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1 Rookie


2 Posts


May 27th, 2024 00:49

Install old SSD (w/ Windows 10) as new boot drive


I want to take the SSD from an old computer (with all my files & Windows 10) and install it in a new computer (XPS 13 9340) as my primary hard drive. There is only one internal M.2 slot, but I do have an external connection that I can use.

I've checked online for steps to do this, but I don't think any of them are correct to my specific situation. Most of them suggest using the old SSD as an (external) storage drive, which I do not want to do. I also do not want to clone my old drive to the new device, as the new SSD is smaller than the old one. If possible, I would like to avoid putting Windows 11 on the old SSD, but if this is necessary, I can live with it.

Is what I seek possible? If so, how can I do it safely and efficiently?

Thank you!

10 Elder


23.6K Posts

May 27th, 2024 01:26

For a number of reasons, what you want to do won't work -- starting with the fact that you'd need to buy a license for Windows 10 when you move the drive even if you somehow make the operation work.

Back up your data files and move them to the new system. Any applications will need to be reinstalled onto the new system as well.

1 Rookie


2 Posts

May 27th, 2024 01:43

@ejn63​ Understood, thank you!

5 Practitioner


5.2K Posts

May 27th, 2024 03:22

Sorry to bug in a closed thread, but I have a different input and it's somewhat contrary to the accepted solution.  It may save OP time and effort, nothing personal.

First, the new laptop needs to be activated online so that Microsoft will have a record of the embedded license associates with the hardware ID.  That will allow the reactivation of this same machine in the future without any issue.

Second, if OP are able set the BIOS settings of the new laptop to match with how the old boot drive was setup.  For example, old machine used boot mode AHCI, new laptop will need to set to AHCI.  Then, OP will have no trouble booting with the old boot drive in your new laptop.  It will take a few restart to update drivers on old boot drive to match new laptop but you will not have any issue with activation of Windows license.  It will use the license from new laptop without problem.

Any important data should have been backup externally.  Although it will likely to work, do not take any chance to lose data.

1 Rookie


1 Message

May 28th, 2024 06:45

  1. Backup Important Data:

  2. Check Compatibility:

    • Verify that the old SSD is compatible with the new XPS 13 9340, specifically checking the M.2 slot type (NVMe or SATA).
  3. Prepare the New System:

    • If your new XPS 13 9340 has an existing SSD with Windows 11, create a bootable Windows 10 USB drive using the Windows Media Creation Tool.
  4. Physical Installation:

    • Power down the XPS 13 and remove the back cover.
    • Carefully remove the current SSD from the M.2 slot.
    • Install your old SSD into the M.2 slot.
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