Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

jmt356
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Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by jmt356 »

When purchasing a new laptop, is there a way to determine whether the hard drive is not upgradable before purchasing the laptop?

I understand there are some laptops with eMMC drives that are soldered into the motherboard. Is this also true for HDDs and SSDs? Or can I assume that if I am purchasing a laptop with a SSD, I can always swap it out for a larger one?
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JMT

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HansV
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by HansV »

As far as I know, a hard disk and SSD are always separate components.
But budget laptops are often difficult to upgrade, so you'd better get one with a large SSD to start with - they're not that expensive any more.
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jmt356
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by jmt356 »

If a SSD is always a separate component, then wouldn't I be able to upgrade it even on a budget laptop? Therefore, why would I need to get a large SSD to start with?
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JMT

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HansV
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by HansV »

In theory, you can upgrade, but it might be difficult to open the case. It depends on the brand and model, of course.
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by jstevens »

It never hurts to ask if it is upgradable before you purchase it. Be sure to get it in writing.
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BobH
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by BobH »

Opening the case might also void any warranty.
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Jay Freedman
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by Jay Freedman »

I have a Toshiba Portege laptop that I bought in 2012. After a series of software upgrades it was running unacceptably slowly, especially taking a long time to boot up. Running benchmarks showed that the hard drive was the bottleneck.

A service document from the Toshiba website showed where the hard drive is mounted on the motherboard. I opened the case (you can find instructions for a lot of models on YouTube), managing not to break anything. :evilgrin:

It took about 2 minutes to disconnect the power and data cables from the hard drive, remove the drive from its mounting, insert an SSD in its place, and plug in the cables. (The cables and the SSD's sockets conform to the SATA standard, so the same cables that fed the hard drive fit the SSD.)

Macrium Reflect restored the hard drive's image file onto the SSD. The computer booted in about 5 seconds flat -- it's alive! :bananas: And it runs far faster than it ever did before.

jmt356
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by jmt356 »

Jay Freedman wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 02:13
I have a Toshiba Portege laptop that I bought in 2012. After a series of software upgrades it was running unacceptably slowly, especially taking a long time to boot up. Running benchmarks showed that the hard drive was the bottleneck.

A service document from the Toshiba website showed where the hard drive is mounted on the motherboard. I opened the case (you can find instructions for a lot of models on YouTube), managing not to break anything. :evilgrin:

It took about 2 minutes to disconnect the power and data cables from the hard drive, remove the drive from its mounting, insert an SSD in its place, and plug in the cables. (The cables and the SSD's sockets conform to the SATA standard, so the same cables that fed the hard drive fit the SSD.)

Macrium Reflect restored the hard drive's image file onto the SSD. The computer booted in about 5 seconds flat -- it's alive! :bananas: And it runs far faster than it ever did before.
By "mounted on the motherboard," do you mean soldered onto the motherboard? If so, how did you dismount it?
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JMT

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BobH
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by BobH »

I can't answer for Jay, but IME internal drives are not soldered to the MOBO. Even CPUs are not soldered to MOBOs, again, IME. Look online for your particular computer and/or MOBO. You are likely to find pictures and/or diagrams what will answer your questions.
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jmt356
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by jmt356 »

Some laptops have the motherboard soldered to the MOBO. I believe the Lenovo Ideapad 81VS0001US has an eMMC hard drive soldered to the MOBO.
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JMT

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HansV
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by HansV »

MOBO = motherboard...
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Jay Freedman
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Re: Are SSDs on new laptops always upgradable?

Post by Jay Freedman »

jmt356 wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 15:40
By "mounted on the motherboard," do you mean soldered onto the motherboard? If so, how did you dismount it?
No, the hard drive was NOT soldered or otherwise permanently fastened onto the motherboard. There is a metal bracket attached to the motherboard, and the hard drive is attached to the bracket with small screws.

Not only are the data and power cables of standard design, but the screw holes in the SSD are in the same places as those in the hard drive, so the SSD is attached to the bracket the same way as the old drive was.

This is the old hard drive, which is 2.75 x 3.75 inches. The SSD that replaced it is the same size.
ToshHD.jpg
Yes, some eMMC drives (which are a type of SSD, not hard drives at all) are soldered to the motherboard. But if you're replacing a (spinning magnetic disk) hard drive, those are never soldered in place. The heat of soldering would probably ruin the drive!
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