By Ivy / Last Updated July 13, 2020

Can I replace laptop HDD with SSD?

"There are different types of SSDs, with different connectors, sizes, thickness, interfaces. I don’t know which kind of SSD could be used on my Laptop. Is it even possible to replace my laptop HDD with SSD without reinstalling Windows? Any suggestion will be appreciated!"

Surely you can! You just need to choose an SSD and the right adapter. Most laptops will use a 2.5-inch hard drive unless you have an Ultraportable Notebook which may use a smaller 1.8-inch drive. As well, SSDs also have different thicknesses (either 7mm or 9.5 mm) and different interfaces (either SATA or IDE). Before you go out to buy a drive, please check your laptop's manual or the drive that’s already in the drive bay.

disk

Is it worth replacing HDD with an SSD in a laptop?

If you have an older laptop or desktop computer that no longer offers you the performance you need, then a great way to make old computer faster is to upgrade your system HDD. Here are some obvious advantages about laptop SSD upgade.

  • Faster speed: SSD disks offer much faster speeds than traditional HDDs. When you upgrade to an SSD you will experience faster boot times and response times when loading your files or folders.

  • Rugged data protection: SSD disks are much better at protecting your data from accidental damage caused by knocking or dropping the drive. This is because SSDs do not contain any movable parts like traditional HDDs which contain many.

On top of this, SSDs are lighter, quieter, more durable, produce less heat, and consume less power.

Common methods to upgrade laptop drive to SSD

When you install SSDs in laptops there are a variety of different methods you can use. Here we will show you two of the most common methods.

Method 1: Replace laptop hard drive and reinstall operating system

The very first way is to freshly install an SSD into the laptop with a new Windows installation. This method requires a Windows installation disk, or bootable USB. And, after reinstalling Windows, you need to install your favorite applications one by one.

A fresh install is very easy to complete and doesn’t take much effort (although it does take a lot of time). You simply need to insert the installation disk, change the boot order in BIOS, boot from the installation disk, and finally follow the on-screen instructions.

Method 2: Clone laptop hard drive to SSD directly

Many users will be put off by Method 1 due to the trouble of having to find or creating an installation disk. Luckily, there is another way to upgrade your laptop to an SSD without reinstalling Windows or your applications.

You can clone your HDD to an SSD via USB (SATA-to-USB cable) using specialist disk cloning software. After the transfer is completed, you simply swap out the old drive and put SSD in old laptop, saving you both time and effort. Following will introduce this way in detail.

Preparations to install SSD in laptop without reinstalling Windows

Before you start, it is suggested to run through our quick checklist below to make sure you can successfully and smoothly upgrade the HDD in your laptop to an SSD.

  • Verify your laptop's warranty. If your laptop is still under warranty you should note that changing the drive will likely void your warranty as it’s considered an unauthorized change.

  • Choose an SSD to fit on your laptop. SSDs have different thickness and interface, therefore, it's recommend opening the access panel and comparing the old drive to the new one.

  • Prepare a screwdriver. A screwdriver is needed to remove the existing disk and install the newly disk after cloning HDD to SSD.

  • Prepare a SATA-to-USB cable or adapter. This is used to connect your hard disk to your laptop to enable the cloning process. If you don’t have a SATA-to-USB cable or adapter you can backup up the OS to NAS (Network-attached storage), then, replace the laptop HDD with an SSD. Next, you can boot your laptop from a bootable disk/USB and restore the backed up OS image to SSD.

  • Put a diet on HDD. Usually, SSDs are smaller than HDDs with the same capacity. In order to clone hard drive to SSD successully without any obstacle, you need to uninstall the programs no longer in use, clean up temperary files or non-system files with "Disk Cleanup", backup your important files externally like documents, pictures, music, videos and delete them on HDD, etc.

Trust and reliable disk clone software for Windows

Beside the basic preparations, you still need a free disk cloning software, which is the core of replacing hard drive with SSD in Windows 7/8/10/XP/Vista. But how to choose a proper ssd cloning software? You can check the following criteria and use it as filter.

  • Ensure secure boot. If you clone a disk including system, it will boot sucessfully without any trouble.

  • Support cloning large HDD to smaller SSD with the same partition style. As known, SSDs are smaller,so cloning disk to smaller SSD is an essential feature of a disk cloning software.

  • Work well in cloning all branded SSDs, such as, HP, ASUS, Samsung, Sandisk, etc. If you work in a company with various brands of computers, you can use the same software to upgrade hard drive.

  • Increase the performance of SSD with 4k alignment technology.

  • ...

According to the given criteria, I highly recommend you AOMEI Backupper Standard. It fully meet the above requirements and its professional version has more advanced features, such as, adjust partition size of destination disk with "Edit Partitions", clone MBR disk to GPT and vice versa, clone only OS to smaller SSD, ect.

How to replace a laptop HDD with an SSD without reinstalling Windows?

Now, let’s start to replace Asus/ Acer/Samsung laptop hard drive with an SSD in Windows 7/8/10. And the complete process is divided into 2 parts, including clone laptop to SSD and swap hard drive.

Note: If you have done a deep research online, you may find that there are many example bout cloned SSD won't boot. So, please create a system image or disk backup in case unexpected failure.

Clone HDD to SSD in a laptop directly

Step 1. Put the SSD in the enclosure or connect it to the SATA-USB adapter, then plug into USB cable of your computer.

Encloser

Step 2. Download the specialist free disk cloning software – AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition, install it and then launch the program. In the main window, select "Clone" and then "Disk Clone" in order.

Disk Clone

Step 3. Select your existing HDD as source disk, then click Next.

Select Source Disk

Step 4. Select your SSD as destination disk, then click Next.

Select Destination Disk

Step 5. Check the preview the operation summary of the original disk and the destination disk. If it is correct, click "Start Clone" to begin the process. Remember to tick "SSD Alignment" to increase the read and write speed of your SSD.

Start Clone

Note ✎...
• Don’t click "Sector by sector clone" if you are cloning a larger hard drive to a smaller SSD as the feature will clone all of the sectors including the unused or bad sectors.
• This software still supports replacing hard drive in ASUS laptop, and other computer brands, such as, Lenovo/Dell/HP/Toshiba/Samsung/Acer. Also, it support cloning SSD to larger SSD with Samsung, and others branded SSDs.
• If your laptop has one more slot, you can add SSD to laptop and keep HDD for storage. Please remember to format HDD after you can boot your computer from cloned SSD.

Swap laptop HDD with SSD after cloning

Step 1. Turn off your computer, disconnect the power cable and any other cables, then remove the hard disk bay cover with a screwdriver.

Step 2. Find the screws holding the hard drive into place and unscrew them. Keep the screws in a box so that you can find them easily and quickly.

Unscrew Drive

Step 3. Pull your existing hard drive out at 30 or 45 degree angle.

Remove Drive

Step 4. Install the cloned SSD back to your laptop. Make sure to secure the drive with the previously removed screws, and then replace the back panel.

Then, you should be able to boot from the cloned SSD and check if all the applications and data is kept intact. To make it, restart your computer and press the prompted BIOS key on the first screen, it's usually ESC, Dell, F1, F2, F12 etc, go to the Boot tab and set the cloned SSD as the first option, press F10 to reboot Windows.

Bios

Summary

AOMEI Backupper is the perfect specialist software disk clone software for cloning HDD to a faster more reliable SSD. Using AOMEI Backupper you can easily replace laptop HDD with SSD in Windows 10, 8, and 7 without reinstalling Windows and your applications. Moreover, it can make your SSD achieve the best performance with 4k alignment technology.

Can you imagine how fast the computer will run after cloning? It's almost like a brand-new computer. Don't hesitate and upgrade hard drive and install SSD as primary drive. Meanwhile, it's suggested to keep AOMEI Backupper installed on your computer after cloning. Because it still a free backup software for Windows, which can support backing up disk, system, partition and files.