How to Install Operating System on Hard Drive (Stepwise Instruction)

When you buy a new hard drive to replace the old one, you must install an operating system on it before using it. How do you install an operating system on a hard disk? If you have no idea, read this complete tutorial and follow the step-by-step instructions to discover how to accomplish it.

Updated by Larissa on Jul 20, 2023
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Installing an operating system (OS) on a hard drive is the first and most important step when configuring a new computer or changing a broken or corrupted hard drive. It is a procedure that entails the installation of software and system setting files on a hard drive to guarantee that the computer will operate normally. The operating system is in charge of controlling the computer's hardware and software resources to make sure that programs operate efficiently.

Those who are unfamiliar with computer technology may find the installation of an operating system to be challenging. In this guide, we'll outline the procedures involved in installing an operating system on a hard drive with step-by-step instructions, and offer advice to make the process go smoothly.

Preparations Before Operating System Installation

Users should perform a number of preparations before installing an operating system to ensure a successful installation. The following are some crucial preparations:

  • ⚙️Check system requirements. You must ensure that the computer meets the minimum hardware requirements for the operating system you want to install.
  • 💾Install hard drive to the computer properly. If you are changing to a new hard drive, you need to replace the old hard disk with the new one and make sure it will be detected.

  • 📚Backup data. Backup files are a necessary and crucial step. Preventing issues before they arise is always preferable to fixing them. You can save all important data to an external drive or cloud storage to prevent data loss during the installation process. A professional backup tool, like EaseUS Todo Backup, will make your backup process much easier.

  • ✂️Disable antivirus software & disconnect all external hard devices. Disable any antivirus software, and disconnect all external devices, including printers, scanners, and mobile phones, to avoid interference with the installation process.

By following these preparations, users can ensure a smooth and successful operating system installation without any issues, data loss, or hardware conflicts. Now, keep reading and get your new OS installed.

Create Windows Installation USB

Before installing OS to a hard drive, you need to create an ISO image of your Operating System or an installation media. In this section, we'll go through two practical methods for a successful Windows system installation USB creation, including EaseUS OS2Go and Windows Media Creation Tool.

📖Read also:  A Fresh Install Windows 10

Two tips have been compared for their potency, degree of difficulty, and time duration. To help you decide, please refer to the chart below.

Method Effectiveness Difficulty Time Duration
EaseUS OS2Go👍 High - Create Windows installation media quickly and effectively with simple clicks ⭐⭐ 10-30 minutes
Windows Media Creation Tool Medium - A Windows built-in installation media creator, with complex operation steps ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 20-50 minutes

Method 1. Create Windows Installation USB with EaseUS OS2Go

Applied to: Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1

EaseUS OS2Go is an excellent tool to create Windows installation USB drive that can bypass Windows system requirements, meaning you can install a Windows system on any computer that doesn't meet the system requirement. With this practical tool, you can create a portable Windows USB anywhere, and use your personal system on any computer.

EaseUS OS2Go allows you to download and install Windows 11,10, and 8.1 OS to a hard drive directly within the App, or select a local ISO file to install. By using this easy utility, you can install OS on a hard disk with ultra-simple steps.

  Free Download

For Windows 11/10/8/7

📑What to prepare
An empty USB with enough storage space
Download and install EaseUS OS2Go
A stable Internet connection

Now, follow the steps to create a Windows installation USB.

Step 1. Install EaseUS OS2Go on your Windows computer. Plug in a USB drive or external hard drive that is large enough.

Step 2. Choose the third tab "Windows Install Drive Creator". First choose the Windows versions you want to install, EaseUS OS2Go supports creating Windows 11/10/8.1 installation media. You could also select a local ISO file. When all set, click "Create".

create Windows installation media step1

Step 3. Then you will see a safety warning message, telling you that all data on the selected disk will be deleted. Click "Continue" to proceed.

create Windows installation media step2

Step 4. Then EaseUS OS2Go will start to create the Windows Installation media. It usually takes a while to download a ISO file, the time it takes depend on your OS and Network condition. When the progress reaches 100%, the USB drive should be bootable now.

create Windows installation media step3

Step 5. Insert the Windows Installation media to your computer and start the installation process.

📖Read also:  How to Install Windows 10 from USB

Method 2. Install OS with Windows Media Creation Tool

Applied to: Windows 11/10/8/7

Another option for creating Windows installation discs is to use the built-in discs Creation Tool in Windows. The instructions below are from Microsoft, and you can trust its authority and follow the guide to effectively complete the process.

📑What to prepare
An empty USB with enough storage space
Download Windows Medis Creation Tool 
Support all types of data loss scenarios

Step 1. Launch Windows Installation Medial Tool as administrator and select "Create installation media for another PC."

Step 2. Then Select a Windows version and architecture.

Step 3. Select the USB flash drive as the media tool, and click Next.

choose usb flash drive

The Windows installation files will then be downloaded to your USB drive.

📖Read also: Install Windows 11 from USB on New PC | Install Windows 10 on a New Hard Drive Without Disk or USB

Install the Operating System on a Hard Drive

When you create a Windows installation media successfully, now you can insert the bootable USB into your computer and install it on the hard drive.

Step 1. You'll enter Windows Setup automatically when the computer boots up again. Select your Language and other preferences settings and click Next.

choose language

Step 2. Tap Install now. Then click I don't have a product key. (You will be prompted for your Windows 10 product key during the Windows Setup process. When you select the I don't have a product key option, Windows will eventually activate itself.)

i don't have a product key

Step 3. Click the I accept the license terms box and click Next.

accept the license term

Step 4. Select Click Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).

install windows only

Step 5. Select an unallocated drive, tap New, Apply, and then Next.

select hard drive

Step 6. You will get new partitions. Select the primary partition and tap Next.

select the primary partition

Step 7. Wait for the installation process to be completed.

The Final Words

To summarize, installing an operating system on a hard drive is an essential step in configuring a computer or upgrading an existing hard drive. It is a pretty simple process, but careful preparation and attention to detail can assure a successful end.

Installing or upgrading an operating system necessitates careful consideration of hardware requirements, program compatibility, and data backup. We hope that by following the steps given in this tutorial and taking the necessary measures, you will have a smooth and successful installation procedure, resulting in a reliable and efficient computer system.

EaseUS OS2Go is a useful tool for creating installation disks that will save you time and make the procedure easier. You will not be disappointed if you download and try it.

  Free Download

For Windows 11/10/8/7

Install Operating System on Hard Drive FAQs 

1. Why is my laptop saying to install an operating system on your hard disk?

If you see a notice saying "Boot Device Not Found, Please install an operating system on your hard dive, Hard Disk  (3F0)", this issue is probably caused by incorrect BIOS settings, bad sectors, or a damaged hard drive. To fix the issue, you can try these measures:

  • Perform a hard reset
  • Reset the hard drive
  • Restore BIOS default settings 
  • Check bad sectors
  • Create bootable USB media

2. Can Windows 10 be run from an external hard drive?

Yes, it is workable to install Windows 10/11 on an external hard drive. It covers two main steps to install Windows on an external hard drive. The first step is to back up all data on your hard drive and delete all the partitions on the external hard drive. The second step involves Windows OS installation.

3. Can I install my OS on an external SSD?

The answer is Yes. It is feasible to install OS on an external SSD with the following steps.

  • Connect your SSD to your computer.
  • Insert the installation media (CD/DVD/USB)
  • Install your operating system

4. Can you use an external hard drive as a bootable USB?

The good news is Yes, the computer can be booted from an external hard drive by making external hard drive bootable, whether a hard drive or an SSD. EaseUS OS2Go is a practical and wonderful solution to do it successfully. It will help to create a bootable USB or hard drive with ease step.

  • Download and install EaseUS OS2Go on your Windows computer. Plug a USB with enough storage space.
  • Choose the target USB and click Next.
  • Adjust the disk layout, and click Proceed.
  • Wait for the process to finish.

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