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Original post by: rayramirez ,


Did you did a full Windows system backup first to another external drive or USB flash drive, and dd you create a Windows emergency recovery disc? You need both to fully migrate your old HDD software and data to the new HDD (or SDD). Windows and Microsoft made it simple to do, so visit the Microsoft help site.

Reinstall your old HDD first, get an external HDD or flash drive bigger than the total amount of data, then start Windows Backup to create the full system backup and create the emergency recovery disk on a CD (or on an external DVD recorder). When done,  swap the new HDD again, reconnect the external HDD or flash drive, load the CD or DVD and boot from that. It will come up, and give you a set of boxed options. Go for the full recovery.

Save the recovery disk in the case Windows will not startup again later. Recreate it after you do a new Windows update or an upgrade.

You can also search for “Windows backup” or “Swap Windows HDD” and see other recommendations. There are several products (some free, some cost a little) that can do the full copy on an external HDD or SDD with an  USB adapter in one step. Some can even permit resizing the partitions (smaller or larger).

I did both on my present HP Pavilion laptop where I am now typing this. I am using a PNY 240 SDD and Windows 10 boots up in seven seconds!