Easy Upgrades: Hard Drive to Solid State Drive

If you are like me, you probably have a couple of systems laying around that still get some use, but less and less, as they have begun to feel a bit slow with age. This has especially been the case with my wife’s personal laptop, an ASUS from 2015 that had decent specifications for the $800-$1,000 price range we were looking at. Solid state drive models were readily available at the time, but their price and capacity limitations just didn’t fit well with her needs; 1TB+ local storage, and enough horsepower now to make this purchase last for multiple years.

Fast forward to today, and this laptop has seen its use drop off significantly, with the major complaint being “it’s so slow to start up, and it takes forever to do anything”. This is exactly what I was expecting to hear about this time when we made the purchase, and thankfully, I had a plan in mind at that time. This article will be a guide to that plan; replacing the factory HDD with an SSD for improved boot times and overall usability improvements. If this sounds like a scenario you are currently experiencing, sit back and read along, as we go through all the steps of upgrading from a hard drive to a solid state drive.

We would like to thank Kingston for providing us with their UV500 SSD Upgrade Kit for use in this guide.

Before we get started, I wanted to provide a quick hardware overview of the laptop being upgraded. As mentioned earlier, the actual performance specifications were fairly basic; a decent amount of local storage, paired up with a CPU and memory that wouldn’t hold anyone back from general computing needs. There was no requirement for a dedicated GPU or anything like that, so the specifications are quite “plain”.

ASUS Q502L

CPU: Intel Core i5-4210U, 1.7GHz Base, 2.7GHz Turbo, 2C, 4T
Memory: 8GB DDR3
HDD: 1TB, 5400RPM
Display: 15.6″, 1920×1080

Also, keep in mind that this same process can be completed on a desktop PC, and the Kingston kit we are using in this article comes with all the necessary items to complete that installation, including a 3.5″ to 2.5″ adapter, SATA cable, and 4-pin to SATA power adapter.

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