Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
|Figure 1. SSD for a desktop computer||Figure 2. Inserting an SSD into a laptops drive bay|
Replacing a laptop's hard drive
with an SSD was even simpler. On the laptop in question,
a single screw allowed the existing hard drive, mounted
in a carrier, to be slid out of the unit. The hard drive
was unscrewed from the carrier, and the SSD mounted in
its place (Figure 2). Sliding the carrier back into the
drive slot automatically made the electrical connections.
The retention screw was fastened into place and the
system was ready for use.
My experience with a netbook an Acer Aspire One 522 was a little more challenging. Fortunately, there are a number of how-to postings on the web, in addition to several YouTube videos (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJYcHrwE1ok), indicating specifically what is required. However, knowing what to do is one thing; actually doing it can be quite a different prospect!
The problem is that the hard drive is located under the netbook's bottom panel. However, in their undoubted wisdom, the engineers who designed this machine, placed the screws securing the bottom panel on the top of the computer but underneath the keyboard!
The first trick, therefore, is to use a small, thin-bladed tool (I used a jeweller's screwdriver) to push back the spring-loaded plastic retention clip at the right-rear edge of the keyboard, slide the thin blade down behind the keyboard and gently pry it upwards. A hard-plastic card is then slipped underneath the right-rear corner of the keyboard so that the clip cannot re-engage. The procedure was repeated for the remaining clips, sliding the plastic card along the rear edge of the keyboard as I worked along. So far, so good.
There are two additional retention clips, one in the centre of each side of the keyboard. However, rather than being spring loaded, these clips are rigid. The second (almost magical) trick is to very gently! bend the keyboard so that the central portion bows upwards and the keyboard can be slipped out from underneath the clips. This is the most nerve-wracking part of the operation. Bend the keyboard enough to be able to remove it, but not so much as to snap it in half!
moving the keyboard, with its ribbon cable still
attached, away from the centre of the computer's deck,
the screws holding the rear panel can now be located and
removed. A Robertson screwdriver (or similarly blunt
tool) can then be pushed down a specific hole to pop the
rear panel off the computer.
The retention screw for the hard drive is removed and the drive slid out of its electrical connector. Finally, a wrap-around carrier is removed. The entire process is then reversed in order to install the SSD. (Since the machine's RAM is also located under the bottom panel, now is a good time to replace the module and maximize the installed memory.)
The disappointment in the process came when benchmarking the netbook's performance following installation of more memory and an SSD. The machine's boot time for Windows 7 Starter Edition went from 70 to 52 s. This was nowhere near as good as the result for the desktop machine where Windows' boot time was reduced from 46 to 15 s. In addition the shutdown time for the desktop under Windows went from 15 to 5 s.
The fact that the netbook's boot time changed so little led me to abandon the installation of the SSD in this machine and instead use the device to replace the hard disk in the laptop. The laptop benefited much more from this change with the boot time for Vista going from 85 to 43 s and the shutdown time being reduced from 17 to 7 s.
If you are thinking about installing an SSD in an existing machine, my advice would be to check the web to see how easy, or how difficult, the process might be. And if you have an Acer Aspire One 522 netbook buy a new machine!
Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
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