Hi Hope someone can shed a light on this for me, as I'm a previous mac-user and have limited experience with Windows-machines.
I've got a Dell Inspiron AIO 7777 with 16 gigs of RAM and 256 GB m.2 SSD. I've gotten help to purchase to new RAM chips that's 16 GB each to upgrade to 32 GB. As far as I'm aware, this should be quite easy to upgrade myself.
But recently I've experienced trouble installing plugins for Adobe on the C-drive, and I would like to upgrade the SSD as well. I'm looking at this, quite expensive, but looks like what I need: Samsung SSD 970 PRO 1TB NVMe M.2.
But if I'm to replace the SSD, I would need to reinstall Windows, right? What kind of backup should I take of my current system to ensure that I can reboot and have Windows and my software on the new harddrive? I've never done anything like this before, so I'm hoping someone can advise me on which methods to use, or if this is something I should have someone else do for me.
Solved! Go to Solution.
The RAM upgrade is simply a matter of pulling the old RAM and installing the new RAM. Before you pull the SSD, reboot the system just to be sure the RAM upgrade was successful. If you want to keep everything that is on the old drive then it gets a bit tricky. The way I did it was to clone the M.2 drive to another 2.5" SSD or a 3.5" HDD. Then install the new SSD and clone from the drive with the clone image to the new SSD. Not very elegant but it works. You should not have to touch any BIOS settings as you are replacing one M.2 SSD with another. You can use a 2.5" drive connected to the SATA port on the motherboard. The cables should be there for power and data.It is much faster than using USB.
Hi, thank you for answering my question
I currently have a Seagate external drive I use for backups, could I use this to clone my system? I don't own a second m.2 ssd, just the one currently in my computer that my system is running on. It's a USB drive, I gather from your answer that this is a slower way to do it (but is it doable?).
I'm finding this a bit intimidating, and wish I had higher upgrade options when I purchased the machine :/
If I've understood correctly I would need to
1. Clone my system on to a different drive
2. Swap out the m.2 SSD with the new m.2 SSD
3. Boot the machine with the other drive plugged in
Is it enough to simply have the drive plugged in? Or do I need to hold down any keys or do anything else when booting?
Sorry for asking probably stupid questions, as I said I'm a PC noob
Hi @Camomilla ,
As you mentioned that you're a previous mac-user and never done anything like this kind of hardware upgrade before, let me talks about it in details and hopefully it helps.
Hardware Purchase - RAM
Page #18 on the setup guide tells you that your PC with 2 DDR4 SODIMM(stand for short RAM band usually for laptop, not the long one for desktop) slots, each support up to 2666 MHz and 16GB, i.e. total system memory support up to 32GB (yes, you're right). However, not all RAM from varies manufacturers fit for Dell machine even thought all standard mentioned above matched. Cricual maybe the one most recommended in the forum as they guaranteed to work on Dell computer.
Page #28 on the service manual tells you location of the DIMM slot and how to replace memory module.
Hardware Purchase - NVMe m.2 SSD
When compare with RAM, NVMe m.2 SSD would be more generic on compatibility. The one you're looking for -Samsung SSD 970 PRO 1TB NVMe m.2- should be fine with your PC.
Hard Drive Cloning
Generally, Windows do not comes with hard drive cloning tools by default. You need a third party tools to work it out, say Maricum Reflect for example. It helps to create a rescue media USB stick that you can boot from it and start your hard drive cloning on an user-friendly interface. You can use it to clone your existing hard drive to the external USB storage, replace the new hard drive, then clone again from the external USB storage. It's reliable and, the most valuable point, it's free for home use!
General hard drive cloning steps as below:
- Preparation for USB Hard Drive Cloning Tools
- First Clone: from old m.2 drive to external USB storage
- NVMe m.2 drive replacement
Page #18 and #19 on service manual show you location of the m.2 slot and how to replace it.
- Second Clone: from external USB storage to new m.2 drive
If everything followed on the right track, you should now be able to boot from the new m.2 drive.
Feel free to let us know if any further help needed.
THANK YOU @bmcowboy for this detailed explanation of necessary steps to take to upgrade my PC
I've downloaded both the Setup guide and Service manual you linked to, to get a better understanding of the inner workings of the machine, and have started reading up on those.
As for RAM, the packaging says 'Dell' and 16 gb on both, and it's the short SODIMM ones. I got help from Dell to purchase these, so I feel confident that they'll work. I'll have to wait for the next paycheck before I can purchase the SSD and USB-stick, but in a couple of weeks I'll hopefully have all the hardware together and can do the upgrade.
I have one initial question (probably more as I dive deeper into this):
Power on your PC and hit "F2" function key on the keyboard during POST
What is POST?
POST screen of a PC stand for "Power-on Self-test" during power on. Something like this for Dell:
It allows you to choose different boot up device apart from the default one by hitting a specific function key on keyboard. Such key depends on PC model. For Inspiron AIO 7777, it should be F12.
Do come back with a good news!
You most certainly can use the 2.5" Seagate for the clone Destination.
1. Clone the old SSD to the external Seagate using Macrium Reflect free. (which you have installed on your old SSD).
2. Before you remove the old SSD, use Macrium reflect to create a boot USB. You will be booting from the USB with the Seagate plugged in once you replace the old SSD with the new one.
3. Install the new SSD. Then boot from the USB. You may have to press F12 when the Dell splash screen comes on so that you can choose the USB drive to boot from.
Once you boot from the USB you will be running Macrium Reflect Free and can clone from the Seagate to the new SSD.
4. When the cloning is finished shut down the system and disconnect the Seagate drive, remove the USB drive, then boot to the new SSD. The video below should help. It is for a laptop but the procedure is the same.
Or just use MAcrium Reflect in Windows without using the boot USB drive. I cloned my three dells this way without any issues. When I installed my NVMe drives.
How did you go about this @aaronwt? Does this require two Windows computers? I only have this one :/
Thank you for your patience, all of you!
Don't worry my dear. Still the same function key (F12).
And to check the exact model of your PC, simply open Dell Support Assist. If not installed yet, you may find and install it from Microsoft Store.