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Questions about an HDD->SSD upgrade

I have a PC which is about 10 years old (Dell Optiplex 755) and boots from a 3.5" SATA hard drive and I want to put a SATA SSD in it.

 

I've never done this before so I have few questions:

  • The 3.5" HDD is in a sort of plastic caddy which clips into the case. Do I need to get something equivalent for the 2.5" SSD, and if so, what's it called, how much should I expect to pay for it, and how do I know it's compatible with the computer I'm putting it in
     
  • Do I need any new cables, or anything else for that matter?

 

  • Does a good guide exist for how to install the SSD? Doesn't need to be specific to my particular machine (and I do have a reasonable level of technical knowledge) but I'm a little paranoid so I want to be sure I have everything done correctly before I switch it on.
     
  • I haven't decided on a specific SSD model yet so if you have any guidance for me then let me know. - I don't want to spend tons on this computer though. What I'm currently looking at getting is a Kingston A400.

 

Edit:

Upon closer examination the caddy that the HDD goes into appears also to be a heatsink. It's unclear how to get the drive out of there but it seems to have a (very dusty!) fan on the bottom... is that important?

I HATE DAVINCI RESOLVE

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pythonmegapixel

into tech, public transport and architecture // amateur programmer // youtuber // beginner photographer

Thanks for reading all this by the way!

By the way, my desktop is a docked laptop. Get over it, No seriously, I have an exterrnal monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset, ethernet and cooling fans all connected. Using it feels no different to a desktop, it works for several hours if the power goes out, and disconnecting just a few cables gives me something I can take on the go. There's enough power for all games I play and it even copes with basic (and some not-so-basic) video editing. Give it a go - you might just love it.

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SSD's are significantly more durable than an HDD.

An SSD swap is basically taking out the HDD (cloning the data over to the SSD if you want)and then transfer the cables over from the HDD to the SSD.

On 10/21/2020 at 11:41 PM, pythonmegapixel said:

Upon closer examination the caddy that the HDD goes into appears also to be a heatsink. It's unclear how to get the drive out of there but it seems to have a (very dusty!) fan on the bottom... is that important?

This does not matter.

On 10/21/2020 at 11:41 PM, pythonmegapixel said:

. Do I need to get something equivalent for the 2.5" SSD, and if so, what's it called

I double-sided taped mine onto the HDD caddy sooo.

Quote or at me @Smit Devrukhkar for me to see your replies.

 

Laptop :

Legion y520

i5 7300hq

1050 4gb oc

16gb ram

256 gb ssd

2tb hdd

 

Server:

Xeon E3 1245

16gb ram

256 gb ssd

2*2tb hdd

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On 10/21/2020 at 12:41 PM, pythonmegapixel said:

I have a PC which is about 10 years old (Dell Optiplex 755) and boots from a 3.5" SATA hard drive and I want to put a SATA SSD in it.

 

I've never done this before so I have few questions:

  • The 3.5" HDD is in a sort of plastic caddy which clips into the case. Do I need to get something equivalent for the 2.5" SSD, and if so, what's it called, how much should I expect to pay for it, and how do I know it's compatible with the computer I'm putting it in
     
  • Do I need any new cables, or anything else for that matter?

 

  • Does a good guide exist for how to install the SSD? Doesn't need to be specific to my particular machine (and I do have a reasonable level of technical knowledge) but I'm a little paranoid so I want to be sure I have everything done correctly before I switch it on.
     
  • I haven't decided on a specific SSD model yet so if you have any guidance for me then let me know. - I don't want to spend tons on this computer though. What I'm currently looking at getting is a Kingston A400.

 

Edit:

Upon closer examination the caddy that the HDD goes into appears also to be a heatsink. It's unclear how to get the drive out of there but it seems to have a (very dusty!) fan on the bottom... is that important?

It would be really helpful for you to post a few pictures of the "heatsink", "caddy" and "fan".

 

If you want to upgrade to an SSD (and remove the hard drive), then you should look at the bottom of the caddy. If there are four holes in a rectangle (each hole has another one about 2.5 inches away and another hole about 3 inches away), then you don't need a 2.5" to 3.5" drive adapter sled.

If there aren't holes like what I described above, then you should get a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter sled. You can get them of Amazon or Newegg.

Something like this would be good: https://www.amazon.ca/SABRENT-3-5-Inch-2-5-Inch-Converter-BK-HDDH/dp/B00G57BN1M/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=3.5+to+2.5+hard+drive+adapter&qid=1603508297&sr=8-8

 

 

 

For the SSD, I would recommend getting one from a reliable brand. I'd recommend getting one that is not super high-end, as they are expensive, but not low-end.

 

All SSDs I mention are 2.5" form factor.

 

 

Middle-of-the-road SSDs:

 

Samsung 860 EVO

Western Digital Blue

Seagate FireCuda 120

Seagate BarraCuda 120

Kingston UV500

Crucial MX500

 

 

High-end:

 

Samsung 860 PRO

Western Digital Red

Seagate IronWolf 125

Seagate IronWolf Pro

Kingston KC600

 

 

Low(er)-end:

 

Samsung 860 QVO

Western Digital Green

Seagate BarraCuda Q1

Kingston A400

Crucial BX500

 

 

The SSDs above are just a few good ones. Reputable brands are:

 

Samsung

Western Digital

Corsair

Kingston

Seagate

SanDisk

HyperX

Crucial

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On 10/24/2020 at 4:13 AM, Louie Friesen said:

It would be really helpful for you to post a few pictures of the "heatsink", "caddy" and "fan".

These pictures show what I am describing as the "caddy", with the HDD inside:

IMG_20201025_195136606.thumb.jpg.c6b7dc1714d68449f38d762c6ad03aa9.jpgIMG_20201025_195149087.thumb.jpg.c6ce55809217cc5f35328101c9b3142c.jpg

 

The left hand picture is the top as it was mounted in the PC case; the right hand one is the bottom. The entire assembly slots into the case in a way that I don't quite understand, and it's VERY dusty - especially that fan! Pulling up those two blue tabs on the right is how it is released from the case.

 

I can't figure out how to actually get the drive out of the caddy either - any ideas on how to do that?

 

Also, as the poster below has said, will doubled-sided adhesive tape work OK?

 

On 10/23/2020 at 4:05 PM, Smit Devrukhkar said:

SSD's are significantly more durable than an HDD.

An SSD swap is basically taking out the HDD (cloning the data over to the SSD if you want)and then transfer the cables over from the HDD to the SSD.

All the HDD contains is a broken installation of an old version of Windows (no important data on there), so I won't bother cloning it.

 

On 10/23/2020 at 4:05 PM, Smit Devrukhkar said:

This does not matter.

I double-sided taped mine onto the HDD caddy sooo.

OK fair enough. Maybe I'll end up giving that a go.

 

 

Thanks all for posts, and sorry for taking so long to reply!

I HATE DAVINCI RESOLVE

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

pythonmegapixel

into tech, public transport and architecture // amateur programmer // youtuber // beginner photographer

Thanks for reading all this by the way!

By the way, my desktop is a docked laptop. Get over it, No seriously, I have an exterrnal monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset, ethernet and cooling fans all connected. Using it feels no different to a desktop, it works for several hours if the power goes out, and disconnecting just a few cables gives me something I can take on the go. There's enough power for all games I play and it even copes with basic (and some not-so-basic) video editing. Give it a go - you might just love it.

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You don't need to mount the SSD in any way whatsoever. You can just plug it in and leave it hanging on the cable, as SSD's don't have any moving parts in them, so you don't need to put them in an enclosure like a HDD (which mainly protects the HDD from vibrations).

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On 10/21/2020 at 8:41 PM, pythonmegapixel said:

I have a PC which is about 10 years old (Dell Optiplex 755) and boots from a 3.5" SATA hard drive and I want to put a SATA SSD in it.

 

I've never done this before so I have few questions:

  • The 3.5" HDD is in a sort of plastic caddy which clips into the case. Do I need to get something equivalent for the 2.5" SSD, and if so, what's it called, how much should I expect to pay for it, and how do I know it's compatible with the computer I'm putting it in
     
  • Do I need any new cables, or anything else for that matter?

 

  • Does a good guide exist for how to install the SSD? Doesn't need to be specific to my particular machine (and I do have a reasonable level of technical knowledge) but I'm a little paranoid so I want to be sure I have everything done correctly before I switch it on.
     
  • I haven't decided on a specific SSD model yet so if you have any guidance for me then let me know. - I don't want to spend tons on this computer though. What I'm currently looking at getting is a Kingston A400.

 

Edit:

Upon closer examination the caddy that the HDD goes into appears also to be a heatsink. It's unclear how to get the drive out of there but it seems to have a (very dusty!) fan on the bottom... is that important?

when i installed an ssd in my optiplex 390, I literally just put some 3m rubber feet on the bottom and then used some VHB tape to stick it to the top of the HDD. It doesn't even matter if its loose, as long as it doesn't touch the mobo (even then they usually have plastic chassis, so still doesnt matter). in hindsight it would probably have been better to put it underneath the hdd / blue plastic tray that holds the hdd in place, but it looked nicer on top lol

 

so no, you don't need a caddy or anything really. the 3m rubber feet I got for 99p on ebay. (about $1.40 usd)

 

before anything, open up your Dell and check how many SATA power connectors there are. there should be at least 1 sata power connector spare for your SSD.

a sata power connector look like this.

 

you will likely need 1x sata cable - it doesnt have to be too long though, so you can get one for really cheap. check amazon for those. if you don't use your cd drive, you can also remove the sata data cable from there and use it for your ssd.

 

you literally just plug the sata connector into your mobo, and the other end into your SSD.

if you get a good SSD, you would want to plug it into a SATA3 connector. most older dell PC's only have 1-2 sata3 connectors and the rest are sata2. some don't even have any sata3 connectors. either way, the ssd will perform better than a hdd, but if you have it available you definetely want SATA3.

 

what type of dell optiplex 755 do you have - is it mini tower/desktop/sff/etc?

dell optiplex 755 tech specs: https://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/opti_755_techspecs.pdf

 

it looks like the 755 was manufactured earlier than even the 390, so the ports are SATA2 (3gb/s) not SATA3. that's fine though - either way, an SSD is faster than a HDD and the performance gain will be very noticable.

 

according to the tech specs, the mini tower has 4x SATA ports and 1x eSATA, the desktop has 3x SATA ports and 1x eSATA, SFF has 2x SATA ports and 1x eSATA, uSFF just has 1x SATA.

 

so, if using the mini tower or desktop, assuming you have 1x hdd and 1x dvd drive connected, you will easily have space for an extra sata drive.

if using the SFF, you will need to unplug the dvd drive to plug in an SSD, unless you want to buy a eSATA to SATA cable adapter

the uSFF has only 1x SATA so can only have 1 drive connected, so you're out of luck with that one - it doesn't even have a pcie slot

if using the SSF/desktop/mini tower and don't have enough slots remaining and want to keep all your existing drives: buy a sata pcie adapter.

 

now that you know if you have enough sata ports or not, now you need to find out if you have enough sata power connectors.

 

according to page 13 of the tech specs:

mini tower supports 4x hdds

desktop supports 3x hdds

sff supports 2x hdds

usff supports 1x hdd

 

so its fair to assume that mini tower = 4x sata power connectors, desktop = 3x sata power connectors, sff = 2x sata power connectors, usff = 1x sata power connector.

there will likely be more, but you'll only know for sure by opening your pc, and counting the sata power connectors coming off your psu.

 

to install the SSD you need at least 1x free SATA data connector on the motherboard, and 1x sata power connector from the psu.

 

there is also a diagram of the motherboard layouts of all the 755 models in the tech specs pdf i linked, so it'll help you find the SATA data connectors on your motherboard. once youve found them, with your machine powered off and unplugged, just plug in a sata data cable, plug the other end into your SSD, and plug the sata power connector from your psu into the ssd aswell. place the ssd under your hdd tray or wherever, and close the case. start the pc and reinstall windows on the ssd, once done you can copy stuff over from the hdd as needed

 

hope this helps

 

 

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@smokeweedeveryday I won't quote your entire post as it's huge, but my response:

 

I'm not aiming to *add* an SSD to the system, I want to *replace* the existing HDD with an SSD. So I'm assuming I can just plug the SSD into the SATA cables used for the HDD?

It's the SFF version, for what it's worth.

 

I also think the HDD might actually be dead - the system just refuses to boot off it. Though it's possible that I've been a moron and not plugged it back in properly...

I HATE DAVINCI RESOLVE

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

pythonmegapixel

into tech, public transport and architecture // amateur programmer // youtuber // beginner photographer

Thanks for reading all this by the way!

By the way, my desktop is a docked laptop. Get over it, No seriously, I have an exterrnal monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset, ethernet and cooling fans all connected. Using it feels no different to a desktop, it works for several hours if the power goes out, and disconnecting just a few cables gives me something I can take on the go. There's enough power for all games I play and it even copes with basic (and some not-so-basic) video editing. Give it a go - you might just love it.

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1 hour ago, pythonmegapixel said:

So I'm assuming I can just plug the SSD into the SATA cables used for the HDD?

Yup, as long as the cables work and the mobo works, that's all you need. If you want, you can then use some basic double-sided tape to secure the SSD somewhere inside the case.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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