Move Windows to a new Samsung SSD

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 6, 2013

I have been running a Solid State Drive (SSD) as my primary hard drive for the last couple of years. My first experience with first generation SSDs was not really that good, as I had to endure performance drops after some time of usage.

This improved when newer generations came out up to the point where I do not really notice any big performance drops over time. This is one of the core reasons why Solid State Drives have moved into mass market. It is not the only one, as price drops and increasing storage play a big part in that as well.

If you are still running a platter-based hard drive you may have thought about moving to a faster SSD to speed up how you work with the computer.

The prospect of installing Windows again on the PC on the other hand may have kept you from making that step.

Samsung's SSD Data Migration application provides you with a tool to migrate your existing Windows installation to a Samsung Solid State Drive so that you do not lose a single bit of data when the process completes.

This means that you can boot Windows from the Samsung SSD right after you have completed the migration process. Once booted, you can access all installed programs, documents, files and other data as if you were still running the old drive.

While you are limited to Samsung hardware in regards to the destination drive, you do not have to take any precautions in regards to size as long as the new SSD can store all existing data that you have stored on the original partition or drive.

It is theoretically possible to migrate to a smaller sized Solid State Drive as long as it has enough space for all data of the original drive.

Migrating Windows to a new Samsung SSD

samsung data migration

First thing you need to do is download the latest version of Samsung's Data Migration Software from the official Samsung SSD website.  It is available in different interface languages. Here you can also download a user guide for detailed instructions on how to use the software.

The program will perform an update check after installation. It is highly recommended to update to the latest version before you run the application. This means unfortunately that you have to run through the installation process again.

Click on the start button in the interface afterwards. The tool selects the current Windows drive as the source disk automatically, and a connected Samsung SSD as the source drive automatically as well. If you have multiple installed, make sure the right one is selected  as the target disk.

The cloning itself is done in Windows and may take a while to complete. Once completed, you need to either select the new drive to boot from, or, disconnect the original source disk from the computer so that the new drive is picked up automatically during the boot process.

System Requirements

  • Supports Windows XP SP2 (32-bit only), Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
  • Supports MBR and GPT partition types.
  • The Target Disk needs to be one of the following: Samsung SSD 840 Series, 840 PRO Series, 830 Series, 479 Series.


Below is a short selection of limitations. Consult the user manual for a complete list.

  • The source drive needs to have at least 20% free storage space.
  • The destination drive needs to have enough free storage space for the process to complete successfully.
  • OEM Recovery partitions cannot be replicated.
  • Encrypted disks cannot be cloned.


The main benefit of the program is that you can move Windows to a new drive without losing any of the configuration or functionality of your existing installation. It is rather limited in terms of the disks it supports, but if you do own or plan on buying one of them, you may as well use the tool to migrate your existing copy of Windows over to save lots of time.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. George Thib said on May 11, 2016 at 12:32 am


    Has anyone got a Samsung SSD contact email or help forum?
    I am about to clone my Windows 7 HDD to Samsung SDD EVO 850.
    I cannot find any info how to cope woth two Windows existing partitions – System Reserved and the main one – C:.
    Does Samsung Migration software clone automatically both partitions or it arranges the process according to its needs to make an SSD drive fully functional?

    Many thanks.

  2. jmsgrgry said on June 18, 2014 at 5:31 am

    martin, what if there’s not 20% free space on the source disk?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

      Less free space may degrade performance. Try it.

  3. KRS said on August 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Martin –

    Which processes does the SSD speed up, and by how much? If it’s just a few seconds when Win7 loads, it hardly seems worth the expense.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

      It speeds up the boot time for sure, but also the loading time of applications. I can see this most clearly when I’m loading games on Steam. While my friends with platter-based hard drives are still loading, and loading, I’m already ready to begin. But, it is mostly loading times. If you have processes that benefit from faster access times, you may also see benefits as the access time is a lot lower.

  4. doug said on August 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I have been cloning to SSD drives for a while now.
    All I use is “EaseUS Todo Backup”
    I have a copy of both the free edition and the workstation versions.
    Both versions can clone to a SSD easily.
    Just make sure you select optimize for SSD.
    I have two platter drives I use to clone my SSD to. Just in case.
    Boy am I glade I have those clones. One oops and all I do is clone the operating system back.
    It is also possible to clone a larger drive to a smaller drive so long as the larger drive does not have more GB’s of information than the smaller drive can hold.
    I know because my backup drive is 750GB and my SSD is 256GB and I can clone the 750GB drive back to the SSD 256GB and everything works fine.
    You can also go the other way. 256 to 750.

  5. Gonzo said on August 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I’ve found migrating to SSD no different than any other migration with the exception of AHCI.

    The problem for most users I’ve spoken to is that with laptops there’s only space for one hard drive. Tools like this are useful only if you have space for more than one drive.

    I’ve successfully used Windows built-in backup (Windows 7) and saved the image to an external hard drive. I was surprised it worked. Complications with multiple partitions do exist though.

    1. Bob said on August 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      A USB drive adapter should work for laptop migrations.

  6. jasray said on August 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Read through the notes, but I didn’t notice if Samsung DM performs like Paragon OS SSD Migration. The OS that Paragon migrates is deleted in the process. A lot of warnings in the PDF for Samsung.

    When I recently went through the migration process, I simply made an image and recovered the image with the SSD installed.

    I guess it works, but . . . maybe I need to be aware of something that may occur in the future.

    1. ilev said on August 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      The best way is to install Windows on the SSD which also take care on TRIM… and not to migrate/copy or use image file.

      Sean’s Windows 8 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDs

  7. Kneyfield said on August 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Does anyone know, if this works with the 840 Evo series as well? I’m thinking of replacing an older Intel 320 with the new Samsung 840 Evo 500GB, as the drive is not only among the cheapest for its size but also adds some write performance over the old 840.

    1. miro said on August 6, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Yes. You can use any application to the cloning

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on August 6, 2013 at 11:29 am

      I’d contact Samsung to ask that question. I’d say that it should be compatible as it is part of the 840 series but you better make sure it is before you commit. How much is the drive currently?

      1. Kneyfield said on August 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm

        It’s listed for € 290 at the moment in Germany, but I suspect that will fall a bit, as it gets to be in stock and will be listed in more shops. The only cheaper drives are the older 840, an Agility 3 and some Mushkin Enhanced models (which I know nothing about). In comparison, the Crucial M500 is at € 309 and the SanDisk Extreme at € 306.

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