ASUS Laptop Hard Drive Swap – Windows 8

Recently I purchased a new ASUS laptop with Windows 8 installed on it. It had almost every feature I wanted, except for one. It did not come with a Solid-State Drive (SSD), so I figured it would be a simple process to create installation media from the included utilities and install Windows 8 on my newly purchased Seagate 750GB SSD drive.

So, I brought the thing home. unpack it, get familiar with the OS a little bit and start digging in. First thing I discover is there are no utilities to make installation media included with Windows 8. A little bit of research later, and I discover that you need to make a recovery drive on a 16GB or larger USB stick. This process takes about an hour. And failed to work for my laptop, and many other ASUS laptop users out there it seems, based on some more quick research. When you use the recovery drive, and attempt a complete drive rebuild, you get the message: A required partition is missing.

At this point, I’m frustrated and think I might actually be willing to pay to have this done for me. That is until I realize that the price is going to be $240. I decide that I know what to do, I just need the hardware to do it. This laptop only has a single drive bay, so I need a way to connect my second drive to the laptop over USB. I find a Dynex USB 3.0 laptop drive enclosure that will suit my needs here. I also purchase Paragon Backup & Recovery Home┬áto perform the hard drive duplicate. There appears to be a free version of the software, but I didn’t try it, because I felt that it was right to pay for the development of the software that was going to save me almost $200. Be sure to look for a coupon before you purchase it though. Saved myself $20 there too.

Here is the new process that actually works to get a ASUS laptop hard drive moved over to an SSD drive.

  • Hook your new SSD drive into the Dynex USB 3.0 enclosure and connect to a USB 3.0 port. It will work with a USB 2.0 port, but will be slower.
  • Open Paragon backup and allow through UAC.
    paragon home screen
  • Select Copy and Migration then Hard Disk Migration

    hard-disk-migration

  • Click Next on the Welcome to the Copy Hard Disk Wizard
    hard-disk-welcome
  • Select your disk to copy from and click Next
    select-a-disk
  • Select your target disk
    select-a-target
  • Check to allow to go to a target if it is not empty
    target-not-empty
  • Perform a HDD Raw Copy by checking the right box
    hdd-raw-copy
  • Review the changes and click the Next button
    review-the-changes
  • Last chance to back out. Say Yes to allow the changes
    ready-to-copy
  • At this point the copy process will begin and it will probably require a reboot to continue the copy process. Just allow the reboot to occur.
  • Once the copy process is complete, disconnect the drive enclosure, pull the internal drive and put your new drive in the bay.
  • Restart the computer. Windows 8 may need to perform an auto repair, just allow it to complete.
  • Restart again and things should be up and going again with your new SSD drive.

I hope this helps someone else out there. I spent a good number of hours on working through this process. ASUS really needs to reconsider their process because changing a drive should not be this difficult. The new tools in Windows 8 are very cool, if they would just work for this process. They will help you in the event that your drive is recoverable. Just not a complete drive failure.

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