Almost all laptops users will consider upgrading their laptop with an SSD or solid-state drive at some point. If you are one of them, you should definitely go for it. There are a lot of advantages this storage space has to offer and the speed improvement is phenomenal.
Although, swapping the storage drive is extremely easy, reinstalling the operating system and restoring the personal files to the drive is a bit tricky. Luckily, we will guide you through the process.
So, you have a laptop, but which interface it uses and how much space it has in the case? Most laptops use SATA or IDE interface, which is most standard but cannot be generalized. Then check the space inside a laptop. Almost all of them feature 2.5 inches of space dedicated to the storage drive. But, some models may have a bit smaller room, meaning that your SSD won’t fit.
The situation is a bit different with ultrabooks and notebooks. They have 1.8 inches of space inside and they are different to fit with an SSD. In essence, they don’t have a removable bottom panel which must be removed to physically attach a storage drive to the motherboard.
Always consult the user manual in order to get exact and accurate data regarding the factors we have just revealed. Also, if you have switched to SSD, you will probably know which interface and size you need. In addition, you can also remove the drive storage and take it to the shop, where you will have to compare it with the new SSD drive to check the compatibility.
In order to complete this task, you will need three things. There is no reason to be worried about these requirements, due to the fact they are obvious and extremely easy to get.
You will need it in order to remove the screw which supports the bottom panel. There are a lot of versions, but you can obviously see the one you will need. In most cases, you will need to remove only one screw.
Obviously, you will need an SSD. How much capacity you will need is, however, a bit more complicated question. There are so many versions. Let’s start with 128GB, which is too low for most users. 256GB is a bit better, but still not ideal. Due to recent price changes, 500GB SSD is a much better investment. Of course, this depends on the individual needs, so we won’t try to generalize the matter.
Because all of the data which is located in your current storage space at the moment won’t be used and will literally be put away, you will need an external drive to transfer it to it. Yes, you can also use DVDs and flash drives to get this done, but keep in mind that you will probably need a massive USB thumb drive and your DD burner may not work properly. We must say that the external drive is the safest option.
Once you have all of this, you are ready to move to the next task.
It is possible to simply remove the old storage drive and add a new one, but all of your data will be lost. You can do it if there are no a lot of data or you kept them on another drive. In addition, you must know that once you are done with the process, you will need to install a new copy of Windows operating system. You must have an official DVD with the installation.
In order not to work any of this, we will help you with cloning the drive. This process is used so you don’t have to install your operating system or restore the data back on the drive after the swapping process.
Open Control Panel and go to system and security and then to file history. You will notice the System Image Backup option at the left, lower corner. Click on it.
If your HDD has a capacity of 500GB and a new SSD 128GB, you will have to move large folders to the external drive. These folders are usually loaded with videos, photos, music and etc. If the capacity is the same, you don’t have to perform this step.
This doesn’t mean that you should clean the drive with a cloth. Instead, uninstall all the software you have been using rarely, clean the drive with free software in order to remove temp files and etc. If you have additional files which don’t have a use, delete them as well.
To connect them, you will attach SATA-USB adapter to the SSD and laptop.
Your new SSD should be detected, but it probably won’t. To solve the issue, type disk management in search option and go to the mentioned setting. In the lower end, you will see the SSD icon. It isn’t initialized. Simply right-click and click Initialize. Wait a few seconds and you are one.
This is a place where Windows and all the software will be installed. If it is larger than your new SSD, you must shrink it. Right-click, shrink and enter a value which means that the partition will be smaller or the same in size with a new SSD.
The EaseUS Todo Backup Free is probably the best option at the moment. Install it and open the software. It is optimized to be useful while featuring a simple user interface.
One drive is a source, of your old drive, while the second one is your new SSD. Choose them correctly and make sure you check optimize for SSD option in the bottom. This is used to make the files cloned a bit differently and to allow proper booting sequence. Don’t forget to check this option.
Once you have confirmed the entire setting, click on start and wait. You will need plenty of time to get this done. Most users will have to wait around 45 minutes, but the actual time depends on the size of the original drive. Larger drives will need more time to be cloned.
All of this is used and needed only to restore your files and your operating system once the SSD is added to a computer. Once again, if you don’t want to do it, but you rather want to install a new copy of Windows, you don’t have to clone a drive.
After you are done with the cloning, it would be a wise decision to shut down a laptop and let it cool for a few minutes. This only makes installation a bit easier.
Use a screwdriver and remove the bottom panel of your laptop. This is a place where a hard drive is located and where your new SSD will be inserted.
Lift it to 30 degrees upright and pull it in order to remove or detach it from the ports. All drives have a small foil or an addition which is used to pull the drive from the case.
Connect the SSD with the ports and put the cover back on. After that, you are done.
Now you can start a laptop and check the performances. The first thing you are going to notice is that the boot time is much shorter. Then, as soon as the laptop starts, it is ready to be used. There is no need to wait for a few minutes until it ‘’warms up’’.
Now you may want to defragment the SSD. Type defrag in the search option, open the option and if optimization is needed, confirm it. SSD doesn’t require defragmentation, but Windows may require it in order to sync the data, which has a few advantages on your user experience. Just in case, check this point and confirm it if needed.
After that, you can connect your old drive with the USB-SATA adapter and transfer the data to a new SSD. Of course, after which you can delete the files from the HDD, but this is up to you.
As you can see, the entire process is simple and requires around 2 hours. The same amount of time is needed if you want to install a new Windows. In both case scenarios, your laptop will be much better in any way possible. Using it is far more appealing and the overall performances will be significantly improved. Your data will be safer as well, due to the fact SSDs are far more reliable than older hard drives.
RAM is definitely something you will want or need to upgrade over time. It is an important factor to consider due to its purpose in modern systems. First of all, RAM isn’t only used for gaming. All software and all applications performed on a computer use RAM. When it comes to gaming, it is more than just important and can make a true difference in playing the latest games.
Laptops usually come with the lower amount of RAM than desktop computers. As such, chances are high that you will need to increase the RAM capacity at some point. Before moving to anything else, we will have to reveal how to perform such a thing. Physically, this is an extremely simple task to complete.
Most laptops have 2 slots for RAM modules, which are thin green and black sticks loaded with chips. They will go in a slot located on the motherboard itself. A RAM module is 2-3 inches in length, meaning that it is almost half the length of a module used for desktop computers. To insert it, you will have to follow these steps.
As you can see, the entire process will take just a few minutes. Almost all laptops feature this design, but there are some differences. For example, your laptop may have both slots occupied. In that case, you will have to remove one or both RAM modules and replace them with more powerful ones.
Some laptops have the RAM cover in a different place, so you will have to remove the battery (for example) or something similar. Luckily, all of them are easy to access and you won’t need more than 1 minute.
Once done, there is no need to install any additional software, drivers or anything else. All you have to do is to literally insert the module, turn on your computer and all is done.
Here we must add the fact that different laptops support different RAM modules, of different capacities. While the first matter will be explained below, now is the time to explain the second one, regarding the supported RAM capacity. Low-end laptops may support up to 16GB of RAM. Those which are more expensive may support 32GB of RAM. High-end units will provide support for 64GB. In essence, this depends on the motherboard itself. It is displayed as the main components on system panel and on the box of the laptop. Always check the type and the capabilities of that motherboard. The last thing you want to do is to purchase 64GB module for a laptop that supports up to 32GB. RAM modules are powerful, but expensive as well.
While on Mac, checking the RAM speed is extremely simple (click on About this Mack), on Windows computers this is a bit more complicated. There are a lot of ways to see the size of RAM, like right click on My Computer and then Properties, but here you won’t find the speed of the RAM. Yes, you can look for system files and etc. but this is a time-consuming process which is annoying at the same time. Here are two ways which are more than just easy.
The CPU-Z is a free software used to display all the information regarding a specific computer. It is easy to use and even beginners won’t have a hard time finding the needed details. You will have to:
Once you click on this tab, you will notice all the information regarding the RAM memory. There is the type, capacity, speed and etc. We are interested in the speed at the moment, so pay attention to this field. It is always shown in MHz.
If you don’t want to use software or you don’t trust it, you will have to manually check the RAM speed. To do so, you will have to:
The first part of the labeling indicates the type of RAM memory. There are DDR, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, and GDDR. Of course, there are some other variations as well. This means that you must purchase a RAM module of the same type. They cannot be mixed with each other and they must be properly paired.
The second part of the labeling is used to display the operating speed of the RAM memory. The higher the speed, faster will file be positioned and accessed when stored in the RAM. In other words, you get better performances. For comparison only, think of RAM memory as a storage drive. HDD is slower, so your computer will be slower as well while using it. SSD is faster, so your computer operates much better. The situation is the same with RAM. DDR is much slower than DDR4, so you can make a difference.
Different RAM modules come with different speeds, despite the fact they are members of the same type. As such, we have a variety of differences.
What this list suggests is that DDR2 can be faster than DDR3 and DDR4 can be slower than DDR3. This also means that you must pay attention to the operating frequency or simply, the speed of the RAM memory module when getting one or when buying a new computer! In general, those, more affordable computers come with RAM which is slower. The highest speeds of the RAM we saw earlier are reserved for premium products. They are usually worshipped by the gamers and used by the same.
Now, when it comes to upgrading RAM on your computer, you will have to match the operating speeds and the type, as we have mentioned already. But, you can also boost the speed of the RAM, by replacing all modules on the motherboard. So, if you have two DDR3 of 1066MHz, you can replace both of them with DDR3 1600MHz. The performances are noticed instantly and they are very appealing.
The biggest question of them all is how important is the RAM memory on your computer? The simplest answer you can get is very. RAM memory is actually one of the essential components located in modern computers and one of those that can truly make a difference. Most gamers and computer experts will tell you that motherboard, processor and the RAM are the main factors to consider when looking for a new laptop or a computer.
An interesting question may be, what RAM actually does? Basically, it is a memory or a storage space which is used when the computer runs. A processor will store certain files of the apps and data on RAM and access them when you need them instead of dragging them from the hard drive again and again. All software uses RAM, so not a single program or task would run on computers without RAM.
You already know when the RAM is used. When you start the computer for the first time and open any of the software, it will start slowly and need some time. But, the next time you run the same software, it will be opened much faster. It simply means that the first time the software is run from the storage space, and the second time from the RAM memory.
Nowadays, the software requires plenty of RAM. Even Chrome browser may need 1GB of RAM! Other, more complicated and more demanding software requires, even more, RAM so you can understand why computers with 2GB of RAM don’t work properly.
Of course, we must say that the operating system uses RAM as well. For instance, Windows 10 uses almost 4GB of RAM every time you start a computer. Different operating systems use a different amount of RAMs.
RAM is essential for those who want to use their laptops for ordinary tasks, but it is mandatory for gamers and users who use high-end software, especially the one for 3D rendering and video editing. If you are one of them, keep in mind that even 8GB is not exactly sufficient.
By now you should know that RAM is more than just important and as such, it must be upgraded as soon as possible. Newer software and games will require even more RAM, so your computer will become obsolete and almost useless if you use the same RAM capacity or more than 5 years. If you are a gamer, this is even more important matter. Luckily, upgrading the RAM on a laptop is simple and easy. There is no need to look for professional help or anything similar.