How to Change a Hard Drive on a Laptop

Replacing your laptop’s hard drive with an SSD

The bottleneck in notebook performance is usually the hard drive format 2.5″ and 5600 RPM. So there is no better upgrade for a laptop than replacing its mechanical drive (HDD) with a solid state drive (SSD). The task is not trivial, but for the average user raises many questions. If the thought of reinstalling Windows and all your programs and then fine-tuning them leaves you perplexed, don’t worry. After reading this article, and after an hour of work on replacing the disk, you can enjoy the positive results of the upgrade.

Possible problems

On most laptops, replacing the hard drive is not difficult. But, the design of some portable computers complicates the replacement. It will require not only the removal of the cover. It will be necessary to disconnect the motherboard, sometimes an additional protective cover.

  • Ensuring that the information on the old drive is preserved for later transfer;
  • Proper connection of the disk connector to the slot of the seat;
  • Continuity of keyboard and monitor cables.

How to replace the hard drive in the laptop

Failure of your laptop hard drive is a problem that requires technical intervention. Namely to replace the hard drive in your laptop.

The hard drive, like any other component, wears out over time. Thus, the laptop starts working slowly or even freezes or gives various errors.

How to replace the hard drive in your laptop computer? And also not to make a lot of mistakes we will consider in this article.

How to Replace a Hard Drive in a Notebook PC

Replace the hard drive in a laptop is no more complicated than on a standard computer. In this note I will try to tell very clearly and in detail about how to replace the hard drive in a laptop.

The need to replace the hard drive in a laptop can be due to two or three reasons. For example, you can replace your normal hard drive with a new solid state drive (SSD). This type of data storage has more performance and speed. And this, in turn, greatly increases the speed of the laptop. Also, replacing the hard drive in a laptop is necessary in the case, when the old HDD fails.

The first thing to do immediately is to disconnect the laptop from the power supply and remove the battery. To learn how to properly disconnect the battery, please read the instructions that came with your notebook. In some models, in order to turn off the battery, you will need to unscrew a few fixing screws. After removing the battery, carefully examine the underside of the laptop. There should be one or more covers that will also be secured with screws.

If there is only one cover, you need to remove it. Be careful when you remove the cover, as it may be additionally secured with plastic latches, which are very easy to break.

The laptop hard drive

If you see two or more covers on the bottom of the laptop, then check under which one the hard drive is installed. Often the hard drive is mounted inside the notebook in a tin case or a frame. In order to release it from the case, you will need to unscrew one or two screws. They have been used to secure the case to your notebook’s casing. After this step, unplug the hard drive from the SATA connector. All you have to do is gently pull it sideways a little. Then you can remove the disk safely. Be very careful not to force anything, otherwise you may damage or break any part of the notebook. If something won’t go in there, that’s probably not where it’s supposed to go. Each unit has its own connector. As they say Foolproofing

Your notebook

When you have removed the hard drive case, insert the new drive into the case. Remove the screws from the sides of the case and put in a new disk. Make sure to secure it with the same screws.

change, hard, drive, laptop

When you put the new drive in the case also connect it to your notebook by fixing it inside the case. After taking all of these steps, you may close the cover.

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Each notebook model has its own special features for assembly and disassembly. Therefore if you have difficulties with disassembly, search on the Internet for a detailed diagram of a notebook of this model or series. I highly recommend YouTube as it is more illustrative, you should just repeat.

Ways to install the hard drive in your computer

Laptops designed after 2005 have the following features., A SATA bus is used to connect the HDD or CD-ROM drive. The hardware enclosure is designed for mounting a 2.5-inch drive that is 9.5 mm or 7 mm thick. Drive length and width are the same, manufacturer-independent. In addition to the SATA connector, the drive is connected to the power circuit (voltage 5 and 12 V).

Installing and properly configuring hard drives requires some knowledge and skill.

change, hard, drive, laptop

For the classic 2.5-inch hard drives there are several ways of installation:

  • The device is mounted in a special socket and a housing is used for mounting. The drive is inserted into the drive tray and secured with screws or latches.
  • Some devices have the drive in the place of a CD or DVD drive (using a special adapter to secure the drive). This arrangement is found on laptops equipped with additional storage.

Tips for HDD removal from a laptop

Most manufacturers fix the hard drive to the metal frame with rubber pads, springs, or other cushioning devices. A new HDD for your notebook should be placed in the same HDD cage and then attached to the inside of the notebook. In most cases, the bolts from an old hard drive will fit nicely on a new one.

HDD side mount

Hard-drive replacement is easiest when the HDD is plugged into a side connector on the laptop‘s chassis. It is usually held in place with a screw from below, and a special latch must be removed from the side. After you have removed the screw and opened the latch, you can take out the tray in which the hard drive is mounted.

Under a separate cover

The vast majority of hard drives for laptops are hidden under a separate cover on the underside of the case. Remove that cover, unscrew the screws holding the hard drive in place, or figure out the latches. After that you usually need to pull the hard drive to the side of the case or lift it slightly and then disconnect it from the port. Sometimes the diagram of how to remove the hard drive is written on the inner side of the cover.

Under the keyboard or motherboard

In this case you will have to do a lot of fiddling around. Do not forget to arrange the removed components and take photos of the disassembly process.

In general the sequence of your actions will look like this. Remove the screws that hold the case together and open it. Remove the keyboard. Remove other components that block your way to the hard drive, you may need to remove the motherboard. Perhaps you will have to take out dozens of screws, many cables, disconnect some small cards such as the Wi-Fi adaptor, etc.д. Be especially careful at this stage.

After you’ve removed the old notebook HDD, put the new HDD in its place, and repeat the process in reverse order.

That’s all. Now you can enjoy the benefits of the new hard drive.

What to do with the remaining optical drive or an external DVD burner with my own hands

To keep the rest of the DVD drive from dust, and worked when necessary for its intended purpose, it can be an external optical drive, it must be placed in a box with USB interface. I have purchased such a device in a popular Chinese online store.

Is a plastic box with a small circuit board with connectors and a chip, as well included USB cable for connection and decorative strip on the front side. For some reason the package contains a mini CD with drivers, but Windows 7 saw the device without installing additional software. over, the product is detected by BIOS, so it can be used as a bootable CD-ROM.

The assembly of the product is simple and does not require Комментарии и мнения владельцев. We connect the board with the drive and put it in a box.

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Don’t forget to fix the optical drive and the board in the casing with the two screws which are included in the delivery.

Put the decorative strip on the front side and our drive is ready for use.

Connect the drive to your notebook (or computer) and make sure everything works.

Why change it? And for what?

As a rule, there are two reasons why notebook PC owners decide to replace the original drive with a new one: to increase the computer performance, to add more disk space (upgrade) or to recover if the original Hard drive has failed. Those, who want to increase the performance of their “electronic friend”, it is better to install a good solid state drive (SSD) instead of a hard drive (HDD). Fortunately they are not as expensive as they were a few years ago. By the way, in addition to speed SSD has a couple of valuable features. low power consumption, quietness and resistance to mechanical stress (shock, vibration, shock) from which conventional hard drives often “order life”.

But! Replacing your hard drive with a solid state drive is unlikely to provide noticeable performance gain, if the slowest device in your notebook is not the drive, but rather the processor, for instance. On how to estimate the performance of the basic equipment of the computer by means of Windows, our site has already told.

If you are looking for capacity, choose an ordinary HDD. Yes, they are 1-2 orders of magnitude slower than SSDs, but they cost 10 times cheaper: a 2 Tb HDD can be bought for 6,500-7,000, and an SSD of the same capacity for 55,000-70,000. In addition, hard drives are more reliable than solid-state drives in terms of security. Data recovery from the defective HDD is practically always possible, if the magnetic layer is not damaged. But almost never an SSD.

Sometimes I hear that SSDs are better than HDDs, because they fail less often. In fact this belief is not confirmed. SSDs simply don’t make up more than 15% of all the drives you use. And they break less often because there are fewer of them.

If speed and capacity are important to you, you can opt for a hybrid drive, SSHD. This type of device is a hard drive with an additional solid-state flash buffer (memory module, which SSDs are made of), designed to store frequently used data of the operating system and applications. Theoretically it makes them run faster, but Flash buffer capacity is not large enough (8-16 Gb) to hold many files, so most of the time you work on your computer you won’t notice the difference in performance between an SSHD and a regular HDD.

Some users even claim that the hybrid is slower than a simple hard drive. How else can it be, when it only spins at 5400 RPM while the individual “hard disks” spin at 7200 RPM??

In short, I wouldn’t recommend these tools for everyone, but if you need to speed up your Windows startup and some basic programs, buy the former are more expensive, the latter are cheaper.

This is interesting: How to connect the hard drive from a laptop to a computer

To help you understand these, I have summarized the main criteria for choosing a type of notebook drive in the following table.

SSD HDD SSHD
Performance High Low Average, closer to low
Mainstream capacity 120-500 Gb 256-3000 Gb 500-2000 Gb
Operating noise No Yes Yes
Shock resistance High Medium or low Medium or low
Preferred use Operating system, applications, frequently opened files Store large amounts of data that you do not want to access all the time Operating system, applications, user files if single drive
Recoverability in case of data breakage often no often often there is
Approximate 2 500-9 000 3 500-8 000

Below we will talk about what parameters to pay attention to when choosing a specific model.

Reasons for HDD replacement in a laptop. Replacing the Hard Disk Drive in a Notebook by Yourself

Before we proceed to the story of how to replace the hard drive in a laptop, we want to note that the new HDD for a laptop is often not formatted, and it has no operating system.

Hard drive for a laptop on the principle of operation is almost no different from the hard drive for desktop computers. The main differences: size and form factor. If you have ever wanted to buy a hard drive for a laptop and were looking for relevant information in stores and on the Internet, you probably noticed that most often the size of such HDD is either 2.5 or 1.8 inches.

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Replacing a laptop hard drive is not a complicated operation. Most often it is made as an upgrade, to increase the amount of non-volatile memory of the laptop for a few hundred or thousands of gigabytes. Installing more than one hard drive is usually not provided by the manufacturer, t.к. There is simply no room for a second hard drive. We would recommend not to start now with the disassembly and installation of a new HDD.к. there may be some problems.

Firstly you should shut down the computer, disconnect the charger from the laptop, turn the laptop upside down and remove the battery (though the latter is not always necessary). On the bottom of the case you can find the screws, which are often hidden rubber stoppers or inserts, unscrewing or Phillips screwdriver, or a special star, depending on the model of device.

You can see that on the bottom there are one or more hatches, screwed these screws, and under one of them is hiding a hard drive for a laptop. After unscrewing the screws we usually get rid of the hard drive chassis. Then you need to carefully pull the chassis out of the niche created in the computer case. Thus, we hold in hands the case with a portable computer hard drive. The HDD is fixed in the case with screws, which also need to be unscrewed, and then carefully remove the hard drive.

To connect the hard drive from a laptop back, you need all the operations performed in reverse order. It is necessary to install a new HDD into the case (HDD chassis), bolt it from both sides, insert the case with a new hard drive in a niche in the bottom of the laptop and carefully press it until it stops. Then screw the screws into the laptop housing, thus securing the case with the hard drive inside the laptop. If you removed the battery, plug it back in. That’s all, the laptop hard drive is replaced.

Now the old HDD is quite suitable as a replacement for an external hard drive or USB flash drive for data transfer or storage. Computer stores sell special cases that allow you to do this.

Be careful, the new hard drive is not formatted and there is no operating system installed on it. The laptop will not boot from the hard drive when turned on. It is possible to reinstall the operating system by yourself from a DVD or flash drive. If you are not quite sure what to do, then to replace the hard drive and then install the operating system you need to contact the nearest service center, where you will always help for a reasonable fee. We hope that this article was useful and that you have succeeded!

Many laptop owners over time may face a failure of the hard drive or just need to replace it with a more spacious and fast. Respectively and whether it is possible to carry out this procedure independently many users are interested. This procedure is not considered something difficult and unrealistic, it is enough to have a regular set of screwdrivers and a certain amount of time.

It should be said that if the hard drive is broken, there is no point in trying to repair it. It’s easier to save the required information, buy a new drive and make the required replacement.

There are a number of signs that indicate that it is possible to replace the hard drive on the laptop with a new one:

  • Strange noises and clicks occur. Such moments indicate the imminent failure of a reading head or breakage of a device chip. Such a situation occurs due to voltage fluctuations or physical damage.
  • You will regularly receive a notification that the drive is not formatted. It is possible that some sector is damaged.
  • Unintentional system restart. It is possible that this problem is caused by a malicious program.
  • Notification that the device is not found.

How To Change/Install a Hard Drive on any laptop (Simple & Easy)

In all of these cases you will most likely need to replace the hard drive in your laptop, the price of which will depend on the drive model you choose.