How to Copy Windows to New Drive

Whenever it comes to technology, then upgrading is actually a fact of life. If it is your operating system, applications, or hardware devices as well. One of the most common hardware components that users want or need to upgrade is their local hard drive actually. Reasons include limited space, better performance, ability to take benefit of advanced features such as UEFI or support for GPT disks. Well, upgrading to a new SSD drive, such as, can extend the life of a desktop or laptop PC for many years. I know, I did it many times. We are going to discuss How to Copy Windows to New Drive. Let’s begin!

The issue is basically with upgrading, but, is dealing with the migration of your existing OS and data to the new drive as well. After all, who wants to rebuild the OS, figure out how can you re-activate it, track down and reinstall all the apps and oh yeah, you have to move all your personal files over.

Migrate and Copy Windows to New Drive or SSD

Well, windows 10 basically includes a built-in option called System Image, which lets you create a complete replica of your installation along with partitions as well. We already covered the steps on how you can create the system image. In order to back up your installation, then you will need a USB external hard disk in order to save the image. An external hard disk along with lots of storage is cheap and a recommended buy. If you plan on performing an activity like this or keeping your system backed up regularly.

There is actually one major problem along with System Image in Windows 10 and earlier versions of Windows. It does not support restoring to partition layouts that are actually smaller in size than the drive it is actually replacing. For instance, if you guys go from a 500 GB hard disk to a 256 GB SSD whenever you attempt. In order to restore the system image created from the 500 GB disk, then you will receive an error that indicates the disk is too small. If this is the case for you, then system imaging is of no use; rather, you should consider cloning.

Restore to a Smaller Hard Disk

After you create your backup, now shut down the computer, install your hard disk or SSD drive, start the computer and then load your BIOS or UEFI firmware. Check to make sure the drive is detected or not. After you confirm these changes, you have to connect your external hard disk then power on the device. Boot from your Windows 10 install media, which will be used in order to facilitate the restoration of your system picture created earlier. Whenever you arrive at the Install Now screen, tap on the Repair computer link; this will then load the Recovery Environment.

Steps | copy windows to new drive

  • Tap on Troubleshoot, then click the System Image Recovery menu.
  • Your external hard disk should detect along with the most recent system image that you created. If it is not the right one, then use Select a system image radio box, choose the right image then press Next.
  • If you have more than one local disk or partition, then you can exclude it from the restoration process as well.
  • After you confirm your selections, tap on Next to begin the restoration, then wait. Restoration can actually take some time relying on the size of the system picture. When complete, Windows 10 will restart then boot to the Windows 10 desktop actually.

There is also a possibility if you restored the system image to larger disks, then you will require to reconfigure your partitions. If you restored the image to a larger hard disk or SSD actually. In Windows 10, tap on Windows key + X, tap Disk Management, there you guys will see some unallocated space has created. You can recover this space via the Extend volume wizard. Right-tap on the system partition, then tap on Extend, press Next then click Finish as well.

copy windows to new drive

Restore to a Smaller Hard Disk or SSD

If you guys are going the opposite direction, that is restoring to a smaller hard disk or SSD. Then I will recommend the cloning option. The best solution that I have found for cloning and restoring a Windows 10 installation, is the free EaseUs Todo Backup actually. EaseUs Todo Backup can not only restore a backup of your Windows 10 installation. However, it can also do so to a non-corresponding partition layout.

When you have EaseUS Todo Backup installed, then open the app. You will have to connect the target hard disk or SSD to your computer where you would like to clone your Windows 10 installation as well. You can also do these multiple ways, then you can install the storage device as a local disk. Or install it in a USB external enclosure, then attach it to your computer as well. After settling on a method of attaching the target disk. Then you have to open EaseUs Todo Backup, tap on the Clone tab.


  • Select your source disk that contains the operating system. As you can see below, I have two sets of disk attached: my Windows 10 installation on hard disk 0 31 GB. And my new LOCALNEW disk 25 GB where the clone will be copied as well. Tap on Next.
  • The next step is to choose the target disk, in this case, our LOCALNEW disk 25 GB drive. Tap on the checkbox then clicks Next. Tap on Proceed in order to begin the clone.

copy windows to new drive

  • Press OK to confirm the changes.

This process can take some time relying on the size of the clone and the amount of data as well. After the clone is complete, you have to tap on Finish, shut down your computer, remove the old storage device. Then install and configure the new hard disk or SSD as your boot drive actually.

copy windows to new drive

Now turn on your computer, Windows 10 should start as it previously did. However, if you experience problems with activation, then you can use the Activation Troubleshooter in Windows 10 Anniversary Update or later in order to resolve any problems.

How can you restore your personal files and user folders

Well, you probably do not have enough space on your SSD, we will then have to restore your files to the old, formatted HDD drive.

  • First, you have to head to your old drive (which is now completely empty). And create a new folder to save all your user folders and personal files. You can name it whatever you want (we used WinReport).
  • Now, head toC:Users<your username>and you should see all of your user folders there. Right-tap on each one. Then go to Properties and head to the Location tab.
  • Tap on the Move button, and select your newly created folder as the target. And all of your user folders, such as Desktop, Downloads, Documents, Pictures, Music, as well, should all be placed on your old HDD Drive.
  • And finally, the only thing that is left to do is restoring your personal files. In order to restore your personal files to the old HDD drive, you have to follow these steps:
    • First, open your backup (whatever you chose to be your backup destination, cloud, external storage, another partition as well.)
    • And now drag all your user files (documents, music, pictures, and all other files) to your new My Documents, My Music, and all other folders as well.

With doing this, all your personal files will be accessible, besides the fact that they are not on the system partition as well. However, you may have to change the settings of your favorite apps and games. Becasue they will probably store files in the old My Documents.


Alright, folks, I hope you like this “copy windows to new drive” article and understand now. If you have any issues and queries related to it, just comment down and let us know.

Keep Smiling!

Also See: How to Get to Sound Settings Windows 10

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.