of even the most impoverished. Don't even THINK of using an old slow 200GB HDD for running an OS -- use it for backing up the OS or for things like that if you still want to use it -- prefereably via a USB-->SATA external connection. If it's still an old IDE device - take it to the Tip as it really will be SLOOOOOOOW.

    However the process is the same for moving the OS.

    to me seems relatively easy


    1) MOVE all DATA to say external USB so you've essentially only got Windows OS and programs left on the drive.

    2) Now SHRINK / RE-SIZE the "C" partition to the size you want --plenty of free tools to do that -- GPARTED, PARTITION MAGIC etc etc. just google for the one you like.

    3) now with Free macrium clone the new resized Windows HDD partitions (only the Windows OS stuff like recovery partition and "C" drive to new Drive. Note CLONE in this case not IMAGE because you haven't got a separate device to restore an image from. Clone will just copy the OS.

    4) re-boot.

    If you haven't got a spare HDD to save your data then why not just re-install windows on the new SSD - you can then at some stage delete the Windows OS on the old HDD. You'll have to at some stage have another HDD anyway if you want to back up your data.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    1 Week Ago #8

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    Hi folks

    perhaps I've mis-understood here

    to me seems relatively easy


    1) MOVE all DATA to say external USB so you've essentially only got Windows OS and programs left on the drive.

    2) Now SHRINK / RE-SIZE the "C" partition to the size you want --plenty of free tools to do that -- GPARTED, PARTITION MAGIC etc etc. just google for the one you like.

    3) now with Free macrium clone the new resized Windows HDD partitions (only the Windows OS stuff like recovery partition and "C" drive to new SSD. Note CLONE in this case not IMAGE because you haven't got a separate device to restore an image from. Clone will just copy the OS.

    4) re-boot.

    If you haven't got a spare HDD to save your data then why not just re-install windows on the new SSD - you can then at some stage delete the Windows OS on the old HDD. You'll have to at some stage have another HDD anyway if you want to back up your data.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    OP does not have an ssd, only an hdd. That is why I advised using that to backup valuable data at least (OP needs a new external backup drive - if OP had one, life is much simpler).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    1 Week Ago #9

    Y'all are right, I've been penny-pinching. a couple decades ago I was in great shape and would completely upgrade to the latest & greatest every two years, but times changed. I've held back from an SSD from concerns over the early number of read/write limitations, but I suspect by now that is no longer a concern.

    My primary, almost exclusive, use of this computer is business - Internet research, very heavy Excel use including the project I've been developing in VBA over the last couple years that logs all my business, and email. I know in a gamer's world all the speed improvements are valuable, but I didn't think I would see anything except perhaps boot time - am I wrong?

    And yes, I definitely found out the hard way about hard drive failures. I won't touch a Western Digital drive if I can help it - every failure that I have had since I first upgraded from a Commodore 64 was a WD, and that's been three, all catastrophic. The one I have hanging around now was supposed to be a redundant backup.

    So I guess on the next extra $200 that comes by (And yes, I remember years ago paying $300 for a 30MB drive, and that was a good price at the time...)., every single one of you is well agreed that my priority should be to go out and get another 1TB drive so I have one for data, another for backup, and the largest SSD I can reasonably purchase?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    1 Week Ago #10

    Y'all are either going

    "He's FINALLY got it!!!"

    or

    "Good Lord he's dense!!!"...
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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