How to install SSD in laptop or PC? Do you know that you can break the panel which holds your SSD, if you are not careful. Don’t make this mistake and use a guide to install SSD safely. Want to install a new SSD in your laptop or PC? Wondering how to instal that shiny SSD in your system? Can’t figure out which SSD to pick for your requirement? We got you covered with our article. See which SSD, your laptop can fit and how you can buy the best SSD. Learn how to open your PC or laptop safely with illustrations to help you out. See how to check for SATA cable and check if your system uses an ATA cable.
Table of Content
What is SSD?
SSD stands for Solid State Drive and it is a newer and faster alternative to HDD (Hard Disk Drive). Both technologies are storage devices that are used in the 21st century and are very fast. However, whereas the HDD uses a physical disk for data storage, SSD replaces it with flash-based memory. We will get more in-depth with differences later in the article along with advantages. The HDD was slow and bulky because of its physical disk and this hinders many applications.
For example, GTA 5 which is a pretty heavy game takes 25 seconds on HDD and only 10 seconds on SSD. The differences become more drastic as we come on heavy designing or graphic software. Now it can mean the difference between you finishing your work today or 2 days later. And if you are a gamer then this can reduce the latency even more and change your overall experience. It is pre-installed in most of the modern laptops but you can easily replace the old HDD with the new SSD. Keep in mind that the slot is wide enough to fit the SSD.
Read also: How to overclock RAM
Some suggestions for you:
- Kingston Q500 240GB SATA3 2.5 SSD( buy here)
- Western Digital WD Green 240 GB 2.5 inch SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (buy here)
- Crucial BX500 240GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5-inch SSD
- Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SATA 2.5″ Internal Solid State Drive(buy here)
- Kingston SSDNow A400 240GB Internal Solid State Drive
- Seagate Barracuda 120 SSD 250GB Internal Solid State Drive
SSD advantages over HDD
- Now if you own a server which deals with media streaming and gets heavy traffic on the website or similar cases. Then you should consider installing a new SSD or replacing the old HDD. Now big companies deal with programming environments or data analysis.
- Now when it comes to gaming SSD can make a huge difference in the response time along with faster loading time. The performance also increases not dramatically but a little more, and as the games become more processing intense.
- The shaders, textures, and other factors make HDD obsolete. For example, textures are becoming larger as people play in 4k and if you are rich then 8k. But some components make the PC or gaming device bottleneck. Bottleneck means an older component like GPU holds your device from giving you the best performance.
- SSDs are A LOT portable compared to HDD and it is safer as it does not overheat and is not prone to wear and tear over time. HDD overheats because of the moving component causing friction, these are some of the problems with HDD. SSDs are shock-resistant unlike HDD and reduce chances of data loss.
- Using SSDs on a server to give it an advantage over other servers by providing users with low loading times. Or the reading and writing speed increases which tend to attract users on its platform. That is why remove your old HDD and install SSD in laptop as well as PC.
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How to install SSD on PC
Points to remember while setting up the SSD on your device, quick points worth remembering.
- While installing SSD do not take them out on the ground and no not touch connectors placed at the corner. If you happen to wear nylon clothes, static electricity can ruin the drive. (Highly unlikely but still there is a chance)
- Do not attempt to open SSD because unlike HDD you can not access it and you will be voiding your warranty.
Now you have to understand that every PC chassy or case is different and hence the placement of the drive slots will be different. So check your PC case before buying any SSD online. A standard SSD will have the following dimensions:
Height: 9.5-10 mm
Length: 100 mm
Now, this is a general idea of extremely small SSDs and check the size of the drive you are buying online, all dimensions are given there.
SSDs are connected to the motherboard via SATA or SERIES ATA cable and three different versions (1, 2, and 3). Also, the speed varies with each SATA cable version and is 1.5 GB/S, 3 GB/S, and 6GB/S respectively.
So research about the type of SATA cable your SSD requires, we would not suggest impulse buying as it does not go well in the long run. But in case your motherboard does not support the SATA3 cable then you need not get a new motherboard or drop the idea as SSDs are backward compatible. However, this will bottleneck your SSD meaning the transfer speeds will be less compared to SATA3 cable.
Note that you should go with bigger drive sizes like 1TB or more as they will cost less compared to individual 512 GB drives but individual drives will give more raw data transfer. But if you are new to SSD then we would suggest you buy a 513 GB drive, install your OS on an SSD drive for faster boot loading. Now if you are setting up a new PC then you should do it but if you are just upgrading the existing setup then try restarting Windows. Keep in mind the above points as we will not install our SSD.
Setting up the drive
- Opening PC
Remove all the connections including the power cord, take out the PC and place it in a more comfortable environment like a table. Note: Do not place the PC on bare ground for any reason. Once done, unscrew and remove the left panel (right panel mostly will not give you access to the motherboard). Place the panel anywhere safe and you should see all the internal components of your PC. SATA cable should be visible (long and thick wires all arranged in a row).
- Placing SSD
You should see your old HDD drive at the front of your PC and the drive would be held by a panel and some screws. Remove the old drive and replace it with the new one(you should have an appropriate screw for this step). Now insert the SSD and screw it in the place, make it properly secured in the place, and do not fall off. Note: Holes will be at the side of the SSD and will line up with the metal panel.
- Connecting SATA
Now we need to connect the SATA cable to the SSD, there must be an L-shaped end of SATA which will.be connected to drive. If you are using the SATA3 cable then the end will be colored blue, this helps when you have multiple cables. Now connect the power cable to the SSD, note that there are two different cables. One cable will be used for data transfer and the other will be used to power the drive. Note: If you are installing a fresh Windows then disconnect all the other hard drives.
- Configure BIOS: you need to setup up your first boot drive from your old HDD to new installed SSD.
- Window installation
Now you should skip this step if you are not installing a new Windows on your PC. Now we are assuming that you already made a bootable USB drive with windows on it, a simple search can tell you how you can. Instead, the USB and power on your device and press F12 to enter the boot menu. Now install the Windows and if you don’t know how to do so then do a quick google search or watch a quick video.
Note: Install the Windows on SSD for faster boot loading and faster loading times. Now if you have other drives, place back the drives and connect them with SATA and power cable. Note that all your data and files will still be there on the old drives. Now you can choose to copy the essential files on SSD but we would recommend you use the HDD for all the file storage. Only store the important software on the SSD when you are limited in space. Now you should search the drives in which your data lies, the process is done automatically but if you can see the drives then do this. Create a folder on your drive and right-click that folder to include the library option.
Now choose the “documents library” from the options and copy all the files that you want to store. Now as we told you before, you should not store media files on the SSD, rather you should store applications on SSD. This is important if you want to see a difference in the loading times or the performance in your app or game. Now you need to change the installation location or the default location in the settings or the applications will be installed on the HDD.
How to install SSD on the laptop
Now it will be different to install an SSD on a laptop due to its fixed build or structure and limited availability of space. And the problem with laptops is that they are designed to fix particular hardware and do not have space for anything less or more. Only some particular components can be replaced once they are old or stop working and luckily hard disk is one of them.
Now if you decide to swap your old HDD with a brand new SSD, it will not improve your laptop run-heavy software or perform as that is the work of the processor. However, your laptop will feel a lot faster and the loading times will be reduced dramatically, like less booting time. You should check your needs before swapping the hard disk, if you need a more powerful laptop then we would recommend you buy a new laptop with a better processor. Now understand that installing the SSD is a really simple task but selecting the right SSD is more important. You need a basic four head screwdriver to open and access your hard disk slot, this is very easy. But now let’s discuss the most important topic.
Picking up the right SSD
Now we will not dive into any recommendations as all laptops are different and will need different SSD according to their model. We will see how to select a good SSD and what to look for when buying it for your laptop. There are basically two types of SSD for laptops, these are not guaranteed to fit but mostly they do.
1.8 inch SSD
2.5 inch SSD
Both of the SSD can be of the same price or specifications, the only difference is the physical size, and will they fit in your laptop or not. Now the 2.5-inch SSDs are most common in laptops and can fit in the older laptops without any issue. But 1.8-inch SSDs are used on newer laptops and you are unlikely to need this as your laptop would already have an SSD if it is new.
As we told you earlier that SSDs are of various sizes, if you happen to own an ultrabook or very lightweight laptops then the 1.8 inch SSD will not fit and you would need a 7 mm SSD. Now their ultra-slim SSDs cost significantly more compared to the standard SSDs. Also, you will not find a 7 mm SSD in any offline store because of their low demand, so look for the SSDs online and try to find the lowest prices.
Now you need to do something about your data on the current hard drive as, unlike a PC you can not keep the old hard disk along with the new one.
- Firstly you can choose to keep the data stored on the old hard disk if the data is not very precious or not important at the time. Or you store the data on external storage for easy access later and you would not have to deal with changing the drives again.
- Second, you can choose to copy all your data from the older drive to the newer drive, but you will need to clone the drive. We will not see how it is done in the article but you can easily learn it with a few simple searches, the process is fast but a bit complex.
- We will give you an overview, get a SATA to USB adapter, and then use it for the data transfer. Now the process will get complex because you can not just drag and drop files in the new drive. Note that if you try to clone your device then keep a copy of your data as cloning is not safe and you can lose your whole data if any step is skipped.
Or you can choose to upload all your data on a cloud (if data is less and you have a good internet connection). The advantage of doing this is to keep your data safe on the cloud and will have more space on the new drive.
Now let’s see how to install the SSD on the laptop.
- Take the SSD out of the box, do not place the PC on bare ground for any reason.
The static electricity produced by friction in your clothes can kill the hard disk or any of the internal components of the laptop.
- Take your laptop to a place where you can work on it properly and have sufficient light. Now turn your laptop on its belly or upside down and get your screwdriver.
- Move the battery flip to opposite side as shown by green arrow.
- Take out the battery (it is a really important step to install SSD in laptop). Now safely remove the battery from your laptop with the help of hinges, do not force it out.
- Now remove the cover which is holding the hard disk Inside, use a screwdriver for opening it. How the opening will vary according to the laptop but it will be placed on the downside of your laptop and can be opened with any generic screwdriver. There must be only one panel which will give you access to the HDD.
Note: You will be voiding the warranty of your laptop by doing so, but we are assuming the laptop is old and does not come under any warranty.
- You will find the HDD in the laptop cabinet shown by arrow
- Remove all the screws by the screwdriver of the old HDD drive
- One pry opens the panel with your fingernails or any sharp-edged object, do not use too much force or the lip will be broken. Now you can access the hard drive slot along with the old hard drive, keep all the screws safe in a box or container.
- Now remove all the connectors: SATA cable, remove the old hard disk and store it somewhere safe. Notice if any brackets are holding the drive in place, they will mostly be of white or red color to be highlighted and if you apply force then it can break off.
- Place the new SSD in the slot and mind where the connector will be connected, now connect the SATA cable, and place any extra cable there.
- Now secure the SSD in place by brackets followed by the cover which holds everything in place, do not forget to place any metal plate if there is any. And screw back the final cover in place with all the screws, make sure the screw is tightly secured in place. Now the installation of the SSD in your laptop is completed and you can proceed to the final part of the guide.
Final step to install SSD in laptop, Now we are assuming that you already made a bootable USB drive with windows on it, a simple search can tell you how you can. Instead, the USB and power on your device and press F12 to enter the boot menu. Now install the Windows and if you don’t know how to do so then do a quick google search or watch a quick video. Now your laptop is ready to use and experience the amazing fast loading speeds of the SSD.
We learned about SSD (Solid State Drive) and what are the advantages of SSD over HDD. Now it is very easy to install SSD on a PC but it is much difficult to install SSD on a laptop. We saw the DOs and DON’Ts while installing an SSD on your device. Try not to impulse buy the SSD especially for laptops, many retailers don’t refund if you want to return for a cause other than manufacturing default. Learn about Windows installation along with what your requirements are.