How to Make SSD the Primary Drive in Windows 11 [AIO]

How to Make SSD the Primary Drive in Windows 11 [AIO].

When it involves evaluating mechanical arduous disk drives (HDD) with trendy solid-state drives (SSD), the result’s a foregone conclusion. The latter is significantly better than its legacy counterpart in nearly all areas. And so, upgrading your space for storing with a brand new SSD is the good factor to do, for not solely will it future-proof your PC, however may also make your system run a lot sooner. 

So, when you’re pondering of buying a brand new SSD (or have already got one), right here is how one can make it the first drive after putting in or cloning Windows 11 to take advantage of your SSD.

Why make SSD the first drive in Windows 11? Advantages defined

The distinction between HDD and SSD shouldn’t be a matter of diploma however of form. HDDs have lots of transferring elements – spindles, spinning disks, learn/write arms, and many others. – injury to any one among which may result in a useless disk. Durability shouldn’t be, due to this fact, HDD’s sturdy swimsuit. Nor can they examine to the speeds that SSDs present. 

Where HDDs use mechanical parts, SSDs use flash reminiscence to carry and entry information. The lack of transferring elements makes them sturdy and fewer susceptible to wreck from falling, whereas additionally making them speedier and more energy environment friendly. 

SSDs may also last more than their legacy counterparts, normally. SSDs will degrade over time when you incessantly introduce new recordsdata to them. But when you hardly ever accomplish that and depart your SSD to host Windows and different generally used recordsdata solely, they’ll final a really very long time. On the opposite hand, as iterated earlier than, it takes one malfunction of one of many transferring elements of the arduous drives to turn out to be unusable. 

Sure, SSDs are additionally 4 occasions as costly as HDDs (per gigabyte), however their price has diminished over time and they’re going to solely turn out to be cheaper as demand grows.

How are you able to take advantage of your SSD and HDD?

Since SSDs are inclined to degrade with frequent writes, it’s best to make use of them for explicit duties. If you’re aiming for a better lifespan, it’s good to make use of them for internet hosting Windows, resource-hungry functions (corresponding to video games and modifying instruments), and recordsdata that you’ll want to entry pretty usually. For the whole lot else – storing giant recordsdata, saving and deleting recordsdata, and fundamental computing – use HDDs. 

Using an SSD and an HDD in conjunction will get you one of the best of each worlds whereas minimizing their drawbacks, corresponding to the upper costs of SSDs and slower HDD speeds.  

How to make SSD the first drive in Windows 11

Now that why you need to use the SSD as your major drive, let’s take a look at just a few methods wherein you are able to do so. 

Method 1: After putting in Windows (using BIOS key at startup)

If you have got a brand new SSD and wish to make it the first boot device earlier than putting in Windows, right here’s how you are able to do so: 

Of course, when you’re putting in Windows, you’ll need the Windows set up media within the type of a bootable USB within the first place. You can use the next hyperlink to obtain the media creation instrument:

Download: Windows 11

  1. Choose the “Create Windows 11 installation media” choice.
  2. Download and run the media creation instrument and use the USB choice to make it bootable.
  3. Then observe the on-screen prompts to make your USB bootable.

Prepare your SSD

Now, it’s time to organize your SSD.

  1. Power off your PC and unscrew the aspect panel.
  2. Then plug your SSD right into a SATA connector and an influence cable, screw the aspect panel, and energy on the system.
  3. Once you’re booted up, right-click on the Start menu and select Disk Management.
  4. Device Manager would routinely detect the SSD and take you to the initialization window. If it doesn’t, right-click on the disk and choose Initialize.
  5. Then choose GPT (for higher Windows 11 compatibility), and click on OK.

Note: If you’re going to make use of the MBR format, you’ll have to make sure that the boot mode is about to legacy within the BIOS. To know more about accessing the Boot sequence from the BIOS, discuss with the part on accessing the BIOS given under. 

Install Windows on SSD

  1. Now, plug within the USB drive for Windows set up.
  2. Then press Start and click on on the “Power” button.
  3. Hold down the Shift key and click on Restart.
  4. Your pc will now boot within the Windows Recovery Environment. Click on Use a tool.
  5. Choose your bootable USB drive. 
  6. Wait for the system to restart and boot to the Windows setup. Then click on Next.
  7. Click on Install now.
  8. Enter your product key in case you have one and click on Next.
  9. Otherwise, click on on “I don’t have a product key”.
  10. Choose your required Windows model and click on Next.
  11. Accept Microsoft’s software program license phrases and click on Next.
  12. Then click on on Custom set up. This is the essential bit because the next display will allow you to delete earlier partitions and choose the brand new SSD for Windows set up (and later make it the first drive).
  13. To delete the arduous drive partition, choose the drive the place Windows is put in (Primary), after which click on on Delete.
  14. When prompted, click on Yes.
  15. Otherwise, you’ll be able to merely select the SSD (with unallocated area) and click on on Next to put in Windows
  16. Follow the on-screen prompts to put in Windows. Once completed, your PC will boot straight to the BIOS (since we deleted the first boot partition).
  17. In the BIOS, go to Boot Options tab.
  18. Then choose OS boot supervisor.
  19. Then choose your SSD.
  20. If you didn’t delete the arduous disk partition, you’ll have two working methods – one in your arduous disk and the brand new one in your SSD.

(Note: Your unique Windows will probably be on a decrease quantity quantity, and the brand new one on the SSD on a better quantity quantity). 

Access the BIOS and make SSD the first drive

If you had deleted the earlier Windows model on the arduous disk, the brand new set up on the SSD would routinely be made the first drive. But when you had put in it alongside the prevailing Windows on the HDD, you’ll have to entry the BIOS to make it the first drive. There are just a few methods to entry the BIOS, relying in your producer and whether or not you have got the legacy or the UEFI boot mode. 

This first methodology entails accessing the BIOS within the conventional means, i.e, by urgent the F2, F8, F10, or the Del key whereas your system is beginning up (the important thing will differ based mostly in your PC producer. To know more, discuss with the later part on accessing BIOS). 

But briefly, you’ll be using the arrow keys within the BIOS menu to get to the “Boot Options” tab, deciding on OS boot supervisor and selecting your SSD to make it the first boot drive. 

Quick TIP: If you wish to change the Boot mode between Legacy and UEFI, you are able to do so from the Boot Options menu as nicely, relying on whether or not you selected the MBR or the GPT mode respectively.

Method 2: After putting in Windows (Change default Windows from WinRE)

  1. If you have got two Windows put in (one in your HDD and one in your SSD), you may make SSD the first drive after putting in Windows by letting the pc restart, after which, on the Windows choice web page, click on on Change defaults or select different choices.
  2. Click on Choose a default working system.
  3. Here you’ll be offered with the Windows put in on the system as on the primary display. But this time you’ll be capable to make it the default for good. Select the one which has the upper quantity quantity (which is the SSD that was launched later).
  4. Alternatively, click on on Choose different choices from the Windows choice web page.
  5. Click on Troubleshoot.
  6. Now click on on Advanced choices.
  7. Click on UEFI Firmware Settings.
  8. Click on Restart.
  9. Now you’re going to get to the BIOS/UEFI settings web page. Use the arrow keys to get to the “Boot Manager”.
  10. Then go to your SSD and choose it to make it the precedence boot order.

Note: Your BIOS would possibly look totally different from the one proven above. However, the choices will kind of be the identical.

Once you have got booted to Windows 11, you’ll be able to delete the opposite Windows in your arduous disk by formatting the drive. Alternatively, you can even delete the partition (and all its content material) by deleting the drive throughout the Windows set up as proven within the first methodology. 

Method 3: After cloning Windows 11 to SSD 

You can also wish to change the boot order after cloning your Windows from an HDD to an SSD to guarantee that the latter is getting used as the first drive. 

To find out about cloning Windows 11 to SSD, discuss with our information on “How to clone Windows 11 to SSD“. 

Then, as earlier than, to be able to make the SSD the first boot drive, press the F8 key at startup to get to Boot Manager and choose your SSD.

How to set SSD as the first boot drive from BIOS for various PC producers

Now, since each producer has a distinct key that must be pressed at startup, and a distinct BIOS format, let’s check out how one can set the SSD as the first boot drive for a few of the common producers.


  1. Turn in your pc. Then, whereas the display continues to be clean, press the F10 key repeatedly to get to the BIOS menu choices. Make certain to do that earlier than you see the Windows brand. If you miss your window of alternative and Windows begins in addition up, energy off the system and check out once more.
  2. Once the BIOS menu opens up, use the arrow keys to get to the “Boot Options” tab (on desktop computer systems, you’ll have to go to the “System configuration” tab, then choose Boot Options from there).
  3. Here, below Boot order choose OS Boot Manager and hit Enter.
  4. Select your SSD and hit Enter.
  5. Then go to the “Exit” tab using the arrow keys and choose Exit saving modifications.


Here’s how to entry the BIOS on an ASUS system and make SSD the first boot drive:

  • Restart your PC and press the F2 key (or Delete) on the primary display.
  • Click below “Boot priority” to entry boot choices.
  • Now use the mouse to pull or the keyboard to pick your SSD.
  • Alternatively, you’ll be able to press the F7 key from BIOS to enter “Advanced Mode”.
  • If you’re within the “Advanced Mode”, click on on the “Boot” tab.
  • Then go to “Boot Option Priorities” in direction of the underside and choose your SSD.
  • Now merely click on on the “Exit” button and, when prompted, choose Save Changes & Exit.


Here’s how to entry the BIOS on a Gigabyte motherboard and make SSD the first boot drive:

  • Restart your PC and press the Del key on the primary display.
  • If you’re in Easy Mode, click on on the Boot Sequence part in direction of the underside left of the display. 
  • Then use the mouse to pull the SSD towards the highest of the checklist.
  • Then click on on “Esc” on the backside. 
  • Then in direction of the underside proper, click on on Save and Exit (or press the F10 key).
  • Click Yes when prompted.

If you’re within the “Advanced mode”, both press F2 to get to Easy mode and proceed with the steps as proven above, or navigate to the “Boot” tab to make the modifications. 


Here’s how to entry the BIOS on a Dell system and make SSD the first boot drive:

  • Restart your PC and press the F2 key repeatedly.
  • Navigate to “Setting” after which choose Boot Sequence.
  • On the best, you will note the boot choices. Make certain there’s a verify next to the SSD.
  • Then, choose the SSD within the checklist in direction of the best and click on on the up arrow to carry it to the highest of the boot order. 
  • Click on Apply after which click on OK when prompted.

FIX: Cloned SSD gained’t boot

If you had cloned Windows 11 to SSD and are discovering that it’s not booting up, there are some things that would have gone improper.

  1. Firstly, you need to guarantee that Windows 11 is cloned correctly, with none interruptions. Refer to our information on How to clone Windows 11 to SSD for a similar.
  2. Secondly, make sure that SSD is certainly the first boot drive. This you are able to do by referring to the strategies given above on this information.
  3. Thirdly, you might encounter the issue if the BIOS boot mode is incompatible together with your SSD. This might be the case in case your boot disk is MBR (legacy BIOS) and never GPT (UEFI boot mode). If so, you’ll both need to set your SSD as GPT or make the partition lively when you’re going to stay to MBR. 

Note that after changing from MBR to GPT, you’ll have to clear the disk and reinstall Windows on it. 

To convert the disk from MBR to GPT, observe the steps under:

  1. Boot to the Windows setup display using the Windows set up disk (USB).
  2. On the setup display, press Shift+F10 to open the command immediate.
  3. Now kind the next command: diskpart
  4. Hit Enter. Then kind the next: checklist disk
  5. Hit Enter. Take observe of the SSD disk quantity. 
  6. Then kind the next command: choose disk (disk quantity)
  7. Make certain to alter “(disk number)” with the precise disk quantity.
  8. Then hit Enter.
  9. Once the specified disk is chosen, kind the next: clear
  10. Hit Enter. This command is essential because the command immediate can solely convert an empty disk.
  11. Now kind: convert gpt
  12. Hit Enter.
  13. Now shut the command immediate and reinstall Windows.

In case you wish to stick with the legacy BIOS (MBR), then you’ll have to make the partition lively. To accomplish that, observe the steps under:

  1. On the Windows setup display, press Shift+F10 to open the command immediate. Now kind the next command: diskpart
  2. Hit Enter. Now kind the next: checklist disk
  3. Hit Enter. You will get a listing of disks in your system. Take observe of the disk quantity related together with your SSD.
  4. Now kind: choose disk (disk quantity)
    Replace “(disk number)” with the precise disk quantity related together with your SSD, then hit Enter.
  5. Now kind: checklist partition
  6. Hit Enter. Take observe of the partition quantity to be made lively.
  7. Then kind: choose partition (quantity)
    Replace “(number)” with the partition quantity to be made lively, then Hit Enter.
  8. Now kind: lively
  9. Hit Enter.

You have now made your SSD with the MBR partition kind lively and will now be capable to boot out of your SSD.


How do I transfer Windows 11 from HDD to SSD?

Moving Windows 11 from HDD to SSD is a reasonably easy cloning course of. To accomplish that, discuss with our information on How to clone Windows 11 to SSD.

How do I make my SSD the secondary drive?

If you wish to make your SSD the secondary drive as a result of, say, you have got one other even sooner SSD such because the NVMe kind, then you are able to do so using the boot order sequence in BIOS as talked about within the information above. All you need to guarantee is that Windows is put in in your sooner SSD in order that when it’s made the first drive, you’ll be able to truly boot to Windows. 

We hope you now know the way to make your SSD the first drive. Whether you’re doing so after a contemporary set up, a secondary Windows, or after cloning Windows from the HDD, the BIOS is the primary display that you’ll want to entry to make your SSD the first drive. We hope you had been in a position to take action relying in your PC producer and the situation that most closely fits you. 

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