How to Move Your Operating System to Another Hard Drive

Before we begin, I’d like to make a few important expositions. The most important thing is to ensure that your computer is free of viruses. If it contains a virus, it will be copied to your new hard drive. If your operating system is corrupt, you risk your data not being accessible or being corrupted on the copy (this isn’t always the case, but it depends on the extent of the hard drive damage).

Also, to ensure that the copy does not fail, make sure you are moving to a drive of the same size or larger. This may seem obvious, but when you’re caught up in the excitement of it all, it’s easy to overlook.

What you’ll need:

  • a USB memory stick (with no data on it or one that is expendable)
  • Perhaps an hour (depending on how big your hard drive is)
  • A backup image is saved on a storage disk (always do this – follow the instructions here)
  • Installed both hard disks
  • TuxBoot
  • CloneZilla

Prepare everything you’ll need to make the process go more smoothly. You can begin once you have installed all of the necessary programs and settings, as well as all of the necessary data. If you follow the steps below, it should go off without a hitch.

Step-by-step procedure

  1. Right-click on My Computer and select Manage from the Windows/My Computer menu. When the window opens, select Disk Management, and Windows will usually recognize that a new disk has been discovered and that it must be initialized and formatted. Click OK, then select NTFS Quick.
  2. Tuxboot and CloneZilla are free to download. CloneZilla will be used to create an image of the hard drive, and Tuxboot will be used to mount the image to the USB Flash Drive so that we can boot from it.
  3. After you’ve downloaded these applications, plug in the flash drive you’ll be using and format it clean, as we’ll be using it for CloneZilla. Right-click on My Computer and select Manage from the Windows/My Computer menu. Select the disk (making sure it’s not C: or another drive you’re using) and right-click to format it as NTFS Quick and assign a Drive Letter.
  4. Tuxboot should now be open. When Tuxboot appears, go to the bottom and select ISO, then click the button to locate the CloneZilla live.ISO file. Make sure the drive you’re mounting CloneZilla to is the USB Flash Drive once that’s done. Select OK.
  5. Restart the computer and select the USB Flash Drive as the boot device. Enter the BIOS. I’m not sure what key that is on your computer, but it’s probably F2 or DEL by default. Go to your BOOT section and manually boot off of the USB flash drive once you’ve gotten in. CloneZilla will be launched as a result of this.
  6. Choose the default CloneZilla Start option, then select your Language Keyboard, Do Not Touch KeyMap, and “Start CloneZilla Live” as the first option.


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