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    Installing an SSD in a laptop

    I'd like to replace the hard drive in my wife's laptop with an SSD drive and I think I remember some installation issues to look out for in an old Fred Langa column. For example, I think Fred had an issue of the SSD being too big to fit in the laptop enclosure. There are so many old Windows Secrets issues with "SSD" in them that I don't quite know how to search for that column.

    Can someone comment on the pitfalls of replacing an SSD drive in a laptop, or point me to that old article? Thanks!

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Erik,

    1. Most new SSD are 7mm in height where the older ones were 9mm and could cause some problems with fit. Make sure you get one that is 7mm in height which shouldn't be a problem.
    2. Get a good Imaging program (I'd recommend Macrium Reflect Free) and image the current HDD to an External HDD. Make sure you create the Windows PE Boot media you'll need it to restore to the SSD!
    3. Do the physical replacement. Making sure you have the proper tools you may need Torx screw drivers! You can search on YouTube for videos of your particular laptop being disassembled, I found these very helpful.
    4. Boot from the Macrium Reflect Windows PE boot disk and restore the image. You may need to do this partition by partition as you'll probably have a smaller SSD than your HDD and you'll have to resize the partitions to fit. (Here it really helps if you have your data in a separate partition as that is the one that is easiest to shrink to fit. You may want to look into doing this first if you are not already setup this way IMHO.
    5. Reboot into the machine. You may have to revalidate your windows installation with MS.
    6. Get a copy of Partition Wizard's Mini-Tool and burn to CD or USB. Use this to check the alignment of your partitions on the SSD (SSD's wear faster is not aligned). Mini-Tool has a handy one button "Align All Partitions" button. See post #6 in this thread for more info on this.

    Good Luck!

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    RG, I assume that you have to have MR Pro rather than free to do the biz in your point 4. Or will free cut the mustard?

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Access,

    Yes I have Pro but if memory serves you can do it all w/Free. I know you have to manually download the Win PE files w/Free where Pro does it automatically. The other thing Pro provides is automated scripts for frequent Image/Backup jobs but that isn't need here. As always RTFM! HTH

    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Thanks RG, that's good to know but I will RTFM. Oh, it's freaking in your neck of the woods. In mine it's frelling

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik47 View Post
    I'd like to replace the hard drive in my wife's laptop with an SSD drive and I think I remember some installation issues to look out for in an old Fred Langa column. For example, I think Fred had an issue of the SSD being too big to fit in the laptop enclosure. There are so many old Windows Secrets issues with "SSD" in them that I don't quite know how to search for that column.

    Can someone comment on the pitfalls of replacing an SSD drive in a laptop, or point me to that old article? Thanks!
    Firstly, see if the laptop's maker offers a replacement SSD or upgrade SSD, this way you'll be able to get the specs in most instances,
    and be better able to choose a 3rd party replacement if that's your desire.
    Secondly, if the above doesn't pan out, open the HD bay to take note of size, attachments/screw placements, and type of SATA connection.
    If it's a cheap-O laptop you might have to do some modification, which can usually be precarious, at best.

    Don't guess, make certain by looking and researching.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2014-11-14 at 08:16.
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  10. #7
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    I replaced the boot drives in one desktop, one laptop, and one notebook recently. I used Samsung 840 EVO and Pro drives about 250GB in size. Samsung provide migration software and drive setup software on a DVD with each drive. It makes for an easy conversion. The two portable machines were a bit sluggish but now they fly. These drives are 7mm thick.

    EDIT
    One extra point is that the more storage an SSD has then generally the quicker it runs. In my opinion, a drive of about 250GB is a good compromise. Get larger if you have the need for the storage but below 250GB SSDs run significantly slower. This is due to the physical structure of the SSD electronics.
    Last edited by bd1235; 2014-11-20 at 12:27.
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    I strongly want to second Bob's recommendation. I did some such changes and with Samsung EVO drives it was simple and straightforward. But I did read their instructions BEFORE I began the process and followed the instructions to a tee.

    Having said that I have two PNY drives at home that did not come with anything like the Samsung software. But then, that is no problem for me.

    Again, the slightly higher price for Samsung EVO drives IMHO is justified.
    Eike J Heinze
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  12. #9
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    I have replaced both the mSATA and HDD in my laptop with Samsung EVO 840s and they are great.
    However, be aware of the firmware and calibration software updates to correct a read performance drop they exhibit.
    Download here: http://www.samsung.com/global/busine...downloads.html

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Erik,

    [LIST=1][*]Most new SSD are 7mm in height where the older ones were 9mm and could cause some problems with fit. Make sure you get one that is 7mm in height which shouldn't be a problem.
    True, but some some with a spacer to make a better fit in the cavity, it's not just for shipping as I caught one person trying to throw it away. It has tape on one side for adhering to the drive, probably on the side with the screws.
    SSD.jpg

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