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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

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

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

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
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