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Upgrading Your Hard Drive Disk (HDD/SSD)

Please Note Falcon Trading Computers strongly recommends contacting a Support Technician (888.500.6786) before purchasing or attempting to install a new drive. (Especially for laptop upgrades)
If your computer is acting slow, you’re running low on storage, or you have a dead/failing drive, one option is to replace/upgrade your Storage Drive. Unless you’re upgrading a backup drive, we recommend getting a Solid State Drive(SSD) instead of a standard Hard Disk Drive(HDD).

Choosing a SSD
SSDs are vastly superior in terms of speed and reliability. When choosing a drive, make sure you won’t surpass 75% of the SSD’s capacity, due to the way the drives maintain themselves, completely filling a drive will decrease the lifespan and decrease speed efficiency. Furthermore, getting a larger drive will inherently increase the drive’s speed.(Larger drives will have more NAND gates, more NAND chips increases bandwidth for processing.) Check out our recommended Drive Upgrades.
Prepare to Install
Once you have your drive and are ready to install, make sure you have a backup of your whole system, partitions and all…Unless you’re doing a fresh install, in which case you’ll just need your Windows installation drive/disk and your Product Key. For creating full backups, we recommend Paragon Hard Disk Manager. For help reference our article on how to perform a Paragon 15 backup.
Swapping Drives
Now that your system is taken care of, un-plug the system and remove both side panels of the computer case to locate your old drive, these are usually in the front of the tower. Before we go yanking out the drive, we need to remove the power cable(wide plug) and the SATA cable(shorter plug), the power cable will pull right out, while the SATA cable will have a metal push down tab to remove it. Once that is done, you can (in most cases remove the drive from the case using the drive sled(depress the tabs on the sides and pull out of the case) or by removing the screws holding the drive in place(less common these days). Replace the drive with the new one, you may need to screw the drive to the tray since SSDs are smaller than HDDs. Once the drive is in the case and secured, connect the cables. At this point, your drive is installed!
Finishing the Installation
Just because the drive is connected doesn’t mean it’s ready however. We now need to either install a fresh copy of windows(typically recommended), or restore from the backup of the old system. Insert and boot to the installation or backup media and follow the directions of your backup software to properly restore. Reference our article for the Paragon 15 restore process.
If everything went smoothly: Congratulations! You’ve successfully upgraded your drive. If you have any questions or are uncomfortable performing this process, don’t hesitate to call our Support line (888.500.6786) for assistance.

Updated on April 20, 2018

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