I was task to do some research on how to upgrade a laptop’s Hard Disk storage to SSD Storage in the office. To be honest I have not touch any hardware related issues since 7 years ago when I setup my own gaming pc, but I gave it a try anyways. It did sound straight forward until my boss told me to clone the current one to the SSD Drive, a feat that I have not tried but got me curious.
For this tutorial I am upgrading a Toshiba Satellite L50 and I am installing a 1TB Crucial MX500 SSD, so just for a disclaimer I am not claiming this steps would work on any SSD and laptop.
Like any hardware modification you need a few tools and software to help you with these specific tasks. Things you need:
- SATA to USB Cable or 2.5 Disk enclosure - Since the SSD is for internal installation it does not come with USB port so you might need to have a SATA to USB Connector Cable.
- EaseUS Todo Backup Software (link) - This software will let clone your current installed Operating System State to your destination drive which is the SSD.
- Tools - This task would involve opening your laptop so a trustee electrical screwdriver will always comes in handy.
Hold up! before you even start doing this process I should stressed out that it is always a good practice to backup any of your important data. So I would advise to do that now.
Update the SSD’s firmware
When you buy your SSD the firmware might be out of date so it is a good idea to update it first. Most of these Hardware comes with a support link that gives you a step-by-step instructions to have your new SSD checked and updated if needed. In my case there is a downloadable utility software that auto updates the firmware of the SSD.
Cloning your current Hard Drive
Download and install EaseUS Todo Backup Software, this software might include a lot of bloatware so I would advise to tick “Customize” and uncheck all the checkboxes under “Install Additional Software”. Once you open EaseUS Todo Backup Software :
Click “Clone” button, and you will be forwarded to a panel where you can see all of your current connected drives, this is the panel that tells you what you want to clone or the Source Drive. This might be quite overwhelming since it will lists everything from partitioned drives to any external drives. As a rule of thumb, I always look unto the drives logical sizes and the labels. Just a note that for Windows Operating Systems they always have a separate partitions that are just megabytes in size (mb), a good example are System Reserved drives. Make sure you check these drives as well as Windows Operating System needs them. Click “Next” to proceed.
On this panel, you are able to see more or less the same look as the first panel but this time you need to select the Destination Drive which in our case is the SSD. Note : Make sure to tick/check “Optimized for SSD” on the lower left side of the window. It is also nice to edit the resulting partition on this SSD although its optional. To do that click edit and you will be shown how the SSD would look like after cloning so can change the sizes of the System Reserved Partitions.
Once you are satisfied with the settings you can click “Proceed” to start the cloning process this might take a few minutes depending on how big the source drive is. In case you encounter any error you might need to do a Defragmentation on your current System Drive. If all is good It will prompt you once its finished. By this moment you can see the new drive mounted.
Replacing the hard drive
First shutdown your Computer before opening your laptop. It is important to note that for this process I noticed that the SSD is thinner that the normal 2.5 Hard Disk installed on the laptop that's the reason why the SSD comes with a plastic spacer that you can attached on the SSD. This is very important since you do not want your new SSD to wobble and may have a loose contact on the SATA bay.
Toshiba had its Hard Drive fitted with a rubber protection on each corner this might be used for anti shock in case the laptop falls, and I find this a challenge since a SATA Input is always sturdy when attached and the only way to remove it is to yank it side by side slowly. Once removed, you can snug in the SSD to the rubber protection and slide the SSD, make sure its correctly plugged in.
I advise to just put the panel lid back and put 2 screws in first just in case you might want to open it again in a scenario where your SSD is not properly plugged in which will caused some beeping or system error.
There is a complete instruction on how to open Toshiba Satellite L50 that might help you .
First things first after turning on your laptop and loading Window Operating System is loaded, make sure you uninstall EaseUS Todo Backup. Reason being is it will caused the it to lagged and hang the entire Windows after 5 minutes. Once you uninstall restart your computer and double check if its running smoothly. The first change you would notice is how fast it loads after boot up, the beauty of SSD.
Make sure your SSD manages empty space on your disk effectively, so to do that make sure TRIM is turned On to check run this command :
fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify
If the command returns 1 then TRIM is not enabled if 0 then its enabled. So lets run this command :
fsutil behavior set DisableNotify 0
The other thing to check is we need to make sure Disk Defragmentation is turned off. Windows had this scheduled automatically. To open the Disk Defragmentation run this command.
Click on the schedule button and click “select disk” and uncheck SSD.
After the replacement I am really amazed on how fast it had become compared before. The laptop itself is not really bad since its running a Core i5 processor with a 8GB RAM and a Radeon Video Card a very decent specs I would say with only the Hard Disk as the downside.