Photo tutorial: how to upgrade your notebook to ssd

Shy away from upgrading to SSD by yourself? We show you step by step how to turn your notebook into a new speed wonder without any losses.

ssd-vs-hard disk-625

The advantages that an SSD (Solid State Disk or Solid State Drive – simplified also called SSD hard disk) built into a notebook has over a conventional hard disk are obvious: Extremely low access times significantly accelerate the working speed of a notebook with SSD – so starting the operating system and programs only takes a fraction of the time needed with a hard disk. If you equip your notebook with 8 GB of RAM and an SSD, for example, you create a system that can hardly be topped in terms of performance and speed: Even a proud 16 GB of RAM equipment could not keep up here in combination with a conventional hard drive. More about this in our article: "What does a RAM and/or SSD upgrade bring in practice??"

Especially in mobile use, the flash memory also benefits from the fact that it has no moving parts and can therefore be mechanically extraordinarily robust is. Pleasant side effect: An SSD works silently and requires no cooling during operation. Because it requires less power to operate, it conserves notebook battery power.

What discourages many from upgrading to an SSD: It is an intervention in the overall system of the notebook, d.h. existing software and data are also affected. However, for technically interested people who follow some basic rules, the installation of a flash memory is a simple and safe matter. We show you step by step how to turn your notebook into a new speed wonder without any losses – you can find the right SSD for your device at CompuRAM.

You work with a MacBook Pro? Then you can find more help in our photo tutorial "Convert MacBook Pro ("late 2008″) to SSD".

Step 1: Notebook check – is my device suitable for the installation of an SSD??

All notebooks with Serial ATA(SATA) interface are suitable for the installation of an SSD. On the other hand, for devices that are still equipped with an IDE or. If your child is equipped with an ATA connection, investing in a new flash hard drive is not recommended, even if the market offers appropriate adapters. The reason: These interfaces don’t provide a sufficient data transfer rate to really bring the positive features of the comparatively high-priced SSD to bear.


SSDs fit in all notebooks with a SATA interface

To find out without a screwdriver if your notebook has a SATA interface and is therefore suitable for upgrading with an SSD, we recommend the following tool ChrystalDiskInfo – free download from the manufacturer. It is best to choose the Shizuku Edition as a ZIP, because it can be started directly without installation.

CDI Download1

After downloading the ZIP archive, unpack it into a directory of your choice and start the file DiskinfoS.exe per double click. Under Windows XP you have to be logged in as administrator to do this. Under Windows Vista, 7 or 8 confirm the hint of the user account control resp. enter the password of the administrator.

CDI download

Now you get within a few seconds extensive information about the built-in hard disk of your notebook, the available interface and the transfer mode.

CDI output

The system outputs Serial ATA? Then we go directly to Step 2.

Step 2: Flash storage check – choose form factor and SSD capacity

Since 2.5-inch hard disks are installed in almost all notebooks, you can disregard deviating hard disk widths when selecting the right SSD. There are major differences in terms of height (thickness). Especially the very new ultrabooks only offer space for particularly slim SSDs of 7 or 9 mm. By choosing a 7 mm flash SSD, like the one CompuRAM offers, you can also neglect this format requirement, as it fits all notebook models. The lateral drive holes are standardized for both SSDs and hard disks, so that the SSD can be fixed in the designated holder regardless of its height.

ssd-vs-hard disk

Our slim Samsung SSD (left) even fits into the extra-thin ultrabooks of the latest generation

Choosing the right storage capacity might be more difficult. Because the decision for an SSD is connected with a small downer: The robust speed maker is comparatively high-priced and not available in the capacity sizes of traditional hard disks. Thus, a 128 GB SSD is currently available for about 110 € (net, as of Feb. 2013) – if you want to install a 256 or 512 GB SSD in your notebook, you already have to budget between 200 and 400 €. For power users who use their PCs for performance-intensive graphics calculations, for example, the investment in the speed boost is always worthwhile.

How much storage space do I actually need?

To determine the actual capacity requirements, it is worth taking a look at the size and content of the previous hard drive. The installation of an SSD is often the right time to clean up and reorganize data – for example, by moving pictures and videos to a network attached storage (NAS) connected via WLAN or an external USB hard drive. Free cleanup tools such as AllDup or Xleaner also help to quickly get rid of redundant data as well as superfluous data garbage, as it quickly arises with incomplete installations, for example.

Step 3: The right migration strategy – move my content safely to the SSD

The SSD is ready, the notebook as well. However, before actually replacing the hard drive, you should check your backup or. Be clear about your migration strategy to avoid unwanted, lengthy reinstallations and reconfigurations, as well as data loss. While several hard disks can be operated in parallel on a desktop PC, this is usually not possible on a notebook. Existing data can be copied to external storage media and transferred from there to the SSD – this is not so easy with the operating system. The following scenarios are therefore conceivable:

Variant A: Reinstalling the operating system and simply moving the transaction data

If you are thinking about reinstalling your operating system and programs anyway – for example as part of an upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8 – you do not need to make any further preparations before installing your SSD. you install the new drive as described in step 5 and install your new operating system. check if the manufacturer offers a new BIOS and install it if necessary. Then connect your previous hard disk with a special adapter (cf. Step 4) externally via the USB interface of your device and copy your data 1:1 to the SSD. If you don’t want to use the special adapter, you can also take the detour via an external HDD, where the transaction data is stored temporarily and fetched after installation of the SSD.

Variant B: Pulling an image from the hard disk

If you want to take over the entire contents of your previous hard disk – i.e. also the operating system, the programs as well as your passwords and personal settings, you have to pull a hard disk image, which also contains the master boot record as well as all partitions, and clone this to the SSD. This will save you tedious reinstallations and reconfigurations. Here help special tools like the backup and recovery software True Image from Acronis, which is available for download in a free demo version for 30 days. For the Samsung SSDs that you purchase from us, a special "Data Migration Software for Consumers SSD" is available as download.

Since this type of data transfer is certainly the most common case when upgrading to an SSD, we describe the procedure in detail in Step 5.

Step 4: Workplace check – do you have the right tools ready??

Like a RAM module, an SSD is a highly sensitive component that can be damaged especially by electrostatic discharge during installation. But dust, magnetic fields and unsuitable tools may also endanger the functionality of the freshly acquired SSD. So, before you get down to the nitty-gritty, you should prepare your workstation and get all necessary equipment ready.

You are experienced in handling sensitive hardware and know what you are doing? Then maybe you can save reading the rest of the section – but then please don’t claim we didn’t warn you…

So, make sure that you have a clean and uncluttered work surface, where you only have to place the necessary tools provide.
For installing an SSD in a notebook, we recommend ESD-suitable tools.


Workstation check: Everything we need to convert our notebook to an SSD is at hand.

  • To transfer the data of your previous hard disk to the SSD via the USB port of your notebook, you need a hard disk adapter SATA to USB.
  • You can avoid electrostatic discharges during SSD installation by ideally wearing special antistatic gloves and/or a ESD wristband wear to ground. In larger work environments, where work with highly sensitive components is commonplace, special floor coverings and protective clothing are also often used for this purpose. For home use, however, you have already created very safe conditions by choosing the right tools and wearing gloves and/or an ESD wristband.

Step 5: Get to work! – The actual SSD installation


Attaching the SATA-to-USB adapter

With the Samsung SSD we install, a special "Data Migration Software" is available as download – this is designed for the installation of Samsung SSDs. If you didn’t get any migration software with your flash drive, you can clone your hard disk for example with True Image (cf. Step 3).

So, we connect the new SSD to the USB port of our notebook via the provided adapter and install the Data Migration Software. The software guides us well understandably, the Clone process begins – and we can turn to other things for now. Depending on the size and content of the hard disk, the data transfer can take a long time. In our case, we received the message "Cloning process completed".


As instructed by the system, we completely shut down our notebook and start with the Removing the hard disk. If you’re not sure about their location, you should consult the manual of your notebook beforehand.

pull out hard disk-625px

We loosen the two rubber insulators on the left and right of the metal frame that holds the hard disk of our Lenovo Thinkpad. Most devices do without these additional shock absorbers, and the holding devices vary in the different notebook types (see photo).
Our TIP: Note how around the hard disk was fixed in the cradle (SATA interface). Since the SSD is thinner than the HDD, the position of the drill holes often doesn’t clearly indicate the right direction.

ssd mounts

In the Lenovo Thinkpad, a metal frame plus rubber insulators (not in the picture) protects the hard disk or the SSD. SSD extra from shocks. In the Dell Latitude, the SSD is only screwed to the bracket on one side (picture on the right) and then pushed directly back into the hard drive bay.

Now we put the SSD into the holder and screw it tightly. After attaching the rubber insulators (if necessary), we carefully slide the whole thing into the designated slot until the SSD snaps into the SATA interface and close the case.

ssd installation

After screwing the metal frame tight and putting on the rubber insulators, we slide the SSD back into the hard drive bay (ThinkPad, pictures left and center). Picture on the far right: Inserting the screwed SSD into the Dell Latitude.

Now it gets exciting: Does the notebook boot – and is all the data there?? The PC boots quickly. Cross-checks show that all settings have actually been adopted 1:1. The programs can also be started.

screenshot result


If you are well informed in advance and have the necessary tools ready, you will have no problems upgrading your notebook. In particular, you should be clear about how to migrate what data from your hard drive to the new SSD or alternative storage. Corresponding software tools guide us safely and self-explanatory through the cloning process.

(Update 3.2.2016) You can read about the actual lifespan of an SSD and how and if you can influence it in our article "The lifespan of an SSD – how long does it last and what can I do for it??"

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59 comments to" Photo tutorial: How to convert your notebook to SSD"

Hello Compuram Team.

Currently I’m using a LENOVO IdeaCentre AIO 520 (F0D2001FGE) with 8GB RAM and 1TB HDD hard drive. I am very satisfied so far. Is it possible to upgrade to 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD in my model?? Is it possible to do it within the warranty?

I still have a Toshiba laptop from 2007 with Win XP (3GB RAM& 500GB hard disk) the upgrade is also worthwhile here?

Good day V. oner,
You can upgrade the Ideacentre AIO 520 up to a maximum of 64GB, here you can find all suitable RAM modules for the system.
For the Toshiba laptop you are welcome to use our analysis tool RAMinator and make an inquiry. In the "Download" tab you will find a version for Windows XP.
For further questions we also recommend a visit to our support section or FAQ.
Best regards,
Your CompuRAM editorial staff

Dear CompRAM Team,
I would like to upgrade my Lenovo V510-15ikb 80 wq laptop with an additional 2.5 inch SSD (500 GB), because there is already an SSD of type M.2 (250 GB) is installed.
Here, the newly added hard drive should serve as an extension, whereby I would like to take over from an "old" laptop only a certain file structure (without operating system) – lies on C and then users.
Surely I have to format the new SSD first before installation, then install it and transfer the data with a copy program.
Or is there something special to consider?

Hello Dirk,
in this case there are no special needs. Just follow the instructions in the Lenovo manual and set up the SSD as a new drive.
Much success
Your CompuRAM Team

Dear Compuram Team, I would like to upgrade my Sony Vaio vpcf22s1e (8gb ram and toshiba 640gb sata harddisk) to 16gb ram and SSD. Would this be possible?

upgrading the RAM to 16GB is possible with your model. This link will take you directly to a suitable 16GB kit.
However, if you want to add to your already existing memory, please use our RAMinator tool to read out the exact system data and get the 100% compatible memory modules displayed.
The common SSD form factors are 2.5inch and M.2. Please ask the manufacturer directly, which disk size is currently installed on your system, to find out if it is possible to upgrade to SSD.

Greetings from the CompuRAM editorial office

Hello Mr. Bauer,

my question is can I install a SSD hard drive for my notebook Acer Extensa 5635?
I have now installed a TOSHIBA MK2555GSX 250.0 GB hard disk.
If yes,which one would you recommend.
Thank you in advance for your answer.

Hello Mr. Siegert,
the installation of a SSD in your notebook is possible. Here you can find suitable SSD for your system in our webshop.
Many greetings from the CompuRAM editorial office

interesting and informative posts here, great. I have been reading as a silent guest for a long time and have now registered.
I would be pleased if you would also visit my blog on the subject of textile cleaning when the opportunity arises.

Gladly, this has always interested us.

Hello Mr. Bauer,
after long googling I found the page "Fototutorial: Wie Sie Ihr Notebook auf SSD umrusten". In the tutorial is very understandable described how to convert a notebook to SSD hard drive.
Now my question:
Can I install a SSD hard disk for my notebook Fujitsu Siemens Amilo pro v2030??
If so, which would you recommend.
Thank you in advance for a quick reply
MfG Helmut M.

Hello Helmut,
currently would recommend for the notebook a SSD from SAMSUNG 850 EVO.
good luck with the upgrade
Your CompuRAM editorial office

First of all thanks for the super tutorial!
I have a question with my Lenovo Flex 15 (no CD drive) with Windows 10.
The Lenovo Flex 15 has an additional M.2 slot and I would like to use a small (max. use 128GB) SSD to run Windows 10 on it (the old 2.5 inch HDD remains as data storage). All important data is already backed up, I want to completely rebuild the PC.
What do I need to consider during the changeover, how do I proceed best?
1.) How do I get Windows 10 ideally on the new SSD hard drive and what do I have to set (BIOS,…) so that it is also booted from the SSD?
I would be very grateful for your help.
Best regards

Hello Matthias,
always assuming the notebook can also be used by the m.2 drive boot(best to ask Lenovo support), is the process identical as if they install your OS on a HDD/SDD.
Many greetings
Tom Bauer

Hello! I would like to install the Samsung SSD 850 Pro in my laptop "Fujitsu Celsius h910 quadcore" to run programs and operating system from it (via image of the existing system), the old hdd 500 GB should then be used for file storage. Is this possible without further ado or do I have to consider something?? Do I need a mounting frame or similar for the ssd plate? The 32 GB RAM upgrade from them is already mounted and runs flawlessly… best regards Ralf W.

unfortunately your project is not feasible like this. This notebook only has room for ONE HDD or SDD – i.e. an SSD would only be possible in exchange.
However, you can continue to use your old HDD as an external medium via USB using an adapter.
many greetings
Tom Bauer

Hello, thanks for the good description.
Now I have also dared to make a switch from HDD to SSD. Unfortunately, there is a problem: When plugging an external HDD or SSD into the USB sockets, a bluescreen "driver_irql_not_less_or_equal" comes up with the hint of iastor.sys and the notebook reboots ..

Hello, I would like to make my Think Pad X 60 s, L2400 @ 1,66GHz 980 MHz, 2 GB RAM again a usable computer. With an SSD 850 Evo 500 GB and corresponding RAM. Does this make sense? -also with regard to SATA I, which I think is installed here. Of course I don’t expect any miracles with the age of this machine, but I would like to be able to do office work and internet in acceptable speed and stability again. Is this possible with the o. g. Measures realistic resp. there are other tricks to optimize it? I’m still using Windows XP Professional version 2002 at the moment, but plan to use Linux as well.
Background of the effort: I like the display ratio 4:3 and the stability of the device – but if it doesn’t make sense..

Hello Peter,
first of all I would strongly recommend to either update the OS immediately or not to go online with this machine anymore.
Even if an SSD can’t give the full speed advantages on the X60, there are still many advantages that make it useful to use an SSD. In combination with 4GB and a modern OS the notebook should still give pleasure for a long time.
Many greetings
Tom Bauer

Thanks for the answer. It is unfortunately only an X60s (not an X60), so slower and many I told consider SATA I to be the ‘bottleneck’ that everything has to struggle through. (I don’t know if the X60 has a faster interface. So please let me know if you have any experience that makes equipping even an X60s with an SSD worthwhile. (side question: what are the advantages of an SSD, besides the main argument speed, other than low noise, low power consumption??) As for the RAM, 2 x 2GB can be installed, but the system can supposedly use only 3GB. Should I nevertheless for any reason install 2 x 2GB instead of 1x2GB + 1x1GB?
For the total investment of ca. 200,- EUR is valid, it should be reasonable. (SATA I) The device should really run faster afterwards and not freeze so often. Otherwise I would rather invest in a new device.
Thanks in advance for an answer.

Well in the end there will be no final answers to your questions.
You talk to a lot of people about this topic and get a lot of information about it. The mentioned statements like "bottleneck" and "struggling through" certainly cause even more uncertainty.
It is so that we offer here to the best of our knowledge and belief generally accepted and proven and "medicine"(RAM; SSD) against "slow systems". However, we don’t want to make any individual promises as to how this will affect your system concretely. Besides more RAM and an SSD, there are also numerous other additional ways to give a system a boost.
It’s not that we would like to withdraw from the responsibility, on the contrary. In this article we measured the performance change concretely.
In our case, the price of a 4GB kit is so close to a 2GB + 1GB module that it is not worth thinking about whether only 3.25GB can be addressed.
Many greetings
Tom Bauer

Hello , unfortunately I discovered a couple of days too "late" this site and I already have a few questions
Samsung 2x 8GB DDR3 SO DIMM 1600 Mhz PC3L-12800S with the designation :
M471B1G73QH0 – YK0 ordered because I was told at Acer that it only depends on the specs. But with the designation I can find in connection with the V3-771g i5 unfortunately nothing "As sure compatible dual channel kit" confirmed.
Only with the designation :M471B1G73CB0-YK0 although there is nothing of dualchannel kit at and in other offers of the provider already . I hope you can give me some noncommittal advice there. Now my request since your offer and the step by step instructions have really convinced me I will definitely buy my "SSD" from you .
The following situation o.g memory 1tb Samsung Spinpoint should accommodate as a "secondary drive" in one of the two 2.5″ hard drives recordings. The current one is completely out and I would like to have a price performance quite high 256gb SSD thought of the evo or pro only which 840 or 850 ? Or an SSD module for the existing MSATA slot where I can insert such a module and thus have another 2.5″ hard drive free for all cases . I hope for a best possible suggestion on the configuration and possibly an opinion on the memory. Thanks a lot mfg Kevin

the current SAMSUNG 850 EVO has replaced the "predecessor" 840 EVO, and is as a current model well suited for the requirement.
If a MSATA slot is present, this can be used of course also (additionally).
Good to very good effects are always achieved when the system partition is swapped to an SSD.
Best regards
Tom Bauer

I would like to replace the Blu Ray drive in my ASUS N55SF with an SSD, and on the SSD then install OS and Progs. Does it work like this, or do I have to install the SSD instead of the original harddisk and can I then install the old disk in the DVD bay?

Hello Jens-Uwe,
thank you very much – surely only the ASUS support can answer your question best.
From our experience a conversion like the one described is not that easy or. not possible at all.
On the other hand, it is always possible to replace the internal HDD with an SSD.
many greetings
Tom Bauer

nice that you advertise Samsung SSD disks on your page about the RAM expansion of the Acer Travelmate 8172. The RAM expansion to 8GB was no problem. But have you ever tried to install a SSD in the mentioned laptop? Have fun. What have I cursed. But the SSD simply doesn’t go to the slot in the Acer. Do you have any ideas?

Hello Mr. Feiler,
We know that replacing the HDD in this notebook with an SSD with identical connections and external dimensions does not pose any particular challenges.
If you bought the SSD from us you are of course welcome to contact our support directly.
Tom Bauer

Hello Mr. Bauer,
I have a T61 7664-R6G, 150 GB HDD, 2 GB RAM, Bios 2.12
Performed the migration as you described with a Samsung EVO 850 250 GB and upgraded to 4 GB RAM. I had connected the SSD to the SATA adapter of my external USB hard drive.
The migration was completed properly.
However, the device does not boot now.
Do you have a tip?
With kind regards
Harald Johr

Dear Mr. Bauer
I bought a used notebook (Lenovo ThinkPad T61 with W_7 32bit), which I am still waiting for. Age unknown, leasing return.
2GB DDR2-Ram are installed. also there is a sata connector, how fast I unfortunately do not know.
I have Windows 8.0 bought which could not be installed for my 12 J. old notebook I threw away. Upgrade was too expensive for me.
I have 2 SanDisk-SSD 128GB (in external case) of which I want to install 1 in the ThinkPad, as well as upgrade the memory. Should I buy 2 memory banks?
For more than 4 GB you need a 64 bit OS. Does it bring anything for memory management to install a 64 bit operating system on a 32bit PC (notebook)?

Hello Mr. Kuppers,
for the Thinkpads of the professional series "T", an upgrade would certainly make sense.
Basically this Thinkpad is of course not an "old 32Bit PC system" but based on modern technology and is of course 64Bit capable. Your notebook would be able to be upgraded with our modules to 8GB and can also access it with a 64Bit OS. For Office, Internet and many other applications you would be then surely in the best way prepared.
Good luck and best regards
Tom Bauer

Hello Mr. Bauer,
thanks for the quick answer, as a retiree I have a lot of time and like to deal with PC`s. Already 30 years ago I have upgraded a PC. Since the parts themselves were also still new, I have a 2.Device built together.
Today I have 2 almost new PC`s of which I upgraded one with a Samsung 850 Pro, unfortunately the 840 Evo went kaput. A notebook was not really necessary, but since I like to tinker, I will think about it.

Hello Mr. Bauer,
unfortunately due to the distance (Paraguay) I could not buy a hard drive from you. Wanted to upgrade my Dell Latitude E5410 to a Samsung 840EVO. The cloning process worked and started well. However, after reboot the system can not boot anymore. According to the error message a file is missing or cannot be found. Did you have such a case before, so that only after the 2. When starting up a file is missing and also with the Win7 CD no repair is possible.
Sorry if I bother you as a non-customer with eminer question.
With kind regards

Hello Carsten,
with the question we have to pass.
I think the SAMSUNG support, or just the seller on-site, would be the right contact person.
All the best
Tom farmer

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