Got a super affordable laptop as a holiday gift and you want to upgrade the drive to have more storage? Replacing a lower capacity NVMe SSD by installing a higher-capacity drive that can hold more of your files is a simple upgrade to do. Here’s how to do it.
Most laptops nowadays have an M.2 slot for internal storage. It makes sense considering the M.2 form factor is so much smaller since manufacturers are prioritizing portability. Before you buy anything, however, check your laptop’s model and make sure that it allows for a PCIe NVMe SSD upgrade. There are lots of YouTube videos out there that you can find to check your laptop’s available form factors.
Once you know your laptop can support this type of drive it’s time to get shopping. Two great options are the Kingston A2000 and the KC2000. Both are super-fast with quick loading times, low power consumption and low heat. The A2000 is more entry level with capacities up to 1TB and the KC2000 is the higher end using the latest Gen 3 controller and is available in capacities up to 2TB. Then, you’ll need a PCIe/NVMe SSD enclosure from Amazon. Be sure you are getting an enclosure that is compatible with your specific drive. Both the drives we have here use the M.2 2280 form factor so we have an enclosure that is compatible to do our business.
Next, we are going to open the external enclosure, slide the drive into the slot and secure it with a screw. We put the enclosure back together and are now ready to clone our current laptop’s drive to the new SSD. Kingston A2000 and KC2000 come with Acronis True Image software that makes backing up your drive, cloning your operating system or restoring data from a previous backup super simple. After you’ve downloaded and installed the Acronis software, you’ll need to activate and register the software. Then connect your Kingston SSD to your system and launch the Acronis software. Click on Clone Disk. Select the Automatic method and the source and destination disks you want to clone from and to respectively. Confirm that everything looks correct in the summary screen then click Proceed. A notification will then appear letting you know that it’s time to restart your computer. Click restart when you are ready then the data transfer operation will begin. When complete, the computer will shut down.
While the computer is shut down, it’s time to open your laptop, find and remove the old drive and install your new SSD internally. Each laptop is different, but this should be simple to find. Boot up your brand new super-fast laptop and you are all set. As a bonus, if the drive you removed was the same form factor, you can simply place it into the enclosure you just used, wipe the drive and you now have a spare SSD external drive.
Now that you have a shiny new SSD in your sped-up laptop, let us know what other tech questions DIYin5 can tackle for you in a future episode. Leave your topic ideas in the comments below.