back to article Imation notebook flash upgrade as easy as pi to 30 places

You now have the option of pepping up your sorry notebook by using an Imation solid state drive (SSD) upgrade kit, but only if you are happy getting inside its casing and swapping out its hard drive for the SSD. The aim is to replace the HDD with an Imation M-Class 2.5-inch SSD, with either 64G or 128GB capacity. The upgrade …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not that hard

    As long as your system is not a CRapple or a Sony you should be fine.

    usually a single door and a couple of screws.

  2. Citizen Kaned

    aww come on...

    if anyone who comes to this site isnt capable of doing this they should go to another site. may i suggest the loose women website or nitting monthly?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    What crazy kind of laptop makes you have to pull it apart and void the warranty to get at the HDD?

    That said, I doubt there are many Reg readers who haven't voided it already, just to see what's there.

    'IT?' as I question if the author works with it if they think pulling a laptop apart is so difficult.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    it doesn't sound THAT difficult.

    it doesn't sound THAT difficult.

    most IT professionals could do that on their own with a screwdriver and a bit of Google, never mind with a £400 kit with a sheet of instructions.

  5. Peter D'Hoye
    Dead Vulture

    Uncabling the harddrive?

    notebook drives - certainly SATA ones - are just plug and play. Most of them are removed by removing two screws and sliding it out on the side. WOW!

    El Reg--; //again

  6. Apocalypse Later


    I have a useful video guide to installing a motherboard that came on a CD with said m'board, in which a lovely Asian girl tells one that there are "six whores" and to "put a screw in each whore". Much more informative than the usual incomprehensible japlish printed instruction sheets.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps I am behind the times...

    But every laptop/notebook I have ever owned had the hard disk installed in a user-accessible bay, meaning it could be changed without opening the machine/invalidating the warranty.

  8. Kevin Fairhurst

    One question...

    How do I boot the Acronis CD on my optical-drive-less netbook?

  9. Stoneshop Silver badge

    Voiding warranty?

    With a decent lappie the hard disk is in some kind of tray or under a cover held on by one or two screws. With the various ThinkPads in my care you just plop the unit upside down, pull the battery, undo one screw, and pull out the disk sideways. Same with the Libretto 100/110CT (although I think it's two screws there).

    The Sony Vaio C1VE and the Toshiba NB100, OTOH, are, by the above criterion, rather undecent machines, requiring near-total disassembly to perform what should be a rather mundane task.

    (don't get me wrong; I *LIKE* voiding warranties)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Do these kits really support older laptops with PATA (44-pin IDE) connectors? The review says

    "connect a PATA or SATA interface cable from the SSD to the motherboard"

    but the data sheet says only SATA.

    I've been hoping for a reasonably-priced PATA flash drive to extend the useful life of a Thinkpad X30...

  11. Dale 3

    Pope Catholic

    Seems fairly obvious that if you have the required skills then you can do it yourself, otherwise find someone else who has the skills or take it to your local upgrade shop. People have been doing this for decades with computer equipment, cars, electrical goods, etc.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Fully equipped?

    I thought all Regtards(tm) walked around with a Phillips #00, spudger and T6 Torx screwdriver in their top shirt pocket?

    Mine's the one with the afore mentioned items

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Boot from a USB optical drive?

  14. Stoneshop Silver badge

    @Citizen Kaned

    "nitting monthly?": is that the website dedicated to picking nits?

  15. Anonymous Coward


    No, that would be "nitpicking monthly."

    (see what I did there...)

  16. Stoneshop Silver badge

    @AC 08:46

    "What crazy kind of laptop": well, the fashion statements by Apple and Sony spring to mind. The netbook I did a disk transplant on recently wasn't a walk in the park either.

    Anyway, pulling a laptop apart isn't that difficult. The good old "Reverse steps to reassemble" is the tricky bit.

  17. Kevin Fairhurst


    So to replace my HDD with an expensive SSD, rather than have the SSD bootable with the software already installed to allow said transfer of data, I have to spend an additional £50 on a USB optical drive for this one task?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    @AC 8:21 and @Kevin

    @AC 8;21 A CRapple may have more screws but its within the ability of true Regitards(tm) to change the drive, display etc. So long as you print out your ifixit cheat sheet and sellotape the screws to it as you go.

    @Kevin - nope spend £10 on an SATA enclosure and copy your HDD->SSD with Super Duper. Then use the HDD in the enclosure for future backups etc

  19. Stoneshop Silver badge

    @Kevin Fairhurst

    You could, maybe, *borrow* one instead? Or buy a mate of yours a pint in return for having him copy the CD to a thumbdrive?

    Having the software on the SSD would mean installing that one in the laptop instead. People are, or at least should be, reluctant to go faffing with hardware, especially disks, *before* having made a decent backup.

    That said, there looks to be a USB-to-SATA thingie, plus a power supply in the kit, to allow powering the drive outside of the laptop (few laptops have the capability to accomodate two drives, so that bit in the article about finding the second SATA connector is just as much twaddle as the unplugging-cable-from-disk). So, in theory, with the software preloaded on the SSD and initially connected via that USB-SATA widget, you might be able to boot off it.

    I'd like to see the actual manual for this stuff. It's not readily available on Imation's site, however.

  20. NogginTheNog
    Thumb Down

    @ Kevin Fairhurst

    Well you DID buy a netbook in full knowledge it DIDN'T include an optical drive, right?

    Copy it to a bootable USB stick...

    1. Kevin Fairhurst

      @Stoneshop & everyone else

      Yes I was being facetious, I know you could (if you so wished) faff about to put the CD on to a bootable USB, but why should you? This is a product aimed at (amongst others) netbook owners - this does not mean that they should buy an optical drive, or have another machine with an optical drive installed!

      It's a storage device for fricks sake. As Stoneshop said, it comes with a USB to SATA adaptor to allow you to plug in the drive while you copy data off it. Erm, why not make the drive bootable, so that you can, y'know, boot from it and go straight in to the software?

  21. Stoneshop Silver badge

    @AC 10:05 GMT

    "I've been hoping for a reasonably-priced PATA flash drive to extend the useful life of a Thinkpad X30..."

    Transcend has a couple of PATA SSD's, up to 128G; the 64G one is about 190 Euros at the moment, roughly the same as the kit reviewed here (the size of which is not specified). I run a Transcend 8GB SSD in an old Libretto 100CT just fine.

  22. Stoneshop Silver badge

    Cheaper still

    "You might consider buying the upgrade kit on its own, starting at $194.99 and use an Intel X25 SSD instead."

    An USB-SATA dongle will set you back some 20 Euros, US$30 at most. Cloning software to be run off an USB drive can be had for free. So that's US$170 saved, spendable on a larger SSD, a ThinkGeek T-Shirt "I Void Warranties" *AND* a beverage of choice to celebrate the transition.

  23. Mr Young

    @Apocalypse Later

    Bah - your "incomprehensible japlish printed instruction sheets" sound much better fun than the chinglish datasheets I have to uncomprehend!

  24. bex
    Thumb Down

    false premise

    On most laptops including macs changing out the hard drive can be done without removing any warranty stickers most laptops its just 2 screws. In fact on macbooks the hard drive is stated as a user changeable item as it the memory.

    Also why would you clone the drive and put all the crapware back on, just do a clean install much better.

    1 Remove old drive and put it to one side in case you have any warrenty problems and you need to put it back in

    2 Put the SSD drive in the caddy and then in the laptop

    3 Do a clean install of the OS of your choice

    5) Locate any missing drivers and install them

    4 Put your programs back

    Done , simples

  25. Joshua 1
    Paris Hilton

    @Kevin Fairhurst and anyone else without optical drive

    Use your primary computer to create a bootable version of the supplied Acronis CD on a USB stick and boot your netbook from that.

    Paris.. for IQ reasons.

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