how to replace laptop hard drive and reinstall operating system

In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the hard drive and the problem is with the operating system. In this post, MiniTool will show you how to replace the laptop hard drive and reinstall the operating system. In addition, another simple way to replace the disk without reinstalling the OS is presented.

The hard drive must be replaced

Regardless of whether you use a desktop computer or a laptop, you may need to replace your hard drive. If you experience any of the following, your hard drive needs to be replaced:

1. The computer is running slow and you are planning to replace HDD with SSD to get high speed.

2. You want to upgrade to a large hard drive when there is not enough disk space.

3. If your computer shows signs of hard drive failure, it is better to replace the drive before it is completely damaged. This allows you to save the data stored on it including the Windows operating system.

However, the problem is the Windows operating system after replacing the old hard drive with a new one. It is the first item you must address. Otherwise, your computer may not work at all.

In a laptop, disk replacement is not a simple matter compared to a desktop computer, and today we will show you the topic – how to replace the laptop hard drive and reinstall the operating system.

How to replace a laptop hard drive and reinstall Windows 10

In this piece, we’ll show you the basic steps to replace a laptop hard drive, as well as how to get the operating system to restart.

1. Backup your data before doing this

Before replacing your laptop hard drive, one of the most important things is to back up everything you want to keep, including documents, pictures, music files, videos, program installation files, and more.

To back up your laptop data, you need to use professional and free backup software. We strongly recommend using MiniTool Shadow Maker here. It not only helps you back up and restores files, folders, drives, partitions, and Windows operating systems, but also supports disk cloning and file synchronization.

Now don’t hesitate to download the trial version for free use to keep your data safe. To get it, just click on the following button.

Step 1: After downloading and installing MiniTool Shadow Maker on your laptop, double-click to run it.

Step 2: In the backup interface, you will find that this software backs up the operating system by default. To back up files, click Source and select Folders and files, check all the items you want to back up, and finally click OK.

Step 3: Click on Target and select the storage path. Keep in mind that the partition you choose should be large enough to accommodate the data you want. You can usually choose an external hard drive or a USB flash drive.

Step 4: Finally, click on Backup Now to start backing up the file.

Now that the data backup is complete, let’s see how to replace the laptop hard drive and reinstall the operating system.

2. Create an installation disc or USB drive

To reinstall the Windows operating system on your laptop, you need to create an installation disc or USB flash drive from which your laptop can run the installation.

Go to the Windows website and download the ISO file based on different versions. If you want to reinstall Windows 10 after replacing your hard drive, you can use the Media Creation Tool to create a bootable USB drive from the ISO. Check that the USB disc has adequate space.

Follow this post – How to Create Bootable USB from Windows 10 ISO for Clean Install to complete the creation task.

3. Remove your old hard drive from the laptop

After the preparatory work is completed, it is now time to remove the old disk and replace it with a new one.

1. To remove the old laptop hard drive, make sure the computer is turned off and unplugged.

2. Open the laptop cover by unscrewing the screws.

3. Locate the hard drive and remove the data connectors and power cables from the drive.

4. A hard drive is usually held in place by a set of small screws. You need to remove them and pull the hard drive out of the computer case.

4. Install the new hard drive

To install a new drive, simply reverse the steps you’ve already taken. Just put the drive in its original place, connect the data connectors and power cables, hold the new hard drive with screws and close the case.

5. After replacing the hard drive, reinstall Windows 10

What should I do once I install a new hard drive? After replacing the laptop hard drive, you should install a new operating system on the new drive. The following is the procedure for installing Windows after replacing the hard drive.

Step 1: Connect the created USB drive or CD/DVD to the laptop and press a specific key to enter the BIOS menu. Then change the boot order so that the laptop boots from the media. This post – How to Enter BIOS Windows 10/8/7 (HP/Asus/Dell/Lenovo, Any Computer) is useful for you.

Step 2: Select language, time, currency format, and keyboard.

Step 3: In the new window, click on Install Now.

Step 4: The Windows setup tool will ask you to enter your Windows 10 product key. Just click on I don’t have a product key, Windows will activate automatically later.

Step 5: The installer will prompt you to select the edition you are licensed for. Just choose the right one.

Step 6: Accept the license terms.

Step 7: Continue by clicking Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).

Step 8: Select Unallocated space (your new hard drive is not partitioned and shows unallocated space) and click Next.

Step 9: The installer will start installing the Windows operating system. It might take a few minutes.

6. Restore the backup data

After the installation is complete, follow the on-screen wizards to configure Windows. In addition, you can restore the files you have backed up to the new hard drive.

Just connect the target drive where the backup data is stored to your laptop, install MiniTool ShadowMaker on the new drive, run it, and go to the Restore interface. Then select the restore version, select the folders or files you want to restore, enter the destination path, and perform the restore operation. To learn more information, go to the user manual

Also, reinstall the programs. What’s more, you should update Windows 10, install the latest drivers, adjust your privacy settings, etc.

This is all information on how to replace the laptop hard drive and reinstall the operating system. If you want to replace the drive and reinstall the system, follow these basic steps above. Also, share this with your friends on Twitter so they know.

An easy way to replace your hard drive without reinstalling Windows

As mentioned above, in addition to reinstalling Windows, you need to restore the files to a new disk and reinstall the necessary programs in order to use the laptop as usual. This is a bit problematic. Then you might wonder, is it possible to replace the hard disc in a laptop without reinstalling Windows and programs?

The answer is disk cloning. Using cloning, you can transfer all data including Windows files, system settings, applications, registry, documents, and more from the old hard drive to the new one.

The new disc is the same as the old disc. This means you can directly connect the new hard drive to the laptop and boot it up. Then use the laptop as usual. Nothing has changed except that the drive is bigger or faster.

MiniTool Shadow Maker can also help you clone a disk to a larger one or an SSD. As mentioned above, it supports disk cloning. You can easily clone everything from the source drive to the destination drive using Disk Clone.

Just get the trial version of MiniTool Shadow Maker to clone the drive and replace the laptop hard drive without reinstalling the operating system.

Step 1: Run MiniTool Shadow Maker and navigate to the main interface.

Step 2: Select Clone Disk from the Tools menu.

Step 3: Click on the Source and Destination sections and select the system drive and the new hard drive. Make sure that there is no important data stored on your new drive, as the cloning process may erase all data on that drive.

Step 4: MiniTool Shadow Maker clones the drive. The procedure will take a few minutes, so please be patient.

After the cloning is complete, turn off the laptop, remove the original system drive and connect the new hard drive. You can then boot the laptop from the new drive and use the computer as usual. The detailed operations of replacing the hard disk with a new one have been introduced above, and we will not say much here.

Bottom Line

How do replace the laptop hard drive and reinstall the operating system? If you are looking for a guide, this post is useful for you. We will introduce you to some basic steps to replace the laptop hard drive and reinstall the system.

If you don’t want to reinstall programs and restore backed-up data after replacing the hard drive, you can choose another way – replacing the hard drive without reinstalling Windows. Cloning is an option. Just choose the right disk replacement method according to your needs.

On the other hand, let us know if you have any problems or suggestions after reading this post.


How can I replace the hard disc on my laptop and reinstall Windows 10?

Some steps are required:

1. Back up your data before replacing the hard drive

2. Create a bootable installation disk or USB drive

3. Remove the hard drive from the notebook

4. Insert the new disc into its original position

5. Reinstall Windows 10 after replacing the hard drive

6. Restore the backup files

Do I have to reinstall Windows when I replace the hard drive?

If you clone the system drive to a new drive and replace the hard drive with a new one, you will not reinstall Windows. The destination disk can be used to boot the computer directly.

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