What's the best way to migrate a boot drive nowadays?

AznAnarchy99

Lifer
Dec 6, 2004
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It's been years. Just got an m.2 and I want to move all my data from my SSD to it. What's the easiest way to do it now?
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
75,752
5,907
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Acronis works

EaseUS works too

Forgot to mention Macrium Reflect
 
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Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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Macrium reflect is a good tool, and free.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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Macrium reflect is a good tool, and free.
Two thumbs up, and a pair of big toes . . .

There are several tools that had worked well in the past: Acronis Disk Director and Acronis True Image were two I used beginning around 2011. Sooner or later, there is some esoteric function that you needed and subsequently discovered on another utility that also did the things you had been doing on the earlier and different software. That's how I picked up EaseUS Partition Master. It eventually came to the point where I wanted to image a drive in a backup so that it would restore a dual-boot configuration with both OSes on the same physical disk so that the dual-boot menu functioned flawlessly after the restore. I stumbled onto Macrium Reflect.

If, by chance, such a backup didn't work like that, or if a Windows 10 feature upgrade like Creators Build borked the dual-boot function or caused some other problem, you might find that it could be repaired by either Macrium or some utility like MiniTool.

But when I began to use Macrium's image backup feature and automate it, it seemed worth the $75 price to get the business "workstation" version with subscription customer support, which they offer you in an initial year as free -- or so I remember. After that, the renewal is $18.99 for another year.

I emphasize for the OP -- AznAnarchy99 -- you can get Macrium Reflect in the Macrium Free version, and I believe it has all the features of the paid license except that it doesn't do incremental backups.

But getting back to the OP's original question, you want a utility that can clone your boot drive to another connected to the system. Generally, enough of these programs have a "bootable-CD" version of the program that offers total control without booting into the Windows system, even though working with the program in Windows also works. But the optical disc is the only option if you can't boot to Windows, and it can be transported and used on another PC, even though you cannot install the program under the same license and use it on more than one PC.

And of course, some makers of storage devices like Samsung bundle simpler versions of such utilities with their hardware.
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
Super Moderator
Mar 4, 2000
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Generically, the best way is cloning. As stated above, you have several choices for doing that.
 

AznAnarchy99

Lifer
Dec 6, 2004
14,708
116
106
Thanks all. Ended up using EaseUS which worked out pretty well. I was OCD and wanted to have my drive letter paths in a particular order so got that straightened out without major issues too.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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if it a samsung use samsung data migration which comes on the cd with your ssd.

But it only works for Samsung SSD's.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
13,897
660
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if it a samsung use samsung data migration which comes on the cd with your ssd.

But it only works for Samsung SSD's.
Just curious as to why you make that recommendation. It must have been Crucial who bundled with a scaled-down Acronis utility. I've just never bothered to use the Samsung migration tool, using my ongoing licensed utilities instead. I do install Magician, even so.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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I have used samsung migration a couple of times and it was very simple and easy.

It only allows u to transfer onto the samsung drive, so you dont have any chance of goofing up and reimaging the wrong dive unless u have more then 1 samsung ssd.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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What's wrong with Macrium Reflect? just a curious question cause I have only recently started using it so dont know a lot about it.
i think he is saying he just forgot to mention it, and is mentioning it now...
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
13,897
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What's wrong with Macrium Reflect? just a curious question cause I have only recently started using it so dont know a lot about it.
It's good to keep a Macrium bootable CD, because you can often fix a boot problem if you have to. The backup imaging feature seems stellar. You can clone drives with it.

At most, the ability to resize volumes on a disk is a bit clunky for requiring that you can only do such resizing by restoring from an image you've already taken. The cloning feature doesn't allow you to do resizing directly. But you can still move volumes, and you can resize by restoring from an image.

And like I said, the PDF manual for the program is a serious piece of work.

But any utility that will reliably clone one drive to another answers the question in this thread. And often, people only intend to clone disks in operations that are few and far between, so it pays to look for the free versions of these utilities. I started with Macrium Reflect Free, and from that point forward, I was hooked on the program.
 

mrblotto

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2007
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I used Acronis for the longest time, USB 3.0 came out. The version I had didn't recognize 3.0. So I figured I'd try something else for the hell of it

Then switched to Macrium. Love it
 

deustroop

Golden Member
Dec 12, 2010
1,536
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I don't know about images. I clone (lol). There are two opportunities to manually resize a clone. When one "copies the selected partitions" of a smaller volume onto a larger one, there will be the empty area on the target appearing on the graphic. One just grabs the border of the unoccupied space and drags it to the right which resizes the target to occupy all available space.Secondly, once one has "copied selected partitions" one can open the "cloned partition properties" dialogue and set sizes of the proposed cloned volumes manually limited only by a minimum and maximum size.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,737
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I have used samsung migration a couple of times and it was very simple and easy.

It only allows u to transfer onto the samsung drive, so you dont have any chance of goofing up and reimaging the wrong dive unless u have more then 1 samsung ssd.
Even then it shows you the type and size of the Samsungf drives so it's hard to mess up.

I've used it several times now with Windows 7 and 10 and it worked perfectly. This was using the USB2 - to SATA cable that came with my old 830 Evo drive kit.
 

tracerbullet

Golden Member
Feb 22, 2001
1,625
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I know this has already been done but chiming in for no real reason anyhow :) I just did this as well.

My Parted Magic disk was old and must have run into a hardware issue as it would not finish booting up. Went to get the new version and it was $11, not a lot at all but with free options available I moved on.

I used my Acronis CD to boot, it's also an old version (2011), but I figured a clone is a clone. It didn't seem to go well, the whole operation (128 - 256GB Samsung SSD's) it went in under a minute and afterwards I had a number of boot issues - one stalled out, one blue screened, and so on.

I didn't trust it so I went back to the old drive and tried the Samsung data migration tool. Ran that (10 minutes or so?) and then tried the new drive again, worked perfectly and has been going for a few days without any apparent issues at all.
 

deustroop

Golden Member
Dec 12, 2010
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The only limitation to that application is that it is meant to replace the current drive with the new cloned one. So you cannot immediately use both in the same system. Both drives will have the identical disk IDs.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,737
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The only limitation to that application is that it is meant to replace the current drive with the new cloned one. So you cannot immediately use both in the same system. Both drives will have the identical disk IDs.
(Samsung migration tool)

Sure, but it's meant to clone your OS drive. After using it you're expected to shut down and then switch drives.
 

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