Early this year I bought the Asus GL553VD, a budget gaming laptop that is also a capable video editing machine (here is my full review of it). I really wanted a laptop with a spacious solid-state drive, but rather than buy a computer with such a drive, I chose a model that is easy upgradeable. This way I could get what I wanted, without breaking the bank.
In the video below, I show how I installed a m.2 SSD in my Asus laptop (which is very simple), and how I migrated the operating system (Windows 10) to the new drive (which is more challenging).
Instructions on how to migrate an operating system to a drive:
- It is a good idea to back up all documents and data from the C drive to an external drive, if you already don’t have a copy. Also, if your SSD has less space than what you are using on your HDD right now, then you will need to move files to external drives so that everything on your current C drive can fit on your new C drive
- Run “Disk Management” (Windows 10 displays it as “Create and format hard disk partitions”)
- Initialize the drive you just installed, which is Disk 0 in my set-up
- Run “Defragment and Optimize Drives” – before copying the C drive to the SSD, let’s make it as compact as possible. So, select the C drive and click Optimize
- Install EaseUS Todo Backup Free (download here)
- Launch EaseUS and click on “System Clone”
- Select “Hard Disk 0” (in my set-up) as your Target disk and click “Next”
- Once the system cloning is done, shut down the computer – but hold Shift while you do that, in order to disable Fast Startup on next boot-up
- Start the computer again, but go to the Boot Menu (press F2 and keep holding it until you get to the Boot Menu – detailed instructions here); once in Boot Menu, go to the Boot Priority section and give your SSD priority (i.e. it should appear at the top of the list of bootable drives); then press F10 to save the changes and exit
- Once you are in Windows, you should now see two drives with an operating system installed: C: and E: (in my set-up). If you set the SSD as the default boot drive (in Step 9), it will be mounted as the C: drive (but double-check by looking at the sizes of the disks)
- If you have booted successfully from the SSD and confirmed that all files copied from one drive to the other, you can then (and only then!) format the 1TB HDD (this is what I did it in the video; it’s my “Data” E drive; make sure you do not format the SSD!). I use the HDD for footage, documents, etc., and I use the SSD for Windows and all applications.
You are done!
Here is info on how to protect yourself from an electrostatic discharge.
Here is info about my laptop:
- Model: Asus ROG Strix GL553VD-DS71
- Memory: 16GB DDR4 2400MHz, 2 x SO-DIMM socket , up to 32 GB SDRAM
- Internal HDD: 1TB 7200RPM SSH
- English User Manual here
- Other User Manuals here
- Full specs for Asus GL553 laptops here
Info about my m.2 SSD:
- Model: Crucial MX300 525GB M.2 (2280) Internal Solid State Drive
- uses m.2 2280 slot
- SATA 3 speeds
- Although it is possible to buy the much faster (4-5 times) PCIe Gen3X4 m.2 SSDs that will fit into the m.2 slot in the laptop, I would not recommend doing so. As far as I know, all models of this laptop sold in North Amercia do not support PCIe (i.e. the motherboard does not support it)
- In other parts of the world, Asus does sell these laptops with motherboards that support PCIe. However, it is difficult to identify these models. Also, if the model you are considering does not come with a PCIe SSD already installed, my guess would be that the motherboard won’t support these higher speeds (so, there won’t be an opportunity to upgrade yourself)
- Although slower than PCIe, SATA 3 is still very fast. It is fast enough for great majority of users and it is affordable (unlike PCIe Gen3X4)
SATA 3 vs PCIe Gen3X4: