How to connect an SSD to your computer

How to install SSD drive: step by step installation and setup instructions

To increase computer performance, as well as to get rid of noise during the operation of the laptop or the system unit, SSD drive is useful. a large, fast and quiet “flash drive”.

Note. Your computer won’t “hum” if you only install the SSD. Installing the same device as an addition to the classic hard drive, the owner of the computer will not get rid of noise, but will accelerate the “machine” and increase storage.

In this article we reviewed options to connect the SSD drive to a desktop PC, as well as its installation in a laptop. From the material you will learn what to do to put a solid-state drive and configure for SSD system by yourself.

How to connect the SSD drive to your computer

Solid State Drives or SSDs are rapidly gaining popularity. and more users decide to try SSD drive and install an operating system on it. But, most have no experience with this type of drive. That’s why on the thematic forums are often quite interested in how to connect the SSD drive to your computer. In this material we will look at the process of connecting an SSD drive to a desktop computer.

Firstly, the process of connecting the SSD drive to your computer is not fundamentally different from connecting a normal hard drive. So if you know how to connect a hard drive, then you do not have any problems with the connection of the SSD. The only difficulty is how to fix the SSD drive inside the case, but about that a little later.

Prepare your computer to connect the SSD drive.

Before proceeding to connect the SSD drive, you must completely power off your computer. To do this, unplug the cable that leads to the power outlet. Then disconnect all other cables and remove the side covers of the system unit. As a rule, they are fixed with four screws in the back of the system unit.

SSD drive is a fully electronic device. Unlike hard drives, it has no moving parts and therefore does not create vibration and noise. So you can install your SSD drive anywhere in your system box.

Your task is to choose a place where the SSD drive can be conveniently fixed so that it does not hang around inside the computer. Otherwise, during the movement of the computer or the next maintenance of the computer SSD drive may hit other computer components and damage them.

The easiest and at the same time reliable option is to install the SSD drive in the hard drive bay. But, since the hard drive bay is designed for 3.5-inch devices, and the SSD drive is in a 2-inch form factor.5 inch, we will need a special skid (mount). Quite often, these sleds come with the drive itself. If they are not, you can buy them separately.

The SSD drive is attached to the skids with 4 screws, which are screwed from the bottom of the skids. The drives are then inserted into the 3.0 drive bay of the system enclosure.5″ hard drives and attach with 4 screws.

Connecting your SSD drive to your computer.

After fixing the sled inside the system unit, you can proceed to connect the cables to the SSD drive. Solid state drives are connected in the same way as modern hard drives, that is, with two SATA cables.

The wide SATA cable is for power, so it connects to your computer‘s power supply. And the narrow SATA cable is a data cable which connects to your motherboard.

If your motherboard supports SATA 3.0, then it is best to connect the SSD drive to the SATA 3 ports.0. SATA 3 Ports.0 provide significantly faster data transfer rates, allowing you to get the most out of your SSD.

On your motherboard, the SATA 3 ports.0 ports are marked with a different color. Consult your motherboard manual to make sure there is no confusion.

Once you have connected the cables to the SSD drive can close and turn on the computer. If you plan to install an operating system on the SSD do not forget to change the boot priority in the BIOS.

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How to install the SSD drive in your laptop

With the installation of the SSD drive in a laptop, unlike the system drive, things are a little different. Your notebook has only one or two places where you can install the SSD. One of them. instead of the HDD (normal hard drive), the second. instead of the DVD-drive (if available).

Installing SSD drive instead of HDD

This option is suitable if you have decided to replace the usual hard drive for a solid state drive. The reasons may be different, for example:

  • your notebook does not have room for an additional drive;
  • The hard drive has failed and you have decided to replace it with an SSD;
  • your laptop has a DVD drive, but you do not want to get rid of it.

The procedure for installing the SSD drive in this case is as follows:

Unplug the laptop from the mains and remove the battery

If your laptop does not have a removable battery, you must remove the bottom cover of the laptop and disconnect the battery from the motherboard.

connect, your, computer

Disconnect and remove the HDD hard drive

If it is not intuitive how to remove the bottom cover, disconnect the HDD drive, etc.n. search the web for the appropriate instructions for the model of our laptop, as for different models there may be its own peculiarities.

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Installing the SSD

In contrast to the hard drive, which is installed in the computer system unit, HDD laptop size is the same as the SSD. So replacing an HDD with an SSD in your laptop is easy.

Disks in laptops are fixed with special fasteners, called skids.

We disconnect the slide from the hard disk, fix it to the SSD and fix the SSD to the place of the hard disk by connecting it to the SATA socket on the motherboard.

Assemble the notebook, switch it on and set it up

It remains in the reverse order to assemble the laptop: connect the battery, screw the bottom cover.

Information on further steps is mentioned in the third step of installing the SSD in the system unit.

Installing an SSD drive in the laptop instead of the DVD drive

If your laptop has a DVD drive and you decide to sacrifice it in favor of installing an SSD in its place, the order of installation of the latter will be slightly different from the previous option described above.

In this case it is not necessary to remove the already existing hard drive, and deal with the DVD drive. But, before this, it is necessary to buy a special adapter-adapter.

Most notebook DVD drives are 12.7 mm high, while ultra-thin laptops are 9.5 mm high. Accordingly, it is necessary to buy such an adapter, so that it fits into our notebook at the same height.

So we have the SSD drive and the necessary adapter. Further we do the following step by step:

Disconnect the notebook from the power supply and remove the battery

As already described in the first option to install the SSD in a laptop, if the laptop design has a non-removable battery, it is necessary to remove the laptop’s bottom cover and disconnect the battery from the motherboard.

Disconnect and remove the DVD drive

To remove the drive from a laptop, in most cases, it is enough to unscrew a few screws from the bottom cover of the laptop, which fasten the drive.

If this is not enough and it’s difficult to understand how to remove the DVD drive. look for the appropriate instructions for our laptop model on the web.

Installing the SSD drive

Slide and lock our drive into the adapter. If the drive has an additional attachment for fixation, remove and reinsert it to the adapter. Install the adapter with SSD drive in the same place where DVD-drive was located. From the drive can also remove the outer panel (if it was not included with the adapter) and install it on the adapter, so that the appearance of your notebook has not changed.

Assemble the laptop, turn it on and configure

If in the previous steps had to disassemble the laptop and remove the battery. put everything back together.

The process of installing the desired drive is finished. It remains to start the system and do some actions. We talked about this in the third step of installing the SSD disk in the system unit.

Proceed to install the SSD drive

Disconnect power from the system unit.

Before doing anything with the system unit must be sure to power it off. Especially if you have little experience with computer maintenance.

Open the side cover of the system unit.

Once the power is off you can start working with the system unit. To make it more convenient to work, put the system unit “on its side”. Then you can remove the side cover. In some cases, to install the SSD drive may need to open both side covers of the system unit.

SSD drive has almost no heat, no moving parts and does not create vibration, so it can be installed in any convenient location inside the system unit. Nevertheless, it must be firmly fixed so that it does not dangle inside. Otherwise, the next time you service the system unit, it may hit the video card or motherboard and cause damage.

Ideally the SSD drive should be installed in a bay 3.5″ hard drives (standard hard drive bay). But since SSD drives are available in form factor 2.5″, you will need a special skid to install the 2.5″ drive to 3.5″ bay (see “Connect the SATA port”). picture above).

So that you don’t have to do any extra work, install the SSD drive in the sled first and then install the sled with the SSD drive in the 3.5″ bay. In the picture above you can see what the SSD drive looks like in the sled. When installing the SSD drive, it is important not to mix up the side, because the sled is not symmetrical.

The SSD drive, like any modern hard drive, connects via a SATA cable. SATA connection is so easy. To do this, simply connect the SATA port on the motherboard and the SATA port on the drive using the.

In addition you need to connect the cable from the power supply. If your power supply does not have a modern connector for SATA drives, you will need an adapter.

How to connect and install an SSD drive in 3.You can see the 5″ compartment in the picture below.

connect, your, computer

Close the lid and turn on your computer.

After the installation of the SSD drive is completed, you can close the lid of the system unit and turn on your computer.

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We could have mentioned about plugging the SSD into the PCEex socket, which will speed up the drive considerably

What does the M.2

M connector.2 appeared not so long ago, and many users have not encountered it yet. Some people don’t even know what the connector looks like or where it is located on the motherboard. So let us start with getting to know the connector.

The M connector on your motherboard.2 connector is usually located between the PCI Express slots. It is easy to spot, as there is always a free space next to it for installing the board and a few holes for tightening the fixing screw.

On midrange motherboards there is usually only one such slot available, but on more expensive solutions there can be several slots. On low-end motherboards this connector is not yet installed, but perhaps that will change in the future.

If you can’t see the connector, it may be covered by a heatsink or blanking plate which must be removed before installing an M.2 SSD must be removed before installing it.

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If you can not figure out and find the connector, then see the manual to your motherboard, there will be all the necessary information.

Connecting your SSD to your desktop computer

I will start by saying that if you have already disconnected and connected a normal hard drive to your computer, the procedure for a solid state drive looks pretty much the same except for the fact that the width of the device is not 3.5″ and 2.5.

Now for the basics. To install the SSD on your computer, disconnect it from the power supply (from the socket), and turn off the power supply (button at the back of the system unit). Then press and hold down the on/off button on the system box for about 5 seconds (this will de-energize all circuits). In the tutorial below I will assume that you are not going to unplug the old hard drives (and if you are, just unplug them in step 2).

  • Open your computer case: usually it is enough to remove the left panel to get the necessary access to all ports and install the SSD (but there are some exceptions, for example, on “advanced” cases, cable routing can be carried out behind the right wall).
  • Install the SSD drive in the 3.5″ and secure it with the bolts designed for it (most SSDs come with such an adapter. Other than that, you may have a whole set of shelves in your system unit that fit as 3.5 and 2.5 devices, in which case you can use them).
  • Install the SSD in the adapter in the available space for 3.5″ hard drives. If necessary, fix it with screws (sometimes there are snaps in the system unit to fix it).
  • Connect your SSD to your motherboard using an L-shaped SATA cable. Below I will explain in detail which SATA port you should connect the drive to.
  • Attach the power cord to the SSD.
  • Assemble your computer, turn on the power and enter BIOS right after powering on.

After entering the BIOS, first set the SSD to AHCI mode. Your next steps will depend on what you plan to do:

  • If you want to install Windows (or any other OS) on your SSD, and you have other hard drives attached to it, put your SSD first in the list of drives, and then boot from the disc or flash drive you are going to install from.
  • If you plan to run an operating system which was already installed on the HDD without transferring it to the SSD make sure that your hard drive is first in the boot queue.
  • If you plan to transfer OS to SSD, you can read more about it in the article How to Transfer Windows to SSD.
  • You may also like this article: How to Optimize your SSD in Windows (it helps to increase performance and longevity).

As for the question of which SATA port to connect the SSD: Most motherboards can connect the SSD to any port, but some have different SATA ports. for example Intel 6Gb/s and third-party 3Gb/s, the same on AMD chipsets. If this is the case, look at the port signature, the motherboard documentation, and use the fastest for the SSD (the slowest can be used for a DVD-ROM, for example).

Preparing to plug in an SSD

The decision to replace the drive requires preparation, which consists of the software part and the physical installation of the hard drive. Most SSDs are available in 2.5-inch drive format, which will require you to select a mounting location for your new drive. In the case of upgrading your laptop no problems will arise, because the regular socket will exactly fit the format of the SSD. The computer uses a drive with a size of 3.5″, which requires you to find a place for installation. To fix the device in a standard socket requires a special adapter, which will secure the hard drive of the smaller size.

SSD provides high speed data exchange and its installation as a system disk is the most reasonable. In this case, you will need to transfer the operating system to the solid-state drive or install it again. Cloning requires the use of third-party software, which allows you to quickly deploy Windows to a new drive. Installing the operating system will take a bit longer but will give you a cleaner system.

It is important to know that SDDs do not support the obsolete IDE interface and can not be installed on the motherboard using this type of connection. Using an IDE to SATA converter is also pointless, as the speed loss will be tremendous.

Installing the SSD

The size of SSDs allows them to be mounted almost anywhere within a standard computer case. It is most correct to install it into a regular HDD slot of size 3.5 inches. To perform such tasks, you will need to perform the following sequence of works

  • Prepare the adapter for installing the SSD, and check the possibility of fixing it with the screws.
  • Turn off your computer and wait until it completely shuts down, remove the side panel or cover, making the hard drive accessible.
  • Install the sled with a solid state hard drive inside 3.5-inch compartment and secure them with screws.

The SSD is commutated using SATA cables, with the larger one for power and the smaller one for data exchange.

The supply cable comes directly from the power supply and plugs into the corresponding connector on the SSD.

A SATA cable connects the motherboard and SSD, with the SATA 3 connector (labeled by the SATA ports on the motherboard) being the preferred connector.

Preparing an SSD as a logical drive

When you turn on your computer with an already installed operating system, the new hardware will be initialized automatically. Enter “Disk Management” utility settings and format the drive. If needed, you can subdivide the disk into several parts, change the cluster size or drive letter. After these operations and PC rebooting the disk is ready to work and you can fill it with information.

The easiest way to open the snap-in console is to use a keyboard shortcut. Press “WIN” and “X” keys simultaneously, then select “Disk Management” in the menu. You can also use combination “WIN” “R” and in the window that appears type diskmgmt.msc, which will give you the same result.

You can also perform these operations through the settings menu. Right click on “My Computer” and choose “Manage” and go to “Disk Management.

There is no “WIN” key on the keyboard, which is replaced by a stylized Windows logo in the form of a window.

Preparing to use an SSD as a boot drive

To install or clone an operating system, you will need to enter the BIOS. Press “Esc” or “F1” key while switching on the computer and set booting from SSD in the settings to perform such actions. The choice of the key to get into the BIOS settings menu depends on the specific laptop model, and it can be “F2”, “F3”, “F10”, “F12” or “Del”. Often “BIOS setup press F1” or something similar will pop up for a few seconds when you start your notebook or PC.

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If you experience problems with starting the firmware you should refer to the user manual of your notebook or motherboard. Navigating in the BIOS menu of modern devices is done with a computer mouse. In other cases you should use the keyboard by selecting the arrow keys. To configure the settings, go to the “Boot” menu.

There you should select the “Boot Device Priority” item, where you can set the booting from the installed SSD.

While working in BIOS, please pay attention to the explanations in the right-hand column. In this section you will find information about the keys you can use and their purpose.

Saving of the entered settings is performed by pressing the “F10” key, after that the computer will restart. Then you can proceed to install Windows or use the software to clone the system image to a new disk.

Installing in the computer system unit

First, check whether the case has free SATA slots and connectors. If you do not have them, you should disable any device that uses them (it will be good if it turns out to be an old hard disk). Also, some SSDs may try to connect to older versions of interfaces, such as IDE. But in this case only a tiny fraction of the drive’s power will be available, and it will not work stably/correctly at all.

Also note that there are newer models of SSDs, which do not support working correctly with SATA 1 and SATA 2 interfaces, but can only work with the latest version. Generally, if possible, it is recommended to connect the SSD to the connectors of the SATA 3 version, because then the performance of the drive will be exactly 100% revealed.

Total mounting work can be roughly divided into three steps:

The disassembly step for each case is different. Usually, you will need to remove the side cover, which will be held in place by screws and/or special tabs. Some cases may require the removal of two covers at once. You can find more information about disassembly in the manual to your system unit which should come with it. As a rule there is no difficulty in disassembly.

If you have a standard form factor chassis it can be put in a horizontal position for the convenience of working with its “guts”.

In the system unit find the special cells for installing media. They are often located near the front panel. The cells are quite bulky and stand out from the general design, so it is difficult not to notice them. However it creates another difficulty. if you have not the most modern case, it is unlikely there will be special slots for the SSD inside, and the usual slots are too big.

Specially for such cases in the SSD set sometimes put special fasteners. If they are not present in the kit, you can buy them in any electronics store, or try to install the disk in the card-reader section. It is not recommended to fix the SSD with improvised means or to leave it without fixation as otherwise you can damage the drive or the cable may come off while using the computer.

Once you have mounted the drive, it is necessary to proceed to the most difficult and responsible step. connection of all wires to other computer elements. Here the main difficulty will be not to accidentally connect the SSD to the wrong SATA socket. The problem is that modern motherboards may have multiple SATA versions. If you connect to the wrong SATA version, your SATA speed will decrease.

To find the correct interface, notice the following labels. The SATA 3 connector is marked with a color or a signature. If you can not find them, you can always refer to the documentation that comes with the motherboard. There should be a detailed description of the location of each connector.

After connecting to the motherboard, you will only have to power the SSD-drive by connecting it to the power supply. To connect the power, simply connect the appropriate cable (usually red) from the power supply to the SSD.

Turn on your computer and check to see if the new device has been successfully detected by the system.

To connect your SSD

Like hard disks, the SSD has two connectors. a power connector and an interface connector for data transfer.

That means we need a SATA cable to connect the SSD to the motherboard. If you do not have an extra cable, you will need to purchase one. Not expensive.

Now open your motherboard user manual and find all the SATA slots on your motherboard.

Some motherboards may have both SATA2 and SATA3 connectors. In this case it is necessary to find out in the manual from the motherboard which connector is SATA3 and connect the SSD to it. Also the connectors are often marked on the motherboard itself. they are different colors, like white and blue, and also have a signature on the board.

Since the SSD will be the system drive, you can connect it to the first SATA socket, and the hard drive, which is already in the computer, to the second.

There is usually a tangle of wires coming from your computer’s power supply. Here you need to find the wire with the necessary connector.

Sometimes the connector you need is not available, or rather it is already plugged into a hard drive, but there are so-called Molex connectors, which were previously used to power hard drives and optical drives.In this case, you can buy an inexpensive adaptor, which will allow you to use this connector to power the SSD.

Don’t be afraid to mix up and connect the wrong connector. The connectors are designed with protection from wrong connections, so you can not go wrong.

Let me remind you that all manipulations inside the computer case should only be done when it is completely disconnected from the power supply.

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