Is it possible to install an SSD and move the windows installation?

  1. Posts : 25
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit

    Is it possible to install an SSD and move the windows installation?


    So, this is what I want to do, if I can!

    Going to install an SSD in my wife's PC and I really don't want to reinstall Windows if at all possible.

    I'd be nice to be able to move Windows to the SSD and leave all the applications on the HDD and just repair where the applications are.

    Alas, I feeling that this just isn't possible?

    Most file documents and photos are sync'd to the cloud. The only thing I don't want to do is re-install all the games she has from BigFish and GameHouse. I'd have to listen to her crab about starting the game(s) from square one.

    Thanks for any help, tips or tricks!

    Windows Version is 2004.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 13,960
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503

    How big will the SSD be? How big is the current HDD?

    You can clone the HDD to the SSD but for some reason that doesn't always work. What does is to make an image of the HDD to an external USB HDD then disconnect the HDD and install the SSD, then restore the image to the SSD. A little more work but this works almost every time, barring hardware problems.

    Another advantage is you now have a good backup of the original Windows 10 in case something goes wrong.

    The best way to do this is to use Macrium Reflect Free or Home to make an image backup to an external hard drive. If you don't have an external hard drive now is a good time to get one as regular backup should be a part of your normal process. You can get a 1TB external hard drive for $60 (less if on sale).

    There are other backup programs available but Macrium is the one I use and recommend.

    • Acronis True Image. A full featured backup solution. ...
    • EaseUS ToDo Backup. A flexible solution in the backup arena. ...
    • Paragon Backup & Recovery. Enterprise options for home backup. ...
    • NovaBackup. Does the basics well, but only the basics.

    Once you have the SSD up and running and are happy with it, back it up then continue to do backups on a regular basis, weekly at a minimum.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 6,979
    windows 10

    Most ssd makers offer a free clone tool with there drives you need to remove the old drive to test or there will be a disk signature clash
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 25
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit
    Thread Starter

    I think ya'll aren't understanding wholly were I'm coming from.

    If I wanted to clone the HDD to the SDD I'd just grab my Clonezilla USB. Even so the SDD is only 256GB and the HDD 1.5TB.

    I guess what I can do is backup the user profiles and back up 'Program Data.'
    Make a catalog of what exactly is/was installed at the current time.
    Install the SSD and install windows on it.
    Format the old HDD
    Re-install apps and then restore the user profiles and bring down 'Program Data.'

    If it doesn't work .. well .. it doesn't work!

    Thanks for the answers though!
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 13,960
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503

    I don't think that will work but it might be fun to try. You are going to be missing too many registry entries for programs that were installed.

    You could go for a larger SSD, say 1TB and you could then clone it and it would probably fit.

    I'll be interested to see which way you go and how you make out.

    Edit: NewEgg has this:

    Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 1TB SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" Notebooks / Laptops Internal Hard Drive ST1000LX015 for $62.99.
    Last edited by Ztruker; 12 Jul 2020 at 14:03.
      My Computers

  6. Posts : 7,137
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    You really need all the programs on the SSD for best speed of response. I only use a separate HDD for user data including photos & videos and large games installations.

    I would image the current HDD installation to an external drive using Macrium Reflect. Then install the SSD and temporarily disconnect the HDD. Set the SSD to be the boot drive, boot to the Reflect recovery drive and recover the image to the new SSD which should boot and work. You can then reconnect the old HDD. I would then delete all partitions on the HDD and reformat it. You can then relocate you large user folders to the HDD.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 1,867
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 20H1

    Another potential solution -

    Leave the HDD as is.

    Install Windows on the SSD.

    Make the SSD the C: drive

    Make the HDD the D: drive.

    Tell the system to boot from C:

    Create Symbolic Links on the C: drive to the apps and data on the D: drive.

    The Complete Guide to Creating Symbolic Links (aka Symlinks) on Windows

    One big advantage is that Windows runs alone on its own drive, so if you need to clean install it, everything else stays untouched.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 4,094
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu

    You can have Windows and programs on the SSD and data on the HDD.
    - Move all the data to an external disk till you have less than 250G on the HDD
    - Clone the HDD to the SSD. Boot from the SSD and format the HDD.

    - Create Symbolic Links on the C: drive to the apps and data on the D: drive
    - Move C:\Users (SSD) to D:\Users (HDD) using Kari Move Users Folder tutorial (see attached files)

    - Restore your data to the HDD
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is it possible to install an SSD and move the windows installation?-my_tree.jpg  
    Is it possible to install an SSD and move the windows installation? Attached Files
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