How to Replace Laptop HDD with SSD without Reinstalling Windows?

Posted by @Ivy

November 26, 2018

Looking for the best way to replace laptop HDD with SSD without reinstalling Windows 10/8/7? Come and check common ways to do laptop SSD upgrading easily.

Why replace laptop HDD with SSD?

If you have one older model computer and your computer cannot offer you the performance you need, the great way is to upgrade your laptop hard drive. Many users choose to replace HDD with SSD. But Why?

  • Faster speed: SDD disk offers a faster speed. You will feel greater when you boot your computer or load your local files or folders.

  • More Rugged data protection: SSD disk is much more efficient to protect data loss. Because it does not contains any removable mechanical part internally while HDD disk consists of many removable parts.

Aside by that, SSDs are cooler, lighter, quieter, more durable, and consume less power. 

Commonly used ways to upgrade SSD in laptop

When it comes to installing SSD in a laptop, different people use different ways. Below will show the common used two ways.

Fresh install SSD in laptop

The first way is fresh install SSD in a laptop. Prepare a Windows installation disk and use it to install your operating system, then install your preference applications after you finish the fresh install.

This operation is not difficult to finish. Connect your Windows installation disk to your computer, change the BIOS boot sequence and boot from it, then follow the instructions step by step. However, it will take you much more time.

How to install an SSD without reinstalling windows   

Many users may try the first way and think it very troublesome. They find the second way to complete laptop SSD upgrade without reinstalling operating system and applications. Just clone HDD to SSD using a disk cloning software and transfer everything you need to your new SSD via SATA-to-USB cable or adapter. After all ends, swap out your existing hard drive and install the cloned SSD to your computer. And it cost less time.

How to upgrade HDD to SSD without reinstalling Windows?

Before you clone

To ensure you can successfully clone your hard drive, confirm things below.

1. Verify the warranty of your laptop. Any unauthorized change will void your warranty, thus you’d better verify it if your laptop is still under warranty.

2. Choose the right form factor and interface of SSD. In the market, most laptops have 2.5-inch drives. However, ultraportable notebooks may use the 1.8-inch disk size. Also, 2.5-inch drives can have different thicknesses- 7 mm or 9.5 mm and different interfaces-SATA or IDE. Laptops most widely use 2.5-inch SATA drives but you still need to check it. You can open the access panel and see it from your existing hard drive.

3. Prepare a screwdriver. This tool is used to remove the existing disk and install the cloned disk after all the cloning process end.

4. Prepare an SATA-to-USB cable or adapter. This is used to connect your disk to your computer. If you do not have any of them, you can choose to backup OS to NAS or other places first, then swap your HDD for SSD, boot your laptop from bootable disk and restore it to your computer.

5. Prepare a reliable disk cloning software. A reliable software can help you successfully clone your hard drive without reinstalling windows.

6. Retain a separate external hard drive (optional). To ensure the security of your windows, applications, and data, you’d better backup it ahead of time.

Free disk cloning software: AOMEI Backupper Standard

A great disk cloning software can help you clone HDD to SSD easily. If you are Windows users, AOMEI Backupper will be a great choice for you. It’s a software designed for Windows. With it, you can clone to smaller disk, clone HDD to larger HDD or SSD, etc. Give AOMEI Backupper a chance, it will give you a great user experience.

Now, continue to see the detailed steps:

Detailed steps to clone HDD to SSD in laptop

Step 1. Download disk cloning software- AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and launch it. Then Place the SSD in the enclosure or connect it to the SATA-to-USB adapter, and connect it to your laptop with the USB port.

Step 2. Enter the main page of AOMEI Backupper, select Clone and Disk Clone subsequently

Disk Clone 1

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

Select a Source Disk 1

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

Select a Destination Disk 1

Step 5. Preview the Operation Summary of your Source Disk and Destination Disk, then click Start Clone. Remember to tick Align partition to optimize your SSD, it can increase the read and write speed of your SSD.

Replace Laptop HDD with SSD 1

Do not tick Sector by sector clone if you clone larger disk to smaller disk, because this feature will clone all the sectors containing the unused or bad sectors. That's to say, if one of your partitions on the Source Disk is out of space, it will stay the same.

Tips: to clone from or to GPT partition style, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional. 

Swap your HDD for SSD

Step 1. Turn off your computer, disconnect the power cable and other cables, then remove its back panel.

Step 2. Find the screws and unscrew it before you remove your existing hard drive.

Unscrew Drive

Step 3. Pull your existing hard drive out

Remove Drive

Step 4. Install the cloned SSD disk on your laptop, put the screws and back panel back.  

After everything is ok, boot your computer from the cloned SSD and make sure all your applications and data is complete.


As a disk cloning software, AOMEI Backupper is really useful. With it, you can easily replace laptop HDD with SSD in Windows 10/8/7 without reinstalling Windows and applications. Aside by that, it's still a backup and restore software. you can enjoy corresponding features, including System Backup, Disk Backup, System Restore, etc. Give it a chance, it will give you a great user experience.