How to Install SSD Without Reinstalling Windows?

While being portable, a laptop must also work fast and smoothly. One way to ensure this is by replacing the traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD) with the latest Sold State Drive.  An SSD is relatively faster than HDD because of the way it accesses or stores data. While SSD uses flash memory, HDD uses a spinning platter with a magnetic coating.

An HDD is a layer of disks, while an SSD entails interconnected flash memory chips. If you place them side by side, the first thing that strikes is the difference in their sizes. While HDD is bulkier, SDD is much smaller, allowing manufacturers more freedom to design their laptops or even desktops. An SSD can be fixed in a PCI Express expansion slot or mounted directly on a motherboard.  You cannot do the same with an HDD because of its bulky size and shape.

SSDs are preferred over HDD because of the following three reasons:

  • Faster access to data.
  • SSDs, in general, are more reliable than HDDs.
  • SSDs commonly use less power and offer longer battery life.

Why install SSD on a Laptop Without Reinstalling Windows?

It is advised to install SSD in your laptop without reinstalling Windows because it will shorten the lifespan and result in wear and tear. This applies even for hard drives as there is wear each time you write something. Reinstalling Windows unless necessary or frequently increases the likelihood of issues on your laptop.

Here are a few other reasons why you should avoid reinstalling Windows are:

  • It can lead to the loss of personal information on the system drive.
  • You need to reconfigure the system settings and user profile.
  • All programs and applications must be reinstalled. This can be cumbersome and time-consuming.
  • Some programs are difficult to reinstall.
  • It is error-prone.

Before You Begin: Check Upgradability

There are two ways to check if you can upgrade your laptop or computer with an SDD storage device.

Check for upgradability on Crucial system advisor:

  1. To check for the crucial system advisor, you must log on to the website:
  2. On this page, you must enter the following details- the manufacturer, product line, and model.
  3. Next, click on the Search My Computer option.
  4. The next page will tell you if your laptop is compatible with both a RAM and SSD upgrade.
  5. To check your laptop’s SSD upgradability, click on SSD.
  6. A result page appears, illustrating a list of SSDs that are compatible with your laptop, along with information about where you can purchase them.

Here is a simple tutorial video for the steps mentioned above:

Check for upgradability on the Amazon website:

You can use the following steps for upgradability to SDD on Amazon.

  1. Log on to Amazon
  2. Enter details about your laptop brand and model on the search bar.
  3. Check for upgradability on the product information page.
  4. If you scroll further down, you will find the ‘Have a question?’ section, where you can type your questions and get answers.

Steps for Installation of an SSD Without Reinstalling Windows   

There are two methods for the installation of an SSD on a laptop without requiring you to reinstall Windows.  They are:

Step 1: Physically connect an SSD to your laptop

The following steps must be adhered to if you wish to physically fix an SSD to your laptop:

  1. Turn off your laptop and open the covering (the main chassis).
  2. Then, find the SSD power input interface. Keep in mind that this output interface is flat type.
  3. Next, you must find the SSD data input/output interface, which is also known as the SATA cable. This is also a flat-type interface.
  4. Now join these two to their corresponding interfaces. Once you do so, the process is almost complete
  5. Insert the SSD inside the chassis and close it.
  6. Lastly, switch on your laptop and check whether Windows has detected the SSD. If it has failed to detect the SSD, you can retry.

You can also follow the instructions on the video below to connect your SSD to your laptop:

Step 2: Procedure to clone hard drive to your SSD

The next step is to clone your hard drive to SSD. To do this, you would require free disk cloning software available online, called the EaseUS Todo Backup. Follow the steps below to complete the process of cloning your SSD.

  1. Launch EaseUS Todo Backup after downloading it.
  2. Select the Clone feature on the left. Double click on it to learn about the elements.
  3. Next, choose the original disk as the disk from which you want to transfer files, and then click Next.
  4. Then, you must select a destination disk. The destination can either be an SSD or an external USB hard disk. Ensure that the destination disk has a bigger memory than the original disk.
  5. For cloning to SSD, you will find Advanced options at the bottom left-hand corner. Check the Optimize for SSD box and click on OK. Then, click on Next.
  6. Lastly, check if the Source and Destination are correct and if there is adequate space for transferring memory to the SSD. Then, click on Proceed.

If the installation isn’t completed yet, here is a video tutorial with steps for the installation and checking of specifications.

SSD Specifications for Laptops

There are three main SSD specifications for laptops: 2.5-inch, M.2, and mSATA.

2.5-inch: This 2.5-inch specification is mainly for laptops and desktops.

mSATA : The mSATA form for systems that are compact or ultra-thin laptops.

M.2: The M.2 version is commonly used in tablets and ultrabooks.

If you want to know whether you purchased the right SD card, you can check for compatibility using the Crucial® Advisor™ tool, which is also known as the System Scanner tool.

If you are looking for an upgrade from an HDD to an SSD, here are some best SSDs for gaming in 2021.

Move Windows to SSD FAQs

How do I move Windows 10 to a new SSD?

You can do so by running the MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Can I just copy windows to my SSD?

To copy windows to your SSD, you have to first format your current system partition and install a fresh copy of Windows 10 on the SSD.

Can you move Windows 10 from HDD to SSD?

When you open the main menu, you should look out for the Clone, Migrate, or, in some cases, Migrate OS to SSD/HDD option. Once you select it, a new window will open.  The program will then identify the drives connected to your computer and ask you for a destination drive where you want to transfer your drive.

Can I move my operating system to a different hard drive?

The best way to transfer your data and personal information onto a new drive is to shift your OS onto a new drive. This may not be a process that is straightforward, but it is hassle-free too.


I have tried to simplify the process as much as possible in this article. Some prefer a video tutorial along with textual instructions, so I have embedded relevant videos as well. If this article has been useful for you, I request you to kindly share it to help others too. Please leave a comment on the comments section to let us know what you think or to provide feedback. 

Chris Martin is a professional tech writer. He's been covering tech tutorials, hardware reviews, and more as a professional writer for over seven years now and it doesn't look like he'll be stopping anytime soon! In addition to writing about the latest gadgets on the market, he also covers topics such as how to set up your home network or troubleshoot any computer problems you may have.

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