How to Replace the Notebook Hard Drive

Step-by-step guide to replacing the laptop’s hard disk

Many may seem strange, but the best way to upgrade your notebook is to buy an SSD drive and replace the old magnetic hard drive with a solid state . There are several reasons that push this choice. First of all, an SSD disk significantly improves the performance of the laptop , widening the existing technology bottle between hard disk and coupled RAM – CPUand allowing the data to travel more quickly. Second, replacing a hard drive is a simple and cost-effective operation: SSD prices are down sharply a few years ago and modular notebook design allows you to change the hard drive in minutes.

Before proceeding with the guide to updating the hard disk of the notebook , however, you must specify some steps to do before purchasing the SSD disk.

What to Check Before Purchasing SSD

First of all, it is necessary to verify that the operation is technically feasible at home. It is therefore necessary to check that there is an easily accessed cassette or bulkhead in the base of the notebook in which the hard disk is usually “stored”. The laptop’s hard drive, as well as the other replaceable components, are usually placed inside a compartment covered by a removable and sealed bulb (two or three at most): this facilitates teamwork of technical assistance, but makes housekeeping easier. If you have an ultrabook or there are no easily accessible rooms, you will need to consult the dismantling manual.

In the second step you will have to find a compatible SSD with the space available in the laptop compartment. Usually laptops mount 2.5-inch disks , but grows the number of manufacturers that adopt 1.8-inch models to further reduce notebook size. By spilling on the web you should easily find the technical specifications of the laptop, including the mounted HD format. Also check the compatibility with the hardware connectors mounted on the laptop PC: in the vast majority of cases it will have to do with an SATA interface, but no option can be ruled out. Also in this case, an online search can be of great help; Alternatively you can use the Advisor Tool made by Crucial (you need to know the notebook’s mounted hard disk model).

Preliminary operations

Before replacing the hard disk of the notebook with an SSD drive, there are still some things to do. First of all, you have to decide whether it is worth keeping the old operating system and all settings saved in it or starting up with a new installation. In the first case, you have to back up the system to create a disk image that can be installed on the new SSD; In the second case, however, you must obtain a copy of the operating system to be installed.

If you choose the first street , you will find instructions on how to proceed. If you choose the path to installing a new operating system you can go directly to the next point in the guide.

Backup the disk . If you are using Windows 8, you must log in to the Control Panel, and from the System and Security section , click “Save Backup Files of File History”. In the left menu select “Backup System Images” and follow the wizard. If you have Windows 7 in the System and Security section of the Control Panel you will have to choose the “Backup and Restore” option. To prevent the disc image from being too large, you may want to clean it by removing old files and programs that are no longer in use.

Initialize the SSD disk . You must format the SSD disk before installing the newly created system image . After connecting it to the notebook via USB using an external chassis, you will need to search with the Disk Management key and choose from the “Create and format hard disk partitions” results. If you browse the list, you will find the newly attached drive: if it is “Not Initialized”, right-click and initialize the drive. After this step, you can format the disk with NTFS file system

Clone the disk . After formatting, you can clone the contents of the old disk onto the new SSD drive . To do this you install software such as Acronis True Image or EaseUS Disk Copy : both very simple and intuitive to use, provide the user with a wizard that “will accompany” step by step in the process of transferring files from a hard disk all ‘other

How to Replace the Laptop Hard Drive

After turning off the computer and unplugging any power supply (both corded and battery-powered), you can look for the hard drive compartment and remove the screws that secure the security cover to the desktop PC.

After removing it you will have free access to the hard drive bay.

Locate all the screws that secure the hard drive inside the compartment and remove them all to avoid damaging the laptop computer. At this point you can extract the disc from its “natural” accommodation. Two possible ways: if the hard drive is mounted on a “sledge”, you will have to pull the disc backwards and then lift it up; in case of reduced space, you must lift the hard drive by 30 or 45 degrees and then pull it backwards.

To mount the SSD disk, do the reverse procedure: first, the disk must be mounted inside the housing and then place all “safety” screws.

Start your laptop PC

Attach the SSD disk and notebook lid, you may want to turn on the computer. If there are no errors, the system should restart normally and all the previously installed programs should be found again.

If you decided to follow the second road, this is the time to install the operating system from the beginning. After inserting the disc into the DVD player, you can format the newly installed SSD and install a new copy of Windows.

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