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This page is intended to help you clone your old laptop hard disk drive (HDD) to a new solid-state drive (SSD).

Before we go further it is very important to note that you should backup your data before attempting to clone your hard drive. Backing up data always remains your responsibility and will not be discussed in detail on this page.

These instructions assumes that:

  • You a basic understanding of installation of applications and opening and closing laptops.
  • You have made a backup of your data;
  • You can replace a hard drive in a laptop and have all the tools required;
  • Your laptop uses a 2.5” SATA Hard Disk Drive;
  • It is recommended that the SSD’s capacity is at least 20% bigger than the capacity of data you currently have on all your partitions.

Windows Cloning Guide

Mac Cloning Guide

External SSD install

1. Windows Cloning guide:​

Below is a high-level list of what you need. More details and links to resources will be provided as we work through the detailed steps:

  1. Your Laptop.
  2. External Hard Disk Bay for 2.5” drives – supplied in the bundle.
  3. Philips small tip screwdriver – supplied in the bundle.
  4. SSD drive that has at least 100%-120% more capacity than the capacity that is in use on your HDD – supplied in the bundle. It is your responsibility to select the correct size SSD.
  5. Cloning Software:
  6. Time and patience 😊

Please conduct the following checks before continuing with the process:

    • Did you backup your data?
    • Health Check of Hard Drive steps:
      • Step 1: Open Windows File Explorer.
      • Step 2: Right click on the drive you want to check (typically C drive).
      • Step 3:  Select “Properties”.
      • Step 4: Select “Tools”.
      • Step 5: In “Error checking” click on “Check”.
      • Step 6: Select Scan Drive.
        • You can get the following outcomes:
          • No Errors Found – You are good to start the cloning process.
          • “Errors were found and fixed” – You are good to start the cloning process.
          • Errors were found and NOT fixed – Please proceed with extreme caution, it is likely that the clone process might fail, and data could be lost.

Installation of SSD into Drive Enclosure:

  • The drive enclosure comes with the following components:
    • Drive enclosure.
    • USB cable.
    • Phillips screwdriver.
    • 2 x screws.
    • Bag for drive enclosure.

    Installation steps:

    • Step 1: Separate the USB side from the drive enclosure.

  • Step 2: Align and connect SSD to the SATA port of the drive enclosure.

  •  You do not need to fasten the screws at this point as we will remove the SSD again.
  • Step3: Slide into drive enclosure till closed and connect USB cable to the enclosure and to the laptop’s USB port.

  • Step 4: Initialising SSD:
    • Open File Explorer
    • Right Click on “This PC”
    • Click on “Manage”
    • Click on “Disk Management”
    • You will now see a disk with unallocated disk space
      • Right click on the unallocated disk space
      • Click on “New Simple Volume”
      • Click on “Next”
      • Click again on “Next”
      • VERY IMPORTANT: Note the drive letter i.e. D
            • Click again on “Next”
            • Click again on “Next”
            • Click on “Finish”
      • You will now have a new drive volume that was created on the new SSD.

3. Clone the drive

Download and Install Cloning Software: – note this is freeware and intended for your private use:

  • Download the following software:
  • Once ReflectDLHF.exe has downloaded, install it, by running ReflectDLHF.exe
    Select “Download” – the Macrium Reflect installer will then download.
  • Windows will ask whether or not you want to allow Macrium Reflect 7 to make changes – select “Yes”
  • Click “Next” to extract the setup files and begin installing.
  • Click “Next” at Welcome Screen.
  • Read and accept the License Agreement, select next.
  • Select “Home” and then “Next”.
  • Fill in your e-mail address, click on get code, and copy and paste the code you receive via e-mail. Then Click “Next”
  • Click “Next”
  • Click “Install”
  • Click “Finish”
  • Macrium Reflect will launch

You will now follow the instructions based on one of the following situations:

  1. Destination SSD smaller than source HDD, and data on source HDD is equal or more than the usable capacity on the SSD.
    1. a.You first must clean up space on the source HDD till you meet condition 2 or 3 and then follow the relevant instructions.
  2. Destination SSD equal or larger than source HDD:
    1. Follow the instructions in this video:

3. Destination SSD smaller than source HDD, but data on source HDD is less than the usable capacity on the SSD.

    1. Follow the instructions in the video below, and make sure you drag partition per partition over and resize them so that all partitions will fit on the SSD.

MAC Cloning Guide

After you install the new hard drive, you will need to boot to your old hard drive. If you have an external enclosure for the old hard drive, you will plug that in via Firewire or USB, (Note: USB is only a bootable option on Intel Macs) then turn on your computer while holding down the Option key on your keyboard. This will give you a boot menu that looks like the picture to the left. Click on your old hard drive to start the booting process, and your Mac will start up normally after that.

Formatting Your New Hard DriveFormatting the new hard drive will be the next step you will need to take to add a volume to the drive. Here is an instruction guide for the formatting process using Apple’s Disk Utility (included with OSX, located in Applications > Utilities folder)1. Once you have opened “Disk Utility”, click on your new drive on the left hand side and then click on the “Partition” tab on the right. Once you are on the “Partition” click “Options” at the bottom. The next step is to choose the partition map you want to use.2. If you are formatting this drive for use as a drive on a PPC based Mac select “Apple Partition Map” and click Ok. This is the default partition map for all external drives. Intel based machines can read and write to a drive with a “Apple Partition Map” , however you cannot boot of off this Partition map on an Intel Mac.

3. If you are formatting this drive for use as a drive on a PPC based Mac select “Apple Partition Map” and click Ok. This is the default partition map for all external drives. Intel based machines can read and write to a drive with a “Apple Partition Map” , however you cannot boot of off this Partition map on an Intel Mac.

4. Select GUID partition for Intel Based Macs. This will allow you to boot your Intel based Mac off of this hard drive. Click “OK”.

5. Enter the name you want for the hard drive and click “Partition”.

6. You will be prompted with a warning message “Partitioning a disk will destroy all information on the volume of the disk.” To continue with the format click “Partition”.

You will see a progress bar, once it is finished you will see your new drive on your desktop. You have completed formatting your drive for PPC or Intel based Partition Map.

There are many cloning programs out there. All are similar in cloning ability, but others may offer additional functions you may find useful. Some of the more popular ones are…

Apple’s Disk Utility (included with OSX, located in Applications > Utilities folder)

Apple’s Disk Utility (10.3.x or Later)

Disk Utility does have the ability to clone your hard drives just as well as any other software out there. All you will need to do is…

1. Select your new volume (indented) and click on the “Restore” tab.

2. Drag your old volume to the Source field.

3. Drag your new hard drive to the Destination field.

4. Click the check box for “Erasing Destination”.

5. Click restore at the bottom and it then will start copying over to your new hard drive.

Verifying your clone is BootableTo do this, restart the computer and hold the “Option” key on your keyboard to load up the boot menu. You should see your old hard drive and your new hard drive as bootable drives. If you do not see the new hard drive, you will need to do the cloning process again. If you do see the new hard drive, click on it. Your Mac will boot into it and you will get your desktop. This will verify that your hard drive has cloned successfully. Before reformatting/erasing your old hard drive, you will want to verify the cloning processes was a successful, as well as being certain your new clone works exactly like your old hard drive. Be sure to include checking your applications, data files, etc. Please see youtube videos for assistance:

4. Swop the HDD and SSD

View the following video before you continue:

Should your laptop’s covers look different from the video please do the following:

  • Open an internet browser
  • Open
  • Google: Video of hard disk replacement on {enter your laptop make and model here}
    • I.e. if you have a MSI GS75 you would google “Video of hard disk replacement on MSI GS75”

Please make notes from the video, alternatively view it on a separate device.

Make sure your laptop is shut down and unplugged. You now need to unplug the external drive bay and remove the SSD from the external hard drive bay.

Next you need to remove the HDD from the laptop and replace it with the SSD, as per the video instructions.

Once the SSD is installed in your laptop, you can boot up normally.

All that remains now is to install your old HDD in the external drive enclosure:

  • Follow step 1 to step 3 under: “2. Installation of SSD into drive enclosure SSD”, this time fastening the screws to ensure that the drive will not slip out.
  • You can now plug the external drive enclosure into your laptop, and it will be accessible for either extra storage space or to use as external backup.


Congratulations, you have completed the cloning and disk swop out process!