How to Replace Your HDD With A [Lightning-Fast SSD]

The time to make a coffee while your PC boots up is over.

By replacing the HDD in your laptop or PC with an SSD, you give your device a significant upgrade. An SSD is, among other things, faster and more reliable than an HDD. Now you can of course have this replaced, but it is not that difficult at all to do this yourself.

Read Must: What To Do If Windows Doesn’t Recognize Your SSD

In this article I explain exactly how replacing HDD for SSD works. Follow the steps and you should be fine!

SSD vs HDD

The SSD ( solid state drive ) is the successor to the HDD ( Hard Disk Drive ), the old-fashioned spinning hard disk. Most new laptops and computers have an SSD.

An SSD has almost only advantages over an HDD. It ensures that your device boots up at lightning speed, is faster in general and also quieter, more energy-efficient and more reliable.

The only real advantage of an HDD is that it is cheaper per GB and is therefore better suited for economically storing a large number of files. Some laptops therefore have both an SSD and an HDD, which combine the best of both worlds.

In addition to internal SSDs, there are also external SSDs. With the best external SSD you get an excellent storage medium, but they are not intended

Is your laptop or computer slow and you don’t have an SSD yet? Then your device will undoubtedly improve if you replace your HDD with an SSD. Always check the manufacturer’s website to see if this is actually possible. Then look for a good internal SSD and let’s get started!

How to Change HDD to SSD Laptop

Change HDD to SSD Laptop

Before we start, it is important that you have a few things ready. You need the following to replace your HDD with an SSD:

  • Your laptop or PC
  • An SSD
  • A screwdriver, preferably magnetic
  • A cable or housing to connect your SSD (optional)
  • An external hard drive or enclosure for your HDD (optional)
  • An anti-static bracelet (optional)

Replace HDD with SATA SSD

Step 1: Clone Windows (optional)

Whether you need to follow this step depends on whether you want to transfer the operating system or reinstall Windows . In the latter case, you can skip this step. You can then either back up your files and put them on an external hard drive, or buy an enclosure that converts your HDD into an external hard drive.

Do you want to transfer the operating system? Then you need to install a cloning software . In many cases, the SSD comes with this software. If not, luckily you can find it easily (and free) online.

It is easiest if you can connect your SSD to your PC or laptop , so that you transfer the clone directly. You do this using a special cable or housing. In some cases, a PC or laptop has room under the hood for an extra hard drive, so you can place the SSD next to your HDD.

Once the SSD is plugged in, you need to initialize it . Go to Disk Management and select the SSD. Then right click on it and choose Initialize . Then you go through the steps.

During initialization , you have to choose between  MBR ( Master Boot Record ) and GPT ( GUID Partition Table ) . MBR is the most compatible and is and can often be necessary in older operating systems, while GPT is a more recent and advanced standard.

After initializing, go to the cloning software to transfer the files. This can take several hours, so keep that in mind.

Step 2: Take out your HDD

The HDD is not always exactly in the same place. This varies by manufacturer and model , but it is usually not difficult to find.

Make sure your laptop or PC is completely turned off and not in the charger when you get started. You prefer to work with an anti-static bracelet to prevent any damage. First, remove the back of your laptop with a screwdriver. You often have to remove several screws from your laptop before you can open it.

Then find the hard drive and take it out. It is usually secured with a click or slide system .

Step 3: Insert the SSD

SSD is Not Recognized - Insert the SSD

Now that the HDD is out, insert the SSD into the SATA connector . Fitting should be easy if the SSD is the same size as the HDD. If you find that it’s not easy, your device may not be compatible, and you need to arrange a replacement.

SATA SSDs and HDDs come in two flavors: 2.5in and 3.5in . You will almost always find the 2.5-inch format in laptops. If you want to replace a 3.5-inch HDD with a 2.5-inch SSD, you can do this using a bracket (a mounting bracket). This is not possible the other way around, so this is a point to pay attention to beforehand.

Step 4: Restart your laptop or PC

When everything is screwed back together, restart your laptop or PC . Your device should now recognize the SSD right away! Isn’t that the case? Then follow the step-by-step plan to ensure that your device recognizes your SSD.

Replace HDD with M.2 SSD

Do you not have a SATA SSD, but an M.2 SSD ? An M.2 SSD can both replace and supplement an HDD. It could even replace/complete a SATA SSD. This type offers even more options than the SATA SSD, including more speed.

Another difference between an M.2 SSD and a SATA SSD is the connection method . You can connect an M.2 SSD directly to the motherboard. Always check in advance whether your motherboard is compatible!

How it works? Switch off your computer or laptop and open the housing. Then look for the M.2 slot in your motherboard. There is probably already a screw here that you need to remove. Do this, slide the M.2 into the slot, and screw it in with the screw you just removed from the motherboard.

Afterwards, screw your device back in and turn it on. After formatting, it is ready to use !

Think of the Size

M.2 SSDs come in different sizes . It is important that you look at which formats your motherboard supports before you purchase. This concerns how the contacts are formed (the ‘keys’), and the length of the M.2 SSD.

Conclusion

Hopefully the replacement was successful and you can benefit from a wonderfully fast device again! Did it not work out? You can always send us a message!