How to change the disk of a laptop by installing an SSD instead of the old hard disk to make it come back as new, fast and powerful

Notebook disk

If we have a laptop a few years ago, we will certainly find a mechanical disk which, after some time, will become the “bottleneck” for notebook performance, even if we have a fast processor or a good amount of memory. RAM.

For this reason, we advise all users of laptops with mechanical discs to immediately replace it aim with your eyes closed on an SSD, to increase the speed of the computer with a simple modification and within everyone’s reach.

Let’s see together in this guide how to speed up your notebook by changing the hard drive and replacing it with an SSD, also moving the operating system and programs already present to be immediately operational.

How to speed up notebooks with SSD

Update the hard drive in a laptop it is not difficult for computer enthusiasts, but it can also be carried out by novice users, just bring the necessary equipment (that is, a set of screwdrivers with small tips, since we will find ourselves with really tiny screws to remove).
If we do not have a set of professional screwdrivers to tinker with discs, we recommend buying a set of screwdrivers offered on Amazon for this purpose, such as the Mini Torx Professional Electrician screwdriver set (19 €).

NOTE: On modern laptops, it may not be necessary to change discs, simply add a disc to the free SATA or PCI-E connection available.

It will be necessary to see in the specifications of the laptop if this possibility exists and the instructions for assembly. In this case, if you mount an additional SSD, the real convenience will be to move Windows to SSD.

Purchase the new SSD


Before doing anything we buy the new SSD to be mounted on the notebook, choosing from one of the models proposed below:

After choosing the SSD to be mounted on our laptop, we will have to proceed with the cloning of the system, programs, and data on the old mechanical disk, to make the replacement as painless as possible.
Other SSDs can be viewed in our guide Best SSD drives for PC to buy for fast uploads.

Clone a mechanical disk to SSD

To clone a mechanical disk to SSD we will have to use a SATA-USB adapter, as on laptops it is difficult to immediately install a second disk in the body. The best SATA-USB adapter that we can use for cloning is the Sabrent USB 3.0 to SSD SATA Hard Drive Cable (10 €).

Once the adapter is obtained, use it to connect the SSD disk to the laptop (if possible using a USB 3.0 port, much faster) and we use a program suitable for cloning the disks, such as Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition.
Cloning program

After installing this program start it, press on the item Clone this disk present just below the section reserved for the mechanical disk (hosting Windows will be at the top of the window), make sure that the entire disk is selected and that the new SSD is present as the cloning destination, then press down on Next come on Finish to start the cloning process. Depending on the amount of data present it may be necessary to wait from half an hour to an hour or more, but it will be worth it: at the end of the process, the SSD is practically ready to replace the old mechanical disk!

Note: to quickly solve problems with the new SSD mounted, it is always advisable to keep one handy recovery key for Windows 10, so that we can fix any problems on startup. This is a precaution, but it can be decisive in some scenarios.

Replace the old disk with the SSD

Disc changer

Now that the SSD is ready, turn off the laptop, turn it over and open the rear panel, where there is the old hard drive. After opening it, we take a photo to remember exactly how the new disc should be placed; the hard disk should be recognizable by the medal round in the center.

We loosen any fixing screws on the hard disk and remove it gently on one side by extracting it from its connection, without letting the screws fall into the body of the laptop and without sliding the hard disk on the circuit below.

In the same way that the old disk was inserted, insert the SSD, fix the screws and close the panel.

Now let’s try to turn the computer back on: if we have done the cloning well, the disk will start immediately and we will immediately notice a great start and execution speed compared to the mechanical disk previously present.

After ascertaining the good functioning of the system, let’s not forget to create a recovery partition to be used to do the factory reset, so that you can restore the system quickly without having to format everything.


Changing the SSD is a feasible operation on the vast majority of laptops and allows you to get a fast and snappy device without changing anything else (also because there are very few things that can be changed on a notebook).

If we do not find the hard disk slot, it is better to do a search on Google or YouTube with the name of the laptop, to check if other users have had difficulties of this kind and have made comfortable video tutorials for “complicated” laptops.

Still, on the subject of disk cloning and replacing the unit on the laptop, we can read our guide Add SSD to the laptop instead of the hard disk or DVD player.

To maximize the performance of the SSD, we invite you to read our in-depth analysis of Programs to optimize SSDs (Samsung and others) and manage solid-state drives.
If instead we already have a laptop with integrated fast memory, we find out what are the differences between SSD and eMMC (internal memory) by reading our study eMMC or SSD? Differences and comparison between data storage devices.