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Safest way to replace a laptop hard drive with an SSD.

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Showing 1-18 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 12, 2010 6:17:56 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2010 6:24:10 AM PST
Hi everyone.

I have a question regarding replacing a standard 5400 RPM 2.5" drive in a laptop to that of an SSD, like a Crucial RealSSD 128GB for example. The laptop in question is an Acer Aspire (one of the 2010 models with an i5 CPU, 15.6", etc...), and have been wondering if the compatibility for an SSD is there or not. Also, what would the best step be to make sure I don't lose any data in this transfer?

I find it smart to replace to an SSD, it'll increase a whole deal of battery life, from my understanding. Sure, it might not have the same storage capacity, but the speed and energy efficiency of an SSD, imo, far outweighs it. Anyone know how to get this done safely and easily? Thanks.

PS: Yes, I do plan on recycling the existing drive in an external HDD enclosure, so I can use it to back up the laptop and write a system image to it...

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 8:47:08 AM PST
SSDs have the same form factor as standard hard disk drives. By purchasing your external enclosure first, you can slip in the SSD and clone your existing system into it using any good backup program. Upon completion of the backup, simply switch the drives in the computer and fire it up.
It is advisable to first remove any unwanted files and detritus from your computer first, then thoroughly defragment the original drive. (SmartDefrag is an excellent optimizer).

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 10:58:00 PM PST
WolfPup says:
You're probably not going to see any real battery life difference...I'd do this for a performance boost, not for that, personally.

Personally I'd just reinstall onto the new drive versus trying to clone it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2010 11:00:46 PM PST
ducky says:
With a computer that new, you will have a SATA interface, which is pretty much the interface for a majority of SSDs, so youre good to go. The SATA III rating on the C300 future-proofs you a little, but chances are you will ditch the HD by the time laptops start using that standard.

SSDs are more efficient yes, but actual powersavings are minimal in a laptop as HDs are not the biggest power hogs in the system (that would probably go to the LCD and CPU/GPU combo). But you will probably gain a few min of work.

Best thing to do (in my opinion), partition your existing drive in your laptop within windows and dump your data into it. Swap drives and install windows fresh on the SSD. Put your old mechanical HD in the enclosure and start copying the files out. Benefits of the clean install as opposed to the cloned install is you get to take advantage of Win 7 (if you are using it) to make the most of the SSD alignment and data sizing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2011 7:26:30 PM PST
WindowGuy says:
I bought the Kingston with the upgrade bundle kit. Everything went great. Not a great power savings but the performance boost has been awesome. My boot times have been cut in half. I followed the directions on the upgrade kit to migrate my data and didn't have any problems. The whole process only took about 2 hours (128GB).

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2011 1:28:58 AM PST
P. Blum says:
Apparently not all backup or cloning software will work with the SSDs. If Intel, they offer software here:

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2011 3:03:50 AM PST
WolfPup says:
Thanks for that link! Didn't know Intel provided anything. I wonder if it's really different software, or just rebadged stuff that some other companies provide, or whether it works. So far I've had bad luck trying to move system I did it on was a little broken after didn't completely preserve all file names correctly, sometimes only copying a 'DOS' style file name. So I'm pretty hesitant about using that :-/

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2011 10:45:07 AM PST
P. Blum says:
I looked further, and apparently it is by Acronis. Here is the link:

It states that it is specifically Intel data migration software, and is the latest build as of November 2010. It says you must have at least 1 SSD in your system to use the software. I haven't read the whole thing, so don't know if it will work with a non-Intel SSD.


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2011 12:04:57 PM PST
WolfPup says:
You know what's weird, I just updated my Seagate Momentus XT's firmware last night, and the update program apparently used Acronis too! (It rebooted to a non-Windows environment and took about a minute.) Pretty painless process, thankfully.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2011 2:31:19 AM PST
P. Blum says:
I migrated a windows 7 OS and various other stuff on my old HDD to my Intel 120 GB X25M G2 SSD using the intel migration tool. Worked great!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2011 9:05:27 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Mar 4, 2011 9:07:44 AM PST]

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 9:44:37 AM PDT
A. Patron says:
I found that APRICORN 2.5 SATA Notebook Drive Upgrade kit has worked great.Remember you get what you pay for and this program works great! I've upgraded to a ssd and a hybred drive on two notebooks no problems and recovery partition comes along with it too.In case you should need to recover.If you like the way your computer is now I would save that drive exactly the way it is with those hard to find programs that are installed on there now.And reclone later if need to.By the way you risk nothing because you select the drive to be cloned and the drive to be the target to clone too.

Posted on May 5, 2012 11:11:51 PM PDT
great stylus says:
My compaq laptop issaying that I have a bad hdd and need to replace it. Is this dificult to do and how do I get it going?

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2012 11:40:00 PM PDT
WolfPup says:
If you don't have a recent backup and need to get stuff off of there you might try SpinRight from

Replacing the hard drive depends on the model. Most notebooks have relatively user replaceable drives, but some are basically sealed and near impossible to get at. Normally you can see some compartments that unscrew on the bottom of a notebook, and one of those will have the hard drive, and physically swapping in a new drive is fairly easy.

I suppose I should mention...if this is an older PC that takes older PATA/ATA drives, you probably won't be able to get a replacement for it realistically. If it's semi-modern and uses SATA, most any notebook drive will work (I'd recommend Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 32 MB Cache 2.5 Inch Solid State Hybrid Drive ST750LX003 or the smaller, slightly worse 500GB version as a great drive-best mechanical drive you can buy for a notebook.)

The hardest part is usually reinstalling the OS and programs and your personal data. If your PC didn't ship with backup discs, hopefully you made them when you first bought it. If not, you'll probably need to buy a new copy of Windows 7 for it so you can reinstall, then reinstall your programs, then copy your data back from your hard drive.

It's all a bit of a hassle, but more time consuming than anything on most systems.

(Of, of course you'd want to run Windows up date over and over until there are no more updates after you've reinstalled Windows, since it'll be out of date.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2012 11:47:36 PM PDT
great stylus says:
The laptop is a cq 60 by compaq

Posted on May 31, 2012 11:07:03 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 31, 2012 11:16:27 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2013 9:05:56 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 26, 2013 9:07:09 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 27, 2013 1:14:03 PM PST
A. Patron says:
In some cases you may have to use your recovery disc. Due in part to factory drives are on average 320 if ssd is less than cloning software cannot fit 320 in a 128 its almost like it over writes so. in some cases you may have to use factory disc. Now when cloning to bigger drives I found it to go smooth at least for me it has.
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Discussion in:  Hard Drive forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  Dec 12, 2010
Latest post:  Nov 27, 2013

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