How to Migrate Windows OS to SSD /HDD?

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In this article, you will find a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to quickly and safely migrate your Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista operating system to a new SSD or hard drive, using the free system migration software, DiskGenius. With this software, you can avoid the time-consuming process of setting up Windows, installing applications, and copying individual files. Whether you're ready to transfer your Windows OS to an SSD right away or just planning for the future, you can rely on DiskGenius to simplify the process. Download it for free today and follow our easy-to-follow tutorial to migrate your operating system to a new SSD or HDD.

DiskGenius - Freeware to quickly migrate Windows OS to SSD or HDD without reinstalling everything!

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Table of Contents

About migrating Windows operating system to SSD / HDD

What is system migration? A system migration, just as the words imply, refers to the process of transferring current operating system to another storage device such as SSD (solid state drive) or HDD (hard disk drive). The process not only migrates Windows OS, but also installed apps, system updates, drivers, custom settings and wanted personal data on the system disk. If original system disk is of MBR format, both system reserved partition and C drive will be migrated; if it is a GPT disk, the OS migration will include system drive, EFI partition, MSR partition and other specified partitions. After system migration, the destination disk will be bootable, and it can be used to replace the original system disk immediately.

When do you want to migrating system to SSD or HDD? Here are some scenarios that you can simply migrate OS instead of reinstalling Windows from scratch:

  • To get faster and better performance: If you are not satisfied with the speed of current hard drive or the booting time, you can replace HDD with an SSD. After migrating OS to SSD from HDD, your computer will be much faster when booting up, reading or writing data.
  • To upgrade current disk to a larger one: As time passes, your system disk is full of data and running out of free space. There is not any free space available on the disk to transfer to C drive. In this case, you can replace current disk with a larger one.
  • To get a well-organized operating system: If you intend to add hard disk to computer and separate OS and personal data on different drives, you can simply move OS to a new disk without reinstalling everything; you may want to upgrade computer's build, but still want to use the old system, you can also try transferring Windows to new device without reinstalling OS and apps.

How to migrate Windows operating system to SSD or HDD? If you google similar questions, you can find the best solution is transferring OS to new disk with a free and reliable system migration tool.

Freeware to migrate Windows OS to SSD / HDD

DiskGenius Free Edition is recommended here to migrate Windows OS to new SSD or hard disk. With this free edition, you can simply select the destination disk which will be used as new system disk, and then click Start button to move OS. Once the process is done, the destination will be bootable, and your computer can boot from it directly. Features related system migration:

  • Supports to migrate Windows OS to SSD or hard drive which is smaller than original system disk.
  • It is able to migrate all system-related partitions and other specified data partitions.
  • It allows users to set whether let computer boot from destination disk automatically after system is migrated.
  • It allows users to manually set boot entries for UEFI computers.
  • Supports BIOS / UEFI boot solutions as well as MBR / GPT disks.
  • Provides two ways of transferring OS: migrating system in Windows without affecting any running applications; transfer OS in WinPE environment. You can choose either way based on your preference.

How to migrate Windows operating system to SSD / HDD using DiskGenius Free Edition?

Preparations for system migration:

  • Uninstall software you won't use and delete unwanted files on origianl system disk, so that you can free up space and exclude data that you do not want to migrate to new disk.
  • Connect the SSD or hard drive which is going to hold the OS and make sure the disk can be detected by Windows properly. If the disk contains data, please backup important files in advance.
  • Install free system migration software – DiskGenius Free Edition. With this system cloning software, you can migrate Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista and Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012/2008 operating system with ease.

The step-by-step guide to migrate Windows OS to new SSD or HDD:

Step 1. Launch DiskGenius Free Edition on your computer, and click Tools > System Migration.

 migrate OS to SSD

Step 2. Select a target disk and click OK.

From the pop-up window you can choose the destination disk, and you should make sure the correct disk is selected.

 migrate OS to SSD

You can set partition size on destination disk by dragging arrows between partition edges, as follows:

 migrate OS to SSD

Besides, you can also set whether to change boot sequence on your computer, for example, if you want your PC to boot from destination disk at once after system migration completes, then choose "Automatically set to boot from migrated target system"; if you want to set boot sequence in BIOS on your own, then choose "Automatically enter BIOS after rebooting (manually set)". Of cause, you can unselect neither option, and computer will continue booting from original system disk.

 migrate OS to SSD

Step 3. Click Start button and you will receive a warning that prompts all data on destination will be wiped and overwritten. Click OK to continue.

 migrate OS to SSD

Step 4. Choose the way of migrating OS.

Hot migration: DiskGenius will migrate Windows to specified disk without shutting down system and users can perform the migration without being disturbed. Such system migration method is powered by Windows VSS technology, which is reliable and effective, and thus it is the recommended choice.

Reboot to WinPE: computer will automatically reboot to DiskGenius WinPE edition which migrates OS to specified SSD or hard disk. Please close all other running programs and save unfinished content before clicking this button. In general, this system migration method will be chosen when Hot Migration does not work as expected.

 migrate OS to SSD

Step 5. Wait for the process to complete.

 migrate OS to SSD


  • The process of migrating Windows 11/10 to SSD or HDD will delete and remove all existing files and partitions on target disk, and you need to backup important files in advance.
  • Do not format original system drive or wipe hard drive before making sure your computer can boot from target disk successfully.


Q1. Why should I migrate my Windows OS to an SSD or HDD?

A: Migrating your Windows OS to an SSD or HDD can greatly improve its performance and speed. An SSD is particularly helpful in speeding up boot times and application loading, whereas an HDD can provide more storage space at a lower cost.

Q2. What is DiskGenius?

A: DiskGenius free system migration software that can help you safely and quickly migrate your Windows operating system to a new SSD or HDD. It is also a powerful data recovery software and partition management tool.

Q3. Is it difficult to migrate Windows OS to an SSD or HDD?

A: Not at all. With the help of DiskGenius, the process can be done quickly and easily with just a few simple steps.

Q4. Will I lose any data during the migration process?

A: No, DiskGenius allows you to migrate your OS to a new drive without losing any data or programs.

Q5. Do I need any special skills or experience to use DiskGenius?

A: No, DiskGenius is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, even for those who are not computer experts.

Q6. Is DiskGenius free to use?

A: Yes, DiskGenius has many free features, including migrating operating systems.


In conclusion, migrating your Windows operating system to an SSD or HDD can greatly improve the performance and speed of your computer. With the help of the free system migration software, DiskGenius, the process can be done quickly and safely with just a few simple steps. By following our comprehensive guide, you can avoid the time-consuming process of reinstalling Windows and transferring your files manually. So, whether you're upgrading to a new computer or just looking to improve your system's performance, migrating your Windows OS to an SSD or HDD is definitely worth considering, and DiskGenius is the perfect tool to help you get it done.


DiskGenius - A free tool to migrate Windows 11/10/8/7 operating system to SSD/HDD/USB easily and safely.

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