It’s simple. Windows users can upgrade from an HDD to an SSD with just a few software and hardware tools. The whole process should take about 15 minutes of labor — and several hours of waiting.
The things you need
The migration process requires the following components:
- SSD capacity at least 32 GB. 64 GB or more recommended.
- A backup drive, preferably an external USB drive, with a larger capacity than the main hard drive.
- Macrium Reflect Free Edition — Download Macrium Reflect .
- A freshly formatted USB flash drive or a blank CD/DVD.
Which SSD Should You Buy?
All laptop SATA drives are 2.5″ form factor which means they are 2.5″ wide. Their thickness varies from 7 mm to 9 mm. What you need to know : All 7mm SSDs will fit in any SATA compatible laptop with a spacer. But a 9mm SSD will only fit a device with enough clearance to support 9mm.
There are two kinds of SSDs I recommend buying right now: the Samsung 850 EVO series — which delivers performance and value — or the Silicon Power S55 series which costs around 20 cents per gigabyte.
Step One: Install Macrium Reflect
The SSD migration process once required three different pieces of software: one program made a backup, another reduced partition sizes, and a third copied data to the SSD. The complexity of using the three programs caused a high error rate. Now one program is required: Macrium Reflect. Macrium’s Reflect backup utility does it all. It creates a backup image of the host system and then compresses it by copying it to the target SSD. First, you need to install it.
The installation process is simple. After downloading the installer, double click ReflectDL.exe . The executable then downloads and installs Macrium Reflect. View the next few menus and accept the Macrium licensing terms.
Use the default installation options and download the Windows PE files that allow you to create bootable media. The download process takes about 10 minutes and requires about 530 MB of data. Reflect then creates a Windows PE boot image.
At this stage you must to plug to the computer two devices : USB stick or CD/DVD and external drive . Then run Macrium Reflect .
On first launch, you will see a prompt to create bootable media, either on a USB stick or CD/DVD. Just make sure you select USB stick or CD/DVD as your target. Keep in mind that a recovery drive or USB will only work on the computer it was created on.
Step Two: Delete Unwanted Files
At this point, you need to reduce the amount of data stored on your hard drive to match the size of your SSD. For example, if you purchased a 120 GB SSD and your hard drive contains 200 GB of data, you need to delete at least 80 GB — although I recommend deleting as much data as possible.