No need to reinstall Windows: WinToHDD clones your operating system
If you want to switch to a new hard drive or SSD, you can either set up Windows from scratch and restore your data from a backup or clone the existing system.
Windows Cloning Tool
The second variant is especially an option if your system is still in good shape. With a practical free helper like WinToHDD, the change is very easy.
If the hard drive or SSD become too small, a change to a larger storage medium is usually necessary. The transition process usually looks like this: Create a backup of the important user files, set up the system with a new hard disk / SSD and then import the saved data again.
The reason: This is how you start with a fresh system without legacy issues. But there is also an alternative, especially if your own system is still in good shape: You can then clone the current installation.
The WinToHDD is a small tool that will help you with this. WinToHDD has now been released in version 5.0 and brings with it the support of Bitlocker as a new highlight. Cloned installations can be encrypted this way.
Unfortunately, this option is only available in the paid versions WinToHDD Professional and Enterprise. The complete changelog can be found on the official manufacturer’s website.
WinToHDD: Clone your Windows copy
WinToHDD already works from Windows Vista and runs on 32- and 64-bit systems. According to our tests, the software works reliably. Nevertheless, you should never do without backups, because cloning can also go wrong.
The easiest way is to hang the new hard drive or SSD on your current system using a USB housing or install it as an additional drive in the housing if you still have space there.
Important: The free version currently only clones Windows 10 Home. If you use Windows 10 Pro, you need the Pro version of WinToHDD for cloning, which costs around 30 dollars.
Start WinToHDD and then click on “Clone System”. WinToHDD then shows you an overview of your system, i.e. which Windows version you have, information about system and boot partitions as well as the BIOS mode.
Now all you have to do is choose the destination for the Windows copy. WinToHDD does not offer any additional bells and whistles, for example it cannot reduce the size of the clone, on the contrary.
The new hard disk or SSD must offer around 20 percent more space than the existing one. In the tool you can separate the system and boot partitions or put both on one partition. An additional option allows a sector-based hard disk copy.
Clone Windows on the fly
Then click “Next” and confirm the warning message with “Yes”. After a few minutes, another warning message appears, announcing that the new hard drive / SSD will now be completely over ironed.
A click on “Yes” lets WinToHDD clone the system. A reboot was necessary for this to work for a long time; since version 3 this is no longer necessary.
A percentage display provides information on the cloning time, which varies greatly depending on the size of the installation. Finally, you only have to change the boot order in the BIOS and then test the cloned hard drive / SSD.
Reinstall Windows without a DVD or USB stick
WinToHDD also has other functions ready that are useful in some situations. You can use the software to reinstall Windows without a DVD or USB stick, either to replace an existing installation or to set up a second installation. All you need is an image of the corresponding Windows version.
Various formats are supported, such as classic ISO files, but also ESD or WIM. You can load the latest Windows images with the Media Creation Tool, for example.