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SSDo’s and Don’ts: How to install your SSD drive

FYI, this story is more than a year old

SSD technology is the latest key to making your PC a super fast speed-machine. 

If you didn't get a PC with SDD pre-installed the task of adding this nifty little device can seem daunting.

If you’re a first-time SSD installer, there’s no need to fear, Crucial NZ has now published an easy three-part process to installation: prepare, copy, install and download.

So strap on your gloves because your PC will be radically faster when you’re done.

Part 1: Prepare

The first part of the installation process is to make sure that you have absolutely everything you need at hand as well as the necessary time. 

Step 1: Gather supplies  You’ll need your Crucial SSD, a screwdriver, your computer’s owner’s manual (which will specify the type of screwdriver you need), and an SATA-to-USB cable.     Step 2: Set the spacer aside  In the box with your SSD is a spacer (it looks like a black bracket). Set it aside for now, it won’t come into play until later in the process, and based on your system, you may not even need it.  

Step 3: Back up important files Before starting the install process, save any important files on your computer to a USB flash drive or external storage drive.  

Part 2: Copy

Step 1: Connect the SSD to your system Using an SATA-to-USB cable, attach one side to the SSD and the other end to your computer. When handling your SSD, try not to touch its gold connector pins with your fingers.

Step 2: Download the software that copies your old drive to your new SSD  This comes free with Crucial SSDs.

Step 3: Install the software you downloaded Open the file you downloaded and accept all of the prompts. A screen will then pop up. Click Install. Once the installation is complete, start the application. 

Step 4: Enter the software’s serial number  This is the 16-digit key noted on the software card inside the box of your SSD.

Step 5: Prepare to copy (clone) your data You’ll now see several options in the software. Select the Clone Disk option. You’ll then be asked to select a clone mode. If you’ve never done this before, we recommend the Automatic method, then click the Next button. 

Step 6: Select source and destination drives (disks) Your “source” disk is your existing drive. Select it by clicking on it, then click Next. Now select your “destination” disk (your new SSD) and click Next. On the following screen, click Proceed to start copying your data.

Part 3: Install

Step 1: Shutdown your system Once it’s off, unplug the SATA-to-USB cable from your system and remove the cable from your SSD. 

Step 2: Remove the power cable and battery  Now that the SSD is unattached from your system, remove the power cable and battery (laptops only). To see how to remove the battery, refer to your owner’s manual. 

Step 3: Hold the power button for 5 seconds This removes any electricity still in the system.

Step 4: Open the case How you do this will vary from system to system, so consult your owner’s manual for exact instructions.

Step 5: Ground yourself Simply touch an unpainted metal surface. This protects your system’s components from the static electricity that’s naturally present in your body, grounding is just an extra safeguard.

Step 6: Locate the storage bay This is easy to find in desktops, but in laptops, the location will vary, it’s typically under the bottom panel, under the keyboard, or on the side. Refer to your owner’s manual for the exact location, as every system looks slightly different.  

Step 7: Remove your old drive  Remove the existing drive and disconnect any cables and brackets attached to it. Look closely at the drive for screws that might be holding something to it, as most brackets are often small and look like supporting frames.

Step 8: Reattach cables and brackets to SSD  Once reattached, plug the SSD into your system. Don’t worry if the label faces up or down, as this varies by system. When plugging in the SSD, don’t force the connection, it should go in easily and fit snug. 

Step 9: Reassemble your system  For laptop installations, reconnect the battery.

Step 10: Turn on your computer and celebrate

The SSD installation should be complete, and now you can enjoy all the benefits of your labour.

Your PC should run significantly faster, while simultaneously getting a storage upgrade.

If you are unsure about any part of the installation it might be worth giving your computer manual a thorough read or contacting a professional.

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