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Upgrading Solid State Drive

Below is a procedure for upgrading your SATA 2.5 inch Solid State Drive into a desktop computer.
 2.5 inch Solid State Drive & Adaptor Bracket.
1. Back-up all of your important files.

2. Make sure the power is unplugged and press the power button to drain any power from the computer.

3. Follow anti-static procedures, and have your tools at hand. Open the computer case.

4. If you are replacing a Hard Drive with a new SSD then first unplug the Hard Drive power cable and data cable. Unscrew the Hard Drive from the case which is usually held in place with four screws, and remove.

5. Unless your computer case has provision for a 2.5 inch SSD then you will require an SSD adaptor bracket. If you have a spare 3.5 inch drive bay in your case then you can use a 2.5 to 3.5 inch bracket. You could also use a 2.5 to 5.25 inch bracket to fit it into a spare 5.25 drive bay. Connect your SSD to the bracket which is usually held with four screws.

6. Fix your SSD and bracket into a spare drive bay in your computer case making sure that the power and data cables will reach okay.

7. Next, connect your SATA Data Cable from the SATA connector on the motherboard to the data connector on the Solid State Drive which will only fit one way.

SATA Solid State Drive & SATA Connectors on motherboard.

In the photograph above, this particular motherboard has four blue SATA2 connectors which run at 3Gb/s and two faster white SATA3 connectors that run at 6Gb/s. If you are installing a SATA3 Solid State Drive then the data cable should be connected to the white SATA3 connector on the motherboard to take advantage of the extra speed. If your Solid State Drive is to be your main drive containing the Operating System then connect to the white SATA6G_1.

8. Connect the Power connector from the Power Supply Unit to the Solid State Drive which will only fit one way. Make sure the power and data cables are tidy and away from any fans, and so that they do not restrict airflow in the case.

SATA Data Cable.SATA Power Cable.

9. Once the Solid State Drive has been fitted then close the case, connect the power, monitor, keyboard, and mouse cable to your computer and boot your computer up to the CMOS setup page. Verify that the BIOS can see your new Solid State Drive.

10. If your BIOS supports AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) then it is recommended to set the SATA mode to AHCI instead of IDE via the CMOS setup page to get the best performance out of your Solid State Drive. Ideally, this should be done before installing an operating system to prevent any stability problems.

11 If required then install an operating system on the SSD. Note that Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 provide support for Solid State Drives but Vista and XP do not. Click here for details on installing an operating system.

Computer setup for a Solid State Drive.

As mentioned in step 10, making sure that you select AHCI in the CMOS setup page should get the best performance out of your Solid State Drive. AHCI allows advanced features such as Native Command Queuing(NCQ), hot plugging, and power management which should not only improve SSD performance but also run it at a lower power consumption.

If supported it can be found in the CMOS setup page under 'integrated Peripherals' or 'Storage configuration' where you can change 'Configure SATA' or 'PCH SATA Control Mode' to 'AHCI'. This will vary depending on your BIOS so please consult your user manual. There are usually three modes to choose from - IDE, RAID, or AHCI.

If your computer does not support AHCI then it should still work okay but the SSD will not be able to take advantage of the latest SATA functionality.

If you use an operating system that supports Solid State Drives (such as Windows 7, 8 or 10) then it should automatically activate TRIM. You can confirm that TRIM is working by opening the command prompt and typing 'fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify' (without the quotation marks). If TRIM is working okay then you should see - 'DisableDeleteNotify = 0', otherwise confirm that your SSD drivers are up-to-date.

Make sure the 'Disk Defragmenter schedule' is turned off. Open the Start Menu, then type dfrgui into the search line and press Enter.

Also, check to see if 'Hibernation mode' is turned off by opening the command prompt and typing 'powercfg -h off' (without the quotation marks). If you need to switch 'Hibernation mode' back on in the future then type 'powercfg -h on' (without the quotation marks).

MENU (Solid State Drive):
1. Solid State Drive 2. Upgrade SSD 3. M.2 SSD