How to install a Crucial® SSD in your computer

If you’re a first-time installer, there’s no need to fear – the process is easy and straightforward. It’ll take some time, but your computer will be radically faster when you’re done!


Part 1: Prepare

  • Step 1: Gather supplies
    You’ll need your Crucial SSD, a screwdriver, your computer’s owner’s manual (which will specify the type of screwdriver you need), and a SATA-to-USB cable (sold separately). If you have a Mac® system, see our Helpful Tip below for additional instructions.

  • Step 2: Set the spacer aside
    In the box with your SSD is a spacer (it looks like a black bracket). Set it aside for now – it won’t come into play until later in the process, and based on your system, you may not even need it.

  • Step 3: Back up important files
    Before starting the install process, save any important files on your computer to a USB flash drive or external storage drive.

  • Step 4: Go slowly and deliberately
    The information you need is all here. Your system will likely look different than the ones shown, but the process is the same. Read each step thoroughly and consult our Helpful Tips for more info.
    Next

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Part 2: Copy

  • Step 1: Connect the SSD to your system
    Using a SATA-to-USB cable, attach one side to the SSD and the other end to your computer. When handling your SSD, try not to touch its gold connector pins with your fingers.

  • Step 2: Download the software that copies your old drive to your new SSD
    This comes free with Crucial SSDs. On the computer the SSD is connected to, go to www.crucial.com/clone to download the software.

  • Step 3: Install the software you downloaded
    Open the file you downloaded and accept all of the prompts. A screen will then pop up. Click Install. Once installation is complete, start the application.

  • Step 4: Enter the software’s serial number
    This is the 16-digit key noted on the software card inside the box of your SSD.

  • Step 5: Prepare to copy (clone) your data
    You’ll now see several options in the software. Select the Clone Disk option. You’ll then be asked to select a clone mode. If you’ve never done this before, we recommend the Automatic method, then click the Next button.

  • Step 6: Select source and destination drives (disks)
    Your “source” disk is your existing drive. Select it by clicking on it, then click Next. Now select your “destination” disk (your new SSD) and click Next. On the following screen, click Proceed to start copying your data.

  • Step 7: Reward yourself with a beverage of choice
    It’ll take a while for everything to copy. Depending on your system, the software might make it shut down or restart, which is OK. Leave your computer for a bit and go do something fun!

    Next

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Part 3: Install

  • Step 1: Shut down your system
    Once it’s off, unplug the SATA-to-USB cable from your system and remove the cable from your SSD.

  • Step 2: Remove the power cable and battery
    Now that the SSD is unattached from your system, remove the power cable and battery (laptops only). To see how to remove the battery, refer to your owner’s manual.

  • Step 3: Hold the power button for 5 seconds
    This removes any electricity still in the system.

  • Step 4: Open the case
    How you do this will vary from system to system, so consult your owner’s manual for exact instructions.

  • Step 5: Ground yourself
    Simply touch an unpainted metal surface. This protects your system’s components from the static electricity that’s naturally present in your body – grounding is just an extra safeguard.

  • Step 6: Locate the storage bay
    This is easy to find in desktops, but in laptops the location will vary – it’s typically under the bottom panel, under the keyboard, or on the side. Refer to your owner’s manual for the exact location, as every system looks slightly different.

  • Step 7: Remove your old drive
    Remove the existing drive and disconnect any cables and brackets attached to it. Look closely at the drive for screws that might be holding something to it, as most brackets are often small and look like supporting frames.

  • Step 8: Reattach cables and brackets to SSD
    Once reattached, plug the SSD into your system. Don’t worry if the label faces up or down, as this varies by system. When plugging in the SSD, don’t force the connection – it should go in easily and fit snug. If it feels wobbly, refer to our Helpful Tip below.

  • Step 9: Reassemble your system
    For laptop installations, reconnect the battery.

  • Step 10: Turn on your computer
    Watch how much faster it boots up!

  • Step 11: Have some fun
    See how fast your favorite apps open when you click on them! Your SSD is now installed, but you can make it even faster by enabling a special feature.

    Next

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Part 4: Download

  • Step 1: Enable Storage Executive
    This free software helps your SSD become even faster and allows the drive to get periodic performance updates. On the computer you installed the SSD in, go to www.crucial.com/se.

  • Step 2: Click on one of the “download” buttons
    Check out our Helpful Tip below to see which version of the software you need. Download times will vary based on your internet connection, but average 1-3 minutes.

  • Step 3: Open and run Storage Executive
    Click on the file you just downloaded. If it doesn’t open right away, double click on it, then save it to your desktop and open it from there. Follow the onscreen prompts and instructions to install and start using the software.

  • Step 4: Enable Momentum Cache and make your SSD even faster
    In the left menu, click on Momentum Cache. Enabling this feature forces your computer to restart, which is normal. The feature doesn’t work with RAID arrays, but if you don’t know what that means, no need to worry ;)

    Next

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Part 5: Win

  • Step 1: Enter to win a free memory upgrade!
    Show us your now-faster system by taking a selfie of you and your computer. See the benefits of a free memory upgrade by clicking on the Helpful Tip below.

  • Step 2: Post your picture on our Facebook or Twitter page
    Each month, we randomly select a winner. Get your choice of ANY Crucial® memory upgrade if you win (up to US $300).

  • Step 3: That’s it – you’re done!
    Thanks again for choosing a Crucial SSD. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and subscribe to our newsletter for savings. Installing an SSD is a big deal – kick back, relax, and enjoy the speed of an SSD for years to come.

    Done!

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Congratulations!

Now that you’re an expert installer, watch out! Your friends and family might just start asking you to do their installs ;)