How to Change Laptop Hard Drive without Reinstalling Windows

Sometimes, you may need to change laptop hard drive for larger capacity or better performance. This article aims to tell you how to change hard drive on laptop without reinstalling Windows and even without losing data.


By Hedy / Updated on October 17, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

Is it difficult to change hard drive on laptop?

Are you struggling with low disk space on your laptop, or is your computer not meeting your performance expectations? The culprit is most likely the accumulation of various files taking up space on your hard drive.

Additionally, if your hard drive has been used for many years, the result may be reduced laptop performance. In this case, the best solution emerges: change laptop hard drive.

When considering replacement, which hard drive you choose becomes critical. For an unparalleled boost in computer performance, SSDs are prime candidates thanks to their exceptional properties, the most important of which are faster read and write speeds compared to traditional hard drives.

Actually, the process of replacing a hard drive is a manageable task that anyone can complete with some guidance.

How to change hard drive on laptop without losing data (clone disk)

In fact, the process of replacing an HDD with an SSD is very simple and does not require reinstalling Windows. Basically, this replacement process involves cloning the entire contents of your current laptop's hard drive onto an SSD. Then, remove the original hard drive and install the SSD. Let's dig into some details.

Things to prepare before changing laptop hard drive

1. Buy an appropriate SSD

Ensure that the chosen SSD is compatible with your laptop, especially considering that older models might utilize a parallel ATA connector rather than SATA. Additionally, a crucial consideration is verifying the actual size of the existing hard disk. It's essential to select an SSD with a higher capacity to accommodate all the data effectively.

2. Initialize SSD

For new SSDs, it is crucial to initialize them to MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table) using Windows Disk Management. This initialization is critical to making the SSD ready for the upcoming replacement process.

3. Secure the USB-SATA adapter

For seamless connection during the hard drive disk cloning process, get a USB-SATA adapter. Use this adapter to connect your SSD to an external laptop. This method is often more efficient than connecting via a standard USB cable.

4. Get your cloning software ready

There are many cloning software options available, for this task consider using AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. This tool provides significant convenience in replacing laptop hard drives.

◆ The software has near-universal compatibility and can run seamlessly on all Windows versions (including 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista systems).
◆ The software adopts a comprehensive approach to expertly clone all hard drive partitions, including hidden or boot-related partitions. This guarantee ensures that newly replaced drives provide a safe, seamless boot experience.
◆ Its versatility also includes copying disks to SSDs or HDDs of different sizes. The Clone Disk feature makes it easy to clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD.
◆ A unique feature further simplifies the process by allowing disk cloning between MBR and GPT partition types without disk conversion.
◆ In situations where PC booting becomes difficult, this software provides a practical solution — you can leverage AOMEI’s feature to clone the hard drive using a bootable USB, thus ensuring reliable recovery options.

Ultimate guide on how to change laptop hard drive

With thorough preparation and understanding of the risks involved, let’s start step by step in replacing the hard drive in your laptop with an SSD. By following this guide, you can navigate the replacement seamlessly without reinstalling Windows or risking data loss.

Step 1. Considering that something can go wrong every time, it is prudent to protect your important data by creating a backup stored on an external data storage device. This backup should cover your entire system, including programs, documents, folders, and files. In this endeavor, a professional tool like AOMEI Backup is a reliable ally, providing the help you need to strengthen your data to prevent unexpected mishaps.

Step 2. Connect the new SSD to your laptop via USB-SATA adapter and make sure it is detected by your computer.


Step 3. Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional on your laptop. Click "Clone" menu and select "Clone Disk".

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download


Step 4. Select a disk clone method as you like. Here, we choose "Clone Disk Quickly" as an example.


Step 5. Select the laptop hard drive you want to change and click "Next".


Step 6. Then select the new SSD as the destination disk and click "Next". Tick "Optimize the performance of SSD" to make SSD 4K alignment.


Step 7. In the new windows, you can resize the partitions on the new drive. Select the one that fits your need and click "Next".


Step 8. After reading a note about how to boot from the destination disk, click "Finish" and then click "Apply" to execute the task.


Step 9. Physically change laptop hard drive with new SSD.

Step 10. After completing all the necessary steps, restart your laptop and it should boot seamlessly from the newly installed SSD. However, if the old drive and the new drive have different partition styles, access BIOS settings to change boot mode from Legacy BIOS to UEFI boot mode or vice versa to ensure compatibility with partitioning schemes.



This article concludes the comprehensive guide on how to change laptop hard drive without data loss and without reinstalling Windows. Thanks to the proficient disk cloning feature of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, you can easily and quickly clone hard drive to another so that you can change hard drive on laptop without data loss.

After confirming the seamless integration of the cloned hard drive, you can proceed to permanently wipe the old hard drive, making it ready for reuse or possible resale. In addition to its powerful capabilities in disk cloning, AOMEI software also extends its utility to drive optimization tasks, including seamlessly extending C drive without rebooting, efficiently deleting unnecessary files, and smoothly move files from C drive to D drive, among other functions.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.