Upgrading your hard drive – without a reinstall?

Recently I ran out of space on my hard drive on my lap top. Knowing that normally this is quite a hassle to upgrade I delayed it as long as possible, deleting old movies and some music bought me some time, but I knew I would have to go through the hassle.
By hassle I meant this:
  • Use Windows tool to copy settings and data to a new temporary storage;
  • Remove old hard drive
  • Install new hard drive
  • Reinstall windows.
  • Reinstall all applications.
  • Use windows tool to restore settings and data to new drive
  • Spend days downloading all the updates and patches that where on the old machine
This time while looking for the new drive I stumbled upon this thing by Seagate called DiscWizard. It claimed that it would allow you to clone the drive and then you can just replace the old with new boot an all is good.

After a little research I decide why not give a go. So I ordered my Seagate drive (It must be a Seagate, Samsung and Maxtor drive, otherwise the software will not run). I also ordered an external chassis for the drive as recommended.

Once I had the drive and the chassis I inserted the drive into the chassis, downloaded DiscWizard from seagate.com/gb/en/support/downloads/discwizard/, and then installed the software. Make sure the drive is connected to the machine. Also you may need to go to disc manager to make sure the drive is being seem by the machine.

Once all this is done the software will install. Then run the software (it requires admin mode). Click on Clone drive. It should then automatically detect the source and destination drives, but if not make sure you select it. Then it will ask to reboot. The process it is about to perform takes time, so ensure you have an hour or two. The machine will then reboot, and run the cloning process.
There is an option that is normally automatically selected to shut the machine down after the process is complete, let it do that.

Then once that is done the machine is shut down. Now remove the old drive from the laptop add the new one boot into windows. It will probably detect the new hard drive, and want to install the driver, let it do that (make sure you have internet). After it has installed the driver it will ask you to reboot the machine. It will do that and then your machine will be as it was, but with a new drive.

I had a problem with QuickBooks that did not want to run, since it had some issue with the license file. Which I deleted from the program data (actually I zipped it up and deleted it, but considering that I had a full back up on the drive I remove that was not necessary). And all sorted. An hour or two later and I have my laptop up and running J.