This is geared toward my replacing the HDD on my Asus laptop (Asus ROG GL551JM-DH71)
I'm thinking of doing a clone, with a fallback to a complete reinstall if the clone isn't successful or of enough benefit.

Before getting started

  • Call Microsoft and get the license for my Windows 10
  • Back up my system
  • Figure out how to clone.
    • Acronis?
    • Other software?
  • Make sure SSD will fit into laptop and whether rails are needed
  • Does SSD come with USB connection?
  • Does SSD come with cloning software?


  1. Connect SSD to computer
  2. Clone HDD to SSD
  3. Change partitions on SSD as needed
  4. Physically remove HDD and replace with SSD

Questions needing solution

  • How to connect SSD to computer for cloning
  • Best software to use for cloning

Disks to consider using

Samsung 860 1TB SATA III SSD

Software Tools to consider

Docking stations

Use to connect 2nd drive to computer for fast data transfer

Process Notes

  • You may need a bracket for the drive - some include them - but all SSDs are 2.5” form factor so you will likely need to mount accordingly. [jht]
  • You can if you try it on your existing computer and it makes your computer faster then you'll be doing better than most. Often there is no way to significantly speed up Windows without doing a clean install; registry cleaners and extra file cleaners help a little bit but a clean install help A LOT. If you're going to the effort to purchase a new hard drive and extend the life of your computer and make it faster it makes more sense to do clean install. [dk]
  • I have used the Crucial website to pick memory and an ssd for my computers. I bought ssd and memory on Crucial website. SSD arrived with case, dongle for USB port. Excellent support service. [alp]
  • I did buy a Samsung and I find it is not as fast as the Crucial. My Samsung is an ssd 840 EVO 500 gig [alp]
  • I have been doing fresh installs with Linux, then attack old op system and copy home directory which includes docs and downloads which is all my data. A typical install is less than an hour. [alp]
  • As an alternative to cloning the drive: assuming you have Windows, and you have the installers for your programs, you can likely just copy over everything from your user directory to keep all of your documents and settings (located in {Windows Drive}\Users\{UserName}\AppData, or enter %userprofile% into Explorer's address bar). Be sure to also capture the AppData folder, since it's hidden by default. It won't be an exact duplicate of your existing computer, but you'll keep the vast majority of your settings and probably all of your documents. [cdc]
  • Whether you go the manual copy route or the full clone route, one option to temporarily connect your new SSD or old HDD to the system is the Thermaltake BlackX, which is around $20 at Newegg. I have an older version of it that has served me well for reading 2.5“ drives (they read 3.5” drives too, but I doubt a laptop has one of those), but I'm sure there are lots of other inexpensive options as well. [cdc]

Good Summary [jri]

The process to migrate from a “spinning” hard drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD) is a relatively easy one, however you will need a special cable and the right software.

For the cable, you would need something comparable to this item, as you will need to physical attach the SSD to the computer using a USB port. Then once you have cloned the hard drive to the SSD, you will need to put the SSD inside the computer.

For software, you can use the product that comes with the SSD or spend a few dollars and upgrade to an Acronis software product. Directions on software to clone a disk: We use an Acronis

After you install the new SSD in your computer, and you log in, you may need to extend the volume. Go to Disk Management and right click the active volume and choose “Extend Volume”. This will maximize the SSD to its full capacity.

If installing in a desktop, you will need a mounting bracket.

For the hardware, we just recently upgraded 22 of our client’s laptops to a Samsung 860 EVO 1TB hard drive, with a current cost of $169.99 at


  • Last modified: 2019/05/31 21:38
  • by smi