Replace SSD with bigger SSD

Mar 14, 2018
I simply want to replace a 240GB SSD with a 500GB SSD in a Win 7 laptop. I want to do a clean install, not a clone. I thought it would be easy, I have switched hard drives many times without any hassle, but...

I made a USB boot disk, and 'burned' the Win 7 Pro ISO to it. Booted from it. First 'issue' was that the drive was not seen at all. A call to Crucial's excellent support. "You have to activate the drive..." And the tech told me how to do it. Did that and tried again...

Got as far as the Country/Language/Keyboard screen. Then a pop-up, "A CD/DVD driver needed cannot be found..." There was a Browse option, but the only disks were the blank SSD and X drive (presumably a RAM disk). Since there was no CD/DVD involved I called Crucial again. "No drivers needed, for our drive" the tech said.

I posted a question on the HP forum, someone kindly pointed out that if the USB ports were USB 3 then the Win 7 setup would not recognize them. "Switch USB to Automatic in BIOS". He was right, I switched, rebooted.

This time I got to the choice, Upgrade or Custom installation. And "Where do you want to install?" This was progress. The C drive was the only drive shown: Disk 0 Partition 1, 489.9 GB, Primary. Then: "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition."

And that's as far as I got with the 'simple' switch. ANY enlightenment much appreciated.



When you get to the part where it lists the partition, select it and hit delete. Do this for any other partitions (if you see any others) until you have only Unallocated space. Then click next and Windows will do the rest.


Oct 9, 2006
What is the make/model of your laptop?
Modern laptops have usb adapters that need a driver which does not come with windows 7 install media.
Kind of catch 22.

There is a procedure to slipstream needed usb drivers into the windows 7 install stream.
I have not done that, but it seems complicated to me.
Google may show you how.

Is there a reason why you need a clean install?

On laptops I have updated, I used a Samsung ssd and their ssd migration appl
It is a C drive mover, not a clone.
You attach the new ssd via a usb to sata cable and when the copy is done, replace the origingal 240gb ssd.
The app is a licensed version of clonix so I imagine one could buy a similar app from clonix.

If you laptop has a second sata drive available, you can put the windows install media on the second drive and boot from that.
Windows 7 has no problem with sata drivers.
Mar 14, 2018
Thanks for the responses. The reason for doing a clean install is to get rid of the junk that has accumulated over the past 3 years, and a curious problem, Windows Restore never worked. Never did find out why. You say that Samsung has a utility that moves the C drive, not cloning. But I am trying to avoid using anything from the existing copy of Windows because of this elusive Restore problem.

The laptop is an HP Envy 15, pretty good spec. 16GB Ram, 4GB VRAM, SSD etc. the 4 USB ports are all USB3, but switching the USB ports to Automatic in BIOS seems to have fixed the USB issue. However, I have also tried using a portable optical drive and a Win install CD, and I ended up with the same problem; "unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition."

The new SSD is Crucial, their support says that there should be no problem, no drivers or other software required.

I'm sorry BadAsAI butI do not understand "When you get to the part where it lists the partition, select it and hit delete." There is only one partition shown in the window, Disk 0, Partition 1, and it is shown as Primary. Surely that is where Windows should be installed?

Mar 14, 2018
Thank you BadAsAI. I didn't have time to pursue this until yesterday, I did what you suggested, deleted the partition, and it worked!

Now comes the slow slog, installing all the software that I can't live without.
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