SSD installation resp. Exchange in the notebook – this is how it works
Solid-State Disks (SSD) are hard to come by. Although you still pay significantly more per gigabyte than for a hard disk drive (HDD), the speed advantages are enormous and turn every laptop into a speedy work device. We explain what is important when switching from HDD to SSD and what you should consider in the process.
SSD vs. HDD and SSHD – you can’t get any faster
SSDs are currently the fastest mass storage devices on the market. A laptop or desktop PC with an SSD not only boots the operating system much faster than with an HDD, but also increases the computer’s work speed at the same time. Why? Because the access times to data are much shorter with an SSD. Programs, music or videos can be opened faster. Even older devices can benefit from a speed advantage. Many an old computer becomes a fast everyday companion again.
|Mass storage||Average read and write speeds||Access times|
|HDD||100 MB/s||10-12 milliseconds|
|Hybrid hard drive||100 MB/s||2.2 to 5 milliseconds|
|SSD||500 MB/s read | 250 MB/s write||0.1 to 0.5 milliseconds|
(The data are average values and can differ depending on the model)
As an alternative to the SSD, there are also so-called hybrid hard disks, SSHD for short. These hybrid drives combine an HDD with an SSD. The advantage of this combination is the price advantage over an SSD. However, the share of the SSD in an SSHD is small and is mostly only used to store relevant files, for example for the boot process of an operating system or frequently used files on it. Then the laptop boots faster, but many files remain on the HDD. That is, rarely used programs load correspondingly slower. In addition, programs can only be stored to a limited extent on the SSD part due to the low storage space.
How does the SSD move work??
Basically, there are two ways to use the laptop with an SSD in the future. On the one hand, you can "move" the operating system from the HDD to the SSD, or you can take the optimal route and perform a new installation. Although the move can also be carried out by laymen, the clean and simpler way is the reinstallation. If you still want to do without a new installation, you can either use a backup or use appropriate tools.
SSD move with the help of a backup
The SSD move is not unproblematic and can lead to complications. One possibility is a so-called imaging tool, which saves all files as a backup. If you install the SSD, the files are transferred to the SSD. The PC can then be restarted normally. However, the so-called alignment (the data adjustment) is usually no longer completely correct over a. The consequence: The files are "saved", but then the logical first sectors are not at the beginning of a flash page on the SSD. This costs unnecessary speed.
SSD removal with the help of tools
Currently there are few free tools with which the move from an HDD to an SSD can be made. In addition, the use of the tools is not always problem-free. Alternatively, there is software from the respective SSD manufacturers, such as Samsung, Intel or OCZ. With them, data can be transferred relatively comfortably from the HDD to the SSD. The reinstallation remains however the more recommendable way, particularly since thereby also unnecessary data material can be deleted at the same time. But before the new installation, the SSD must first be installed in the laptop.
Installation and reinstallation of a SSD in the laptop
Before starting to install the SSD, make sure you have a compatible operating system. Windows operating systems from version 7 onwards get along best with an SSD, because they can handle the so-called TRIM function. This feature prevents an SSD from slowing down over time. In addition, the laptop should have a SATA controller to be able to benefit from the speed of an SSD at all. In the best case it is at least a SATA 2 connection.
The right size of the SSD is crucial
When buying an SSD for your laptop, pay attention to the right size of the hard drive. Usually 2.5 inch or 1.8 inch are used. If you’re not sure which SSD will fit in your laptop, you can check the manufacturer’s website for the right size or ask for advice at your local retailer.
Remove the hard disk cover
In the manual of the laptop you can read under which cover on the back of the laptop the hard disk is located. Once you have found the right cover, you can loosen the surrounding screws with a screwdriver and then remove the cover. Now you can disconnect the cables from the HDD and carefully take out the HDD.
Install the SSD and restart the laptop
Then you connect the cables to the SSD, place it inside the laptop and screw the cover back on. Then place the battery in the device and start the laptop. Now you can reinstall Windows by following the instructions on the screen. Either insert the installation CD or use a bootable USB stick with the operating system on it.
Tip: Be sure to unplug the laptop from the power supply and remove the battery before installation!
Conclusion: HDD vs. SSD exchange in the laptop is easy to do
Even laymen can easily replace an HDD with an SSD in just a few steps. Even if the removal can be done with the help of tools, we still advise reinstallation. On the one hand, this allows the SSD to develop its full potential and the installation is often easier to handle.