Upgrading your notebook's legacy hard drive to a new, fast SSD is a substantial upgrade that makes good sense for a number of reasons. First, Solid State Drives offer orders of magnitude higher performance under certain conditions, with blazingly fast random access times. They also produce much less heat versus a standard 2.5-inch notebook hard drive and are virtually immune to shock and vibration trauma that will send your old spinning hard drive to an early grave.
In this HotHardware Video Spotlight, we show you how to upgrade your existing notebook hard drive, to a new, fast SSD as well as how to quickly migrate your data for absolute minimal downtime.
Cloning data to the SSD via the Sabrent SATA to USB adapter using Clonezilla; disassembly and reassembly of Dell XPS Notebook
In Clonezilla, be sure to read each of the screens and select the proper settings; like sizing partitions to fit properly on your new SSD.
In reality, the software side of a notebook SSD upgrade is perhaps the most complex part of the process. Mechanically, swapping out drives is pretty straight-forward. If you take the path of actually cloning your existing hard drive's partition(s) over to the new SSD, you need to ensure you set the cloning software application, in our case it was Clonezilla, to resize the new partition on the target drive to size of the SSD. Norton Ghost from Symantec has this setting selected by default but in the screen shots above, you can see how to set it up with Clonezilla. Also, if your new SSD is actually smaller than the old hard drive, Clonezilla won't let you map the partition over, even if the data area is smaller. In this case, Norton Ghost works a bit better and is in general a bit more elegant to work with.
Regardless, the benefits of an SSD upgrade, for notebook users especially, can be well worth the effort. And let's face it, doing it yourself is simply just more fun.