You might still use an old HDD and recently purchased a new and faster SSD – so you can reinstall your entire OS on the new drive or you can read this guide and migrate your OS without the need to reinstall anything. I’ll explain in some easy step how you switch your Operating System to another drive with the MiniTool Partition Wizard tool.
Hard Drive Cloning
Professionals usually doing it with expensive hardware but what the software solution MiniTool Partition Wizard offers is easy and it doesn’t cost anything. The benefit of cloning your drive or migrating it to another drive is that you won’t lose time to reinstall the OS or your applications, not to mentioned the time you need to re-configure everything how you like.
MiniTool partition Wizard is available in a Free version and a Pro version which offers additional program features. A comparison can be found here, keep this in mind because not every partitions tables are supported in the free version, so check if your OS is GPT/MBR before you start.
Clone your drive
The following method does work for every drive and OS. There also similar other programs available for Linux and Mac but MiniTool Partition Wizard is the most used one the guide works on the Free version same like on the Pro version, the only difference is that the Pro version has some partition restrictions here.
In this Guide we are going to migrate Windows 10 to another drive but it works exactly the same for Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 so the steps aren’t different.
Migrate Windows – Only the OS partition
This step is very similar to the first one but it’s only in case you like to clone the partition (and no other than that) which includes Windows – all other partitions on that drive are been ignored, please keep this in mind.
The full process in Action
YouTuber 116falconer did a full tutorial how you clone your drive and shows every step.
Your OS might not boot after you did this.
Ensure you booted your original drive and start the MiniTool again and within the tool click on ‘rebuild MBR’ which fixes the MBR related issue which prevents your drive from booting because MiniTool wasn’t able to copy the new reserved partition which is maybe needed to fix additional problems or to boot the OS in case Windows wants to check something.
Does it work with GPT?
Yes, the program also works with GPT. partition in this case you might need to search for the option called “Use GUID Partition Table for the target disk”.
What about the 1 MB partition – keep it or not?!
Keep it and ensure you you checked it during the migration process, there is no benefit in removing it but it might have several consequences removing it, like performance problems or you might be unable to use the drive at all.
Cloning or migrating your Operating System is easy and you only need to use the correct program to make it even more easier for you. MiniTool Partition Wizard Tool Free offers everything you need, there is even a portable version of the program available, called MiniTool Portable Partition Manager so you don’t even need to install anything here and can straight do this from an USB drive if you like.
I hope this little guide was helpful for you and if there additional questions, just let me know and I might add the answer into the troubleshooting section so that everyone can benefit from it.