You may sometimes want to replace your operating system disk with a bigger one or with a ssd in order to improve your computer performance. One solution is to reinstall the operating system and all your programs onto the new disk or ssd and to restore the additional files (documents, photos, movies…) from a backup. It is not necessary a bad idea as that would allow you to start with a fresh and clean installation of the operating system, but it is something that may require a lot of time and you may not have anymore all the installers, licenses or drivers to reinstall everything. An other quicker solution consists in cloning the original disk with everything (the operating system, programs and files) onto a new disk. It’s something rather easy to do using a software like Acronis True Image and I will show you, step by step, how I did it in this page.
Acronis True Image is software package that is sometimes included with the purchase of some SSD because it can be used to clone an existing disk onto the new SSD. It is an old version of a product that is now known as Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office but it still gets the job done. I had a license associated with a Kingston SSD (You can download the software from here Acronis® True Image™ OEM or from here Acronis® True Image™ HD and try it for 30 days if you do not have a valid serial number) so I decided to give it a try and to clone a hard disk drive onto a new SSD and to document the steps in this tutorial in case anyone needs to do something similar.
These steps shouldn’t damage your computer or the installation of the operating system but the process will erase and overwrite the content of the target disk so do it at your own risks and be sure to understand what you are doing and to select the proper target disk. In any case, it’s always a good idea to have backups of your files, SSDs or hard disks, just in case anything goes wrong. If you are not familiar with the concepts of disks and partitions or feel unsure about reproducing these steps, ask someone with good computer skills to help you. As always, the author and the website decline any responsibilities about the consequences of trying to reproduce these steps.
The steps described in this tutorial require both source and target disks to be installed in the computer and detected by the operating system. That’s something that is not always possible, for instance if the source and target disks need to use the same physical connector inside the computer. The solution in that case consist in using a backup of the source disk. You can see how I used a backup to copy the content of a disk onto an other one in this page.
So Let’s see step by step how I cloned a hard disk onto a SSD using Acronis True Image OEM.
1) First, I launched the software using a desktop shortcut (I could have used the Windows Start Menu):
2) Then I clicked “CLONE DISK” in the Tools Section to launch the Clone Disk Wizard:
3) The source and target disk had different sizes and I wanted to be able to modify the target disk partitions sizes so I chose the “Manual” method to have more control over the cloning process and clicked the “Next” button:
4) I selected the Source Disk, an old 2 TB Samsung SATA HDD with an installation of Windows 10 Pro and some programs and clicked the “Next” button:
5) The target disk was a NVME Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500 GB SSD that appeared as “not initialized” because it had no partitions nor data. The content of the target disk would be erased and replaced with the content of the source disk so it’s important to select the proper destination disk. I selected the SSD as the target disk and clicked the “Next” button:
6) The next step was to select the “data moving method” from old to new hard drive. And once again, as I wanted to be able to modify the partions sizes so I selected “Manual” and clicked “Next”:
7) The “Change Disk Layout” wizard step allowed me to examine the target disk partitions and to change their sizes if necessary. I selected the first partition (the one that appeared as NTFS Unlabeled C:) to open the partition settings window:
The properties in this window can be used to change the selected partition size, the free space before or after the partition, the partition letter or label if necessary. In my case I was happy with the default values so I clicked “Accept” and later “Next” in the “Change Disk Layout” step.
8) The last step of the wizard provided a summary describing the source and target disks as well as a description of the target disk partitions before and after the cloning process. Everything seemed ok so I clicked the “Proceed” button to start the cloning process.
9) The cloning process required the computer to restart, so I clicked the “Restart” button.
10) The computer restarted and initiated a mini operating system to perform the cloning process:
11) After a few seconds, a graphical environment with a window appeared telling me that the cloning process was being prepared:
12) I deselected the shutdown option as I wanted to be able to see the whole process and to take screenshots:
13) And after a few seconds the cloning process itself started:
14) The first few steps were executed so quickly that I couldn’t even see them (nor take a screenshot), the fifth step, the longest one consisted in copying the content of the disk partitions:
15) The remaining time was displayed with a progress bar (the original estimation was eight minutes and was realistic):
16) The last two steps were again so quick that I couldn’t see them (nor take a screenshot). The computer restarted automatically at the end of the cloning process. And I entered the UEFI Setup to check and change the boot sequence options:
The original configuration was to boot with the HDD so I changed it in order to boot with the SSD instead:
17) I saved the changes to exit and restart the computer:
18) Windows 10 Pro was far quicker to boot this time, the login window appeared after just a few seconds and that was a good indication that the SSD was being used instead of the slower HDD. After logging in, I checked that the SSD was now the C: drive (the original HDD was now the D: drive) and that everything was working properly.
Finally, I shut down the computer, opened the computer case, removed the HDD, restarted the computer and checked again that everything was working without the former disk.
The whole cloning process took something like 20 minutes (including the time I needed to take the screenshots) so it was rather quick. That time depended mostly on the source and target disks speeds and on the volume of data to transfer so it could have taken more or less time depending of the configuration. My computer was now a far quicker to use, all my programs and data were cloned successfully and the whole cloning process was rather straightforward using Acronis True Image. As a consequence I highly recommend this program (and they didn’t pay me to say this 🙂 ).
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