In a tech world where speed is a constant need, SSD upgrades are increasingly common. SSDs, or solid state drives, is one of the most cost effective ways to improve the performance of your laptop or desktop and if you’re upgrading from a hard drive to an SSD you’re going to notice a significant increase in the speed your computer starts up, loads apps, and opens larger files.

One of the most common misconceptions about these upgrades is that you’ll need advanced skills to install an SSD, whereas people with all computer skill levels should be able to tackle it with minimal equipment. And that’s what we’re here to help with – getting you set up with an SSD upgrade for your machine. Let’s get started!

You Will Need:

  • SSD (find a compatible one here)
  • Screwdriver (non-magnetic tip)
  • Owner’s manual (for your system)

Before You Begin

  • Discharge any static electricity; static can damage your system so it’s important to protect against this. Touch any metal surfaces first to do this.
  • Important: Do not touch the connectors on the SSD
  1. Turn off your computer and once your system has shut down, unplug the power supply and hold the power button for 5 seconds to discharge any static.
  2. Take the case cover off your desktop – you may need to refer to your system’s manuals for instructions on how to do this.
  3. Find your system’s storage drive bays (using the manual) and make a note of the bay sizes. A 2.5-inch SSD will need an adapter bracket in you’re installing it in a 3.5-inch bay – you will not need one if the bay size is also 2.5-inch.
  4. If you’re installing as a primary drive, remove the one you already have, along with any attached cables and connect them to your new SSD. If you’re installing the SSD as a secondary drive, attach a SATA cable to the SATA connector on the computer’s motherboard and the other end to your SSD. Then find an available SATA cable coming from your computer’s power supply and connect to your SSD.
  5. Mount the SSD in the open drive bay and secure it. Replace your desktop’s cover and reconnect the power supply.

 

Once you’ve powered on, you can install operating system and any drivers you need (if you didn’t migrate from an existing drive).

For installing SSD on a laptop, you’ll need the same tools and to follow the same precautions and then:

  1. Turn off your laptop and disconnect power supply.
  2. Remove the laptop’s battery, using the machine’s manual to ensure you do this correctly. Press and hold down the power button for 30 seconds to remove any residual charge. NOTE: Please observe ESD precautions prior to opening and removing components from your system.
  3. Remove the existing storage drive from its bay (refer to your manual for instructions). If it has brackets or adapters, attach these to your new SSD. You may need to use a spacer for a better fit.
  4. Being careful not to force a connection, align the pins of the SSD with the SATA connector in the storage bay, sliding it into place. Re-secure the SSD in the system.
  5. Reconnect your laptop’s battery and power on. Again, if you did not migrate data from a previous drive, install OS, apps, and utilities as needed.