By Ivy / Last update March 30, 2022

 

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Can you upgrade hard drive on MSI laptop?

Generally speaking, MSI gaming laptops come with a 1T HDD drive usually, and some of them pre-installed a small 120GB or bigger SSD, thus you may want to perform MSI laptop hard drive replacement or do MSI laptop SSD upgrade if there is not enough space. And it's feasible to do so. 

MSI Gaming Laptop Hard Drive Upgrade

Also, you may want to upgrade hard drive as well and make it run faster if your MSI gaming laptop slows down. Upgrading may be the ideal solution at this moment, but you need to consult your manufacturer for the detailed specifications first.

✍ As far as I know, apart from GS series, GT, GE, GP, GL, GF series, like MSI GT76/63, GE65, GP75, GL65/75, GF63, they have one of the three hard drive (or SSD) settings:

  • One M.2 SSD slot, two M.2 SSD combo slot and one 2.5” SATA HDD.

  • One M.2 SSD combo slot and one 2.5” SATA HDD.

  • Only one 2.5” SATA HDD.

 If your MSI laptop belongs to GS series, like GS65, GS75, you’re not allowed to unauthorized disassembly for hard drive. Otherwise, the warranty period is deemed to have expired. It’s better to go to MSI Service Center for MSI hard drive upgrade.

MSI Hard Drive Upgrade: Reinstall vs. Clone or Backup

Maybe you have other solutions to do this upgrade, like buy a bigger HDD or SSD, then replace your original one with the new one, then reinstall your Windows 7/8/10 with the Windows installation media. However, this way will take up a lot of time and is quite complicated for common users. And the most heartbreaking part is that all the data and non-preinstalled programs will be deleted.

To make it easy for you to perform MSI laptop hard drive replacement, it’s highly recommended to try the best free disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Professional. It offers two solutions for the MSI hard drive replacement in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and both of them keeps everything on the MSI hard drive as it was. 

  • Way 1: Clone HDD to SSD without reinstalling everything. You just need to prepare a brand new SSD for MSI computer and SATA to USB enclosure or M.2 to USB enclosure if it's a laptop. If you don't know what kind of SSD suitable for your MSI computer, consult for the manufacturer. 

  • Way 2: Backup hard drive to USB/external drive then restore to SSD drive. In this way, you still need to prepare an external hard drive to store backup image temporarily and it requires a bootable USB or CD/DVD for disk restore. And you can only boot from new SSD after restoring images to it.

Then, download AOMEI Backupper Professional and have a try. Note the Clone features in the free trial can only be demonstrated, please upgrade to enjoy. 

Download Free TrialWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

(PS: AOMEI Backupper Professional works for Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.)

How to perform MSI hard drive upgrade easily in Windows 

In this part, you will learn how to perform MSI hard drive upgrade with cloning and imaging method. Before starting, please connect the new SSD using the SATA to USB enclosure or M.2 to USB enclosure or just install the new SSD into the computer. And ensure the SSD can be detected by Windows.

Way 1. MSI laptop SSD upgrade with Clone feature

1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Professional, select Disk Clone under Clone tab.

Choose Disk Clone

3. Choose the MSI hard drive as the source disk and then new SSD as destination disk. Remember to press Next in each step. 

Choose MSI Hard Drive

5. After selecting source and destination disk, tick SSD Alignment to speed up the SSD disk and click Start Clone >> to upgrade hard drive to SSD for MSI laptop in Windows 11/10/8/7. 

MSI Hard Drive Upgrade SSD Alignment Checked

By default, this software clones only used sectors of MSI hard drive, which makes it easier to clone large HDD to smaller SSD. But if your new SSD is larger, you are able to clone all sectors of it with Sector by Sector Clone and it takes longer. 

According to user feedback, some users report the cloned hard drive shows wrong size after cloning disk to larger disk. If you are in such case, you can add unallocated space to all partitions or manually adjust the partition size using Edit Partitions feature. 

Edit Partition

After the clone is finished, please restart your computer to boot into BIOS, and then change the boot order to boot from the cloned SSD; or shut down the computer, and replace the hard drive with the SSD, and boot the computer from it.

Bios

Way 2. Replace hard drive for MSI with backup & restore

All detailed steps are listed below to upgrade MSI hard drive to SSD with backup and restore features. Please connect the USB drive or external hard drive with your MSI laptop to store backup image. 

If you don't have an exact copy of MSI hard drive, launch AOMEI Backupper, go to Backup tab and follow the steps carefully. If you already have, please skip to step 5.

1. Choose Disk Backup under the Backup tab. 

Disk Backup

2. Click + Add Disk in the Disk Backup window.

Add Disk

3.  In the pop-up window, select the MSI hard drive > click Add

Select Disk

★Tip: If you want to backup multiple hard disks, you can repeat step 2. Note you can only restore hard drive one by one even if you backup multiple drives at the same time.

4. Modify the Task Name to differ from others if required. Then, select the external hard disk or USB flash drive as destination path and click Start Backup to backup MSI hard drive.

Select Destination

If you want to backup MSI hard drive continuously, try the following options: 
Options: It allows you to comment, compress, split, even encrypt the disk backup task, use VSS, make an exact copy(sector by sector backup), enable email or SMS notification, etc.
Schedule Backup: It offers 5 modes for you to automatically backup hard drive, daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers, USB plug in. 
Backup Scheme: It could help you backup only changed files with Incremental or Differential backup method, or automatically delete old backup images with its By quantity, By time or By daily/weekly/monthly cleanup methods.

5. After the backup is finished, the disk image file of MSI hard drive has been stored on the USB drive or external hard drive. You can then remove the MSI original hard drive and connect SSD to your computer. 

  • On this condition, shut down your laptop, and upside down.
  • Unscrew the screws that keep the back cover in place. Gently pull off the back cover.
  • Unscrew the screw for fixing the battery, and take it out carefully from the MSI laptop.
  • Gentally pull the MSI hard drive out after unscrewing the screws on the hard drive.
  • Put the new SSD drive into the slot.

6. Now, the hard drive is replaced with new SSD, you can start to restore MSI disk image to it. Plug the USB flash drive or external hard drive into the MSI laptop, boot your computer from the WinPE bootable media created before, and AOMEI Backupper will automatically run on your computer.

★Tip: If you don't have USB or CD/DVD, you can choose to create a recovery environment in Windows 10 or other systems. And you easily boot the computer from it by clicking it in the system startup.

7. On the main console, click Restore and Select Image File to locate the MSI disk image.

8. Select to Restore the entire disk and click Next >>.

Restore Entire Disk or Partition

9. Choose the new SSD drive as destination to receive the disk image, and then press Next >>.

Select Destination

★Tip: If your destination disk is different from your backup source disk, you will be prompted by this message "Because your current selected destination hard disk is different from the backup source hard disk, please make sure that your system is Windows Vista or latter Windows 64-bit OS. Otherwise, it may cause destination system boot failure after restoring."

10. Preview the result of restoring, and check the SSD Alignment option to optimize reading and writing speed for SSD, press Start Restore >>.

SSD Alignment

★ Tip: The Universal Restore could help you to restore disk image to another computer even with different hardware configurations. And make it bootable without any issues.

Until now, the MSI SSD upgrade has been done successfully. Just enjoy it.

Besides MSI hard drive uprade, you still can improve performance for MSI gaming computer by MSI RAM (Memory) Upgrade. It allows you to upgrade RAM up to 64GB. Generally, you have RAM 16GB (8GB*2) with 2 slots. If you want to upgrade RAM to 32GB or 64GB, buy compatible larger RAM sticks, and then replace them with the new RAM sticks.

MSI Laptop RAM Slots

To upgrade RAM for MSI computers, you can refer to the following:

  • Shut down MSI gaming computers, and upside down.

  • Pull off the back cover after taking out the screws.

  • Release the buckle and take out the two old smaller RAM sticks.

  • Insert larger RAM sticks at an angle of 45° and press it down to secure it tightly by the buckle.

  • Put everything to its places, and MSI RAM upgrade is done.

Conclusion

With this powerful Windows backup software - AOMEI Backupper, MSI hard drive upgrade will be finished with simple clicks. AOMEI Backupper also provides system clone for cloning Windows operating system only, and allows you to create bootable media to restore windows when your MSI laptop refuses to boot (or you could create AOMEI Backupper Recovery Environment to get the same effect).

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.