What is Best Way to Keep Old Boot Drive for New Laptop?

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  1. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Home
       #1

    What is Best Way to Keep Old Boot Drive for New Laptop?


    I just bought a new laptop still in factory box, it comes with a 1TB 5400 HDD. However, my current laptop has a 1TB SSHD. Both drives have Windows 10 installed. What is the best way to make the SSHD the boot drive in the new laptop?

    1) I assume it would not be a good idea to just swap drives.
    2) I considered using cloning or pc moving software to transfer programs and settings to the HDD and then clone it back to the SSHD.
    3) Or I could invest all the time and hassle of doing a clean install on the HDD and clone it back to the SSHD, or do a clean install on the SSHD itself.

    I just want to believe there is a better way? Any advice? Please?
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  2. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 4,301
    Windows 10 Pro x64 21H1
       #2

    You could clone your HDD to the SSHD
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  3. essenbe's Avatar
    Posts : 12,646
    Windows 10 Pro
       #3

    A 5400 RPM Hard Drive is going to be painfully slow. I would at least get a 7200 RPM drive to use or the best option would be an SSD and put the OS you plan on using the most on the SSD. You can use Macrium to clone or image any OS to any other drive the same size or larger. You can adjust partition sizes to accommodate a smaller drive.
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  4. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,867
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #4

    1. Swapping the drives is a bad idea since the drivers are wrong - however Windows 10 may be able to work out which drivers to automatically install. Also, Windows 10 may not activate since the motherboard and processor is different.
    2. Preferably image your current OS to an external drive using Macrium Reflect Free then recover that image to the new SSD using the Reflect image and Reflect recovery USB drive. You could also clone the OS to the SSD but there are advantages in imaging.
    3. The new SSD OS installation should boot and activate very quickly.
    4. See how the new SSD installation operates. You can then do a clean install if you think that would be an advantage.Beware of booting with the old HDD connected since it has an active partition which may confuse the boot process.
    5. Keep the old HDD and install it in a USB disk caddy so you can use it for backups. You can always reinstall the HDD if the SSD fails and you will have a working OS.
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  5. Winuser's Avatar
    Posts : 7,128
    Windows 10 Pro Insider
       #5

    I did a a drive swap from one computer to another and it worked and activated without a problem. This was with a full version. If it's a OEM version this won't work.
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  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 20,700
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    Winuser said:
    I did a a drive swap from one computer to another and it worked and activated without a problem. This was with a full version. If it's a OEM version this won't work.
    I wonder if taking the laptop out of its box and running through the initial setup would help. Once it was activated with the OEM system it was supplied with, would a swap then work?
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  7. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 16,024
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    Winuser said:
    If it's a OEM version this won't work.
    If the new computer has a license for the same Windows 10 (Home or Pro) it will work. The OS assumes the license of the new computer.

    Bree said:
    I wonder if taking the laptop out of its box and running through the initial setup would help. Once it was activated with the OEM system it was supplied with, would a swap then work?
    Yes.
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  8. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 16,024
    Windows 10 Pro
       #8

    Discipulus said:
    1) I assume it would not be a good idea to just swap drives.
    It would be a better idea than you think. PROS: you keep all your accounts and settings. Windows 10 will just assume the license for Windows from the new computer and stay activated so long as it is the same version (Home or Pro). Windows 10 is very tolerant of the hardware change and you will get a message on first booting, Installing Devices or something like that and you'll be good to go. CONS: you end up with extra device driver files taking up space, but these can be removed with DISM cleanup commands and built-in Windows disk cleanup.

    Discipulus said:
    2) I considered using cloning or pc moving software to transfer programs and settings to the HDD and then clone it back to the SSHD.
    Probably the worst option. Moving only part of the OS and programs from one installation of Windows to another installation of Windows is a crap shoot. Odds are that it won't work 100%

    Discipulus said:
    3) Or I could invest all the time and hassle of doing a clean install on the HDD and clone it back to the SSHD, or do a clean install on the SSHD itself.
    There would be no sense to doing the clean install to the HDD and then cloning it to the SSHD when you could just do the clean install to the SSHD itself and save the time of the cloning. PROS to this approach, you do end up with a nice, clean, efficient install of Windows 10. CONS are you have to redo everything from scratch.

    If it were me, this is what I would do. Make a backup image of the SSHD using Macrium Reflect Free. Physically move the SSHD to the new laptop. You will probably be very satisfied with the results. If you aren't, then you can always just do the clean install.
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  9. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #9

    NavyLCDR said:
    It would be a better idea than you think. PROS: you keep all your accounts and settings. Windows 10 will just assume the license for Windows from the new computer and stay activated so long as it is the same version (Home or Pro). Windows 10 is very tolerant of the hardware change and you will get a message on first booting, Installing Devices or something like that and you'll be good to go. CONS: you end up with extra device driver files taking up space, but these can be removed with DISM cleanup commands and built-in Windows disk cleanup.
    This would be a dream come true. I will give it a go and report back here.

    Thanks to everyone.
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  10. Posts : 19
    Windows 10
       #10

    I agree with AddRam. I would buy an SSD and clone the HDD to SSD. Then swap out the drives in the laptop. I have done this exact scenario myself. The original HDD is still in the closet. By doing this my reads went from 80mb/sec to 400+ mb /sec. Gotta love sata 3.
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