How can I Install Windows 11 on a New Hard Drive?

Copper Contributor

I need help with installing Windows 11 on a hard drive. I'm not sure about the precise steps necessary for installing the operating system on the new hard drive. Is the process different from previous versions?

If so, I would appreciate an outline of the new steps required. I hope somebody can provide advice on how to complete this process successfully. If there are any potential issues or problems I need to watch out for.

Thanks.

5 Replies
Did you already installed and activated the Windows 11 on the same device?
The process is simple, you will need to boot from USB or DVD and follow the installation steps and at the final step, you will need to connect to internet to activate your PC and check for update.

@Monzakkurs 

Hi! The main steps to install Windows 11 on external hard drive are as follows:

Make a bootable USB: First download the ISO file of Windows 11 from Microsoft's official website, and then use Win-BootMate to make a bootable USB.

 

  1. Connect your external hard drive to your computer.
  2. Create a Windows 11 bootable USB on your PC ( Follow this step-by-step tutorial).
  3. After the computer boots from USB, follow the installation wizard. During the installation process, select the "Custom: Install Windows only (Advanced)" option, and then select your new hard drive for installation.

Screenshot in my Win 11.

 

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Now you can start installing Windows 11 on the new hard drive. Make sure to back up your data in case of any accidents. Hope this helps you!

@MonzakkursFirst, make a Windows 11 bootable USB.

Next, insert the USB drive into the PC where you want to install Windows 11.

 

Restart your computer and enter the BIOS/UEFI settings. This usually involves pressing a key like F2, F12, Delete, or Esc immediately after powering on the computer. The specific key depends on your motherboard manufacturer and is usually displayed on the initial screen when you turn on your computer.

 

In the BIOS/UEFI settings, find the boot order menu and set the USB drive as the primary boot device. Save the changes and exit the BIOS/UEFI settings. Your computer will restart and boot from the USB drive.

 

Once booted from the USB drive, the Windows 11 setup screen will appear. Select your language, time, and keyboard preferences, then click "Next". The setup process will copy files, install features, and install updates. This may take some time and your PC may restart several times. Once the installation is complete, you’ll be prompted to customize your settings, create a user account, and sign in with your Microsoft account.

 

By following these steps, you can successfully install Windows 11 on a new hard drive.

@Monzakkurs 

I once needed to install Windows 11 on external hard drive and chose to use the system image recovery method because I happened to have a newer system backup on hand. I used a third-party backup software, which is great and can directly restore the entire system image to any new hard drive.

 

It is also very simple to operate. First, I made sure that the new hard drive was connected and recognized by the system, then launched the backup software, selected the system image file I created earlier, and then specified the recovery to the new hard drive. The whole process took less than an hour and was as simple as copying files.

 

After the recovery, I restarted the computer and Windows 11 on external hard drive started smoothly with all the programs and settings exactly as the original system, which saved me a lot of trouble in reconfiguring and installing applications.

 

This method is really suitable for people who don’t want to toss and reinstall, especially when you already have a system setup that works perfectly. I hope my experience can give you some inspiration!

@Monzakkurs 

I previously installed Windows 11 on a new pc using the cloning method, and the whole process was simple and quick. I used Clonezilla, a very powerful free cloning tool that is particularly suitable for data migration of entire hard drives.

 

First, I made sure that both the old and new hard drives were connected to the computer and recognized by the system. Then, I downloaded the cloning software from Clonezilla's website and made a bootable USB. This step is important because you need to boot the computer from this USB to run the cloning program.

 

Once booted up, Clonezilla's interface is relatively basic, but it is still very intuitive to follow the prompts. I chose the "disk_to_disk" cloning option, which means copying directly from one hard drive to another. Next, the system asks you to select the source hard drive (the old hard drive) and the target hard drive (the new hard drive). After confirming that they are correct, the cloning process began.

 

The entire cloning process depends on the amount of data, and I didn't have a lot of data, so it took about an hour. After the cloning was completed, I removed the old hard drive and started the computer to check whether the new hard drive was running properly. Everything worked just like the original system, which was very smooth.