How do I install an SSD? – ZD network

The first step in preparing to install an SSD (Solid State Drive) or “Flash” storage device is to select the model from different manufacturers – Corsair, Crucial, Kingston, Samsung, SanDisk, Toshiba, WD (Western Digital) .

There are two main SSD formats: the 2.5-inch format (half the size of a 3.5-inch hard drive) and the M.2 format, which has become a very common standard since Ultrabooks Has. This check ensures that the notches are positioned correctly when the new unit is fitted, sometimes with smaller screws (not always supplied).

Capacity can range from 240GB to much more. Quality, performance and price depend on the type of SSD, i.e. the number of bits per cell: SLC (1 bit/cell) – the most expensive because it is the most resilient and fastest – or MLC (2 bits/cell), TLC (3 bits /cell) and QLC (4 bits/cell) – cheapest.

The connectors for data transmission and power supply can be of the SATA (2 or 3, more rarely mSATA), M.2 in SATA or in PCIexpress type. So to check.

Copy the contents of the hard drive

Before you start dismantling the existing disk unit, it is recommended to copy all of its contents to an external disk.

If the plan is to clone the hard drive in order to boot the SDD unit exactly the same with the same operating system, it is recommended to use special cloning software such as Clonezilla or Macrium Reflect Free – often using a USB stick. A trick can be to prepare a copy of the new disk in an external box and clone the contents of the old one directly there, using the software mentioned or offered by SSD manufacturers (this is the case with Crucial, Samsung, etc.).

It is more advisable to start from scratch, that is, to take the opportunity to reinstall and “upgrade” your operating system – for example, migrate from Windows 10 to Windows 11. It’s also the right approach to improve its configuration and improve its performance without necessarily changing the operating system version. Attention, it must be taken into account that these copying or installation processes can take up to 45 minutes or more… Mains connection recommended!

Proceed with caution

If you start disassembling your device (laptop PC or laptop or MacBook), you should know that doing it yourself will void the device’s warranty.

Either way, you need to be methodical. First, disconnect the battery or power supply and avoid static electricity.

We take photos, we draw the location of the parts on a sheet, where we put the screws, which are carefully dismantled with the screwdriver of the right size. You can also use a magnetic shelf, on which screws and parts are attached to drawn marks.

The same goes for the connectors: you need to identify where the cables and connectors are (data and power). A point to check: is the wiring in place? Sometimes the connector “tablecloths” are equipped with a locking pin that must be depressed to release the connector. During assembly, polarizers prevent them from being inserted on the wrong side.

In tower PCs, the SDD disk, like the hard disk, sometimes fits into a so-called “caddie” module, i.e. a housing made of two half-shells screwed together. Some models come with a small spacer or spacer (a type of metal tab) that is used to wedge the disc into its housing. Some manufacturers also provide a documentation CD that may contain drivers or utilities for installation and configuration.

When it comes to adding the device, not replacing it, and when there are no connectors on the motherboard, there are cables with a power supply doubler (double output).

Laptops are usually opened on the back with flaps closed with screws.

performance improvement

Basically, with an SSD unit, especially the new generation, your computer will start faster and applications will load much faster. In some cases, the speed of the SSD unit can be accelerated by downloading special software in which an optimized cache memory management function is enabled.

And when in doubt, it’s always possible to resort to online tutorials, often effective and educational – and the ability to call for help… free or not.

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