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Replacing hard drive



Is there an easy way to transfer my laptop's hard drive to my usb drive so I can replace it with a larger one and then transfer the image back? I only have one m.2 bay in the laptop and bought a brand new hard drive that was on sale. Not sure what would be the easiest way since it won't be able to boot up with no operating system on the new one.


Any advice?



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You can make a Windows Backup in System Settings iirc. If you have a SATA to USB adapter, you can hook that up and use a software cloner.

Chicago Bears fan, Bear Down


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If you're talking about just connecting your old 2.5" sata hard drive/ssd to the laptop to copy files from it, that's easily done with a USB adapter like these





As far as cloning/imaging the drive over to new media, I don't bother with that as personally every time I've ever done that it takes significantly more time to do than to just install windows on a new drive and copy stuff over.

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Yeah I don't have a cable. I was hoping to get it done today but cannot find the windows key that came with the laptop. I may have to order a cable and wait.

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25 minutes ago, The_Moose_is_Loose said:

Yeah I don't have a cable. I was hoping to get it done today but cannot find the windows key that came with the laptop. I may have to order a cable and wait.

Iirc, as long as you login with the same microsoft account, you don't need the windows key. System integrators usually don't even give any since Windows 8, they use the digital license. You can search up how to get the key from your laptop if you need using the command prompt on google.

Chicago Bears fan, Bear Down


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Hold on, does your laptop have a hard drive or an M.2 SSD?

Main System: Phobos

AMD Ryzen 7 2700 (8C/16T), ASRock B450 Steel Legend, 16GB G.SKILL Aegis DDR4 3000MHz, AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB (XFX), 960GB Crucial M500, 2TB Seagate BarraCuda, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations/macOS Catalina


Secondary System: York

Intel Core i7-2600 (4C/8T), ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3, 16GB GEIL Enhance Corsa DDR3 1600MHz, Zotac GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB, 240GB ADATA Ultimate SU650, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations


General Use Mac: Mid 2011 27" Apple iMac

Intel Core i5-2400 (4C/4T), 16GB Various DDR3 1067MHz, AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1GB, 500GB Crucial MX500, 1TB Seagate Barracuda, macOS High Sierra 10.13.6/Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8


Mac mini (Used as macOS server): Late 2009 Mac mini 3,1

Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 (2C/2T), 8GB DDR3 1067MHz, NVIDIA GeForce 9400 256MB, 480GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G, macOS Sierra 10.12


Storage Server: Clover (soon to be retired after more than a decade of reliable operation)

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 (2C/2T), 8GB DDR2 800MHz, 160GB Western Digital Caviar SE (boot), 1TB Western Digital Caviar Blue (2x, storage), FreeNAS 11.3-U1


Main Laptop: Mid 2017 13" Apple MacBook Pro

Intel Core i5-7360U (2C/4T), 8GB LPDDR3 2133MHz, Intel Iris Plus 640, 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD, macOS Mojave 10.14


Machines below are in use on a temporary basis for Folding@home work


Folding Box 1: Dell OptiPlex 990 SFF

Intel Core i5-2400 (4C/4T), 16GB DDR3 1333MHz, MSI GeForce GT 710 2GB, 1TB Samsung 860 EVO, Windows 8.1 Pro


Folding Box 2: Lenovo ThinkCentre M73

Intel Core i5-4430 (4C/4T), 8GB DDR3 1600MHz, 500GB WD Caviar Blue, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations


Folding Box 3: Dell Precision Workstation T3500

Intel Xeon X5675 (6C/12T), 24GB DDR3 1333MHz, AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB, 500GB Seagate BarraCuda, Windows 8.1 Pro

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Sorry for the late reply. It is an M.2. I put the new one in and used my USB Windows repair tool to get windows up and running. Apparently the activation key is built into the machine? I was able to install most of my old free programs and get them up. I then ordered a M.2 enclosure for the old drive and was able to transfer my files the next day. It is definitely faster and double the space.


My only question is now, how do I reinstall the old programs without their installer. My 3d printer program for instance was specific to that brand and my old program has all of the custom settings and calibrations. I moved it over onto the new drive and I can use it, but it doesn't show up in the start menu. It's not like it's integrated into the computer but just running in the folder I pulled from the old drive.


Is there a trick or should I just deal with it?

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