How to Replace HP Laptop Hard Drive without Losing Data

Read this article to learn the effective way of HP laptop hard drive replacement, enhancing its performance. Additionally, get prepared and informed about the necessary steps for a successful HP hard drive replacement. By following this guide, you can upgrade your laptop's storage capacity and ensure smooth operation.


By Delia Updated on May 15, 2024

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Benefits of HP laptop hard drive replacement

Considering the performance issues that can arise from prolonged use of an HP laptop, upgrading the hard drive emerges as a pivotal solution. By HP hard drive replacement, users can unlock several advantages that enhance the functionality and longevity of their laptops. Here are some compelling reasons to consider HP hard drive replacement:

1. Improved Performance: Upgrading the hard drive can lead to faster boot times and smoother operation of applications, enhancing overall system performance.
2. Increased Storage Capacity: Replacing the HP hard drive provides an opportunity to expand storage capacity, allowing for the storage of more files, documents, and multimedia content.
3. Enhanced Reliability: A new hard drive can improve the reliability and longevity of your laptop, reducing the risk of data loss and system failures.
4. Address Disk Errors: Upgrading the hard drive can help address disk errors and improve the overall health and functionality of your HP laptop, ensuring smoother operation over time.

You may want to replace the laptop hard drive with a larger HDD for better capacity or replace the laptop HDD with an SSD for faster startup and operation. 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, installing OS on the new drive from scratch is also a headache.

So before replacing hardware mechanically, there’s one more thing to consider - how to replace an HP laptop hard drive without losing data? Check out the following content.

Hp Laptop

Preparations to upgrade the hard drive on the HP laptop

Here's a list of what you need to replace the hard drive in an HP computer:

  • 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 the USB port via a SATA to USB cable or SSD enclosure.

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

  • Cloning tool: migrating data from the old hard drive to the new SSD or HDD requires reliable disk clone software unless you have the patience to install Windows OS and programs from scratch. To save your precious time and effort, the transmission speed and the availability of cloned data should be also taken into consideration.

Here I will use AOMEI Backupper Professional not just because above factors, but also because of its simple operation and complete backup & clone features.

▪ It includes three clone options to meet different migration needs: System Clone, Partition Clone, and Disk Clone.
▪ It runs in an intelligent-sector manner by default, which copies only used sectors, and therefore empowers you to clone larger HDD to smaller SSD.
▪ If the target drive is larger, you can perform a sector-by-sector clone to copy all the sectors (including unused or logically bad sectors), or edit partition sizes to make full use of disk capacity.
▪ It offers an SSD alignment feature to accelerate the target drive if you are replacing the laptop HDD with an SSD.

Download the software and follow the guide below to start hard drive replacement.

FREE Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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*The clone feature is on the free trial and can only be demonstrated. Please upgrade for full functionality.

HP hard drive replacement options

When it comes to upgrading your HP laptop's hard drive, you have several options to choose from. Whether you're looking to increase storage capacity or boost performance, exploring these HP hard drive replacement options can help you find the perfect fit for your needs:

💾1. Toshiba 500GB 2.5-inch SATA Laptop Hard Drive: This reliable and affordable option from Toshiba offers ample storage space for your HP laptop. With a 2.5-inch form factor and SATA interface, it's compatible with most HP laptop models and provides fast data transfer speeds.
💾2. Samsung 1TB SSD: Upgrade your HP laptop with this high-performance SSD from Samsung. With a capacity of 1TB, it offers plenty of storage space for your files and applications while delivering lightning-fast read and write speeds for improved overall performance.
💾3. Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD: For gamers and power users, the Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD combines the speed of SSD with the capacity of HDD. With up to 2TB of storage space and built-in flash memory, it's perfect for storing large game files and speeding up load times.
💾4. Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD: This HDD from Western Digital offers reliable performance and ample storage space for everyday computing tasks. With a capacity of 1TB and a SATA interface, it's a cost-effective option for upgrading your HP laptop's storage.
💾5. Crucial MX500 500GB SATA SSD: The Crucial MX500 SSD offers reliable performance and fast data transfer speeds, making it an excellent choice for upgrading your HP laptop. With a capacity of 500GB, it provides ample space for your files and applications.

These are just a few examples of hard drive options you can consider for replacing the hard drive in your HP laptop. Be sure to check compatibility with your specific HP laptop model before making a purchase.

How to replace HP laptop hard drive without losing data

Replacing the hard drive in an HP laptop or desktop is a relatively straightforward process, but it's essential to follow proper procedures to avoid any potential issues. Here's the step-by-step guide for replacing your HP laptop hard drive and migrating your operating system and data.

Step 1. Clean up and Backup 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. To delete temporary files and free up space securely, you can also perform a disk cleanup with a built-in tool.

Before HP hard drive replacement, make sure to back up all the important data you want to keep, such as programs, documents, photos, videos, music, and games. You can do this by using disk backup services. Take some time to decide which programs you want to keep and gather any original discs or data files you'll need to reinstall on your new drive.

Step 2. Connect your new drive

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

For a laptop that luckily contains two drive bays, you can directly install the new hard drive alongside the old hard drive.

Connect Hard Drive

Step 3. Clone the hard drive to the new drive

The Disk Clone feature in AOMEI Backupper 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 (with the sector-by-sector clone option ticked).

📢Note: After cloning, the destination hard drive will be overwritten. If you’ve stored some files on it, please use AOMEI Backupper to back up the hard drive at first. 

How to clone laptop hard drive to new SSD or HDD:

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

Disk Clone

◑ If you only want to transfer Windows to another drive, choose System Clone. It will automatically select the operating system drive and boot-related drives, so you don't need to worry about missing important system files.
◑ AOMEI Backupper supports cloning data disks and system disks of all brands and partition styles, such as cloning MBR to MBR/MBR to GPT or GPT to GPT/GPT to MBR directly. But you still need to ensure the partition style of the target disk is compatible with your boot mode (MBR for legacy BIOS and GPT for UEFI).

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

Select Disk

3. Select the new drive as the cloning destination, with the intelligent cloning technology, you can even clone a larger drive to a smaller SSD. Then click Next.

Select Destination Disk

4. Confirm your operations and Start Clone. Optionally, 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 they matter used or not.

Start Clone

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

If your laptop has 2 drive bays, and you want to keep the old hard drive as the secondary storage device, you just need to restart the computer, press the required key to enter BIOS, and set the new hard drive as the first boot option. After making sure the HP laptop can boot from the new hard drive, you can also use the Disk Wipe feature of AOMEI Backupper to erase the old hard drive.
If your laptop has only 1 drive bay, please keep reading and follow Steps 4, Step 5 to replace the hard drive.

More useful features:

 Edit Partitions allows you to resize partitions and convert disk types. It's especially helpful when you want to clone a smaller drive to a larger drive. BTW you cannot use it and Sector By Sector Clone at the same time.

  • Copy without resizing partitions: It will not resize the partition size.
  • Add unused space to all partitions: Reallocate unused space to each partition of the target disk appropriately.
  • Manually adjust partition size: Extend unallocated space to any partition on the target disk you want. 
  • Convert the destination disk...: Convert the partition style of the target disk if you want to make it the same as the source disk. 

Copy Without Resizing

 Sector By Sector Clone enables you to copy all the sectors on the source hard drive, even the unused or logically bad sectors. You can tick it only when your target drive is larger.

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

The detailed approach to physically replacing a hard drive varies between different laptop models. For example, here’s a graphic guide for HP PAVILION hard drive replacement

You can also refer to this video tutorial on replacing the hard drive in the HP All-in-One 22 and 24 Series:

If you're not sure how to do a particular step on your HP laptop, you can search for tutorial videos of a specific laptop model on Google or the HP channel on Youtube.  

Step 5. Install the new drive and boot the HP laptop from 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 loss.

Now you’ve fulfilled the task of upgrading the HP laptop hard drive successfully. You can use it as normal but with a higher speed or larger capacity.

FAQs about HP hard drive replacement

1. Should I make an HP hard drive replacement?

If your HP laptop is running low on storage space or seems to be slowing down, replacing the hard drive is a worthwhile investment. Upgrading to a larger HP hard drive can boost the laptop's performance and make it run more efficiently.

2. How much does it cost to make an HP hard drive replacement?

Replacing a laptop hard drive typically costs around $60 to $100 for a new HDD or SSD, and an additional $20 for a cloning tool. This brings the total cost to approximately $80 to $120. The exact price may vary depending on the capacity of the new HP hard drive.

3. Can I switch from HDD to SSD on my HP laptop?

Yes, you can replace the HDD with an SSD on your HP laptop. SSDs are known for their faster speed and improved performance compared to HDDs. Upgrading to an SSD can significantly enhance the overall performance of your HP laptop, and the process is similar to replacing an HDD.


After making full preparations, you can perform an 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 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.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.