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How to install an mSATA SSD in your desktop

After helping thousands of people all over the world install SSDs — people of all ages, backgrounds, and computer skill levels — we're convinced that you have what it takes to install an SSD. With little more than a screwdriver and your system's owner's manual, you can install an SSD. Here's how it's done.

Equipment needed

  • Crucial mSATA SSD
  • Non-magnetic tip screwdriver
  • Your system's owner's manual

Special considerations

If your Crucial mSATA SSD is intended for use as a primary storage device, we recommend the use of data migration (cloning) software to move old files from your existing drive onto your new Crucial mSATA SSD. Data migration software is available from a variety of third-party vendors.

Precautions
  • Static electricity can damage the components in your system. To protect your new mSATA SSD and system’s components from static damage during the installation process, touch an unpainted metal surface on your computer’s frame or wear an ESD wrist strap before touching or handling internal components. Either method will safely discharge static electricity that’s naturally present in your body.
  • When handling your Crucial mSATA SSD, be sure to hold it along the side edges using your thumb and index finger. Avoid touching the components and connectors as damage can occur.

Desktop installation instructions

  1. Make sure you're working in a static-safe environment. Remove any plastic bags or papers from your work space.
  2. Shut down your system. Once your system has been powered off, unplug the power cable.
  3. Hold down the power button for 3-5 seconds to discharge residual electricity.
  4. Remove the case cover from your desktop. Refer to your system's manual for how to do this.
  5. To protect your new mSATA SSD and your system’s components from static damage during the installation process, touch an unpainted metal surface on your computer’s frame or wear an ESD wrist strap before handling the mSATA and internal components.
  6. Locate your computer’s mSATA socket on the motherboard. Consult your owner’s manual for the exact location.
  7. If there is an existing mSATA SSD in place, remove it from the mSATA socket on the motherboard. Refer to your owner’s manual for how to locate and safely remove an existing mSATA SSD.
  8. Insert your Crucial mSATA SSD into the mSATA socket according to the illustrations in this guide. Align the notches on the mSATA SSD with the ridges in the mSATA socket, then insert as shown. Do not force the connection.
  9. If screws are included with your motherboard, screw the mSATA drive into place. For mSATA sockets that use clips to hold the drive securely in place, make sure the clips snap into place around the drive. For help with either type of fastening, consult your owner’s manual or refer to our illustrations below.
  10. Once your mSATA drive has been securely fastened, replace the case cover and reconnect the power cable. Power on your system.
  11. If you did not migrate your data from an existing drive, install operating system, drivers, utilities and applications as needed. Installation is now complete.

Troubleshooting tips

If your mSATA SSD won’t fit into the mSATA socket, don’t apply extra pressure or attempt to force it into the socket. Instead, double check your system to ensure that you’re inserting the drive into the mSATA socket (this socket can look similar to others, but should be clearly labeled in your owner’s manual). If your Crucial mSATA SSD still won’t fit into the socket, contact Crucial Technical Support.

If your system won’t boot once you’ve finished the installation, check all of the connections and cables inside your computer. When performing an installation, it’s easy to bump a cable and accidentally remove it from its connector, which can disable devices such as your hard drive. If your system still won’t reboot after you’ve checked every connection, contact Crucial Technical Support.

When restarting your system after the installation, you may receive a message prompting you to update your system’s configuration settings. Refer to your owner’s manual for information on how to do this. If you’re still unsure, contact Crucial Technical Support.

If your mSATA drive isn’t recognized by your system’s BIOS when you boot up, shut down your computer and reseat the drive (unplug it from the mSATA socket, then reattach it and fasten it in place using the installation steps noted above). After the drive has been reseated, turn on your computer. The BIOS should recognize the drive. If not, contact Crucial Technical Support.

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