How to Connect an SSD

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Solid state hard drives, more commonly referred to as SSDs, utilize physical memory chips to store data. Conventional hard drives utilize spinning magnetic disks to write, re-write, and delete data, making them more prone to physical damage and wear. The advantage of an SSD is that there are no moving parts that can be damaged and SSD drives use considerably less power than their magnetic disk drive counterparts. Installing an SSD is a relatively simple process for both laptops and desktop computers, and can boost the speed and overall performance of both after installation.

Installing an SSD in a laptop

  • Power down the laptop and remove the battery.

  • Flip the laptop on its back. Locate the hard drive bay cover. On a majority of laptops this is the largest rectangular cover held down by a few screws. Unscrew the laptop bay cover.

  • Disconnect the original laptop hard drive from the laptop's motherboard by removing any securing screws holding the hard mounting cage in place.

  • Pull up on the hard drive cage using the pull tab connected to the metal hard drive cage and disconnect the hard drive from the motherboard's SATA docking port.

  • Remove the original hard drive from the metal cage. Many of these cages hold the hard drive inside them with two or three screws. Remove the screws and slide the original hard drive out.

  • Slide the replacement Solid State Drive into the metal hard drive cage. Replace the mounting screws in the cage.

  • Slide the mounting cage and SSD back into the hard drive bay on the bottom of the motherboard. Make sure the SSD's SATA and power ports properly line up and seat firmly into the SATA and power ports on the laptop's motherboard.

  • Re-attach the mounting screws for the hard drive cage and replace the hard drive bay cover. Replace the laptop's battery and power the system on to ensure the laptop recognizes the new SSD in the system BIOS.

Installing an SSD in a Desktop Computer

  • Power down the desktop computer and unplug it from the wall.

  • Remove the two thumb screws holding on the left panel of the computer case. Set the panel to one side and lay the computer down so that the motherboard and other system components are visible.

  • Mount the SSD in one of the hard drive bays. If your computer features a 3.5" hard drive bay, you can slide the SSD directly into the bay and secure it with four mounting screws. If your computer does not have a 3.5" hard drive bay, you may have to use the included 3.5" to 5.25" mounting bracket and then slide/secure the SSD into any free 5.25" hard drive bay.

  • Attach the SATA data cable into the notched port on the back of the SSD. Attach the other end of the SATA cable into a free SATA port on your computer's motherboard.

  • Connect the SATA power connector from your computer's power supply to the back of the SSD.

  • Replace the computer's side panel and thumb screws. Re-connect the computer's power cord and power up the system. Check the system BIOS to ensure that the computer recognizes the newly installed SSD.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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