How to install and connect an SSD

An SSD drive is a great solution for upgrading an old PC and almost an integral part when building a new one. But how to connect and configure it if you haven’t come across this before? We understand this material.

Installing an M.2 Drive

Most modern motherboards come with a heatsink for M.2 SSDs , so we will consider installing this option.To access the board connector, unscrew the supplied screws on both sides and disconnect the heatsink.On the opposite side of the connector there is a fastening nut, which, together with a screw, serves as a drive lock.

You will notice a few prominent mounting holes. This is necessary so that you can fix drives with different lengths. The modern standard is 2280, where the length of the drive is 80 mm. For this standard, the extreme fastener is allocated, the next from it is under 60 mm, then under 42 mm. For owners of shorter models, just unscrew the nut and install the drive in the corresponding slot, or simply use the additional nut supplied with the motherboard.

The drives of the 2280 standard have almost completely replaced the other versions. Devices with a different standard are quite rare.The site is ready and it’s time to proceed directly to the installation of the drive. We combine the contacts of the device and the connector at an angle. Next, press the opposite edge of the drive with your finger until the device takes a horizontal position.We fix the drive with a screw from the motherboard kit. The screw is very easy to lose and replacement is not an easy task, so be very careful. All that remains is to install the radiator back by screwing it in with the supplied screws.

Choosing where to install and cool your M.2 device

When choosing where to install an M.2 drive, the user usually has little or no choice. Almost all motherboards have only two connectors, and one of them may not be suitable for a particular drive at all.If the availability and capabilities of the board connectors allow, install the drive as far as possible from “hot” components, especially from the video card. Overheating is clearly not what an SSD needs. High temperatures can be determined using specialized utilities. In the event of alarming symptoms, it is worth buying a radiator, if it is not there, and also taking care of the correct organization of cooling in the case .

Installing a 2.5 Form Factor Drive

2.5 form factor drives , unlike M.2 devices, require a pair of wires to connect.First, select one of the SATA connectors on the board, into which the drive will be installed. Connect the SATA cable from the motherboard package. If it is missing for any reason, then it will have to be purchased separately. It is good that it will not be difficult to find it on sale .We bring the necessary wires to the place where the drive is installed. This is the familiar SATA cable (2) and the power supply cable (1) from the unit. The connectors of these cords have special L-shaped keys that prevent incorrect connection of the device.

We screw in the screws from the case delivery kit into the corresponding threaded connectors. Depending on the specific case, the drive can be screwed directly onto the drive cage.We connect the supplied wires to the drive – SATA cable (2) and power cable (1). It remains to fix the device in the appropriate groove for it – in our case, these are rubber dampers.

Choosing a place to install and cool the device 2.5

Unlike hard drives, the horizontal or vertical arrangement of which causes discussion among users, there are no special nuances and recommendations for the location of 2.5 form factor drives. This type of storage is not characterized by high heating, and the absence of internal moving parts allows it to be positioned in any position. Of course, if you do not go to extremes and do not choose the place to install the backplate of the video card.

Drive setup

To use the drive after connecting it, you will need to configure the device. The first step is to check the visibility of the drive by the system. To do this, you need to go into BIOS when you turn on the PC, holding down the “Del” button.Depending on the manufacturer of the motherboard, the menu items may differ, but the sub-item we are interested in is located in the “Boot Option” tab. Our new drive is in the list of drives, which means you can continue loading the OS. If the drive is not displayed in the BIOS, then the reason for this may be a malfunction of the connector or drive, an incorrectly selected device interface, or other pitfalls .Upon initial launch and opening the My Computer tab, the drive will not appear in the list of local drives. To display the device, it must be initialized.

Right-click on the “Start” button and go to “Disk Management”. Windows will automatically display a pop-up window prompting you to initialize the disk. By default, the partition style is set in MBR format; for everyday scenarios, we leave it unchanged.After initialization, our new drive with an unallocated area will appear in the disk section. We click on this area with the right mouse button and select the sub-item “Create simple volume”. You will be prompted to set the size of the volume in MB. If you do not plan to divide the new disk into partitions, then set the maximum number of MB and proceed to the next step. Depending on the situation, because the drive can be used as a primary or additional disk, several partitions may be required – in this case, set the required amount of space for the partition and continue the steps to create the volume. The remaining free space on the disk is not allocated, so you will have to repeat the operation for each newly created partition.The next step is to assign a drive letter. The main condition is the uniqueness of the letter and avoidance of coincidences with the letter already assigned to another disk, as this leads to OS failures when working with drives. It remains to format the disk to the NTFS file system, and leave the rest of the settings on this tab unchanged.

The dialog box will display a list of previously set parameters, and to complete the setting, just click the “Finish” button. The SSD drive will appear in the “My Computer” tab next to other devices under the specified letter, in this particular case it is the letter “J”. By clicking on the icon with the right mouse button, in the “General” tab, you can set an individual name for the drive.