Replace Small SSD in Inspiron 14 Laptop With Larger SSD?

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Old 04-17-18, 08:42 PM
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Replace Small SSD in Inspiron 14 Laptop With Larger SSD?

Hi All,

My wife has an Inspiron 14 laptop that has only a 30GB solid state drive. Is there any way to replace it with a larger SSD?

I'm not even sure if it is possible to remove an SSD from a laptop. If it is, how do I remove it? And then, how do I get the new larger SSD to sort of be like a mirror to the old SSD so that when I turn the laptop back on, the laptop doesn't really realize anything has changed?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-17-18, 08:47 PM
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It's pretty easy to determine what can be put in but a full model number is required.
 
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Old 04-18-18, 04:27 AM
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Assuming the current SSD is a standard 2.5" SSD, rather than an M.2 variety, it most certainly can be replaced with a larger capacity SSD. The current SSD should be removable. Exactly how it comes out depends on the particular model. Older Dell laptops had a removable cover on the bottom where the hard drive/SSD was located. All you had to do was to remove the cover, remove a few screws and the HD/SSD pulled out. Newer Dells don't seem to have the removable cover, you need to remove the entire bottom of the laptop to gain access to the HD/SSD. With the complete model number or the Dell Service Tag number, you should be able to go to Support | Dell US and view the service manual for your model. It will tell you exactly what you need to do to replace the HD/SSD.
 
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Old 04-18-18, 05:22 AM
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The service tag number (hopefully what you need/mean) is 3MJNQJ2 with a manufacturing year of 2017.

There is also another number: 41171/SDPPI/2015 5100.

These are the numbers on the bottom of the laptop, is that what you mean?

Thanks again!
 

Last edited by Oopey; 04-18-18 at 05:22 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-18-18, 06:38 AM
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Below is the link to the service manual for your laptop.

http://downloads.dell.com/manuals/al...nual_en-us.pdf

It appears that there is an easily removable cover on the bottom. Once you remove the cover, you remove 4 screws and the HD/SSD slides out.

Before you remove the current SSD, you need to either make an image of the current SSD onto removable media (flash drive, ext. HD, etc.), or clone the current SSD to the new SSD. To clone the SSD, you'll need a SATA to USB adapter so that you can have both the old and new SSD connected to the computer at the same time.

If the new SSD didn't come with backup/imaging sofware, I would suggest that you download and install Macrium Reflect Free (link below). If you make an image of the old SSD, you'll need to make a bootable Macrium disc or flash drive. You'll boot from the Macrium boot disc/flash drive with the new SSD installed, and restore the image of the old SSD to the new one. We can give you further instructions (if needed) when you get closer to doing the actual swap.

https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree
 
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Old 04-19-18, 09:50 PM
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Thank you for the info. I purchased a 250GB SSD and an external enclosure.

Using Macrium, I cloned the internal SSD to the new/external SSD. The only odd thing is that when I now look at the properties of the new/external SSD, it shows about 25.5 GB used and about 2.5 GB free space. That's exactly like the internal SSD. The new/external SSD is not showing the additional ~220GB that should be free. Is this normal? I had to contact Sandisk (the maker of the new/external SSD) because the laptop was not recognizing it; they had me do something that applied a label ("F:") to the new/external SSD and did some partitioning.

Also, when I used Macrium, it cloned 4 separate things. One of them was the ~25.5GB, and the other three were MUCH smaller (on the order of about 100MB or something).

If I take out the old SSD and pop in the new SSD, should the laptop start-up just like it always does, except I should have a lot of extra space? Or is there something weird going on that the new/external SSD is showing only about 2.5 GB free instead of about 220GB?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 04-20-18, 05:20 AM
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I've primarily used Acronis to clone disks/SSDs before. It has the option to do an exact clone (what you have done), or a proportional clone. The exact clone will produce partitions that are the same size as the original, whereas the proportional clone will extend the partitions to use all the available space. However, don't worry, this is a simple issue to solve.

The 4 partitions that you have are normal for Dell computers. The partitions are: Boot partition (usually ~100MB), Utility partition (has tools for diagnosing problems), Restore partition (image of computer "as received" for restoring back to factory condition), the Operating System partition (your C: drive).

All you need to do to use the full capacity of your new SSD is to extend the partition of the Windows (OS) partition. You may be able to do it with Windows Disk Management, however I would suggest use of a third party partitioning software product. There are several good, free ones available. One that I can recommend is MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition (https://www.partitionwizard.com/free...n-manager.html).

The laptop should boot up with the new SSD. Verify that it does. Assuming that it boots up okay, download and install Partition Wizard. Find the Windows (Operating System) partition and select "Extend Partition" from the menu on the left side. That will allocate all the unused space to the Windows partition. Reboot the computer to "lock in" the changes and verify that you know have the full size. Note that hard drives and SSDs report their size as if 1MB is 1 million bytes rather than the computer standard of 1.048 million bytes, so the "full" size will always be less than the stated (250GB) size. Let us know if you run into problems.
 
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Old 04-20-18, 07:24 PM
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Hi All,

Thanks for all the help. Unfortunately, looks like I won't be able to do the upgrade. Its pretty well explained here: https://www.dell.com/community/Stora...4719538/page/1

Basically, even though there is a space for an HDD/SDD in the laptop (I can literally see the space marked HDD when I take the bottom cover off), there is simply no way to connect a HDD/SDD to the laptop. It has eMMC. Looks like I'm pretty much out of luck, eh?

If anyone can think of anything, I'd greatly appreciate it. However, looks like I've got a pretty unusable laptop otherwise.

Thanks.
 
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Old 04-20-18, 07:28 PM
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I have a thought: what would happen if I put the cloned SDD into a different laptop case (I have an older Dell Inspiron N5030, Service Tag 5KX6XM1). Will that make everything confused? Basically, copying a brain and then putting it into a different body. Any thoughts on what would happen?
 
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Old 04-21-18, 04:50 AM
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Yes, you could put the new SSD into the other Dell laptop. However, why would you want to put a clone of the first laptop into the second? Why not just clone the HD from the second laptop onto the SSD and replace the second laptop's HD with the SSD. While it is possible to install the first laptop's cloned SSD into the second laptop, to do so and have it work would require you to do a "bare metal" install. You would need to image the first laptop, and do a bare metal restore to the second laptop. This would replace the custom drivers (chipset & peripherals) with generic Microsoft drivers (much like when you do clean install of Windows). This allows the computer to boot and afterwards you install the correct drivers for that motherboard. However, if you do this, you're likely going to run into a Windows activation issue, as the Windows activation is for the first laptop and would need to be different for the second laptop.

Again, the simplest solution would be to just clone the second laptop's HD to the new SSD and install the SSD into the second laptop. I'm sorry to hear that there is no provision for installing a HD/SSD into the first laptop. I didn't know it used eMMC storage.
 
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Old 04-21-18, 05:49 AM
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I could do that (I'm assuming you mean clone the N5030's hard drive onto the SSD, and then replace the SSD into the N5030).

However, the N5030 is getting old, it pauses and hangs up, sometimes freezes, etc. It currently has 3 gb RAM, though it can be upgraded to 8. Its current harddrive is 500gb.

Do you think replacing its old HDD (500gb) with a 250gb SSD would help with the freezes, pauses, etc.? I could also increase the RAM if that would help (that's about the extent of what I can do - I won't fool around with motherboard stuff, etc.).

If I do end up doing that, how do I prepare the new SSD (which currently contains a clone of the Inspiron 14)? Do I just re-format it and then clone the N5030, or do I need to do something to take into account the fact that right now it thinks its a ~30gb SSD (remember from earlier in the thread, when I cloned it, it started thinking it was 30gb instead of 250gb).

Thanks again!
 
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Old 04-21-18, 07:04 AM
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If you want to try cloning the N5030 HD to the SSD, all you should need to do is to connect the SSD to the laptop and run the cloning operation. I believe that at the start of the cloning process, the software deletes any existing partitions from the destination drive. If, for some reason, it doesn't delete the existing partitions on the SSD, you could connect the SSD to either laptop and use Windows Disk Management to delete the existing partitions on the SSD, and then clone it from the N5030.

If the existing N5030 OS has some issues (pausing, freezing), perhaps you should do a clean install of the operating system, or use the Dell recovery partition to return it to factory new condition. Obviously, if you go this route, you'll want to backup all of your data files before doing this as it will overwrite the existing Windows partition. Cloning the HD to the SSD is unlikely (by itself) to solve any existing issues with the current configuration.
 
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