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How to Install Windows 10/11 on NVMe SSD Drives (99% Have Learned)

Updated by Gemma on May 07, 2022
Written by Jean

NVMe drives are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. They offer much higher speeds than traditional SATA drives, and they're more power-efficient too. If you're looking to upgrade your computer's storage drive, you might be wondering if you can install Windows 11 on an NVMe SSD drive. The answer is yes! Here are two methods you can use to get Windows 11 up and running on your new NVMe SSD drive

how to install windows 11 on nvme drive

***Are you interested in how to install Windows 11 on M.2 SSD?

Prepare for Windows 11 Installation on NVMe SSD

Here are the basic requirements for you to notice to be able to install Windows 11 operating system on an NVMe drive:

  • To be able to install Windows 11 on an NVMe SSD drive, you need to have a computer that supports the NVMe standard and meets the minimum system requirements of Windows 11.
  • You also need to format the drive using the NTFS file system, to make the drive recognizable once connected to your computer.
  • If it's a new NVMe drive, try to initialize SSD to GPT instead.

It is no longer a thing to install Windows 11 on an NVMe SSD drive anymore as we have outlined two of the most helpful methods for you. You can use the SSD cloning software to easily migrate Windows 11 to a new NVMe SSD without installing it. Or, spend some time to clean install Windows 11 on NVMe drive with the help of a bootable installation media. Both methods require you to connect the new NVMe drive to your Windows device to get the job done, let's find out how to connect this type of SSD then.

***EaseUS Todo Backup is the NVMe SSD cloning software we'll use to directly move Windows OS installation to the new NVMe SSD drive. Download and enjoy it.

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How to Connect NVMe SSD to Your PC and Laptop

  • For desktop PC connection:

Here's a guideline for you to correctly connect an NVMe SSD to a desktop PC.

Connecting an NVME SSD to a desktop PC is a simple process. First, identify an available PCI Express slot on your motherboard. Next, insert the NVME SSD into the slot and secure it with screws. Finally, connect a SATA cable from the SSD to an available SATA port on your motherboard. That's it! Your NVME SSD is now ready to use.

connect nvme ssd to pc motherboard

  • For laptop connection:

By comparison, it's more troublesome to connect a second hard drive to a laptop but we still get you there.

There are a few different ways to connect an NVMe SSD to your laptop. The most common is through a USB port, although some laptops also have Thunderbolt 3 ports that can be used. The Thunderbolt 3 connection will be faster, but the USB connection will work just fine.

1. If your laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 port, you can use an adapter like the StarTech Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 SSD Enclosure to connect your SSD. Simply insert your NVMe SSD into the enclosure, connect the Thunderbolt 3 cable, and then plug the other end of the cable into your laptop.

2. If your laptop only has a USB port, you can use a USB to NVMe SSD adapter like the Inateck FE3001. Again, simply insert your NVMe SSD into the adapter, connect the USB cable, and then plug the other end of the cable into your laptop.

Method 1. How to Clone Windows 11 to NVMe SSD Without Installing from Scratch

When you want to install Windows 11 on a new NVMe SSD, you may need to clone your current system to the SSD for better performance. For example,

  • You want to upgrade your current SATA SSD to a faster NVMe SSD.
  • You have an old HDD that is running out of space and want to upgrade to a larger SSD.
  • You want to replace a boot drive without reinstalling Windows OS, or moving files & programs.

No matter what your reasons are, you can use the disk cloning method to install Windows 11 on NVMe SSD. But which tool should you use for the job? EaseUS Todo Backup is one of the most reliable HDD to SSD cloning software that can help you clone your current system to NVMe SSD without any data loss. 

To be specific, EaseUS Todo Backup is a comprehensive backup and clone tool for both home users and businesses. It offers a wide range of features to make sure your data is safe, including full disk/partition backups, system image backups, file backups, cloud backups, and more. Whether you need to backup your entire system or just want a system migration or system transfer, EaseUS Todo Backup has you covered.

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Step-by-step Guide: Migrate Windows 11/Windows 10 on NVMe SSD

Let's go through the whole process, which is incredibly easy to follow, to migrate Windows 11 operating system to the NVMe SSD drive without losing old configurations on your PC!

Step 1. Open EaseUS Todo Backup and click "Tools", and then you can choose any function presented to you.

system clone step1

Step 2. EaseUS Todo Backup will automatically select the boot and system partition, what you need to do is choose the target disk and click "Next." 
(Make sure that the partition style of the source disk and the target disk are the same.)

system clone step2

*System clone will wipe out all data, please make sure you backup your data in advance. 

system clone step3

Step 3. If you want to clone your system to an SSD, you can choose "optimize for SSD" in the advanced options.

Optimize for SSD

Step 4. Click "Proceed" to start cloning.

clone system step4

Method 2. How to Clean Install Windows 11 on NVMe SSD from USB

This is a guide on how to clean install Windows 11 on an NVMe SSD. If you don't need the old operating system configurations, or it's because your original operating system is not the new Windows 11, you'll need to get the new OS by a clean install, which is time-consuming and needs your careful operation at each step in the below guide.

Step 1. Go to the Microsoft download page to create a Windows 11 installation media.

create windows 11 installation media

Step 2. Insert the Windows 11 installation media into your computer.

Step 3. Select the language, time and currency format, and keyboard or input method that you want to use during the installation.

configura windows 11 installation

Step 4. Click Install Now.

Step 5. If you're asked for a product key, you don't need one.

Step 6. Choose the installation option that you want:

- Upgrade: Keep personal files and apps

- Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)

Step 7. Select the drive on which you want to install Windows. If you have multiple drives, select the drive that you want to keep as your primary drive.

Step 8. Click Next, and then follow the instructions to complete the installation process.

Step 9. Once you've completed the installation process, your computer will restart and you'll be able to use Windows 11.

Should I Try Windows 11 Migration or Windows 11 Installation on NVMe?

After trying both methods, we found that cloning Windows 11 and cleaning install Windows 10/11 on NVMe SSD work differently to meet users' demands, so we cannot use one word to tell which one is a better option.

To sum up, the method that resolves your case shall be the most recommended. An automatic migration and cloning method provided by EaseUS Todo Backup is for users who want a hard drive upgrade or replacement on the same device. In this way, they don't necessarily need to reinstall Windows 11/10 on the new NVMe drive anymore. In fact, they just move everything on the old hard drive to the new drive without losing OS, programs and personal files and settings.

While for users who don't have any original copy of Windows 11 or Windows 10, they need to install the desired OS version on their new PC or new NVMe drive, the manual way of clean install from USB is necessary. Though a little painful to go through the whole procedure, with a little bit of care, you can install Windows 10/11 on NVMe SSD without any problem.

Just remember to back up your important files before you begin. Hence, no matter which way you took at the end, be aware of the backup importance on a PC (the free version of EaseUS Todo Backup is comprehensive enough for personal use), which will save you from the endless pain of paying an extra high price on data recovery software.

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Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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