Lenovo Laptop Upgrade

Problem Description

  • spinning drives can be really slow, causing slow load
    times/compile times.

  • SSDs aren’t as susceptible to bumps/rotation, due to a lack of
    precisely moving read/write heads and rapidly spinning discs.

Tools Used

  • hand tools:
    • screwdrivers
    • spudgers
    • hands/fingers (very useful!)
  • software:
    • AOMEI backupper
    • disk manager (It’s built into windows)
    • diskpart (WARNING: this is a command line utility, take great
      care if you want to keep your data! use it only if you NEED
      to!
      (failed clone, etc))
  • hardware:
    • just a standard drive caddy (enclosure/device to connect a drive
      to a computer via usb)

Process

  • put the ssd in the caddy
  • plug the caddy into the machine
  • use AOMEI to “clone” the main machine drive to the ssd, making
    sure to enable “align for ssd”
    • Note: copy must be done on machine! If you run Aomei on a different machine and use it to copy from the original drive, you will end up with a SSD copy that does not boot. It seems that AOMEI grabs some files from the running copy of Windows.
  • shut down and unplug the machine
  • remove the ssd from the caddy
  • disassemble the machine
  • if possible, remove the battery for safety’s sake
  • remove the drive from the machine and extract it from any
    additional casings it may have
  • put the ssd into the additional casings
  • put the ssd in the machine
  • carefully unfold the machine and, if you can, put it on a
    trustworthy insulative surface, or else use the display as a
    stand (if you don’t understand what i mean, watch some Luis
    Rossman videos on YouTube
    .)
  • carefully plug the machine on and turn it on (without battery or
    enclosure)
  • if the machine does in fact work, turn it off, wait a bit, unplug
    it, and reassemble.
  • if not, well, try, try again, by formatting the drive using
    diskpart and repeating the instructions. See note below.
  • put the old drive into the caddy if you’d like

If this worked, your machine should work exactly like before, just with faster drive speeds.

How to Format A Drive (this is a dropdown)
  • open an admin command prompt
  • run command diskpart
  • run list disks
  • Make CAREFUL note of the disk number of the drive you
    want to remove the partition table of
  • remember this, we’ll call it ‘x’
  • Select disk x by running sel x
  • run clean
  • run exit until you’ve fully quit cmd
  • (please note: these instructions are for windows 10)
    on the left of the taskbar, in the “type here to
    search” box,
    type disk manager and click “create and format
    hard disk partitions”
  • tell it to activate the freshly formatted drive
    (it will be “inactive”), and,
    depending on your machine, select
    guid. (the specifics are pretty fuzzy in my head)

Future Improvements

  • double check cables (screen stopped working after first time we looked at internals(still a mystery how it happened))
  • figure out how to do the copy on a seperate machine, eg a desktop, where it is both easier to work, and may copy faster (SATA/M.2/MVME) than using USB

2021 Update: most of the software for migrating windows to other drives seem to have become pay-only.

Luckily Macrium reflect’s free version is still workable: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-migrate-to-a-solid-state-drive-without-reinstall-5837543