Macrium Reflect is an excellent piece of software which will do this for you.
Download & install Macrium Reflect to your current system.
It doesn't hurt to clean up temporary files to reduce the size of the backup at this point.
A - Backup procedure:
- Preferably connect an external hard drive, via USB, to the laptop as
the backup target.
- Run "Reflect" (expect a UAC prompt). In the Disk Image tab at top left, choose Create an image of the partitions required to backup and restore Windows.
- Choose your external hard drive in the Destination folder, and follow the prompts.
B - Create restore media boot disc:
- In Reflect, choose Other Tasks (top menu) and Create Rescue Media
- Burn it to a CD or DVD
- Reboot laptop and ensure you can boot from the disc
- While there, in the Rescue boot, why not also confirm you can access the backup image via Restore (don't actually restore it yet)
C - Replace hard drive with SSD
D - Boot from Reflect rescue media disc and restore
I recall being confused, in Restore, on how to assign backed-up partitions to the new disk partitions. It is a drag-and-drop operation. Everything else was intuitive.
If you have a separate data partitoon on your laptop, e.g. an E: drive, deal with that also. I don't use Reflect for data partition backups (SyncBack Free is good for that)
I have done the above on more than one laptop. The restore operation makes the new disc bootable, and Windows carries on without any activation or any glitches.