By Delia / Last Updated August 25, 2020

Benefits of HP laptop hard drive replacement

Though there are many approaches to improve the performance of HP laptops, if you’ve had your PC for a long time, the best way to speed it up and fix disk errors is still upgrading the hard drive.

No matter you decide to replace HDD with SSD or a larger HDD, the ultimate goal is all about faster operation and better capacity. But for a hard drive you’ve been using for so long, there must be a lot of data you don’t want to lose. Besides, reinstalling OS on the new drive is also a headache especially when you can’t find the installation disc.

So before replacing hardware mechanically, there’s one more thing to consider - how to replace HP laptop hard drive without losing data?

In this article, I’ll share my solution.

Hp Laptop

Preparations to upgrade hard drive on HP laptop

  • New drive: pick the new drive carefully and make sure it will fit in your laptop.

  • SATA to USB cable: for a laptop with only one drive bay, you should connect the new drive to USB port via a SATA to USB cable.

  • Screwdriver: to replace hard drive on HP laptop mechanically, you need a screwdriver that fits the screws.

  • Cloning tool: migrating the data from your hard drive to the new drive requires a quick and safe cloning tool, unless you have the patience to manually copy & paste via a third-party storage media. To save your precious time and energy, the transmission speed and the availability of cloned data should be also took into consideration.

    Here I pick AOMEI Backupper Standard not just because above factors, but also for its simple operation and the price - FREE. It’s a Windows freeware with complete backup and cloning features enables you to migrate disk easily.

How to replace HP laptop hard drive without losing data?

Now that you’ve made all the preparations. It’s time to get started.

Note: the steps to replace hard drive mechanically vary between different laptop brands and types. It’s better to follow the specific approach of the certain laptop model. Here’s an example for HP PAVILION hard drive replacement. You can find many tutorial videos on YouTube as well.

Step 1. Clean up your disk

After long-term use, there must be a lot of insignificant data stored on your hard drive. Now it’s time to delete files and apps that you no longer use.

But be sure not to touch those unfamiliar files especially in system partition. Accidental deleting may lead to serious consequences.

Step 2. Connect your new drive

For laptop with only one drive bay, you can use SATA to USB adapter to connect the new drive as an external drive.

For laptop luckily contains two drive bays, you can connect it as a secondary disk and perform disk clone directly.

This article is mainly based on the first case.

Connect Hard Drive

Step 3. Clone hard drive to the new drive

The Disk Clone feature in AOMEI Backupper Standard enables you to clone all the partitions containing OS on your current disk with a simple process. If your HP laptop has a factory recovery partition, it will also be included.

Here’s a quick guide for your reference.


1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, navigate to Clone tab and choose Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

2. Select your current hard drive as the source directory, click Next.

Disk Clone Source

3. Select the new drive as the cloning destination, click Next.

Disk Clone Destination

4. Confirm your operations here, then click Start Clone.

Alternatively, you can edit the partition size, check SSD Alignment for better speed in destination SSD, or choose Sector by Sector Clone to clone all sectors no matter used or not.

Disk Clone Summary

5. Wait for the cloning to end, click Finish to exit.

If you just want to avoid the trouble of reinstalling system and have no attachment to other data, the System Clone feature provided by AOMEI Backupper Professional and higher editions may suit you better.


  • After cloning, the destination drive will be formatted. If you’ve stored some files on it, please back up them at first. Meanwhile, the original drive won’t be cleared, you can choose to format it or keep it as a backup.

  • The cloning is performed in intelligent mode and only copies the used sectors by default, so that you are also allowed to clone hard drive to a smaller drive.

  • Cloning the system disk from MBR to MBR or GPT to GPT is available for free. But cloning MBR to GPT (containing OS) or GPT to MBR requires you to upgrade to advanced editions, or convert a disk to MBR or GPT in Disk Management to unify their types.

Step 4. Remove your current hard drive

Before starting HP laptop hard drive replacement, power it off and wait for the components to cool down.

Pull out all cables on the laptop including the connected new drive, then detach the screws (preserve them for later use) to remove the battery and back panel.

Now lift the hard drive and remove it from the carrier carefully. Don't break any wiring inside.

Remove Hard Drive

Step 5. Install the new drive and restart your PC with it

Put your new drive into the carrier and push it back to the drive bay, then reconnect it properly. It’s basically the reverse of how you detach the old hard drive.

Use the screwdriver to secure the drive with the screws you removed before. Reinstall the back panel and battery.

Then, restart your laptop and launch Windows with the new drive. You’ll find everything you need is already in place without data losing.

Now you’ve fulfilled the task to upgrade HP laptop hard drive successfully. You can use it as normal, but with a higher speed and larger capacity.


After making full preparations, you can perform HP laptop hard drive replacement on your own. If you want to preserve all the important data at the same time, an effective cloning software like AOMEI Backupper can be a big help.

Other than disk migration, this tool also works as a daily backup and recovery software. You can use it to protect your data flexibly even after the replacement. For example, you can create a scheduled task to backup automatically, or create a bootable disc or USB in case the system fails to boot.