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January 7, 2021

How to Install a Solid-State Drive in Any Laptop

Read this article to learn how to upgrade a laptop with an SSD and your device will be running at a faster speed in no time.

If you need a fast PC, getting a new laptop is not the most cost-effective option. If you have an old laptop that is operating irritatingly slowly, you can improve your system’s performance by simply replacing your old hard drive with a solid-state drive. Switching from a mechanical hard disk drive to a solid-state drive dramatically improves your laptop’s performance. This single action improves the speed at which Windows and other programs load and increases the speed of data transfer for activities that require frequent disk access. More than that, as SSDs have no moving parts, they are less susceptible to accidental damage than hard drives. Unlike traditional hard drives, SSDs (solid-state drives) run silently, use flash cells to save data, and use less power. Although HDDs are cheaper than SSDs, they are notably slower, larger, and riskier to use.

If you’re looking for how to upgrade a laptop with an SSD, this article is the right guide. You don’t need to be a software expert to follow the steps outlined here. You’ll learn how to clone your existing hard drive before going ahead and replacing your drive using a screwdriver. Whether you’re searching for how to install an SSD in a Windows laptop or any other laptop, carefully follow the procedures below and your device will be running at a faster speed in no time.

Choosing a Solid-State Drive

There are dozens of brands that offer multiple SSD models. However, the best SSD for you would be one that matches your particular use case. So you should first consider the amount of space you need. If you need to store heavy files, a 500GB or 1TB SSD would serve you well. However, if you want faster speeds and do not need to store large files, a 250GB drive would suffice. If you would like to copy data from your existing drive to the new SSD, it should be greater in storage capacity than your current HDD. To check the data storage capacity of both drives, plug your SSD into your computer, then right-click on each drive and select Properties to see their capacity. Also, your current hard drive is likely a 2.5-inch HDD with a SATA interface. You should replace it with an SSD of the same size and with the same connector interface.

What Happens to Your Files?

If you want to keep the files from your old hard drive, the easiest way is to clone the drive and copy all your files to the new SSD. However, you’ll need a USB-SATA adapter to move your files from your existing HDD to the SSD. Once the SSD is connected to the USB-SATA adapter, you only need to plug it into a USB port on your laptop.

Cloning Your Hard Drive

Whether you use the cloning software that comes with your SSD or any of the free disk cloning tools you can find online, you’ll get the exact clone of your existing hard drive on your new SSD without losing any of your files or programs. Nonetheless, the process should typically align with the following steps:

  1. Install the cloning program of your choice on your laptop.
  2. Connect the USB-SATA adapter to the new SSD.
  3. Plug the USB-SATA adapter into your laptop (use the USB 3.0 port for a faster transfer speed).
  4. Clone your current hard drive using the instructions in the cloning program.
  5. Wait for the cloning process to be completed (it will probably take a while).

How to Install a Solid-State Drive

Now, you’ll need to do some physical work with a screwdriver. Simply shut down your laptop, unplug all cables, remove your battery, and lay the laptop upside down on a flat and level surface. At the bottom of your laptop, you should see a rectangular cut-out panel that is held down by multiple screws. If your laptop doesn’t have a cut-out panel, you might need to unscrew the entire bottom cover to access your drive. Feel free to check your laptop’s manual to see the entire hardware breakdown for that specific model. You can use an open bowl or a zipper bag to keep the screws from rolling over your work area.

After removing the cut-out panel, follow the steps below to replace your HDD with your new SSD:

  1. If your hard drive is covered with a metallic bracket or wrap, carefully pull the guarding tab and remove the drive.
  2. If the hard drive is connected to a SATA connector, gently detach it before removing the drive.
  3. Now, place your new SSD in the mounting area and plug it into the SATA connector.
  4. Screw the mounting bracket or wrap (if any) onto the new SSD and then replace the cut-out panel or back casing, but don’t screw it just yet.
  5. Turn on your computer and confirm that everything is intact, then turn it off and replace the final screws.

SSDs generally can’t differentiate sectors that are truly in use from those that should be considered as free space. So you’ll need to enable TRIM (a special set of commands that help SSDs to effectively manage empty space):

  1. Input “cmd” into the Windows search bar (without quotes), right-click on the Command Prompt option and run it as an administrator.
  2. Into the Command Prompt window, input the following command:

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

  1. If you get 1, TRIM is not enabled.
  2. If you get 0, TRIM is enabled.
  3. Input the following command if you need to enable TRIM:

fsutil behavior set DisableNotify 0

What’s Next?

If you want to improve the speed of your computer and protect your data from accidental losses, it’s okay to upgrade your laptop with SSD storage. Unlike HDDs that have spinning magnetic heads to access data, SSDs are a collection of memory chips that read and write data over and over again. SSDs are a faster and more reliable alternative to HDDs because they rely on flash memory microchips rather than moving mechanical parts.

Also, you no longer have to wait for ages just to transfer large files over the internet. File sharing is now easier with FileWhopper — a simple but efficient online transfer platform that allows you to send files and folders of any size. This service is ideal for people who handle large files and hate the size limits in Gmail or the costly monthly subscription plans from cloud storage services such as OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.

Whether you have a folder of videos or a bunch of software files, you can easily send it to anyone using FileWhopper. If you check our pricing estimator, you’ll see that a transfer of 20GB will only cost you $5.99, and if the file size is up to 1TB, you only have to pay $83.99. Unlike when using popular cloud sharing platforms that offer subscription packages, you only need to make a one-time payment to use FileWhopper for any transfer.

It’s safe to transfer personal and confidential data via FileWhopper because it ensures top-notch security by encrypting your files and folders with a unique ID and custom password that only you can access. So only the recipients that you have shared the download link and password with will be able to download your data. Passwords aren’t stored on or transferred via FileWhopper’s servers, and the transfer ID masks the name and contents of your file or folder.

There you have it. You can now experience the fast performance of your new SSD. If you have any issues with the steps provided in this article, don’t hesitate to use the comment section below.

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