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.
Three things you will have
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.
- Phillips screw driver
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.
- External storage drive
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.
Clone storage drive which is in your laptop at the moment
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.
Move massive folders
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.
Clean up the drive
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.
Connect a new SSD with a laptop
To connect them, you will attach SATA-USB adapter to the SSD and laptop.
Go to disk management
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.
Resize C partition
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.
Install cloning software
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.
Select two drives
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.
Clone the drive
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.
Replacing the storage space
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.
Remove the bottom panel of a laptop
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.
Remove the old drive
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.
Insert a new SSD
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.