Windows 10: Replacing HD without Win10 installation media

  1. Posts : 20
    Windows 10 Technical Preview
       02 Mar 2016 #1

    Replacing HD without Win10 installation media

    I bought one of those cheapish mini-PCs (MSI Cubi N) that come with RAM, HD and Windows 10 OS. The HD is a slow 32GB mSata SSD which I want to replace with a Samsung EVO 850 SSD. As the mini-PC did not come with any Windows 10 installation media, I have to find another way to get Windows 10 in an activated state to the new SSD. I will be using a USB3 to SATA cable to get this done.

    I've read a lot about cloning and clean installs but haven't found a definitive answer to what I should do in my situation. While the Samsung SSD does come with its own software for cloning etc., I've read that using Macrium Reflect Free or MiniTool Partition Wizard is the best bet. So should I clone the mSata to the Samsung SSD using Macrium Reflect's Clone function or use Partition Wizard's 'Migrate OS to SSD' function? Or would it be better to take an image of the Windows installation using Macrium?

    My main priority is to get a functioning and activated Windows to the Samsung SSD. It would be great to keep all the apps and data (although I have very little) but it's not a necessity.

    Help would be appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    02 Mar 2016 #2

    The product code will be embedded in the BIOS, if you go here, you can get install media that will read it and activate with it. You just need to know what exact version is currently installed. This utility will tell you that, Download and install the matching version and you should be all set. If imaging doesn't work out for you that is. The last time I tried to clone it didn't work for me. I was going the other way though, large spinner to smaller SSD drive. I just couldn't get it to work and finally just did a clean install.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Clintlgm's Avatar
    Posts : 836
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       02 Mar 2016 #3

    Here is a video that shows you how to use Macrium Reflect, very few failures if used correctly. This video is for a spinner to SSD however the principles are the same the only difference being you'll expand C:\ to fit your larger SSD. also the step to convert to MBR is incorrect should be convert to GPT that step is not really needed as long as your new SSD is still unused and in a clean state.
    One other question? are you sure that your OS is installed on the 32 GB SSD, in my experience these smaller SSD are set up as Cache drives to speed up your hard drive??
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 20
    Windows 10 Technical Preview
    Thread Starter
       02 Mar 2016 #4

    Clintlgm said: View Post
    One other question? are you sure that your OS is installed on the 32 GB SSD, in my experience these smaller SSD are set up as Cache drives to speed up your hard drive??
    Yes, I'm sure. Anyway, thanks for the video. I've used Macrium before and just wanted to confirm whether I should clone or image (or migrate OS with Partition Wizard). It seems that most people just clone their old drives to their new SSDs. I'll do the same.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Clintlgm's Avatar
    Posts : 836
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       02 Mar 2016 #5

    Well, MR has a very good record with few failures. I use Mini Tool for partition work only. to answer you question directly. I would create a Disk Image with MR first and just save that. You can use the image to restore to your new SSD or Clone directly either one Is just about the same amount of time and you still have the image you created should some failure occur. Personally I don't think you can have to many Images. Usually create at least 3 on every clean install. Clean Install, then Clean install windows fully updated, another with windows installed all drivers install. and one with my standard software install. Then the last one I keep on a scheduled back up with daily Incremental back ups. No matter what I can get back to any of the images and start over again from that point should I have issues.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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