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Upgrade Laptop Solid State Drive

You may want to upgrade your Laptop's Hard Disk Drive to a much faster Solid State Drive (SSD) to improve the performance of your computer by speeding up boot-up times and applications.

A Solid State Drive uses flash memory, similar to a memory stick and has no moving parts unlike a Hard Disk Drive which has a motor, spindle, platters, and heads. This means that the computer can access data from the SSD much quicker than from a Hard Disk Drive which may have to spin up the disk, then move the heads to the correct position of the platter before it can read or write data.

2.5 inch Solid State Drive (SSD):

2.5 inch Solid State Drive.
It is recommended that your Laptop will be running Microsoft Windows 7 or later which will have support for Solid State Drives. You may also need to update your BIOS settings so they are compatible for a Solid State Drive.

A standard Solid State Drive comes in a 2.5 inch form factor which is an ideal size to replace a Laptop's 2.5 inch Hard Disk Drive. However, the thickness of the SSD may vary from 7mm or 9.5mm and a very slim Laptop or Ultrabook may only accept a 7mm drive.

Although an SSD is much quicker than a Hard Disk Drive it is much more expensive per gigabyte so you may have to decide if you want a really fast Solid State Drive or a slower Hard Disk Drive which has a much greater capacity for storing your files.

Upgrading your Laptop Solid State Drive
1. Be aware that upgrading a Laptop could void your warranty.

2. Back-up all of your important files.

3. Make sure the power is unplugged and remove the battery from the laptop.

4. Follow anti-static procedures, and have your tools at hand.

5. Locate the Hard Disk Drive and remove the cover. The Hard Disk Drive is usually found in a compartment underneath the laptop which is held in place with some small screws. You may need to refer to your laptop manual to locate the Hard Disk Drive on your Laptop or remove the compartments on the underside of the Laptop to try and find it.

6. Once you have located your Hard Disk Drive then you can remove it. The Hard Disk Drive may be inside a metal case (caddy) which is screwed to the Laptop by a couple of tiny screws. Once the screws have been taken out then slide it out of the connector and remove.

7. If the old Hard Disk Drive is in a caddy then the caddy must be removed and fitted to your new Solid State Drive.

8. Put your new SSD into the laptop and push it into the connector. Screw the caddy into the Laptop.

9. Replace the Hard Disk Drive compartment and screw back into place.

10. Replace the battery back into the laptop.

11. Boot your computer up to the CMOS screen. Verify that the BIOS can see your new Solid State Drive.

12. You will then need to install an Operating System. Further details can be found here.

To get the best performance out of your Solid State Drive you should go to the CMOS setup page, and set the 'SATA mode' to 'AHCI' .

Due to the way a Solid State Drive works it will need the operating system to support TRIM commands which are supported in Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Never defrag a Solid State Drive and switch hibernation mode off on your Laptop to increase the life of your SSD.

You can find out much more information on how a Solid State Drive works and tips on using it in the Desktop SSD section of this website.