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SSD for Lenovo Thinkpad W510

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#1 nandudb



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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:38 PM

Hi Experts,

Please suggest me which is best SSD in the market which would suit Lenovo Thinkpad W510(4318).
While googling, many suggest the following one, however it is SATA III ,whereas W510 is only SATA II although people say that i can still use below if it is SATA II backward compatible

"Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 256 GB SATA 6GB/s Solid State Drive MZ-7PD256BW"

However, i dont want to take any chance and dont want to run into surprise issues in future. So, Please confirm/suggest me whether above would work? or anyother SSD is better fit for my laptop

Also, Please share the steps to install/configure this. I am planning to buy CADDY to use my existing HDD and install the SSD and re-install Windows 7

Appreciate for your quick help


#2 dietrc70



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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:21 AM

The 840 Pro sounds like an excellent choice. There should be no problem with backwards compatibility. Newmodus makes fitted hard drive caddies for all the Lenovo Thinkpads. You could also look at ebay for caddies, but be sure to check the Lenovo forums for advice, since the quality of ebay caddies can vary wildly.

#3 Brian


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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:41 AM

Samsung also includes a cloning tool to make the transition easy. If cash is a concern look at the Micron m4 as well.


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#4 Bytebite



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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:45 AM

The Samsung 840 Pro is an excellent choice!
- I would install the SSD to the HDD bay first and install Windows
- While installing you can mount the HDD to the caddy, so you can still decide to use optical or battery
- After completing the install you can mount your hdd caddy
- if you don't plan to unmount your hdd you can set the properties of pictures, music, videos and documents to folders on your hdd

Sometimes such caddies on ebay have not the best built quality, checking Lenovo forum or maybe comments on Amazon can be helpful.

#5 nandudb



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Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:45 PM

Thanks for details.
Can somebody tell me the exact steps to uninstall/fix SSD ,install windows , mount HDD etc.,
I have some basic knowledge on windows about installation, however, i never tried on lenovo thinkpad - removing disk, attaching ssd etc.,

Appreciate if somebody can give step by step instructions, would be great helpful

#6 Kdawgca



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Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:42 PM

Storagereview made a quick hardware upgrade guide for the W520. They may be similar, but if they are not, then look at the W510 Hardware Maintenance Manual.


Installing Windows is straightforward. Just make sure that you don't have both the SSD and HDD in a the same time. Windows may put some important boot files on the wrong drive, so if you remove one drive, the other drive won't boot. Though even then, you can fix that.

A quick guide for a fresh/clean install:

1. Backup all important data and always make sure it is backed up(variety of methods).
2. Download the drivers in advance from Lenovo's website. Mainly just the Wireless/Wired LAN drivers so that you can get online.
3. Check to see if you have a windows key/COA stick on the underside of the notebook(most likely under the battery).
4. Get a windows 7 x64 ISO from a online site such as this one and make a CD(I use IMGburn)or use the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool(will need an empty 8GB/16GB flash drive IIRC)
5. Install the hard drive(refer above to manuals).
6. Install Windows and activate(may need to call Microsft)
7. Install drivers
8. Install programs
9. Make a backup stategy.
10. Did I mention backup? :P

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#7 nandudb



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Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:27 PM

Thanks for details. Much Appreciated.

You mentioned that do not have both SSD & HDD at a same time. Does it means that i need to fix my SSD in place of HDD and install windows on SSD and complete the installation of windows and then attach HDD(CADDY)??
If i attach HDD after installation, how do windows automatically know that pictures/documents needs to be stored in HDD.
Please clarify

Can i do this?

1. Take backup of Windows files
2. Get the Windows 7 CD from recovery disk
3. Remove the HDD
4. Remove the DVDW
5. Install the SSD
6. Boot the system to install the Win7
7. install the Lenovo drivers
8. install the firmware , not sure whether this is must, if so, can i have link to download the firmware for this SSD to avoid any blue screen issues
9. shutdown windows
10.Attach HDD in CADDY


#8 Kdawgca



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Posted 30 March 2013 - 02:22 PM

AFAIK, The recovery cd usually don't give you a clean install. It usually is a factory image with the manufacturer drivers + their software + junk(thinkpads probably won't have much). Personally, I avoid manufacturer's recovery media as they usually never work(cds give error or it won't work if you remove a partition etc).

If you do use their recovery cd or even clone(Samsung has a tool or there are free ones such as Macrium reflect), make sure to check alignment of the SSD with AS SSD(should say bad in the top left corner if it is not aligned).

Samsung SSD Magician software(nice little perk from Samsung) should help with the firmware if there is one. Though you might need to install the ssd in the caddy first(so before you install) to update the firmware since it might not you update if the ssd is the boot/OS drive.

As for step 10, if you don't see the drive in My Computer, reseat it and check Disk Management.

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SSD vs. HDD Guide

  • MSI H81M-E33 V2 - Haswell Intel Pentium G3220+ 60GB Vertex 2 / 500 GB HDD/6GB/EVGA 9600GSO/ Windows 7 + VMs//Dell Latitude D410 -1.6ghz Pentium M, 120GB IDE HDD, 2 GB DDR ram.

#9 Beenthere



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Posted 30 March 2013 - 03:49 PM

SATA II and SATA III drives work on either style port. IME a SATA II SSD on a SATA II port will only deliver ~60% of the advertised performance if you are using a newer O/S like Win7. On earlier O/S's the performance is even lower and there is no SSD TRIM function in Vista or similar.

FYI to ALL - Imaging a Windows O/S can and often does result in an O/S that will not allow you to use the Windows Update feature meaning that you can no longer do security or other important updates. Microsucks tech support is clueless to the cause or a solution other than a fresh install. Microsucks online repair function claims to have found and fixed the problem when you run it but it doesn't. The cloning issue exists in all versions of XP, Vista, Win7 and it appears even in Win8 according to early reports.

Some people have found an inconsistent means to delete O/S files, change registry setings, then reestablish the files, etc. to resolve this issue on some but not all cloned drives. If being able to do Windoze updates is important to you, you may want to go to the trouble of doing a clean install and then transferring files which is a royal PITA due to Microsucks inability to write a proper O/S.

#10 nandudb



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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:58 PM

Thanks again for your help

Do you mean that i need can install win7 (Not the factory cd) and then install all lenovo drivers??
Also, Please let me know what is exact sequence of steps since you mentioned that i need to upgrade the firmware of SSD in caddy, so, am confused now

Thanks again

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