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  • How to Move a BitLocker-Encrypted System Disk to a New Storage Device

The general information and considerations about moving Windows from one SSD to another is given in our article "How to Move an Installed Windows to a Larger Disk.".

There are two methods to copy/move a BitLocker-encrypted system partition to another disk:

1. Decrypting the partition first on the source (old) disk and copying it then to the other (target) disk as it’s shown in our article "How to Move an Installed Windows to a Larger Disk," and then encrypting the new partition again. The main disadvantage of this method is that decryption/encryption is a rather long and error-prone process, and if something goes wrong, the data on the source disk may be irreversibly corrupted.

2. Moving the encrypted partition to the new disk without decryption. In this case the partition on the new disk will still be unencrypted, thus requiring further encryption, but only the new partition on the target disk may be corrupted during this process. The source data will always remain intact.

This article will give you step-by-step instructions on how to move a BitLocker-encrypted system partition using the second method.

We'll move Windows 10 from the same old 128GB SSD device to the same 256GB target drive, as in our article about the non-encrypted partition.

Don't forget to backup all your important files first!

Generally the disk layout on your computer is the same as for a non-encrypted system partition, except that the system partition is encrypted with BitLocker.

A typical Windows disk layout consists of three partitions:
Disk layout for a typical Windows installation with BitLocker-encrypted system partition
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To create a new working Windows installation, we need to copy the startup partition to the same place on the new SSD device, move the recovery partition to the very end of the device, extend the Windows partition to occupy the rest of the device, and then encrypt the partition if necessary.

1. Connect the new SSD device to your computer. Depending on the interface of the new SSD device, you may do that through a SATA/m2 port or a USB adapter.

You may want to go to Disk Management to verify that the new SSD device is visible to your system. From now on, we'll refer to the SSD devices as "disks", because Windows and R-Drive Image don't make the distinction between SSDs and HDDs at this level.
New disk in the system
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A pop-up window may appear asking you to initialize the new disk. You don't need to do that. Instead, just click the Cancel button.

2. Close Computer Management, start R-Drive Image, and click Copy Disk.
Action Selection panel - Copy Disk
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3. Inspect the layout of the old disk. It should contain the startup partition, the Windows partition (the system disk), and the recovery partition. We'll copy the entire source disk to the destination disk as it is. We'll move the recovery partition to the end of the disk and extend the Windows partition later on.

4. Drag the old disk (Source) to the new disk (Destination).
Dragging the old disk to the new disk
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5. The "Copy options" window will appear.
Copy options window
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Select "Raw disk copy (copy as binary)" on the "Copy method" tab.

6. Verify that the "Same signature for both disk options" is selected on the "Disk signature collision" tab and click the OK button.
Disk signature collision window
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7. Verify that the final layout is correct and click the Next button.
Final layout - Copy Disk
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8. Verify that all information on the Total operation list panel is correct and click the Start button.
Total operation list panel - Copy Disk
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* R-Drive Image will start copying the data from the old disk to the new one while showing the progress along the way.
Data copying progress - Copy Disk
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* When this process is over, R-Drive Image will show the "Disk copied successfully" message.
Disk copied successfully message - Copy Disk
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9. Turn off your computer and replace the old disk with the new one. Then turn your computer on and wait for Windows to start.

Go to Disk Management and inspect the new disk layout.
New disk layout in the system
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Now we need to move the recovery partition to the end of the disk and extend the Windows partition.

10. Start R-Drive Image and select Partition Manager on the Action selection panel.
Action Selection panel - Partition Manager
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11. Drag the recovery partition to the end of the disk.
The recovery partition on the new disk
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12. Verify that the final layout is correct and click the Next button.
Final layout - new disk
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13. Verify that all information on the "Total operation list" panel is correct and click the Start button.
Total operation list panel - Partition Manager
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* R-Drive Image will start copying the data from the old disk to the new one while displaying the progress.
Data copying progress - Partition Manager
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* When this process is over, R-Drive Image will show the "Disk copied successfully" message.
Disk copied successfully message - Disk Manager
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14. Go to the Disk Management and inspect the new disk layout.
New disk layout in the system - Recovery partition
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Now we need to extend the Windows partition to occupy all unallocated space. That could be done using R-Drive Image, but that will require booting your computer into the R-Drive Image startup mode, which is inconvenient. Instead, we'll use internal Windows operations without restarting Windows.

15. Right-click the Windows partition and select "Extend Volume" on the shortcut menu.
Extending the Windows partition - 1
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16. Click the Next button on the "Welcome to the Extend Volume Wizard" dialog box.
Extending the Windows partition - 2
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17. Verify that the all available space is specified to extend the partition and click the OK button.
Extending the Windows partition - 3
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18. Click the Finish button on the "Completing the Extend Volume Wizard" to start partition extension.
Extending the Windows partition - 4
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* Windows will extend the system partition.

19. Inspect the new disk layout to verify that the Windows partition occupies all available disk space.
Extending the Windows partition - 5
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We recommend that you restart your computer after this operation, although it's not specifically required.

Now you may encrypt the new Windows partition if you like.

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