Replacing a hard drive on a laptop is a simple procedure if everything is done strictly according to the instructions. If your device has a failed HDD, it’s best to install an SSD instead or you can install SSD in laptop without reinstalling windows by cloning. Although it is more expensive to purchase, such a device has several advantages.
Table of Contents
How To Install SSD In Laptop Without Reinstalling Windows?
The process of transferring data with a full copy, including hidden sectors, is called cloning. In the situation under consideration, this will require a device called a “pocket” an adapter where you can insert a SATA drive and connect to a USB port. The disk image will be copied from the drive installed in the laptop to the one connected via the port.
Before cloning, just in case, copy all important data that may be stored on the C: drive – at least on the D: drive. For cloning, you can use the simple but effective Acronis True Image utility. The program works correctly with all versions of Windows, including the “Ten”. Note that the first time you connect a new drive, Windows will offer to format it. This happens automatically.
OS cloning algorithm:
- After starting Acronis True Image, go to the “Tools” section and select the “Clone disk” option.
- Select automatic mode and click “Next”.
- From the list, select the drive that you will clone and the location where you will move it.
- After confirming the action, the transfer process begins. Any data that may have been on the new drive will be deleted.
You can do it a little differently: first connect the SSD, and install the previously used hard drive in your pocket. When you turn on the computer, the old drive will need to be selected as the boot device. There is no fundamental difference between these methods. The main thing is not to confuse what and where to copy.
It should be noted that Acronis True Image, like most of its counterparts, is a paid program. In order not to be limited by the capabilities of the demo version, you need to look for a version with a built-in “cure for greed” on the file hosting or vareznik. If you don’t want to mess with pirated software, you can use the free AOMEI Backupper program. The difference is that it is in English, and the crack has not yet been written.
Check it out
How to replace laptop hard drive with SSD?
Modern laptops use SATA hard drives. The part is mounted in a special slot on the motherboard, where there are connectors for data transmission and power supply. If you have to replace the hard drive in a laptop, the SSD must also comply with the SATA format. Otherwise, you either will not have where to connect it, or the device will not physically fit in the case.
When choosing a new drive, be guided by devices labeled notebook in the name – they fit perfectly in physical size. Intel, Samsung, Kingston, Transcend or Western Digital are preferred manufacturers. Such equipment is considered to be the most reliable.
By purchasing a new solid state drive, you can replace the HDD with an SSD on your laptop. Step-by-step algorithm of actions:
- Turn off the power to the laptop and all peripheral devices – mouse, printer, scanner, gamepad, wireless modem, etc.
- Remove the battery from the compartment.
- Remove all screws on the bottom cover of the device, including those in the battery compartment. Some of the screws may be hidden by stickers or feet.
- Remove the plastic pad on the keyboard that hides the bottom panel.
- Carefully remove the keyboard by disconnecting its connector from the motherboard.
- Unscrew all visible screws inside that can hold the bottom cover to the case.
- Detach the bottom cover of the device.
- Remove the optical drive.
There may be a protective plate under the bottom cover. If you unscrew all the screws, then it will detach without problems. Usually, after such manipulations, a hard disk becomes visible – a small steel flat box. You need to carefully remove the part from the slot and install the solid-state drive there.
Since you have half disassembled the laptop, at the same time do not be too lazy to clean it of dust by blowing it with a vacuum cleaner or household hairdryer. In the process, try not to use metal tips, as when in contact with electronic components, they can provoke a static electricity breakdown and short circuit, which leads to damage to expensive components.
After installing the SSD, you can assemble the laptop in reverse order, turn it on and install the operating system, or transfer it from the old drive.
If during the disassembly process there are incomprehensible moments – how exactly to dismantle everything, then you can find video instructions on YouTube on the corresponding channels. As a last resort, instructions for each specific model are available in text format, accompanied by photographs.
Advantages of SSD over HDD
The design of the hard drive has been known for several decades. Information in this device is recorded on a magnetized disk, which is driven by an electric motor, and read by special heads. The reading speed is limited by the spindle speed, which in most models does not exceed 7200 rpm. The device is subject to typical breakdowns – failure of the electric drive or falling heads onto the surface of the magnetic disk.
In any of such cases, the information can still be restored, but this must be done in a special completely sterile laboratory so that dust particles, falling on the surface of the disk, do not demagnetize it.
On the new hard drive, information is written in a row, taking up all the free space, from the center of the disk to the edge. Over time, some data is deleted, and new ones are written in their place. With prolonged use, this leads to fragmentation when one large file is torn into several parts and placed in different parts of the disk.
To read it, you need to rotate the spindle and move the head, which takes time. A large number of such files significantly reduces the performance of the HDD, so you need to regularly defragment, at least using the basic set of Windows utilities, at least once every two weeks.
A solid state drive works differently. Here, rewritable memory cells are used, the type of which depends on the speed. Technically, this is the same flash drive, but with a larger volume. Reading speed is limited only by the bandwidth of the SATA port, but it will definitely be higher than that of a hard drive. If you connect the SSD via PCI or M.2 ports, the performance will be even higher.
Because of its fast writing and reading speeds, an SSD is great for installing an operating system – your computer will boot up very quickly. It is also recommended to install “heavyweight” applications and large games here. In the latter case, you can forget about the lags associated with long loading of textures and game objects.
Data on the SSD is always written in a row, and when some files are deleted, they are automatically compressed, so that there are no “gaps” between them. This feature leads to the fact that the SSD does not require defragmentation and its speed does not drop after prolonged use.
Since there are no moving parts, the reliability of the device is higher. The only thing that can fail is the controller, and then breakdowns are most often associated with firmware glitches, and not physical damage. The SSD is more resistant to damage – after a fall, unlike a hard drive, it will most likely continue to work.
It should be noted that this type of drive also has some disadvantages. The main one is the limited number of rewriting cycles. The average user has a solid-state drive’s lifetime of no more than 5 years, while for a hard drive with careful use, a decade is not the limit. The second thing that worries many potential users is a much higher price compared to HDD. A 128 GB drive will cost about the same as a terabyte hard drive.
Controller firmware glitches occur with low-quality SSDs. In the brands mentioned above, such defects are very rare.
Want to know about How To Choose A Graphics Card For Laptop?
Is it better to clone or fresh install SSD?
Windows, despite its many advantages, even with an experienced user, overtime begins to lag and “dull”. This is due, first of all, to the appearance of a huge number of “scraps” of data and “garbage” files, which are sometimes not cleaned by any service utility. However, with proper configuration and proper operation, Windu can be used for a very long time.
It is noticed that these lags “wander” also when the operating system is transferred from one drive to another. If your OS is not in the best condition and you have already thought about updating it, it is better to reinstall it from scratch after replacing the HDD with an SSD. Especially if you used to use the “Seven”, which is no longer officially supported by the developers – it’s time to migrate to the “Ten”.
On the other hand, in addition to reinstalling Windows itself, it will take no less time to install all the necessary drivers and programs that were on the C: drive. If there are no complaints about the operation of Windows yet, it is easier and faster to transfer it from the old drive to the new one. How to do this in the next paragraph.
can i move hard drive from one laptop to another
Any computer, and a laptop is no exception, in fact – a kind of “Constructor”, an educational game where you can assemble something interesting from ready-made parts. All components are unified and interchangeable.
The hard drive you no longer need can be used in another laptop or in a stationary computer. In the latter case, you will need either a stand for 2.5 “devices, or a special adapter for a 3.5” stand.
It should be borne in mind that during installation, Windows adapts to the configuration of a specific device, taking into account many factors – the model of the motherboard and processor, the BIOS version, peripheral equipment, etc. If you install a hard drive in a laptop of a different brand and even a different model, it is too unlikely that the operating system will start without any glitches.
In most cases, it will throw a critical error and will not start. Such a defect is “treated” in the only way by formatting the system partition and “clean” installation of Windows.
Check it out What Hard Drive Do I Need For My Laptop?
As you can see, changing the drive on a laptop is much easier than it seems at first glance. If done correctly, the chances of damaging something are extremely small. However, if you are not sure of your own skills, it is better to contact the specialists at a specialized service center.