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How to Upgrade Windows 7/10 System Hard Drive without Reinstalling Windows

Updated by Gemma on Sep 18, 2021
Written by Brithny

Problems of upgrading Windows 7/10 system hard drive

Windows 7 system hard drive upgrade problem:

The lifetime of a hard disk is just a few years. To some extent, the hard disk will go on strike and fail to satisfy your requirement for speed and storage. After the new release of Windows Operating System - Windows 7, many people are so excited to replace their old operating system with Windows 7, having the really cool new features from desktop improvements to how you do things easier like networking, an organization of files and better performance.

However, after the excitation, there comes the disaster that your hard disk is so small and old that can hardly run well with Windows 7. At this moment, if you want to keep this new operating system on your PC, the best way is to upgrade your hard drive to a larger one. But many people are reluctant to do this. On the one hand is that they have to reinstall the operating system on the new disk again and also they would lose the personal settings and applications which they want to keep. On the other hand is that users have already stored a large number of data and files on the older disk. If they choose to upgrade to a larger hard drive, it means they have to transfer all data to the new one, which is considered to be time-consuming and unsafe for they may lose some important files or some applications that can't be transferred to another place with a simple manual copy.

Windows 10 system hard drive upgrade needs:

Due to the increasing number of Windows 10 users, more and more users are feeling that their old computer or old hard drive cannot run fast with the new system. A perfect solution to this issue is to upgrade system hard drive to a bigger HDD or SSD. 

The best way to upgrade Windows 7/10 system hard drive

Given these troubles, many people wouldn't upgrade their Windows 7/10 hard drive unless they have no choice. So is there any easy and safe way to solve this problem - upgrading to a larger disk without reinstalling Windows 7/10 system or losing any data?

Surfing on the Internet, you will find numerous ways to help you out. Of course, the common recommendation offered by most people is to choose professional hard drive clone software which can create an exact copy of one hard drive to another one, keeping all the partitions and data including the operating system intact as they were in the original (source) disk. Among the sea of software, which one is the best for your PC and the data?

How to upgrade Windows 7/10 system hard drive?

EaseUS Todo Backup is specialized for home and business users. It not only offers a professional and perfect way for backing up the system and important data but also prevails in cloning function. There are two modules of disk clone for your selection, namely, file by file clone and sector by sector clone.

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File by file, as its name suggests, only copies the used space of your hard drive at a much faster speed and you can resize the partitions of the new hard disk according to your own need. One thing must be clear is that this module is only available when the file system is intact.

If something goes wrong with your file system, sector by sector clone is highly recommended. Though the cloning speed is a little bit slow, it is a very safe way to protect your data and successfully upgrade your Windows 7, Windows 10 system hard drive. By the way, if you want to transfer your system to a new hard disk with a different configuration, you can use Recover to dissimilar hardware.

With this Windows hard drive clone software, you won't be annoyed by losing your data or reinstalling Windows 7/10 system on the new disk. Just a few clicks help you to upgrade the Windows system drive.

Video tutorial: upgrade Windows 7/10 system hard drive without reinstalling Windows

Step-by-step guide:

01. Connect A Second Hard Drive

Tools you need: a screwdriver, a Power Splitter Adapter cable, a SATA cable or an USB to SATA adapter. Make sure the target HDD/SSD is larger than the used space of the current drive.

  • Connect the target disk to your computer.
  • For desktop, open the mainframe with screwdriver and connect the disk to the mainboard with a SATA cable, then connect the disk's Power Splitter Adapter Cable into the power supply box.
  • For laptop, you can use an USB to SATA adapter to connect the disk.
  • Initialize a new HDD/SSD to MBR or GPT before you can use it (To keep the target new disk the same style as that of the current disk).
02. Download a Disk Cloning Utility

EaseUS Todo Backup is the cloning software that integrates multiple functions, including system/disk clone, backup, restoring , and system transfer, etc. In the disk clone field, this tool stands out due to the following aspects:

  • Covers as many as disk cloning demands, such as update hard drive to a larger one, clone OS, etc.
  • Disk cloning has the highest success rate among all similar products on the market.
  • Supports all kinds of disk types, including IDE, EIDE, SATA, ESATA, ATA, SCSI, iSCSI, USB 1.0/2.0/3.0.
  • Supports cloning of basic/dynamic disks and MBR/GPT disks.
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03. Get Ready with the Clone Procedures

System Clone: Choose System Clone > choose the destination disk > click Proceed to start. In Advanced options, you can choose the option of Create a portable Windows USB drive to clone the system to a USB drive.

Disk/Partition Clone: Choose Clone > Select the resource disk or partition > Select the target disk > Click Proceed to start.

04. Boot from the Clone Hard Drive

Option 1. If you want to keep both the old disk and the new disk

  • Restart PC and press F2 (F8,F10, DEL...) to enter BIOS settings.
  • In the Boot option, select new HDD/SSD as the new boot drive.
  • Exit BIOS and restart the computer.

Option 2. If you want to only keep the new disk

  • Unplug the old disk and make sure the new disk is well connected.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Option 2 is a better hard drive retention plan for laptops
After the cloning process, you can insert the new disk and replace the old system hard drive on your computer then. In order to make the cloned system hard drive bootable after the upgrading process, please follow the below tips to make Windows system bootable on new disk:
1. If you need to clone all disk data to new HDD/SSD, you can click Clone to select rest partitions with data to new disk.
2. After all system clone process, do remember to reboot PC and press F2 to enter BIOS settings and you may need to change the boot order from previous hard drive disk to new HDD/SSD. 

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Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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Written by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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