How to Replace Laptop HDD with SSD without Reinstalling Windows?

November 19, 2019

How do you replace your laptop HDD with an SSD without reinstalling Window? Below are two of the most common methods to replace your drive along with our hand-picked easy method.

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? 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 have different forms of factors, SSDs also have different thicknesses (either 7mm or 9.5 mm) and different interfaces (either SATA or IDE). Before you buy a drive, you will need to check your laptop's manual or the drive that’s already in the casing.

disk

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: Fresh install SSD in laptop

The very first way is to freshly install an SSD into the laptop with a new Windows installation. First, you need a Windows installation disk (or bootable USB) to freshly install your operating system. You can then install your favorite applications after Windows has finished installing.

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 your Windows 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 create a Windows installation disk and changing the BIOSs boot order. Luckily, there is a second way to upgrade your laptop to an SSD without having to reinstall 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 complete you simply swap out the old drive and pop in the new one, saving you both time and effort. Following will introduce this way in detail.

How to replace a laptop HDD with an SSD 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 with the right form factor, thickness, and interface so that it’s compatible with your laptop. The hard disks size, thickness, interface, and connector all could be different from your original drive, therefore, we 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 cloned disk after the transfer has been completed.

✧ Prepare a SATA-to-USB cable or adapter. This will be 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 boot your laptop from a bootable disk/USB and restore the backed up OS’ image to the SSD.

✧ Prepare specialist disk cloning software. Reliable specialist software can successfully clone your HDD to an SSD without the need to reinstall Windows. I recommend you use AOMEI Backupper – free disk cloning software – which is designed for Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Now, let’s continue to learn how to replace a laptop hard drive with an SSD in Windows 10, 8, and 7.

Part 1. Install SSD and clone laptop drive to SSD directly

Preparations:

  • Change the size of your original hard drive until it is either the same size or smaller than the replacement SSD. If you are having trouble reducing the size, I recommend moving some of your data to an external HDD.

  • Create a system image backup before you start to replace Asus/ Acer/Samsung Laptop hard drive with SSD.

1. Put the SSD in the enclosure or connect it to the SATA-USB adapter and connect it to your laptop via USB.

SSD Encloser

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 the next window to continue.

Disk Clone

3. Select your existing disk as Source Disk, then click Next.

Select Source Disk

4. Select your SSD as Destination Disk, then click Next.

Select Destination Disk

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.

  • AOMEI Backupper supports cloning hard drives from every brand of laptop/desktop computer so you will be able to replace your HDD with an SSD in Asus/Lenovo/Dell/HP/Toshiba/Samsung/Acer systems easily.

  • To clone only the OS on the laptop to a smaller SSD via ‘System Clone’, please upgrade to either AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition or Server Edition.

Part 2. Swap laptop HDD with SSD after cloning

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

2. Find the screws holding the hard drive into place and unscrew them before removing your existing hard drive.

Unscrew Drive

3. Pull your existing hard drive out.

Remove Drive

4. Install the cloned SSD back into your laptop. Make sure you secure the drive with the screws you removed earlier and replace the back panel.

Then, you should be able to boot from the cloned SSD. After that, you could check if all your applications and data is kept intact.

What are the benefits of 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 increase your PCs speeds is to upgrade your systems HDD. So why do so many users choose to replace their HDDs with an SSD in Windows 7/8/10?

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.

Summary

AOMEI Backupper is the perfect specialist software for cloning your 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 or your applications.

AOMEI Backupper Standard Edition only supports cloning the entire hard drive rather than just the OS. So, if your SSD is very small, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Professional Edition or Server Edition to transfer just the OS to the new smaller SSD.