Clone your hard drive
You can easily clone your PC’s hard drive using Macrium Reflect Free (www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx): launch the program after installing it, then select your Windows drive and click ‘Clone this disk…’ Make sure only those partitions you need are copied across: System Reserved, your actual Windows partition and any hidden partitions at the end of the drive. Untick any others, then click ‘Select a disk to clone to…’ Click your new solid-state drive (SSD) – it’ll be the one with no partitions assigned to it. Then simply drag each partition across in turn – Macrium will automatically shrink your C drive to fit. If necessary, click Cloned Partition Properties to verify alignment settings are Vista/7/SSD.
Click ‘Finish’. Untick ‘Save backup and schedules as an XML Backup Definition File’ and then click OK to perform the cloning operation. Be patient – this will probably take some time. Finally, shut down your PC. If you use a laptop, you should swap out the current hard drive for your new SSD; if you use a desktop you’ll need to reboot and make sure that your new SSD is the primary boot device in the UEFI/BIOS settings. If all is well, Windows should boot – and much quicker than before.
The best free tool for copying Windows, all your apps, and all your files to a new PC is our perennial favourite Macrium Reflect Free.