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Install 2.5" SSD to a desktop PC


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#1 yu gnomi

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 04:52 PM

To be clear, I have yet to purchase an SSD, but I have my eye on this one http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=365474&CatId=5300, which is a Crucial 64 GB SSD. However, I have never owned a laptop computer, and have no first-hand knowledge of laptop hardware & apparently there are hardly any SSD's purpose built for desktop PCs.

So I have a number of questions, and I would ask posters who have first-hand knowledge of installing 2.5" drives (i.e. laptop HDD's or SSD's)into a desktop PC to respond.

- Can I simply unplug one of the HDD's currently installed in my PC, and plug the same cables (both power and data) into this SSD?

- Would it make a difference if the drive I unplugged were a SATA drive or a different type?

- Do I need to buy a mounting kit, or will velcro-ing it to the side of the case be sufficient?

- Is the SSD likely to come with the software I need to clone my boot drive (which is 40GB), so I can boot off of my new SSD?

- If not, can I get free software to do this?

- My computer is ~5 years old, will the age of my motherboard or other components make a difference (i.e. prevent the drive from working or similar issues)?


I may have more questions later, this is all I can think of right now.

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:28 PM

I installed a Intel 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3K5 2.5" 120GB into my desktop PC, so I may be able to help.

-Yes, you can unplug one of your SATA-based drives and connect it to your new SSD. However, if that drive you unplug is used for the operating system or otherwise needed, then you may have issues.

-Most SSD's use some variant of SATA, either SATA II or III. Naturally, if you have a SATA III port and a SATA III SSD, you will want to use that, but any SATA port should work.

-Depends. The SSD I bought has a mounting plate for installation of 3.5-inch drive bays. Not all SSD's include this, so check before you buy. Most Intel drives do, however.

-Depends. Some SSD's do come with the cloning software. My Intel drive did and cloned C: perfectly, I use it to boot off of every day.

-Yes, Intel uses a specially licensed version of Acronis but you can still purchase software. For free, you can use something like Clonezilla.

-So long as you have a SATA port, you should be all set.

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#3 yu gnomi

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:47 PM

After checking what sort of internal HDD's I currently have, they appear to both be ATA drives- which would mean neither is a SATA drive, and I do not know if I have an actual SATA connection.

How important is that? (or would an SSD drive work anyhow?)

How do I determine if my computer is SATA compatible?

Edit:OK, I found a PDF of the manual for my motherboard on-line, and I may have stumbled across the answer to some of my questions. Yes my Motherboard supports SATA, and apparently SATA drives do not use the 20 pin cable that ATA (or IDE as I used to know them) drives use, but have a different sort of cable that connects to a different set of pins on my motherboard. So, in this case, swapping drive connections isn't actually feasible.

One last question, do SATA devices use standard power connectors, or do they have special power connectors (i.e. different from floppy and ATA drives)?

Edited by yu gnomi, 27 December 2011 - 12:10 AM.


#4 killerx525

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 02:26 AM

SATA devices uses their own power connection which the connector is shaped like a "L". Also when you say "standard power connectors", i would assume you mean the 4-pin molex power connector.

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#5 yu gnomi

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:23 AM

when you say "standard power connectors", i would assume you mean the 4-pin molex power connector.

Yes, although molex is a new term to me. To proceed further, I will have to open my computer case and make sure I have the necessary SATA power connections-which I believe that I do. Providing this is the case, I plan to: Purchase this drive and install it, clone my C drive onto it, and go into CMOS and change the boot order so that I boot off of the SSD.

At that point, assuming my computer boots normally, I am thinking of simply formatting my C drive. Are there any dangers, I should look out for in doing this, unforeseen problems people have run into?

I personally am worried about programs and maybe Registry entries referring to files on C drive, that would now be on whatever drive letter the SSD gets. Is there an easy work around for this? (WinXP is my OS)

#6 killerx525

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:37 AM

Posted Image
SATA Power Connector

Posted Image
4-pin Power Connector

Depending on what cloning software you use, it should make the SSD as C: drive and the HDD as the secondary drive. Watch the video below as the Intel Data Migration Software is so easy and efficient to use for Intel SSDs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jebII-FTOmk

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#7 rotor123

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:28 PM

A couple of points SATA only. AHCI in the bios for better performance, Windows 7 works best due to trim support. Otherwise with a Intel drive use the Intel SSD toolbox in place of trim once a week.

I'd suggest going to a larger drive size. OTOH if you have been fine with 40Gb drive.... It also sounds like you have XP?

It is probably cheaper to make a 2.5" drive for laptops and desktops.

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