Adding a mSATA SSD OS drive to a new laptop

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Adding a mSATA SSD OS drive to a new laptop

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:46 pm

Hello folks, I would like some guidance with my new laptop.

I plan on buying a laptop that comes with Windows 8 and an open mSATA slot. I'm not familiar with windows 8/UEFI or SSDs. How do I set the SSD as the boot drive?
The laptop will come with windows 8 pre-installed on the hard drive. How do I install the OS to the mSATA SSD that I will be installing?
Also, what considerations should I make when looking for a mSATA SSD to buy? I'm looking to buy a ~250GB SSD.
EDIT: How does this SSD look?

Thanks.
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chµck
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Re: Adding a mSATA SSD OS drive to a new laptop

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:07 pm

Why not simply buy a normally-sized SSD to replace your HDD with? Or just buy a small mSATA (smaller than 240GB or even smaller than 120GB) for caching purposes - there should be an option in laptop's BIOS to enable "Smart Response" or something like this...

If you really want to have Win8 installed on mSATA drive - buy it, insert it to its slot (you might need to use a couple of screws), then go to laptop's BIOS and set it as primary bootable device (or whatever it will be called) and then just format the current HDD and install Win8 to your new mSATA... You just need installation media for fresh install. Also, make sure that whatever mSATA you're buying is compatible with your laptop model (or buy it at a place where you can easily return it if it won't be compatible).
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Re: Adding a mSATA SSD OS drive to a new laptop

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:58 pm

Consult your laptop hardware maintenance manual (usually available at the manufacturer's site) for how to access the mSATA slot.

Once you install the mSATA drive, you can install windows by

a. cloning the partition over from your laptop (various tools that can do this)
b. running the system recovery bootloader (if you have one) on the HDD and selecting the SSD drive as the target
c. downloading a windows 8 ISO onto a CD or USB drive and installing it on the SSD with your existing key

You can select the SSD as the boot drive in BIOS.

I've done both option b. and c. on my wife's laptop (128 GB SSD and 500 GB HDD) and option a. on my desktop. The Liteon drive is a pretty decent drive and similar to the plextor m3 in my desktop and the crucial m4 in the wife's laptop. Good luck!
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Re: Adding a mSATA SSD OS drive to a new laptop

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:52 pm

JohnC wrote:Why not simply buy a normally-sized SSD to replace your HDD with? Or just buy a small mSATA (smaller than 240GB or even smaller than 120GB) for caching purposes - there should be an option in laptop's BIOS to enable "Smart Response" or something like this...

If you really want to have Win8 installed on mSATA drive - buy it, insert it to its slot (you might need to use a couple of screws), then go to laptop's BIOS and set it as primary bootable device (or whatever it will be called) and then just format the current HDD and install Win8 to your new mSATA... You just need installation media for fresh install. Also, make sure that whatever mSATA you're buying is compatible with your laptop model (or buy it at a place where you can easily return it if it won't be compatible).

The SSD is for the OS/games/programs/HD porn. The HDD is for media storage/backups. I'm also not rich enough to afford a 480GB+ SSD I don't think it would be worth the money I would need to get a >500GB one. My current 500GB HDD is almost full.

I'm pretty familiar with working on computers in general (worked computer repair during college), but I haven't been able to keep up with SSDs or windows 8. I'm mostly concerned with any special considerations that need to be made with SSDs/windows 8 vs HDDs/older versions of windows.

Voldenuit wrote:Consult your laptop hardware maintenance manual (usually available at the manufacturer's site) for how to access the mSATA slot.

Once you install the mSATA drive, you can install windows by

a. cloning the partition over from your laptop (various tools that can do this)
b. running the system recovery bootloader (if you have one) on the HDD and selecting the SSD drive as the target
c. downloading a windows 8 ISO onto a CD or USB drive and installing it on the SSD with your existing key

You can select the SSD as the boot drive in BIOS.

I've done both option b. and c. on my wife's laptop (128 GB SSD and 500 GB HDD) and option a. on my desktop. The Liteon drive is a pretty decent drive and similar to the plextor m3 in my desktop and the crucial m4 in the wife's laptop. Good luck!


With regards to option C, I've read that the key is built into the BIOS or something like that. Is that true?

Also, how reliable are SSDs now? I know a few years ago there were a lot of problems with SSDs, particularly ones from OCZ.
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Re: Adding a mSATA SSD OS drive to a new laptop

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:06 am

They are fairly reliable now. I've been using the Intel/Crucial ones for a few years in my devices, never had any issues. As for "special considerations" about SSD's (such as TRIM support, partition alignment and so on) - you don't have to worry about any of them if you'll do a fresh Win8 install. You can find more info about this (especially about particular model of your laptop and its BIOS settings or compatibility issues) at http://forum.notebookreview.com/
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Re: Adding a mSATA SSD OS drive to a new laptop

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:02 am

chµck wrote:With regards to option C, I've read that the key is built into the BIOS or something like that. Is that true?


Nope. Key should be on the notebook chassis on a sticker (location varies by model). Some OEM windows come preactivated, but they should still be able to be reinstalled with the same key on a fresh install.

Also, how reliable are SSDs now? I know a few years ago there were a lot of problems with SSDs, particularly ones from OCZ.


Well, I was going to say they were very reliable, but the crucial m4 in my wife's laptop still died last week (6 months old). On the other hand, the plextor m3 (same controller, different NAND, different firmware) is still going strong after over a year and I've had a samsung SSD in my X300 for coming on 4 years now and it's still going strong, so I'm going to say my dead drive was a fluke.
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Re: Adding a mSATA SSD OS drive to a new laptop

Postposted on Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:50 am

Voldenuit wrote:
chµck wrote:With regards to option C, I've read that the key is built into the BIOS or something like that. Is that true?


Nope. Key should be on the notebook chassis on a sticker (location varies by model). Some OEM windows come preactivated, but they should still be able to be reinstalled with the same key on a fresh install.

So I should easily be able to install Windows 7 on the SSD and wipe the HDD without messing around with BIOS settings?
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Re: Adding a mSATA SSD OS drive to a new laptop

Postposted on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:53 pm

chµck wrote:
Voldenuit wrote:
chµck wrote:With regards to option C, I've read that the key is built into the BIOS or something like that. Is that true?


Nope. Key should be on the notebook chassis on a sticker (location varies by model). Some OEM windows come preactivated, but they should still be able to be reinstalled with the same key on a fresh install.

So I should easily be able to install Windows 7 on the SSD and wipe the HDD without messing around with BIOS settings?


I think you could be confusing the product key with Secure Boot. Secure Boot is a UEFI option that prevents unsigned bootloaders from loading on your computer. If you want to install Win 7 or Linux on your new laptop, you may have to disable the Secure Boot in your UEFI, if it was enabled by default (depends on manufacturer and model). Either way, any x86 UEFI laptop should have the option of disabling Secure Boot.
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Re: Adding a mSATA SSD OS drive to a new laptop

Postposted on Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:30 am

chµck wrote:The SSD is for the OS/games/programs/HD porn. The HDD is for media storage/backups. I'm also not rich enough to afford a 480GB+ SSD I don't think it would be worth the money I would need to get a >500GB one. My current 500GB HDD is almost full.


don't download the porn just watch it! bet you'd save atleast 200gb if u deleted your existing files :p
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