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Replace a SATA HD with an SSD on a laptop RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've read the comments on the forum regarding SSD's but have a few questions that I haven't seen addressed. I am fairly computer literate but still too new to attempt what I want to do without some knowledgably guidance in a simple format that I can understand and follow. I just purchased a new laptop (MSI) running Windows 7; here are the specs:

    Product Features

    3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i7-3630QM processor-6MB cache and 2.4GHz processor speed with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz.  8-way processing

    8GB DDR3 SDRAM

    Blu-ray Disc-enabled DVD±RW/CD-RW drive- Features read support for next-generation Blu-ray Disc (BD-ROM).

    15.6" high-definition widescreen display

    750GB Serial ATA hard drive (5400 rpm)

    NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M graphics- 2GB GDDR3 dedicated video memory.  HDMI output for connection to an HDTV.

    Built-in high-definition webcam

    5-in-1 media reader

    2 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0 ports

    Built-in high-speed wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n)

    Bluetooth interface

    Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit operating system preinstalled

    What I want to do:

    1) Install an SSD and would like recommendations for the best and fastest read/write transfer speeds.  I read 2013 Solid-state Drive Product Comparisons and the best rated there was the OCZ Vertex 2 and I will be installing a 512 GB internal drive.  Has anyone had any experience with this drive?

    2) Will I have any problems and/or can I use a program like True Image 2013 by Acronis to copy my current computer configurations and does it also copy my registry entries?

    3) What about TRIM and how do I make sure that it is on and working on my computer?

    4) How can I determine what version of SATA I have?

    I truly appreciate any help/idea/suggestions you can offer and I thank you in advance for reading this rather long query and trying to help me.

    Okie1978

    Thursday, April 4, 2013 2:42 PM

All replies

  • 1. Believe me or not, but this is a very bad idea to change the hard disk. Reason is simple - lost of warranty.

    2. If you really want to migrate to SSD, then try the procedure on another computer. Desktop is the best. Do not expect high boost of speed. The best choice is upgrade kit - you can place "old" disk into enclosure that is a part of set.

    3. Set AHCI in BIOS for SSD.

    Rgds

    Milos

    Friday, April 5, 2013 12:22 PM
  • Thanks for your reply, Milos,

    If I don't cae about the warranty, is there still a problem.  Also, why wouldn't/shouldn't I expect a bump up in speed from a 5400rpm HD?  Also, what is in a "kit" and why would it be better?  Again, thank you for your replies; as you can see, I don't have a great deal of knowledge about this yet.  That's why I'm looking for advice I can rely on.

    Thanks,

    Okie1978

    Monday, April 8, 2013 3:46 AM
  • 1) OCZ Vertex 2 is a good choice, OCZ Vertex 3 is even better. Also there's a very good SSD from Samsung, I'm not sure about the exact model.

    2) True Image 2013, if used properly (i.e. copy whole disk) will copy all your configuration, data, registry entries, boot loader, etc.

    3) I believe the OS will automatically detect that the disk is capable of TRIM and will use it. Make sure you have AHCI mode for SATA in BIOS.

    4) Looking at your laptop specs, I'm quite sure that it has SATA 6Gbps support.

    I have done a similar upgrade some time ago, from a 7200rpm HDD to a Vertex 3 SSD. The performance gain is wonderful, the OS feels much snappier, also some applications that used to start 20-30 seconds now start in like 5-10 seconds.

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013 10:08 AM
  • Vertex 3's are the way to go, great drives I run about 7 of them accross a multitude of hardware.  I would spring the extra money for the Vertex 3 if you can (personal opinion).

    Most times replacing the hard drive in a machine will not void the warrenty of a laptop as the drive is a field replaceable unit.

    Windows 7 has built in support from Trim (if I recall correctly) so you wont have to worry about that and as stated AHCI needs to be the mode your SATA ports are in.

    I can't speak to Acronis because I have never used that product I have always used the WAIK tools (ImageX and DISM) to pull full copies of systems to move hard drives.  Windows 7 (depending on version you have) has a full image backup.

    Thanks
    Sean


    MCTS: Windows 7

    MCITP: Windows 7 Enterprise Administration

    MCSA: Windows 7

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013 4:51 PM
  • What I want to do:

    1) Install an SSD and would like recommendations for the best and fastest read/write transfer speeds.  I read 2013 Solid-state Drive Product Comparisons and the best rated there was the OCZ Vertex 2 and I will be installing a 512 GB internal drive.  Has anyone had any experience with this drive?

    2) Will I have any problems and/or can I use a program like True Image 2013 by Acronis to copy my current computer configurations and does it also copy my registry entries?

    3) What about TRIM and how do I make sure that it is on and working on my computer?

    4) How can I determine what version of SATA I have?

    I truly appreciate any help/idea/suggestions you can offer and I thank you in advance for reading this rather long query and trying to help me.

    Okie1978

    1) I don't know what to tell you about the best SSD. Many people are leery of ones that use the Sandforce controllers, but I have a couple of those (120GB models), and I've had no trouble. Vertex 2 is old enough that I'm not sure that you could buy it (at least directly from OCZ). Vertex 3, Vertex 3.2, and Vertex 4 are available. People seem to like the Samsung 840 series.

    2) True Image should work. You'd have two ways to use it. One would be to clone the current HD directly to the new SSD. That's require that you have some way to interface the SSD to your laptop. (Some kits include USB adapters.) The other way would be to save an image of your HD to an external drive, swap in the SSD, and restore the image to the SSD using a bootable True Image rescue CD. I'm not sure whether there are any complications because the SSD would be smaller than the HD. (Perhaps the True Image Plus Pack would help.) You may get free software with the drive to support the upgrade.

    3) To check whether TRIM is actually working, http://thessdreview.com/Forums/ssd-discussion/3181.htm

    4) I presume that you have 6gb SATA (aka SATA III), to go with the Gen 3 (Ivy Bridge) CPU. It should be in your laptop's specs. As you didn't give us the model number, that makes it hard to look up. It would be OK if you only had 3gb SATA (375GB/s; only limiting for the fastest drives).

    Other pitfalls? SSDs come in several thicknesses. You probably need a 9.5 mm thick one, but I'm unsure whether any laptops require 7 mm. I'm also unsure as to whether there'd be any problem with a 7 mm thick drive in a system intended for 9.5 mm. I suggest you check the thickness of your existing HD. (Look up the exact model number, from Device Manager. No hardware removal required.)

    Should you go to an SSD? SSDs are perfectly quiet and use less power than spinners. The most visible effect is in boot time. 8GB of RAM may be enough that you wouldn't notice much effect for most application software.

    • Marked as answer by Cloud_TSModerator Friday, April 19, 2013 7:43 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Okie1978 Monday, April 22, 2013 3:03 PM
    Wednesday, April 10, 2013 9:30 PM
  • Bobkn,

    Thank you for your excellent advice/comments.  My computer model is an MSI CX61 so can you tell by that if it is 6gb SATA or 3gb SATA.  I did look in my specs but couldn't see that.  I also installed and ran Belarc Advisor and didn't see it listed there either...if I'm looking at the right thing.  The hard drive is 7mm thick, standard 2.5 so that's not a problem.

    Although I am not rich by any means, I want to ask about a 512 GB OCZ Vertex 4 as well as the OCZ Vector; in your opinion, which is better/faster/more reliable?

    Reference your number 2 comment above:  I have external drives as well as a Thermaltake BlacX ST0005U External Hard Drive SATA Enclosure Docking Station 2.5” & 3.5” USB 2.0 & eSATA which would allow me to see the entire contents of the HD that I want to replace but I would that copy the registry contents too?  Would it be better to clone the HD to pick up all my registry entries, settings programs, etc?   Which way would you recommend I go?  I am going to purchase Acronis if it doesn't come with the SSD.  And, I have two memory spaces free so I am going to expand that too.

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your thorough and easy to understand responses and I hope after this one that I won’t be troubling you again.

    Sincerely,

    Okie 1978

    Saturday, April 20, 2013 4:55 PM