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Moving windows from HDD to SSD ?

hazeyez
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I need to move windows 10 from a HDD to a new SDD. I've seen many instances online where people use software to basically clone the HDD. Is this really the best way to do it?

 

It seems like it can take 3+ hours to complete, among other reasons I could think of not to do it.

 

So, if I want to do it the traditional way of a fresh install - 

 

I've created a Windows installation media drive on a flash/thumb drive. If I do an install to the SSD with this, am I able to use the original serial key that came with my original install CD with Windows 10 that I bought?

 

Are there advantages / disadvantages to doing it one way over the other?

 

Plz help!

 

 

CPU: Intel i5-9600k | MoBo: Gigabyte Aorus Elite z390 | RAM: 16gb (4 x 4gb) Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-2400

GPU: Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme 1080ti | Storage: 500gb Samsung 860 vNand SSD x2 & 1tb WD Caviar Blue HDD

Chassis: NZXT h700i White w/ RGB LED | Cooling: Corsair H100i Pro RGB AIO & 6x Corsair AF120 fans White LED

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Yes, you should be able to reuse the key for Windows activation. Best bet is to tie it to your microsoft account if possible but worst case I've seen happen is you do the phone activation method and it will replace the old hardware ID with your current hardware ID and activate on that hardware. Just a bit more time consuming, about 10 minutes, but overall pretty smooth.

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If there are applications that you need that are hell to reinstall, clone the hdd to ssd. The ssd brand will usually have a downloadable software that you can use to clone.

 

If there isn't anything on the hdd that you really care for, do a fresh install on the ssd. It's just cleaner. You can use the key that you already have. Just make sure that you downloaded the same variant. (Can't use a home key for a pro installation, vice-versa.)

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@amusedschrodinger yes I was just about to say as I was considering it I realized that a major downside is having to reinstall all programs again - the major pain being like my mouse, GPU & ASUS software that came with the hardware on a CD. I no longer have a CD/DVD-ROM drive installed.

 

Hoping to be able to find most of the software packages in downloadable format!

 

@Lurick yes thanks, that was major! I checked and it is tied to my MS Outlook account! didn't think of that, thanks!

CPU: Intel i5-9600k | MoBo: Gigabyte Aorus Elite z390 | RAM: 16gb (4 x 4gb) Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-2400

GPU: Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme 1080ti | Storage: 500gb Samsung 860 vNand SSD x2 & 1tb WD Caviar Blue HDD

Chassis: NZXT h700i White w/ RGB LED | Cooling: Corsair H100i Pro RGB AIO & 6x Corsair AF120 fans White LED

Screens: 2x 27" Acer HA270 Ultra Slim LED | Peripherals: MSI Interceptor RGB DS4200 Key & D200 Mouse

 

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15 minutes ago, hazeyez said:

@amusedschrodinger yes I was just about to say as I was considering it I realized that a major downside is having to reinstall all programs again - the major pain being like my mouse, GPU & ASUS software that came with the hardware on a CD. I no longer have a CD/DVD-ROM drive installed.

 

Hoping to be able to find most of the software packages in downloadable format!

 

@Lurick yes thanks, that was major! I checked and it is tied to my MS Outlook account! didn't think of that, thanks!

I would say that most software can be downloaded these days in some form.

For your GPU and Asus software that will come from Nvidia or AMD and the Asus website respectively.

Depending on the mouse, see if they have downloads before you reinstall

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The people who keep advocating a new, clean installation mustlove to do more work than is necessary in most cases. If your installation on th HDD is working just fine and there is room on the SSD you are going to use, cloning with a program like Macrium Reflect Free is quck, easy, and reliable. It's how I replaced the HDDs in my notebooks with SSDs without any problems at all and was one heck of a lot faster!

Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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@amusedschrodinger @Lurick @Lady Fitzgerald hey I don't know why this is so difficult but I am running into some issues.

 

First of all, I created a Windows Media Installation disk with a thumb drive, booted, went through the prompts, and halfway through the install it said there was an unknown error. Great! 

 

So, I reformatted the thumb drive and SSD, went to go recreate the install drive and I ended up reading Microsoft's community help forum... where it says to do this, you should create a "Recovery Drive" via your windows client. Ended up doing this to try it, and the damn recovery drive took a good 3 hours just to create.

 

Reboot, go through the prompts (screen shots below) and you see after choosing troubleshoot > recover from a drive > ..... (this step just so happens to be the last example on the forum's answer post.. after this it just says "follow the instructions" (HERE IS THE LINK TO THE ANSWER FORUM)..

 

So at this last menu (photo 3) it basically says "everything will be removed, windows will be installed, if you've partitioned your system drive, this will restore its default partitions" ... that last part is where I'm stuck at, as it seems after this there will be no more options.. and it appears as if it's going to use the default HDD that windows is on, as there was no prompt to choose the SSD or a new drive....

 

Has anyone done this before? Does the option to choose the drive to install to come after hitting "Recover" or... ? I don't want to hit "Recover" and end up starting the reinstall, having no option to stop it.

 

If this is the case and I can't choose to install to a particular drive (The SSD) from this Recovery Drive... then I have no choice but to retry the Windows Media Installation tool, OR just do a clone....

 

Any recommendations?

 

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CPU: Intel i5-9600k | MoBo: Gigabyte Aorus Elite z390 | RAM: 16gb (4 x 4gb) Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-2400

GPU: Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme 1080ti | Storage: 500gb Samsung 860 vNand SSD x2 & 1tb WD Caviar Blue HDD

Chassis: NZXT h700i White w/ RGB LED | Cooling: Corsair H100i Pro RGB AIO & 6x Corsair AF120 fans White LED

Screens: 2x 27" Acer HA270 Ultra Slim LED | Peripherals: MSI Interceptor RGB DS4200 Key & D200 Mouse

 

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Unplug the HDD before going through the process and then plug it in later but make sure the SSD is set as the boot drive in BIOS once the install is complete so you don't boot off the HDD.

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1 minute ago, Lurick said:

Unplug the HDD before going through the process and then plug it in later but make sure the SSD is set as the boot drive in BIOS once the install is complete so you don't boot off the HDD.

That's a good idea @Lurick thank you... so after doing this, basically I'm going to have two installs of this windows.. if I unplug the HDD I'm sort of leaving that windows license live. Not sure how it'll go when trying to use the license key again? If I even have to when using a Recovery Drive, as opposed to a new install ?

 

I've seen articles about deactivating your product key on the old comp.. but I don't want to do this on the HDD until I'm sure it's fully installed on the SSD, ya know? 

 

Other people say by using the product key on the 2nd install, it automatically deactivates the old one.. but who knows? I am getting mixed responses.

 

I'm honestly about to just plug my DVDROM drive into a sata cable and just use the windows cd LOL

CPU: Intel i5-9600k | MoBo: Gigabyte Aorus Elite z390 | RAM: 16gb (4 x 4gb) Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-2400

GPU: Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme 1080ti | Storage: 500gb Samsung 860 vNand SSD x2 & 1tb WD Caviar Blue HDD

Chassis: NZXT h700i White w/ RGB LED | Cooling: Corsair H100i Pro RGB AIO & 6x Corsair AF120 fans White LED

Screens: 2x 27" Acer HA270 Ultra Slim LED | Peripherals: MSI Interceptor RGB DS4200 Key & D200 Mouse

 

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15 minutes ago, hazeyez said:

That's a good idea @Lurick thank you... so after doing this, basically I'm going to have two installs of this windows.. if I unplug the HDD I'm sort of leaving that windows license live. Not sure how it'll go when trying to use the license key again? If I even have to when using a Recovery Drive, as opposed to a new install ?

 

I've seen articles about deactivating your product key on the old comp.. but I don't want to do this on the HDD until I'm sure it's fully installed on the SSD, ya know? 

 

Other people say by using the product key on the 2nd install, it automatically deactivates the old one.. but who knows? I am getting mixed responses.

 

I'm honestly about to just plug my DVDROM drive into a sata cable and just use the windows cd LOL

It will deactivate the old one only after you activate the new one and only so far as to have the old one display a water mark, nothing more, and that's after it calls home which is usually after a while but either way it won't do any damage or anything :)

When you activate the new install it will just deactivate the old one then and you can skip activation for 3 days before the watermark appears.

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@Lurick what a headache! I guess I see why the windows media installation disk wasn't working to begin with! When I formatted the SSD somehow it partitioned to MBR instead of GPT.. no idea how that even happened, but a quick fix using command prompt during installation. And, it wasn't even giving me that message with the windows media install disk otherwise this would've been fixed a long time ago, hehe. 

 

Seriously.. look at what I ended up doing.. taking off my glass and undoing some SATA cables to leave a dvdrom drive hanging out the side to use the original windows CD. 

 

I feel like such a newb honestly.. idky this was so difficult! LOL anyway problem solved, I guess!

 

Thanks for the help everyone, @Lurick especially!

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CPU: Intel i5-9600k | MoBo: Gigabyte Aorus Elite z390 | RAM: 16gb (4 x 4gb) Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-2400

GPU: Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme 1080ti | Storage: 500gb Samsung 860 vNand SSD x2 & 1tb WD Caviar Blue HDD

Chassis: NZXT h700i White w/ RGB LED | Cooling: Corsair H100i Pro RGB AIO & 6x Corsair AF120 fans White LED

Screens: 2x 27" Acer HA270 Ultra Slim LED | Peripherals: MSI Interceptor RGB DS4200 Key & D200 Mouse

 

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