How To Replace Laptop Hard Drive & Reinstall Operating System? – Expert Guide!

A laptop hard drive is not eternal and can run into issues from time to time. You might be thinking about upgrading your laptop’s hard drive or it might have run into some issues.

Regardless of the reason, it is not necessary to take your laptop to a professional in order to replace the hard drive on your system.

You can do it at home easily and also install the operating system yourself in just a matter of minutes.

In this guide, we will be exploring how to replace a laptop hard drive and reinstall the operating system in your laptop. Let’s get right to it:

Also Read: How Much Storage Do I Need On My Laptop?

A Step-by-Step Guide To Replace Hard Drive & Install OS

Whether you are upgrading your hard drive because of storage reasons or replacing it with a new one because the older one no longer functions, you can do it easily at home.

We will be sharing detailed instructions on how you can replace the hard drive on your system and then reinstall the operating system.

Step 1: Create a Backup

First of all, if you have any important data on your current hard drive, you need to create a backup for it. The data can include documents, pictures, videos, and other files.

You can use professional backup software to create a backup of your data. The backup should be created on an external drive or cloud storage, as you will be removing this hard drive completely from your system.

The time it will take to create the backup depends on the amount of data you are including in the backup file. So, it can take from a few minutes to a few hours.

Once the backup file has been created, on cloud storage or external drive, you can move to the next step.

Step 2: Get the Installation Disk or Prepare a Bootable USB Drive

If your laptop comes with a CD/DVD ROM, then you can use the Windows OS installation disc for installing the operating system.

However, modern laptops do not come with an optical drive, which makes the discs completely useless.

But, you can now download the ISO-based file version of Windows OS from the official website.

So, all you have to do is plug in a USB Drive to your laptop, download the Windows OS from the official website, and create a bootable USB Drive that you will later use for installation.

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Step 3: Remove the Old Hard Drive From Laptop

Once you have completed the preparation for bootable USB, you can turn off the laptop. After that, it is time to remove the old hard drive.

Before you remove the old hard drive, make sure you shut down your laptop and wait for a few minutes. If the laptop comes with a removable battery, you should remove it.

Then, open the screws on the backside. If your laptop comes with an easy-access panel, you will be able to open the upgradable section by just opening one screw.

However, for some older laptops, you might have to open the whole back panel before you get to the hard drive section.

After removing the back panel, remove the mounting screws from the hard drive, slide the hard drive to remove the connector, and then remove the hard drive.

Once you have removed the case, you will have to unscrew the hard drive from the case and separate it.

Step 4: Replace with New Hard Drive

Now, it is time to install your new hard drive. Whether you are upgrading to an SSD drive or a newer hard drive with more storage, you can do so by repeating step 3 in reverse order.

So, first, you will install the hard drive in the computer case and screw it on. Then, you will connect the hard drive with the connectors and slide it in.

After that, you will install the mounting screws to fix the new hard drive in place. After that, you will close the back panel.

Step 5: Turn On Your Laptop & Connect Bootable USB

Now, you must turn on your laptop again and enter the BIOS settings. Before you enter the BIOS settings, connect the bootable USB disc you created earlier.

Hence, when the option to enter BIOS settings appears, you will be able to launch the bootable disc directly and get into the Windows OS setup.

Each laptop has its own specific key for entering the BIOS menu or for launching the bootable disc option. It might be Function Key 2, Function Key 10, or Del key, depending on the specific laptop.

Also Read: How To Undervolt A Laptop To Increase Performance?

Step 6: Reinstall the Windows

Once you launch the bootable menu for Windows, you can follow the onscreen instructions to install the Windows as per your specific needs.

If you don’t have a product key at this moment, you can skip it and activate your Windows later on.

You will be provided with multiple options for Windows editions. Select the one you require to run on your system and accept the terms and conditions to move on with the installation.

You can choose an unlocated space on your hard drive. If the drives have not been created, you can easily create multiple volumes from this setup.

Once you have allocated all the available volume to the custom drives, you can choose one of them to be the system drive and install your Windows OS in that drive.

Proceed with the installation and it will take a few minutes. Once the installation is complete, your laptop will automatically turn on.

Step 7: Restore Your Data from Backup

Once your laptop has been turned on, you can restore the backup data you created earlier by accessing the file.

The file will be in the location you stored it. So, you can connect to your cloud storage or connect the external storage and restore the data that you backed up.

It might take longer if you have a large backup data file. So, you might have to wait anywhere between a few minutes to a couple of hours.

Once the restoration process is complete, your laptop will be as good as new, with both the hard drive replaced and a new OS installed in the system.

Also Read: Best Gaming Laptops Under $800

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to reinstall the OS after changing the hard drive?

After you change the hard drive, the new hard drive will not have an OS. So, you will have to enter the BIOS menu and install a Windows OS from scratch. For that, you can use a DVD Disc or a Bootable USB Drive that can be created easily.

How to wipe my hard drive and install a new operating system?

If you want to wipe your hard drive completely and install a new OS, you have to launch the Windows setup from a bootable device, go through the wizard, format the whole drive from the setup, and then install the new OS.

How do I replace my laptop hard drive and reinstall the operating system without a CD?

If you don’t have a CD or if your laptop doesn’t come with CD/DVD ROM, then you can create a bootable USB setup for installing the OS. Simply download the setup from the official Windows website and create a bootable USB by using a software application.

Wrapping Up!

Summing it all up, the process of replacing the hard drive in your laptop and installing a new operating system can be done easily. With the right guide, you will be able to do it yourself at home.

Hence, not only you will be able to learn the DIY tricks of maintaining and upgrading your laptop, but you will also save money that you would have otherwise spent on tech support professionals.

The above guide provides you with detailed instructions on how to replace the hard drive on your laptop and install a new operating system. I hope the guide is helpful to you in resolving the issue successfully.

Good Luck!

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