How to Replace Laptop Hard Drive with SSD without Losing Data?

Are you distressed about a laptop with a slow speed or insufficient disk space? To solve it, the easiest way is to replace laptop hard drive with SSD. This post provides a comprehensive and detailed guide to help you upgrade laptop to SSD effortlessly.


By Hedy / Updated on May 12, 2023

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FAQs when referring to laptop hard drive replacement

◉ Is it worth swapping my laptop hard drive for an SSD?

Yes, it is. There are some common reasons why you need to replace laptop hard drive:

✪ Your current hard drive is broken or failed and changing a new one is the only solution to give your laptop a fresh start.
✪ When your drive is running out of space, you can upgrade to a large one for more storage capacity.
✪ If you find your hard drive is running slower and slower, it's a great way to replace laptop hard drive with SSD for a faster write/read speed.

As you can see, no matter why you want to swap a hard drive in the laptop with a solid-state drive, it can be always beneficial to your computer use.

◉ Do I need to reinstall Windows if I replace the hard drive?

After changing the old laptop hard drive with the new one, what you concern most must be the reinstallation of Windows. Besides, it also requires you to reinstall other applications and programs as well as get your personal data back. Obviously, the whole process is quite complicated and time-consuming.

Do you really need to reinstall Windows after the hard drive replacement in a laptop? Luckily, there is a proven way to complete the disk replacement without OS reinstallation: clone laptop hard drive to SSD. In the following content, we'll walk you through the details about how to replace a hard drive in a laptop with everything transferred together.

Things you need to know before laptop hard drive replacement

In order to make the disk changing process successful and prompt, let's see what you should know before proceeding.

Part 1. Prepare necessary tools for replacing laptop hard drive

1. An appropriate SSD

Choose a proper solid-state hard drive that is suitable for your computer by considering interface (usually M.2 or SATA), disk size (big enough to to hold all your data), performance, price, and thickness.

Note: If the SSD is completely new, please initialize it to MBR or GPT so that it can be used.


2. A USB-SATA adapter

How to connect the prepared SSD to your laptop? Using a USB-SATA adapter is a good choice, which can perform better than connecting via a USB cable.

3. A specialized toolkit

To remove the old hard drive and place the new drive, some specialized toolkits are required, such as screwdrivers, tweezers, anti-static gloves, etc.

4. A professional disk clone software

By using the hard drive cloning software, you can back up your system or transfer all data from old drive to the new SSD in a safe and fast way, which is helpful to replace laptop hard drive without data loss.

Part 2. Be aware of the possible risks of replacing laptop hard drive

1. Hard drive failure or corruption

Removing or reinstalling hard drive in laptop requires technical skills and prior experience to avoid disk damage. Once the hard drive is destroyed during the removal, you will permanently lose the data stored on it.

2. Cant boot from the new SSD

You don’t set the new drive as the first boot device, the system partition is not active, the partition scheme is not compatible with boot mode, ..., all these factors can make you not able to boot from the new SSD.

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

After making a good preparation and having a comprehensive understanding of risks, head on to this part to learn how to replace a hard drive in a laptop with SSD step by step. By following this guide, you will never reinstall Windows or lose your data.

Stage 1. Back up important data

Since errors may happen every second, please make a backup of any important data to an external data storage device, including the system, programs, documents, folders, files, etc. You can ask a professional tool like AOMEI Backupper for help.

Stage 2. Connect the prepared SSD to your laptop

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


Stage 3. Clone your hard drive to SSD

To complete the processing of cloning the hard drive in your laptop, you can download this 100% safe disk cloning software - AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

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

This software is almost compatible with all versions of Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista systems.
It can clone all partitions on the hard drive, including hidden partitions or boot-related partitions, guaranteeing you can securely boot from the new drive afterward.
It supports copying the disk to SSD or HDD of different sizes. With its "Clone Disk Quickly" option, you can clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD.
It allows you to clone disk between MBR and GPT partition style without disk conversion.
If you can't boot into your PC, don't worry, you can use AOMEI software to clone hard drive with a bootable USB.

Step 1. Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional on your laptop. Click "Clone" menu and select "Clone Disk".


Step 2. Select a disk clone method as you like. Here, we choose "Clone Disk Quickly" as an example.


Step 3. Select the laptop hard drive you want to replace and click "Next".


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


Step 5. In the new windows, you can resize the partitions on the new drive. Select the one that fits your need and click "Next".


Step 6. After reading a note about how to boot from the destination disk, click "Finish" and then click "Apply" to execute the task. 


Then, everything on your old drive has been transferred to the new one. Disconnect the SSD from your computer.

Stage 4. Physically replace laptop hard drive with SSD

Step 1. Turn the laptop off completely and slip it over. Then unscrew the back cover and remove it, and you will see the inside of your laptop.


Step 2. Locate where your current hard drive is, and unscrew those screws which are used to secure your disk to the laptop. Lift the old disk up about 45 or 30 degrees to pull it out and unplug it with the connection cable.


Step 3. Take out the hard drive from the caddy by loosing the crews and put your new SSD into the caddy in turn. Then, secure it to the laptop and reinstall the hard drive back cover of the laptop.


Stage 5. Boot from the cloned SSD

After everything is done, reboot your laptop and it will boot from the destination solid-state disk. However, if your old drive and new drive have different partition styles, you need to change Legacy BIOS to UEFT boot mode or UEFI to BIOS to make the partition scheme and boot mode compatible.

When you restart your PC, repeatedly press ESC, F1, F2, F8, or F10 to enter BIOS setup, find the Boot tab, change the boot mode to Legacy or UEFI, and press Enter.



That's all about how to replace laptop hard drive with SSD without losing data as well as without reinstalling Windows by disk cloning. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional has played a vital role in this process of laptop hard drive replacement.

If everything gets along with the cloned SSD disk, you can permanently wipe the old hard drive for reuse or for selling. Asides from the disk cone feature, AOMEI software is also good at optimizing your drives such as extending C drive without reboot, deleting unnecessary files, moving files from C drive to D drive, and more.

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.