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TheWoodMan 7 days ago

I have a PC that I am replacing with an all new PC. It has an older 1 tb HDD in it. (Win 10) I want the data from that HDD cloned to my new machine which will have an M.2 drive and completely new hardware. I understand that I can clone the old HDD to the M.2 but if I then put that M.2 into a new machine, won't it be totally confused since all the hardware is different?
Is another option to create an image of the old PC with an imaging program that is suppose to recognize new hardware and then do a restore to the new machine which has the M.2 installed?

Thanks for any help you have.

Comments Sorted by:

pcbldragain 1 point 7 days ago

It should be confused no matter what the drive is hdd or m.2. You could put either in and used to be you did a windows repair install and it reloaded drivers for the new hardware, however I have not done win 10 it may be smarter about it. I never heard of imaging that does anything with hardware, its always better for me to have windows do all that. If I touch a partition outside of windows while cloning it never works, so I don't, I only change things with windows and usually clone with clonezilla but have used a hdd utility like seagate or similar before. I have done this many times but not daily, I would clone to the m.2 and try it and see, you still have the hdd original if anything goes downhill. You could have issues if a oem windows not sure what changes they allow. If no boot you may have to run a utility to fix the mbr or disk id or something to make windows happy, again win 10 may be different. Then after boot have windows make your partition take up the whole new drive if larger. Newer uefi is also different.

Image is great for backup but it does not always save the boot information (whole disk should) and a partition clone may also do that, it can be harder to get boot on a different disk with that. I have better luck with direct clone disk to disk when it comes to booting it. For data it may not matter. I'm usually replacing a hdd or swap to ssd.

GeorgeReorgeRartinMartin 1 point 7 days ago

I understand that I can clone the old HDD to the M.2 but if I then put that M.2 into a new machine, won't it be totally confused since all the hardware is different?

Windows 10 is pretty good about this. I've done several experiments when I was building a new machine for the wife.

She had an i5 2500k, AsRock motherboard, 16GB DDR3 and a GeForce 1070. I was able to take her SSD and toss it into an i5 8600k, MSi motherboard, 16GB DDR4, (same GeForce 1070) and it's been running fine for months. Her Windows 10 install was at least 2 years old (well 3 years old now). It worked so well compared to what I expected and experienced back in WinXP days that I ended up trying her SSD drive in a i7 4700HQ MSi laptop. Again, seemed to work without a hitch. Tossed it back into the 8600k and it's been fine ever since, at least 7 months.

It worked so well I was a little annoyed that I had bothered to format and fresh Win10 install when I had gone from an i5 3570k to an i7 8700k back in may 2018. In my youth I was a purist about this stuff, and you had to do things a certain way. But now in my old age I tend to be a little more practical. And if it works fine, I know no one is going to pat me on the back for being a purist when it comes to Windows installs and new hardware. Whether it works or not is all that matters.

And really there's zero harm in taking your old drive and tossing it into a new machine and if it works flawlessly, just get on with your day and avoid all that setup time (installing windows, configuring, reinstalling apps, games etc). And if it doesn't work, you always have the option of wiping the drive and installing Windows 10.

pcbldragain 1 point 7 days ago

Wow, impressive. Yeah used to be swapping a mobo was an involved job.

GeorgeReorgeRartinMartin 1 point 7 days ago

Yeah, and once you have a habit of doing something it's pretty easy to stick with what works. People are still often pretty adamant about formatting. But since it's always an option, seems worthwhile to try the easy/low effort solution first. Worst case you lose about ten minutes, best case you save a couple of hours.

TheWoodMan submitter 1 point 7 days ago

George, you sound just like me. When I was young I would reformat and reinstall everything once a year. EVERY YEAR. I just wanted to know that every file on my machine was there for a purpose and was in the right spot. I think this time I will simply clone it and see if it works.

Thanks for the response.

GeorgeReorgeRartinMartin 1 point 7 days ago

I think it's a consequence of being young and knowing only little bit, and only knowing a little bit makes the little bit you know really important. Because if it's not, it's like you don't know anything, and we can't have that.

Oliver_Powell 1 point 2 days ago

Well upgrading your system from HDD to SSD or any other modern drive is one of the best things you do with your system. And the easiest way is to physically install it, connect the right cables, and reinstall Windows from scratch. But when you don’t want to deal with setting up Windows and wants to get all of your critical data, files, and folders on a new hard drive is sometimes be a challenging task. However, there are various software options available online that help in disk cloning and can also recover data if there is any such issue.

If you’re looking for best possible ways to clone or move your HDD data to SSD then I will recommend you to check out this blog https://www.stellarinfo.com/blog/how-to-migrate-windows-10-from-old-hdd-to-ssd/

Hope this will help.