Imaging OS for migration to a new PC

Hey peeps, g'day

Finally pulling the trigger and getting a new PC, whilst it's on the way I'd like to get a few things ready.

Have spent way too much time configuring everything to care to reinstall Windows and all the apps from scratch. Current config is a 512GB SSD with 100GB for W10 + apps on C: and remaining partitioned to Z: for all app work files (Lightroom, DaVinci Resolve, Cinema 4D, etc). Then a 4TB spinny HDD for games + downloads + VM + media + whatever on D:

This new PC will have 512GB M.2 which I'll use for boot + apps replacing the existing C: and will partition it for Z: to mirror the current setup, and a 12TB Seagate BarraCuda Pro to replace the aforementiond D:

Now, my Q is, whether if I can just image my current 512 SSD everything will be sweet moving to the M.2 with totally different hardware (thought W10 will have a spaz with new hardware etc?), and if I copy and paste everything from the 4TB HDD over to the 12TB, will everything just work flawlessly? I expect it'll not be this rosey…? If I'm wrong, any particular imaging software that works better than the others?

Thanks heaps :)


  • +2

    I'd use acronis. Not sure about trial, etc. Should be able to get a single license pretty cheap…
    There are heaps of freeware/shareware options too but acronis is arguably the best?

    Yep, should be able to recover to different hardware but windows will spaz and you'll have to re-activate I imagine.

    • That's it? Just have to activate windows and the migration will be completely seamless? It's certainly been forever since I've imaged the OS figured I'd run into way more troubles 🙂

      • I think so. I've done mechanical to SSD but on same host.

        It used to be way harder with hardware changes and lack of drivers but now windows 7/10 is more like Linux/apple where it just sniffs out the new driver.

        One thing to consider…a fresh install is arguably always better/faster. Clearing out all that junk is like changing the oil in your car. And windows installs is and programs in a linear way with available space being rewritten to first (used to defrag to fix). After time stuff is all over the disk and slows performance but not so much an issue with SSD vs mechanical.

  • +1


    You will probably get software with the new drive…say samsung magician:

  • in my limited experience imaging a system to migrate to NEW hardware is a bad idea - unless it is the exact same or ver similar hardware
    Imaging works well in a corporate sense rolling out systems to many similar machines

    You will almost certainly carry across wrong drivers and previous upgrades etc.
    This will decrease performance etc.
    And an image will also likely wipe the factory reset partition, which may cause problems too

    I would strongly suggest instead you research how to backup and transfer your PROGRAM settings
    Then you can work with reinstall and have your settings

    I have set up a couple of new systems for myself and frankly with Windows, Google Drive. some apps being portable and lots of cloud based apps it literally takes me less than an hour to get 90% set up and rolling

    • actually just saw this on another thread - ymmv

      Migrate and .. "If she boots do an in place upgrade, this is a new windows install but it keeps your data files and produces a list of programs it uninstalled so you can reinstall them, or not, as we amass lots of crappy programs over the years."

  • What I normally do is create an image with Acronis True Image as a backup, then … shock horror, I'll just put the old drive in the new PC. Or just write the image to the new SSD. YMMV but if your hardware is standard, Windows will very likely pick everything up fine.

    All techy people will balk at that, but I've done it many times on many different computers with no issues. My long-running experiement is my work PC which I've been upgrading and moving across multiple PCs since Vista in 2008. I have apps with an install date of of 2008 in appwiz.

    Years ago the biggest issue I had was with Windows not having new AHCI drivers which was easily solved by installing them first. But on Windows 10 everything has just worked like magic.

    You can try doing that first and seeing if everything works fine before you try software like Acronis Universal Restore. You'll still have your original drive so you won't lose any data or configuration.

  • I would do the following:
    1) Copy you existing boot drive onto the new boot drive on the old PC
    2). Boot to the NEW drive and remove all of the hardware drivers that you have for the old machine that are not on the new machine, especially the GPU and Intel/AMD chipset if you are changing allegiance.
    3) Move the boot drive to the new machine and give it a go.

    This way you still have the old machine in a working state and can try the process a number of times and it's allot quicker to copy/backup a drive to another drive on the same machine than backing it up and then restoring it.

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