Windows 10: How do I change the hard drive without losing the Windows install.
How do I change the hard drive without losing the Windows install.
My girlfriends computer has a hard drive that shows as having faults on the computer health scan. I would like to swap out the hard drive for another but obviously don't want to lose the Windows 10 installation. The computer had Windows 8 pre-installed and she later upgraded to Windows 10. Is it possible to swap out the hard drive without losing Windows?
The computer is a Lenovo C260 All-in-One.
Hi, as the drive is faulty, unless you have already have created an image of your drive (which we very strongly recommend e.g. Macrium Reflect (free)), you will need to reinstall Windows.
Normally replacing a drive - even other parts- does not cause an activation issue. If it does, contact your regional MS activation support line.
A fresh install to a new hard drive is always the best option in my experience just remember to back up all the files/music & data you have from the old O.S. to a usb stick or to a Recordable DVD if you still can ?
I have re-installed my free upgrade of win10 over 10 times in the last year to the same mobo but was experimenting with different hard drives ect..
Activation should be automatic upon an internet connection being present.
I'd probably clone the hard drive, if it is still running OK.
The C260 uses a 2.5" hard drive, like those typically used in laptops. Unless it has a second drive bay (unlikely), you'd need a USB to SATA external adapter to connect the new drive to the PC for the cloning operation. They are inexpensive; here's an example:
You'd also need cloning software, which is usually available with the new drive or by download from the new drive's maker (if you buy a bare drive).
Going to an SSD would be nice, if the additional expense is acceptable. (A hard drive costs less than $0.10 per gigabyte at the 500GB size. An SSD, more like $0.25US.)
She might need a whole pile of USB sticks or DVDs! If her HDD is replaced with an SDD then it should be possible to put it back in later and copy them then, but the OP has to be careful about how big the HDD is and how big the SDD is - they are usually a lot, lot smaller.
You may find my guide here useful http://www.eightforums.com/installat...s-hdd-ssd.html. I've also enclosed the guide here.
I used Macrium Reflect to image (not clone) my system to another drive, then install a SSD and copy the imaged partitions back to the new SSD. Note it's recommended to have only the new system disk installed when you first boot to the new drive. Activation of Windows 10 should be almost instantaneous if you are connected to the internet.
Thanks for all your help, the PC didn't come with any install discs so is cloning the drive the only option I have or can I download Windows from somewhere?
Steve C post #7 gave you one of the best ways to put your Windows 10 on a new drive. I've always used Macrium Reflect to move my OS to a new drive, and like Steve said, do NOT use the clone option.
Macrium Reflect Free
Imaging and then restoring that image to the new drive would be the best and fastest way as OldMike65 pointed out.
Win 10 ISO files can be downloaded from this site:
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