Moving your OS Boot Drive from a Old Drive to a New SSD Using Macrium Reflect


I am going to upgrade from a low capacity m.2 128 GB Solid State Drive to a m.2 512 GB SSD in my OptiPlex 7040 SFF Test System. Instead of reinstalling everything from scratch I am going to use Macrium Reflect to make a System Image of the Windows 10 1809 OS, including all drivers, user accounts, settings and Apps.

Before changing any hardware, I need to install Macrium Reflect, make an Macrium Reflect Image and store it on an External USB Hard Drive. I also need to make a Macrium Reflect Bootable USB. I can then install the new SSD, then Boot from the Macrium Reflect Bootable USB and load the Macrium Reflect Image onto the New SSD.

While I am upgrading hardware, this guide can also be used to backup your Windows Installation and restore it onto the original SSD/HDD.

Tutorial Video


You require a working computer, a USB Flash Drive and a USB External Hard Drive.

USB Flash Drive

If you need a USB Flash Drive please click see more and use the affiliate links below for and These will help fund the website costs for my installation guides.

These are the USB Flash Drives I have tested (there is no point getting a larger capacity USB flash drive for Windows Installation Media as you need to format the USB as FAT32 and the ISO is far less than 16 GB, usually closer to 4 GB):

External USB Hard Drive

I recommend a 2 TB External Hard Drive. These ones are powered solely by the USB.

USB Type C to USB 3.0 Connectors

If your computer is brand new and only has USB Type-C connectors then you may need a USB Type C to USB adaptor. I used these on my XPS 13 9365 (please use the affiliate links to help fund my guides).

Hardware Upgrades

Your Drives will likely have one of the following 3 form factors. A large clunky 3.5" mechanical HDD, a 2.5" SSD and a M.2 SSD side by side. You should check what Drives are Compatible with your System and assess how easy the Drives are to swap out by consulting your system manual. For recommendations of drives and associated connectors, click see more. Please use the affiliate links as it'll help me cover the website costs and experimental hardware costs.

System Manual

You should check your System Manual to determine what drive types are compatible – usually 2.5" or M.2.

Also check how easy, the system is to open to get to the drives it's usually very easy with Desktops, where you slide off the cover and get right to the drives. It can be slightly more difficult with Laptops, where you need to be careful how you take off the cover and may need to disconnect the battery first. Some systems such as Tablets have the drive soldered onto the motherboard and are non-upgradable. Dell offer great Service Manuals especially for their business range of products (but usually the home models also).

You can run Windows 10 comfortably with a 250 GB SSD however if you need to store more files on it the 500 GB-1000 GB is recommended. I personally would avoid 120 GB SSDs or less.

2.5" SSDs

These are now affordable and I recommend the Crucial MX500 (click see more below for Amazon affiliate links, please use these as it will help fund the website costs and test hardware needed to keep my Windows Reinstallation Guides up to date).

Older systems with a clunky 2.5" mechanical HDDs are slightly thicker however the Crucial SSD comes with the spacer (if required)


3.5" Drives

These use the same connectors as the 2.5 " Drives, you just need a spacer

M.2 Drives

Your system will already have a SSD installed if you only have a M.2 slot.

System Checks

I am going to right click the start button and select Disk Management:

Here I can see my OS Boot Drive on Drive 0, it has a Recovery Partition, needed to boot to the OS, the OS itself and a OEM Partition.

I can also open it up in Windows Explorer.

The System is an OptiPlex 7040 with a Windows 10 Pro OEM License. A Clean Install of Windows 10 Version 1809 was performed and a Microsoft Account was used meaning Bitlocker was automatically applied to the OS Boot Drive and the Desktop, Documents and Pictures Folders. Bitlocker Encyption is only available in Windows 10 Pro.

I can also explore the User Folders:

I can also right click the Start Button and go to Apps and Features:

I can see the following programs are installed:

Download Macrium Reflect


You can download the downloader for Macrium Reflect here:

You can use it free for non-commercial use but should pay for a license to use it commercially.

I am going to use it on a Home PC:

You can register or alternatively just select Continue:

Next select Run:

By default the Download Location will be your Download Folder and the installer will launch directly after the Download is complete. Select Download:

It will Download the Installer:

The setup will automatically launch after you've Downloaded it using the Macrium Downloader.

Otherwise you can go to the Downloads folder and launch the setup directly:

Accept the User Account Control:

Select Next:

The Windows Installer will prepare to Install:

Select Next:

Accept the License Agreement and select Next:

Select Home and Next:

You can optionally register here, or uncheck the box and select Next:

You can uncheck the box for a Desktop Shortcut and select Next:

Select Install:

Then you can select Finish and leave the box checked to Launch Macurium Reflect:

Creating a Macrium Reflect Image of the OS Boot Drive

You will need to plug in your External Hard Drive and USB Flash Drive.

You can launch Macrium from the Start Menu (in my case it's automatically going to launch after installation). You will see the splash screen:

Select Backup and then Backup Windows:

Select the Browse Button for the Folder:

Make sure you create a New Folder on your External Hard Drive and select OK:

Select Next:

Select Next:

Select Finish:

Select OK:

Wait for the System Image to be created:

The length of time it'll take to create depends on the speed of your Hardware and how much Apps and Files you have on your OS Boot Drive. Mines is relatively clean for this test:

Select Close:

If your data is really important – you may want to repeat this process with another External Hard Drive in the off-chance there is an issue or your External Hard Drive Fails.

Creating a Macurium Reflect Bootable USB

Select the Bootable Media button:

For some reason Macrium Reflect says all my USB Flash Drives are Unsupported… so I will just use it to Create the ISO and then make the Bootable USB using Rufus:

I want to change the location of the ISO and store it on my External Hard Drive so I will select Next:

I will select my External Hard Drive and select Save:

Then Build:

Macrium Reflect will now Create the ISO:

When it's done it will say so. Press OK:

You can now close down Macrium Reflect:

Download and Launch Rufus:

Accept the User Account Control:

You don't need to bother searchign for Updates if you've just Downloaded Rufus:

Select "Select":

The select your MacriumRescue ISO:

By default it should be setup to sue the GPT partition scheme. This is fine fore any computer built in 2012 or later. If you have an older one you will need to change GPT to MBR and all the other fields will auto-update:

Select Start:

Select OK:

Rufus will now make the USB, when it's done it will say Ready. You may now close Rufus and shut down your computer.

You may now replace your system's OS Boot Drive with your new Solid State Drive.

Restoring your Macrium Reflect Image onto the New SSD

Insert your Macrium Reflect Bootable USB and External Hard Drive. Power up your Computer (with your new SSD) and press [F12] if a Dell or Lenovo to get to the Boot Menu (it may be a different function key for other OEMs):

Press [↓] until you get to your Bootable USB and press [Enter]:

You will see the Dell UEFI BIOS Splash Screen and then the Macrium Reflect Splash Screen:

Select Browse for an Image File:

Locate your External Hard Drive. My WD shows as C: (don't worry about this – it will not be C:\ in Windows 10 when the OS Boot Drive is restored)

I can look through it:

I can then find my image:

I can double click it or single click it and then press OK:

Now I can select Restore Image:

Then I can select the Disk to Restore to:

If you are keeping the same SSD you can select Copy selected Partitions. However I am migrating to a Larger Drive:

When I do this, I see a huge chunk of my SSD is unallocated:

The third Partition is of course my OS Partition as it is in the 100's of GB and the other Recovery/OEM partitions are MB in size:

If I select Restore Partition Properties I should be able to increase the size of the Partition but I can't so I will select Cancel:

The issue here is the OS Partition is not on the far right and therefore I cannot allocate the free space to it. I'm not sure why Windows 10 Version 1809 created this additional partition after the OS Partition (all other Windows Versions Usually Create these Partitions at the Start of the Drive). So I will select Undo:

I will then drag, the 1st, then 2nd and 4th Partitions from the Source to the Target SSD:

This leaves me free to drag the OS Partition to the far right:

Now I can select Restore Partition Properties:

Then I can select Maximum Size:

Then OK:

Now I am using all of my new SSD. I will now select Next:

I will get a warning that I will lose my Bitlocker Encryption on my OS Boot Drive. I'll need to re-enable this after Booting into Windows. Select OK:

Then select Finish:

If you get a "Restore Failed – Error 9" as I did the first time I tried this unfortunately you'll need to go back and re-create your Image and Bootable Media.

Once it's done select Close:

Close Macrium Reflect:

Your Computer will now Boot into Windows 10:

System Checks

I am going to right click the start button and select Disk Management:

Here I can see my OS Boot Drive on Drive 0, it has a Recovery Partition, needed to boot to the OS, the OS itself and a OEM Partition.

In contrast, this is what it looked like with the Original Drive:

I can also open it up in Windows Explorer. This time I see the larger Partition but Bitlocker is not Enabled.

I can also explore the User Folders:

I can also right click the Start Button and go to Apps and Features:

I can see the following programs are installed:

Enabling BitLocker Encyption

The OS Boot Drive no longer has BitLocker Encyption.

I can right click it and select Turn BitLocker On:

It will ask where you want to back up the Recovery Key. I advise select Microsoft Account:

It will take a couple of moments to save the key:

You can also Save to File:

This file should be saved on another Drive otherwise you have the digital version of leaving your keys at home and locking yourself out of your house. I will save it to the WD External Hard Drive:

In the OptiPlex 7040 Folder:

Select Save. The new BitLocker Encryption Key is different from the one on the Original SSD:

The select Next:

Select Encrypt Drives Already in Use and then Next:

Select New Encryption Mode and then Next:

Check Run BitLocker System Check and Continue:

Restart your Computer when Prompted:

It will Encrypt your new SSD automatically in the background. However you can click the icon in the notification tray to view the progress:

Once done it will say Complete and you can Close the BitLocker Drive Encryption Progress Window:

You can see in Windows Explorer that the OS Drive now has a Padlock. Denoting that it is Encrypted:

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