Question from Shelley V.: Hi Rick. I bought a 1TB solid state drive (SSD) to replace the aging 500GB drive in my laptop.
I read your post about using Clonezilla to clone the contents of the old drive onto the new one, but I know from one of your other posts that I’ll need to buy a SATA to USB adapter too.
That all seems like it would be too complicated for me. Is there a simpler way to do this?
I’m a dummy when it comes to computers and I just KNOW I’ll mess something up if it isn’t super easy.
Rick’s answer: Shelley, I can understand your apprehension about cloning your old hard drive and potentially losing all of your files. And I must admit, there is a always a chance that you could do that using Clonezilla.
If you don’t mind spending a few bucks, there’s a super-simple kit that you can buy that makes the process almost impossible to mess up.
It’s the Apricorn SATA Wire Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade Kit, and it’s hands-down one of the easiest and safest ways to clone a laptop hard drive. Here’s how you would use it:
1 – Use the cable that’s included with the kit to connect the new SSD to an open USB port.
Important: Use a USB 3.0 port if at all possible, but if your laptop doesn’t have one a USB 2.0 port will work just fine. It will just take longer for the cloning process to complete.
2 – Place the CD that came with the kit in your laptop’s optical drive, then boot the laptop from the CD. The EZ-Gig cloning software will load automatically.
3 – Choose the source drive (in your case that will be the internal C: drive) and the destination drive (the new drive that’s currently connected to the USB port).
4 – Follow the prompts to begin the cloning process.
5 – After the data transfer is complete, remove the EZ-Gig CD, power off the laptop, and then unplug the cable connecting the SSD to the USB port.
6 – Remove the hard drive from the laptop and replace it with the new SSD that you just cloned the hard drive’s contents onto.
That’s all there is to it, Shelley. With the exception of selecting the source and destination drives, the entire cloning process is handled by the software.
Now all of your data is on the new SSD that’s inside your laptop. You can boot from it and use the computer as you always have.
And as a bonus, you still have your old drive to serve as an emergency backup in case anything eve happens to the SSD!
(Note: I still recommend that you make frequent backups of the SSD to ensure that you won’t lose any new files that will be added to the drive on a regular basis.)
Click here to check out the Apricorn SATA Wire Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade Kit at Amazon.
Bonus tip: Even though the new drive in the laptop is a 1TB drive, you’ll probably find that it’s showing up in File Explorer as a 500GB drive.
If so, that means the cloning process created a new 500GB partition to mimic the primary partition on the old drive.
You can easily use Windows’ Disk Management utility to expand that 500GB partition to use all the available space on the drive. These step-by-step instructions from Microsoft will walk you through that procedure.
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