My wife’s Compaq 15-S108NA laptop from a few years ago was getting a little slow around the edges, it took Windows 10 fine and has upgraded to every edition released with no problems, it runs Office 2016, OneDrive, Chrome, all the usual uses for a general day-to-day laptop but can be slow to boot and for apps to load.
Time to upgrade to an SSD.
The original HDD is 1TB but is less than 50% used so to keep costs down I opted for an ADATA SU650 480GB SSD, which is currently on Amazon for just under £70 – the price of SSDs has come down considerably in recent months.
Amazon did however decide to test the waterproof capability of their packaging, which failed, it also meant the ADATA packaging was also a little wet but only on the outside so the SSD inside was perfect. I did complain to Amazon but they didn’t seem to take much note!
The ADATA offering comes with a licenced copy of Acronis True Image HD (Via download after product registration on ADATA’s site) which has 2 versions depending on the OS you are cloning – for me it was version 15 as I was cloning Window 10.
Install Acronis True Image HD and enter the licence key (You will need to register an account via the application as the ‘No Internet’ option just loops into ‘you need to register’ message).
Don’t try to clone the drive from within Windows as it doesn’t actually clone but reboots into Acronis Clone, which might not boot properly – instead create the USB Recovery media, once created shut your laptop down.
I connected the ADATA SU650 via a USB 3.0 to SATA cable, plugged this and the USB key in and booted – On the Compaq, press the Escape key a few times after you power on and you’ll be presented with a menu, select the boot from option and then select your USB key.
Acronis Boots from the USB Key and gives you 3 options, select the option to start the recovery media. Once this loads, select ‘Other Tools’ and then disk to disk clone.
This is pretty simple, select the recommended option, press next then select the source drive (In my case the 1TB internal drive listed as Drive 0) and on the next screen the destination drive (in my case the 480GB USB Drive listed as Drive 2 – the USB Key was listed as Drive 1).
“Let it clone……let it clone, let it copy all your files”…enough of this Disney singing and lets get back to the upgrade…..
Once the clone finishes, shut down the machine and grab your screwdrivers.
First, disconnect the power and any other cables or devices such as USB Keys!
Second, pop the battery off.
Third, grab something to keep hold of the screws so you don’t lose them.
Flip the Compaq over and under all the screws show below, you can only access the ones highlighted in red once you’ve removed the one highlighted in blue and slid the DVD blanking tray out. The 2 highlighted in green are under the rubber feet, a flat bladed screwdriver will allow you to lift the feet – keep hold of these.
Next, flip it over and open the lid – With the flat bladed screwdriver, gently lift one of the top corners of the keyboard, then run along the top towards the other side with a slight upwards pressure, you should notice it popping out as you go along.
Gently tilt the keyboard and flip the large black connector up (highlighted in blue) to release the keyboard cable – careful this cable is delicate! Remove the screws as highlighted below then disconnect the 2 ribbons cables highlighted in green – again, these are delicate.
Once you’ve done this, gently split the bottom and top section, I found the perfect place to start is by the now empty DVD slot, use a plastic prise tool and gently open the case – it’ll pop open and you can remove the grey and silver section above leaving you with the following –
Remove the 2 screws highlighted in yellow and slide the old HDD in the direction of the green arrow. If you look closely you’ll notice a lack of cooling fan and also only a single aerial on the WLAN card.
Undo the 2 screws under the HDD and fit the metal bracket to the new SSD, then slide in the direction of the blue arrow and replace the 2 screws in yellow.
Pop the top case back on, replace the screws in yellow as below, gently re-attach the 2 ribbon cables in green (they slide in then the bar closes down onto them) and then gently position the keyboard so you can reattach the cable in blue.
Now at this point it’s wise to check your laptop boots and Windows is working, once you’ve done this, shut it down, remove the battery and flip it over.
Yellow screws in first, then the reds followed by the blue. The plates under the greens may have fallen off, so clip these back on and in go the green screws. For the rubber feet you can either replace if the sticky is still there, or replace the sticky with a little double-sided tape, or use a dab of superglue.
Power on and you should be good to go, you should notice a hugely improved boot up time, quicker logons and faster response the from the applications and Windows in general.
Other ADATA drives sizes are available, but I opted for the 480GB mainly down to cost and the amount of storage needed. I’ve used ADATA drives in a couple of laptops (Both SSD and M.2 drive) and found them to be very fast, very reliable, and they don’t break the bank!
ADATA SU650 480GB – https://amzn.to/2MRrdp9
ADATA Drives and accessories on Amazon – https://amzn.to/2NgpaYA