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A snafu when installing an SSD in some laptops

I hotrodded an old Dell Inspiron e1505 laptop by installing a Samsung 830 SSD in it. I hit a snag along the way. The fix is easy but not necessarily obvious.

The replacement drive went in easier than the old drive came out, and didn’t seem quite right. I powered on and let it POST anyway, and the computer complained about not having a hard drive. I knew the drive worked, because I connected it via USB to clone the old drive onto it.

The SSD, as it turns out, is about 1 mm thinner than the factory hard drive. So when I installed it (a blind operation in this model), the SATA connectors didn’t quite catch. I removed the drive, tilted the back up (toward me, with the laptop facing down) as far as it would go, and inserted the drive again. You know it’s inserted correctly if the drive doesn’t wiggle. If it’s installed incorrectly, it wiggles a lot.

Then I secured the drive with the two factory screws, powered up, and Windows booted as expected.

Some SSD kits come with a spacer to fill that gap. Some, like mine, don’t. If yours didn’t either, this workaround should suit you fine. At least in my machine, once I get the drive in, it has to be secured with two screws, so the drive won’t go anywhere and the spacer becomes redundant.

As for the drive itself, I like it so far. I’ll write about that once it has some more runtime in. It’s quick and didn’t give me any trouble, which seems to be an accomplishment these days, but I haven’t spent enough time with it to see much difference between it and an entry-level drive yet.

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