Puget Systems print logo
Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/699
Article Thumbnail

Data Migration with Samsung SSDs

Written on August 7, 2015 by William George

NOTE: This guide was written with a view to migrating a system drive - the C: drive, where Windows is installed. Simply copying the files from such a drive to another will not result in a bootable drive, so it must be cloned instead via software like that which is described below. I have been told that this same software may not work for cloning drives with do *not* have Windows installed, but in that case you can simply copy all the files and folders from one drive to another without the need to specifically clone the drive.

This guide will walk through the process of cloning an existing Windows system to a Samsung brand solid-state drive (SSD). Doing this can be a great upgrade for folks currently using a hard drive, since SSDs are much faster, as well as those who have a small SSD already and need to move up to a larger drive. I've run into that myself a few times over the years, and have moved my main system from a 80GB drive to 120GB, then 240GB, and most recently to a Samsung 840 EVO 500GB drive. If you are using an Intel drive instead, we have a guide to their migration tool as well.

1) With the computer turned off and opened up, connect your new Samsung SSD to the system by plugging a SATA cable into your motherboard’s SATA controller and then connecting the other end of the cable and a SATA power connector to your new SSD (typically there is a free power connector on the same cable that is plugged into your existing disks). You can also use an external USB adapter, if you don't want to open the computer up just yet or don't have a spare SATA cable, though transferring via USB will generally be slower than with the drive connected internally.

2) Turn the computer on and download the Data Migration Software from Samsung’s website.

3) Once you’ve downloaded the .zip file above, extract the .exe inside it and then run that installer.

4) Proceed with selection of the language you want (English, for most of us) and acceptance of the license terms:

5) Once the installer completes, it will automatically run the Samsung Data Migration Software. The first thing it does is check to see if a newer version is available, and if so it offers the option to upgrade. It is generally best to use the latest version, so if there is an upgrade available click on Update:

6) If you updated, it will now install the new version - effectively sending you back to step #4 above. Go ahead and follow that step again, then move on to #7.

7) Once successfully installed and launched, the 'Start' page for the Samsung Data Migration Software looks like this:

8) Click on Start in the bottom right hand corner. The program will proceed to a page showing the source and target drive options available:

9) Make sure the drive you want to clone from is selected at the top, and the new Samsung SSD is selected at the bottom. The software will only let you copy to a Samsung SSD, so that helps protect against accidentally copying onto another drive in your system - but still, be careful to make sure you pick the right drive since anything on the target drive will be wiped out. When ready, click 'Start', and then click 'Yes' to confirm you have made the proper drive selection and are aware the target drive will be wiped clean:

10) The cloning process will now begin. Be careful not to disconnect any drives or turn the system off during the cloning process. It is also recommended that you not edit any files on the system or use the computer while this process is going on. Any open files cannot be cloned properly. The Samsung Data Migration Software will display the progress and estimated time to completion:

11) When the cloning process is finished, you will be greeted by the completion screen:

12) At this point you can 'Quit' out of the Samsung Data Migration Software - which will prompt you to shut down the computer:

13) With the system turned off, remove your original drive and put the new Samsung SSD in its place. When you turn the system back on it should be exactly as it was with the previous drive, except that you are now running off a super-fast SSD! Once you are confident that the process went well and the new drive is working for you, you can re-use the older drive for something else: additional storage in the same computer, or if it was already a SSD (just smaller / older than the new one) to upgrade another computer you have. If you do put it back in the same computer, you may need to go into the BIOS to ensure that the new SSD is set to be the primary boot drive (so that the system no longer boots to the older drive).

Tags: Support, Migrate, Clone, Samsung, SSD
Jeff Stubbers

Helpful information, William! Thank you for providing these step by step instructions. This looks like a quick, easy way to upgrade your Primary drive. :)

Posted on 2015-08-07 18:00:25

The Samsung data migration software does not appear to be working with Windows 10. Any tips on how to migrate data on Windows 10?

Posted on 2015-08-15 21:50:48

Hmm, it worked for me on Windows 10 Pro - that is the OS I got the screenshots for this article on. Maybe make sure to run the software with admin right? What sort of error are you getting?

Posted on 2015-08-15 22:01:17

I have windows 10 home and tried your method but get Cloning failed Target Disk has been disconnected. However, I have made sure that all connections are properly done before doing this. any idea?

Posted on 2015-08-27 01:20:06

At what point / step does that happen?

Posted on 2015-08-27 01:46:46

Right after Step 9 from your post. It took the system about 30 sec before the error message showed. However, if I disconnect from the internet, it only took less than 1 sec before the error message was shown.

Posted on 2015-08-27 17:24:02

Hmm, I did a Google search and see some folks reporting the same error. Suggestions provided in those discussions include the following:

- Try secure erasing the target SSD, which I believe can be done through the Samsung Magician software

- Make sure the version of the Samsung Migration Tool you are using is up to date (this fixed it for at least one person)

If those don't help, may I ask how the Samsung SSD you want to use is connected to the system? (USB, eSATA, SATA, etc)

It may also be worth reaching out to Samsung support if possible.

Posted on 2015-08-27 17:38:37

Thanks for the details description ! It seems to work for me with win 10 at this time. Sometimes it says this issue about communication not properly working but then it goes away ... I don't know why. The other thing is sometimes it says that the destination drive is not big enough however, the destination drive in my case has ample of space to get the full "used" part of the source drive... eventually I cleaned more from the source drive and now it seems to be ok.
I am planning to use old drive (ssd also) as sys backup, but I am considering using the new one as system. I would think that I'll need to change bios? As I haven't done it yet, I wonder if the system will boot at all if it does not know that the new drive is a bootable ?

Posted on 2016-06-25 15:00:30

If you want to boot to a different drive you will probably need to specify that in the BIOS.

Posted on 2016-06-26 04:03:05

Are all of the files going to be coppied to my ssd? if so how can i make it smalle? Because its now like 400 gb and my ssd is only 230.

Posted on 2016-09-16 15:02:47


Posted on 2016-09-16 15:03:58

Yes, everything will be copied - and so the SSD needs to be larger (by a fair amount) than the current used space on your drive.

We have an article about reducing used space, ostensibly on SSDs... but the principles can be used to save space on any sort of drive:


Hopefully that helps!

Posted on 2016-09-16 15:54:51

Actually, if you download the user's manual for the Samsung Data Migration software, bypass the part about cloning to a larger target disk. The second part discuses how to use the software to clone to a smaller target disk. It gives instructions for using the software to exclude data you don't want transferred before starting the cloning process.

Posted on 2019-03-09 01:43:09

Do I need a docking station to put the new SSD card into in order to migrate the data? I just ordered an msata for my laptop. Not sure yet how I will connect the new drive to get the data onto it? Can I store it on an external hard drive, then onto the new ssd once installed in the laptop? Or will it automatically wipe the external hd because it's the target drive.

Posted on 2016-12-28 22:35:07

In a desktop it is usually not a problem to simply plug in a second drive (inside the computer) temporarily, do the migration, and then leave just the new drive in the system. However, that is more difficult in a laptop. You might want to see if you can find some sort of adapter that will let you connect the mSATA drive externally via USB. I know those exist for normal 3.5" and 2.5" SATA drives, but have not looked to see if they also exist for the mSATA form factor.

I do *not* think that you can migrate to an external drive, swap drives in the system, and then migrate it back.

Posted on 2016-12-28 23:11:45

I found a mSATA usb adapter on amazon. There were a number of choices. After having read the reviews, it seems people have used them for just this thing. Thanks for answering.

Posted on 2016-12-29 00:37:04

I bought one of those adapters to clone a small SSD from a new Dell laptop to a larger capacity Samsung EVO SSD about 8 months ago. I was able to clone the new drive outside of the laptop BEFORE opening up the laptop to swap drives. It worked perfectly. One end of the adapter plugs into a USB port, the other end has the combined data/power connector to connect the target drive. It was an inexpensive cable which is useful to have in your computer toolbox.

Posted on 2019-03-09 01:51:26

I have 2 extra msata slots in my laptop. Would I need a stata cable or can I use one of the slots for cloning my windows?

Posted on 2017-02-04 17:31:35

If you can access the mSATA slots and the drive you want to use is that type, then you could go that route and not need a cable. However, mSATA drives are not very common anymore - M.2 has taken over as the form factor of choice, and even supports a SATA mode for less expensive drives. mSATA and M.2 are not interchangeable, so be careful to make sure what your computer supports before purchasing a drive.

Posted on 2018-02-20 15:52:50
jack reacher

nice article

Posted on 2017-12-05 12:07:23

Thanks :)

Posted on 2018-02-20 15:50:33
Anurag Harsh

GS RichCopy 360 is the best

Posted on 2017-12-15 11:10:20
Daniel Martin

Perhaps using some other tool like GS Rich Copy 360 would be a good solution as you can have multiple threads (upto 256) and can also schedule the tasks. That way it'll make sure that no packages are dropped and the overall performance will also be increased. We've been using this for quite sometime now!

Posted on 2018-02-07 17:03:54

There are certainly other applications for copying data! I was just looking at the tool that Samsung provides for free with their SSDs, and which is very easy to walk through for even inexperienced computer users. I haven't used GS Rich Copy 360 myself, but you are not the first person in these comments to suggest it - so if someone is looking for an alternative, it may be worth checking out :)

Posted on 2018-02-20 15:50:27

AOMEI Backupper Standard (free version) is listed as being able to clone drives, thought it's not clear if that means a bootable cloned drive (the pay version IS noted as being able to clone a bootable drive). The reason I could see using this is if you want flexibility to clone to different manufacturers' drives (most data cloning software you download for free from a manufacturer generally works only when their brand drive is the target). 3rd party software may also give you more options to control the cloning process than you get with the free software.

Posted on 2019-03-09 02:07:04
Kmeng Ot Jalerm

can i just not taking a HDD off and go to bios and set the sdd as my boot drive instead ???
pardon my english

Posted on 2018-02-20 09:44:48

Yes, once the transfer has been made you could just use the BIOS settings to make the SSD the first boot device. After that, you could potentially wipe the HDD and reuse it for something else. This guide was more aimed at those wanting to replace their HDD, but if you'd prefer to keep it in the system and continue using it that works too :)

Posted on 2018-02-20 15:48:43

Just for safety sake, you may want to avoid wiping the old HHD (or SSD) source drive until you know the newly cloned drive is working perfectly. I simply unplug the old drive until I feel confident the new drive is stable and all the files I want have transferred; later the old drive can be plugged in and data wiped or drive reformatted and drive can be used up as a data drive.

Posted on 2019-03-09 02:17:06
Amanda LORI

Thanks for the information, Till now I have been using GS Richcopy 360 for data migration and backups, it provided me all the features that one would want from a file transferring software, spent a few bucks on it and bought its enterprise edition. Will try this one also!

Posted on 2018-04-03 18:07:31
Amanda LORI

Thanks for the information, Till now I have been using GS Richcopy 360 for data migration and backups, it provided me all the features that one would want from a file transferring software, spent a few bucks on it and bought its enterprise edition. Will try this one also!

Posted on 2018-04-19 03:54:38

Is there any way to get update of DM tool form 3 1 0 1 to 3 1 0 3. The update on install will not dork ("failed"). And yet the 860 model will only work with the 3 1 0 3 version. Anyone?

Posted on 2018-05-05 17:40:27

Good article.

I am trying migrate data with "Samsung Data Migration" but for me its not showing the target disc. I have installed "WD Blue 3D NAND 500GB PC SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s M.2 2280 Solid State Drive - WDS500G2B0B"


Posted on 2018-11-25 02:22:26

The Samsung Data Migration tool only works if you are migrating to a Samsung SSD. It sounds like you are using a Western Digital drive, which is probably why the Samsung tool isn't working. You might want to see if Western Digital provides a similar tool of their own.

Posted on 2018-11-26 19:51:34

Thanks Will

Posted on 2018-11-26 20:20:17

Thanks so much. I have an old Dell Latitude e4620 i7, and was trying to update the horrible Seagate drive in it to a Samsung 500g 850. Using an external usb plug to try and clone the Samsung from the Seagate turned out a bit of an adventure, as I started out with the Samsung Magician program... it did not find my Samsung drive, finding instead (I think) the external sata card / usb rig (identififed it as a Western digital). Bummer. But I ran across your article, and at this moment am just finishing up n attempt to use *Migration* rather than *Magician* to create a bootable windows 10 pro drive. Hope springs eternal.

Posted on 2018-11-27 04:17:17

@WilliamMGeorge Hi I have a Dell XPS 13 9343 model with 128gb SSD and I bought a new Samsung 860 Evo 500gb m.2 sata version to swap . I downloaded Samsung migration software . I have connected the new SSD via USB and the software detected both SSD .once cloning started it shows an error message "CANNOT CREATE A SNAPSHOT". Can anyone give me a solution for this it's very urgent reply asap...

Posted on 2019-02-09 05:11:43

Hmm, I'm not sure. I've never tried to clone to a drive connected via USB using this software, so there may be some sort of issue / limitation with the migration tool itself in that situation. Maybe try another program with similar functionality and see if that works for you? Or does your laptop support having both SSDs installed internally at the same time? (I'm not familiar with recent Dell laptops)

A little bit of Googling of that error ("CANNOT CREATE A SNAPSHOT") came back with a few more possibilities:

- Is your existing 128GB drive too full? Try freeing up some space and see if that helps.

- Are you in safe mode or normal mode? If trying the migration from safe mode, try switching to normal mode. (You are most likely already in normal mode, though, unless you went to safe mode intentionally)

- See if there are any weird processes running that might interfere with this migration. Volume Shadow Copy and Microsoft Software Shadow Copy in particular seem to be associated with this error.

Good luck :)

Posted on 2019-02-09 05:31:35

How to turn off safe mode sir and moreover I have connected my new SSD using transcend SSD enclosure which comes with usb3.1 and my old SSD which is now inside my laptop has 2gb of free memory ....

Posted on 2019-02-09 05:37:40

If you don't know how to get to safe mode, then you are probably not in it. It is a special, protected mode you have to intentionally go into - and apparently the migration software doesn't work inside it. But if you don't know about it, then you aren't in it and don't need to worry about getting out :)

2GB might not be enough. That is a very small amount of free space for a drive, so I'd start there. See if you can free that up by deleting unneeded files or copying data off to another drive. It could also be the issue of trying to migrate to an external USB-connected SSD... I've never been in that situation myself, so I'm not sure if it will work or not. If you try freeing up disk space and it still won't work, maybe look at other free data migration tools.

Posted on 2019-02-09 05:40:26

I have tried macrium clone tool and it stopped at 51% saying cloning failed error 9

I have tried other cloning tools also they are stopping the process inbetween

So I was searching for a solution saw this post and you have explained step by step so I thought you could give me a right solution for this ....

Posted on 2019-02-09 05:44:07

Hmm, if you have run into this with multiple programs then that would seem to me to point to a deeper problem. It could well be the small amount of free space on the drive, or it could be something else going on in the background which is interrupting the process. I'd stick by my advice to try and free up more drive space before trying again, and then continue to look for / try other programs if that doesn't help. I wish I couple help further, but I am not very good at troubleshooting when I am not personally there in front of the computer to work on it :/

Posted on 2019-02-09 05:48:33

Alright sir I will clear some more space and will try running the process again and I will let you know...

Posted on 2019-02-09 05:50:03

Best of luck :)

Posted on 2019-02-09 06:42:55
Chris Collins

Can I run the Data Migration cloning process a second time between the same two drives. I didn't make the switchover as soon as the first clone was finished and the original drive has since had some updates and other minor changes. Rather than put in the new cloned 860EVO and try to re-install the updates, could I just re-run the Data Migration and overwrite it from scratch?

Posted on 2019-06-06 03:01:02

I can't think of any reason why you couldn't just run the process again. It will effectively wipe out everything on the target drive, but if you never started using it then there shouldn't be anything important there to worry about losing.

Posted on 2019-06-06 18:14:51
Chris Collins

Thank you.
So there isn't any proprietary Data Migration control which would prevent the process from running a second time on a drive for which it already ran?

As far as you know?

Posted on 2019-06-17 01:20:27

Not so far as I know :)

Posted on 2019-06-17 01:36:15

Can i install the samsung data migration on a PC, remove the source ssd from my laptop and connect it to the pc mobo sata port, connect the target ssd on another mobo sata port on the pc, then clone the target ssd.

Posted on 2019-09-18 07:54:53

I *think* that should work, but I have not specifically tried to clone a drive that was moved over from a different computer with this software... so I can't say for sure.

Be especially careful that the system does not try to boot to that laptop drive, since doing so would cause Windows to start trying to change drivers, which could mess things up for you.

Posted on 2019-09-23 18:18:37

A question if i may. So my samsung 860 EVO has just been connected to my laptop via a usb cable and i am ready to clone. Once cloning has been done can i put my 860 EVO in a draw for a week and instal next week? Or will my laptop now be emptied of software and be a brick until the hard drive has been swapped?

Posted on 2020-09-22 17:37:57

The process described in this article just copies data, it does not remove it from the original drive. That is generally true of software that uses terms "clone" or "copy".

Posted on 2020-09-22 18:13:25

Thank you, i just wanted to check as articles i read say "once copied, turn off your laptop, swap the drives, job a goodun", could not find anything for me who wants to copy then swap a week later, i do like to procrastinate! Cheers

Posted on 2020-09-22 18:27:27

Glad to help! Just remember that anything on your system that changes in between the cloning and the physical swapping will be missing once you get the new drive in (anything you download, changes you make to saved files, etc).

Posted on 2020-09-22 18:31:13
Laurie M

Firstly big thanks to William M George for continuing to support this thread and providing clear answers to questions - so rare to see such service.

Just thought I'd add my experience to help fill in on this thread

Clone of EVO Pro SSD 1TB to a 2TB EVO Pro SSD as I needed the space, operating system Win 7 Pro, used Samsung Data Migration downloaded today, version number is not shown but may be

New drive had to be attached via USB - only way Win would "see" it - may be my flaky PC - Aside: thoroughly recommend Simplecom SA491 3-IN-1 USB 3.0 TO 2.5", 3.5" & 5.25" SATA/IDE Adapter with Power Supply which I used for this and many other past external bare drive connects _ hate enclosed consumer level drives and won't buy them, only enterprise level bare drives but that's just my preference

Clone worked as it should - note sat on 99% done (figures showed all data copied but it sat) for approx 5 minutes so don't assume it has crashed at the last second and pull the plug.

System went to shutdown status on finish (with a warning that this would happen) - note while cloning I did make sparing use of system - which is a NONO in the notes - which is not recommended but anyway, stuff happens...clone handled this it appears, PHEW.

Took 1H 59M (note time would be system dependent) for the approx 900MB, added here as a comment only.

Once shutdown, I detached the old drive (strongly recommended) and detached new drive from USB, then, using same cables/plugin point, connected new drive in place of the old before restarting.

On restart system refused to boot or allow entry into BIOS - may be due to my flaky PC or me using a wireless keyboard (which stubbornly would not be "seen")

In the end had to use an old DOS days trick - completely shutdown PC ie turn off AND PULL PLUG FROM WALL SOCKET or back of tower for approx 3 minutes. This means all guts totally reset as no power to hold on to any memories.

On reconnection and restart was able to enter BIOS and select new drive which thank god was recognised and we were away and running...note I would strongly recommend a check of the BIOS no matter what to cross check that the boot procedure is what it should be ie from the new drive

Posted on 2021-04-04 11:38:36