Cloning laptop HDD to SSD, but using a second computer


Oct 8, 2014
I'm upgrading my girlfriend's laptop from an HDD to an SSD. However, I'm also replacing her broken screen.

While I'm waiting for the new screen to come in, can I hook both drives up to my desktop and clone them there? If so what do I need and how do it do it?



Yes you can, as long as the actual target drive ends up in the currently broken laptop before you power it up for the first time.

Standard cloning operation...
Connect both drives in your desktop(?) as secondary and tertiary drives
Clone ALL the partitions from the laptop HDD to the new laptop SSD
Power off and disconnect those 2 drives
Don't do anything with the laptop SSD until it is fixed.'ve saved a whole 30 minutes, over just doing it with the laptop once the screen is fixed.

Personally, I'd just wait until the main problem is fixed...the laptop screen.
Your best option may depend on the clone utility you use.
If you bought a Samsung ssd, their free ssd migration tool works very well.
But... it will only move a windows "C" drive.
It is not clear to me if you mount the laptop drive in your pc if the utility will see it as a windows "C" drive, or as a D or E drive and not be able to move it.

There is no harm in trying.

First make sure the laptop will boot from an SSD. It may not if it is an older model. If you can't find anything in the manual contact the manufacturer.

Make sure to get an SSD that will hold all of the HDD data and have at least 20% unused space . You obviously can't clone a 512Gb HDD partition holding 350Gb of data to a 256Gb SSD so make sure you get the correct size SSD.

Make sure that you install the laptop HDD and the SSD on higher numbered ports in your desktop than that used for your current boot drive. Make sure the power is off when you install the drives. Then boot the desktop machine and make sure it recognizes both drives. If it doesn't recognize the SSD, you can't do the clone on your desktop.

SSD manufacturers typically have cloning software you can download from their web site. Download and install the SSD manufacturer's cloning software on the desktop boot drive. Run the clone, copying all partitions from the HDD to the SSD. Power down and remove the drives from the desktop machine. Do nothing with the SSD until the laptop repair is complete. Then install the SSD and try to boot it up. You may have to change the laptop BIOS settings to get the SSD to boot.

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