How to clone a hard drive to a new solid state disk (SSD)

Installing a solid-state drive (SSD) is one of the best upgrades you can make to your computer, but migrating your Windows installation can be tricky, because your data might not all fit on the drive.

UPDATE: If you are doing lots of cloning, make it easy and simply buy a offline clone device from Amazon: Inatek Cloning Station

Here's how to install an SSD without reinstalling Windows from scratch, and moving all your personal files and programs.  Basically, cloning your entire hard drive in a few clicks.

  1. Download and install Macrium Reflect Free Edition:
  2. Macrium Reflect Free displays all drives in its interface on start. If that is not the case for you, make sure the Disk Image tab is activated.
  3. Select the hard drive that you want to clone. The main hard drive with Windows is listed with a small Windows-icon in front of its name and drive letter.
  4. You find the "clone this disk" option below the drive once it has been selected. This copies all contents of that drive to the destination drive.
  5. Click on "select a disk to clone to" on the next screen, and pick the new drive. You need to make sure you don't pick a drive that is already in use as all contents of it will be overwritten during the process.
  6. Make sure you adjust the size of the cloned partition in the next step. This is especially important if the destination is larger than the source. If you don't do that, you end up with a single partition that contains the cloned data of the source drive, and unused disk space that you need to partition and format. One easy way of making the right adjustment here is to click on the "maximum size" button.
  7. Macrium Reflect will then start the cloning process which it does while Windows is running.

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