How To Transfer OS From HDD To SSD Without Reinstall

SSDs are undoubtedly much more faster, reliable and energy-efficient in comparison with traditional HDDs, but it's a real pain to manually move entire operating system, including user profiles, installed software, games, documents, settings, and all of your data from HDD to SSD. Fortunately, it's possible to perform migration from HDD to SSD without reinstalling Windows and everything else, by using Emergency Boot CD.

This article explains step by step, how to transfer Windows from HDD to SSD, migrate to a solid-state disk without reinstalling Windows and applications.

Contents

1. Intended audience

What's cool about solid state disks? They are amazingly fast compared to the traditional platter-based hard drives, they have no moving parts (thus much more mechanically reliable and shock-resistant) and they consume much less energy.

This article is for people who want to move Windows from HDD to SSD without reinstallation. It lets you perform safe migration of live operating system, user profiles, installed software, games, documents, settings, and all of your data. So you can avoid the tedious process of reinstalling and reconfiguring your OS and all of your applications.

2. Solution in a nutshell

  1. Download and burn the Emergency Boot CD. You need a full version for the purpose of this article.
  2. Power off your computer.
  3. Attach new SSD to the computer as a second (non-bootable) storage device.
  4. Boot Emergency Boot CD.
  5. Create partitions on SSD using EBCD Partition Manager.
  6. Copy Windows partition from HDD to SSD.
  7. Copy System Reserved partition from HDD to SSD.
  8. Fix mount points and boot path on SSD using EBCD Mount & Boot Center.
  9. Change BIOS settings to boot from SSD and assign old HDD to be a second storage device.
  10. Boot into Windows.

3. Creating partitions on SSD

This section explains in detail how to create two initial partitions on SSD (System Reserved Partition and Windows Partition) using EBCD Partition Manager.

1. Choose "Partition manager" in EBCD main menu.

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Starting EBCD Partition Manager
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Starting EBCD Partition Manager

2. Choose "Initialize partition table (MBR/GPT)" in EBCD partition manager menu.

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Initializing partition table on the SSD
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Initializing partition table on the SSD

3. Choose your brand new SSD from the drop-down list and set type of partition table as MBR:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD partition table initialization options
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD partition table initialization options

4. Wait until the following window appears and click OK:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD partition table initialized successfully
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD partition table initialized successfully

5. Note "(MBR)" suffix appeared after SSD block device id in the "Existing Partitions" list.
Choose "Create partition" in EBCD partition manager menu:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Creating System Reserved partition on the SSD
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Creating System Reserved partition on the SSD

6. Choose your brand new SSD from the drop-down list and set size of System Reserved partition to be created (a little bigger than the original 100M so block-copied data will fit):

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD System Reserved partition creation options
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD System Reserved partition creation options

7. Set filesystem type to NTFS and, optionally, volume label to "System Reserved":

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Formatting System Reserved partition on the SSD
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Formatting System Reserved partition on the SSD

8. Wait until the following window appears and click OK:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD System Reserved partition created successfully
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD System Reserved partition created successfully

9. Note new partition appeared on the SSD in the "Existing Partitions" list.
Choose "Create partition" in EBCD partition manager menu:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Creating Windows partition on the SSD
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Creating Windows partition on the SSD

10. Choose your brand new SSD from the drop-down list and set size of Windows partition to be created (a little bigger than the original 39G so block-copied data will fit):

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD Windows partition creation options
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD Windows partition creation options

11. Set filesystem type to NTFS:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Formatting Windows partition on the SSD
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Formatting Windows partition on the SSD

12. Wait until the following window appears and click OK:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD Windows partition created successfully
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - SSD Windows partition created successfully

Note new partition appeared on the SSD in the "Existing Partitions" list in EBCD partition manager menu.

4. Copying the System Reserved partition

This section explains in detail how to copy System Reserved partition from HDD to SSD using EBCD Partition Manager.

1. Choose "Direct copy: partition-to-partition or disk-to-disk" in EBCD partition manager menu:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Copying System Reserved partition from HDD to SSD
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Copying System Reserved partition from HDD to SSD

2. Choose source partition on the HDD and destination partition on the SSD. Both of them must correspond to System Reserved partition about 100MB in size:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - System Reserved partition from HDD to SSD copying options
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - System Reserved partition from HDD to SSD copying options

3. Wait until the following window appears and click OK:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - System Reserved partition from HDD to SSD copied successfully
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - System Reserved partition from HDD to SSD copied successfully

Note destination partition volume label changed in the "Existing Partitions" list in EBCD partition manager menu.

5. Copying the Windows partition

This section explains in detail how to copy Windows partition from HDD to SSD using EBCD Partition Manager.

1. Choose "Direct copy: partition-to-partition or disk-to-disk" in EBCD partition manager menu:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Copying Windows partition from HDD to SSD
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Copying Windows partition from HDD to SSD

2. Choose source partition on the HDD and destination partition on the SSD. Both of them must correspond to Windows partition several gigabytes in size:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Windows partition from HDD to SSD copying options
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Windows partition from HDD to SSD copying options

3. Progress window will look like this:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Copying Windows partition from HDD to SSD in progress
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Copying Windows partition from HDD to SSD in progress

4. Wait until the following window appears and click OK:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - System Reserved partition from HDD to SSD copied successfully
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - System Reserved partition from HDD to SSD copied successfully

5. Note destination partition volume label changed in the "Existing Partitions" list in EBCD partition manager menu. Choose "Quit" in EBCD partition manager menu:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Partitions copied successfully
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Partitions copied successfully

6. Fixing mount points and boot path

This section explains in detail how to fix mount points and boot path using EBCD Mount & Boot Center. This final step is necessary to change Windows' notion of where is disk C: to be found, and to change Boot Loader's notion of where is Windows to be found.

1. Choose "Mount & Boot Center" in EBCD main menu.

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Starting EBCD Mount and Boot Center
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Starting EBCD Mount and Boot Center

2. Mount & Boot Center screen will look like this:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - View of Mount and Boot Center
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - View of Mount and Boot Center

3. Adjust location of disk C: in the context of SSD-based Windows, make sure Windows loader on SSD is called by BIOS, make sure Windows on SSD is bound to Windows Loader on SSD, make sure Windows on HDD is not bound to Windows Loader on SSD:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Changes in Mount and Boot Center
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Changes in Mount and Boot Center

4. Then click OK and wait until changes are commited to disk:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Mount and Boot Center is commiting changes to disk
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Mount and Boot Center is commiting changes to disk

5. Finally, reboot your computer from EBCD main menu:

Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Done, about to reboot
Transfer OS From HDD To SSD - Done, about to reboot