For more Details about a UEFI BIOS in particular Checking your BIOS Revision, Updating the latest BIOS Revision, Enabling UEFI and SecureBoot, an overview of partition table and SATA Operation see my Updating the BIOS and Preparing for Windows 10 TH2 Guide.
The Solid State Drive offers a significant increase in system performance over a conventional hard drive but at present has the drawback of a high price per GB (which is falling as time passes). Therefore its recommended to use a 128-256 GB SSD as a boot drive (Windows installed on the drive) and a Conventional Hard Drive >1 TB for additional storage.
For more details on this configuration see here:
Note run the Crucial System Scanner to determine what SSDs are compatible.
When selecting a SSD you need to consider the Form factor of the Drive and the bays and ports you have available.
2.5″ SATA Drive for Laptops
Note when installing a SSD in a laptop, many newer SSDs 7 mm are slimmer than previous 9 mm SSDs or HDs and include a spacer to make up for the reduced space. Installation without the spacer may mean the drive is not seated correctly and hence not detected in your system.
Here is a comparison of the height of an old Toshiba HDD with a Crucial M500 SSD.
Note the difference in height. The spacer must be inserted under the SSD in order for the SATA connectors to be the correct height.
Many customers are buying new SSDs and HDDs and reporting they don’t work because they haven’t used the spacer and the drive isn’t connecting properly.
2nd 2.5″ SATA Drive for Laptops and USSF Desktops and SFF Desktops
Laptops in general only have 1 2.5″ HD bay. As the optical drive is becoming obsolete, many users are converting their optical drive into a HDD/SSD bay with an optical drive to Solid State Drive Caddy which is explained below. When using this configuration performance wise the SSD should be installed in the original bay and the data hard drive be installed in the optical drive caddy as the SATA slot originally designed for the HDD is of higher speed. However in some systems this causes additional heat issues because the mechanical drive can generate a lot of heat.
At this point in time SSDs of 250 GB capacity are very affordable and enough in storage capacity for most users particularly on old (> 5 years) hardware. Due to the overheating, additional weight and loss of optical drive I therefore do not recommend installing such a caddy in your system. The money for the caddy is just simply better spent towards a higher capacity SSD.
The hard drive goes into the adapter and the adapter replaces the optical drive. This is an example of a 2.5″ SATA HDD to SATA Caddy:
Note some systems will have a cover in front of the optical drive such as the Latitude D Series. These can be clipped off (be careful unclipping them) and clipped back onto the Optical to SSD Caddy. If you break the cover by unclipping it you can always glue it onto the Optical Drive to Hard Drive Caddy.
The rest of the cover can likewise be removed:
There may be an adapter in the caddy for example this goes from IDE to ATAPI but this can be reused:
Once you have the Optical Drive out of any cover you should examine it to determine if it is IDE or SATA,
The Optical Drive to Hard Drive Caddy in the above case is SATA and the original optical drive in my Latitude D820 is IDE making them incompatible.
I used this SATA 2.5″ caddy to install a Crucial MX100 into an OptiPlex 760 SFF. This has allowed it a SSD upgrade with the ability to retain a 3.5″internal 1 TB HDD.
I purchased an IDE optical drive caddy to add an addition 2.5″ SATA HDD to a Latitude D820 which had its main drive upgraded to a SSD.
In the vast majority of cases you want a SATA hard drive installed opposed to an IDE drive as IDE ones are old of lower capacity and no longer manufactured.
Use of a Caddy allows a large capacity drive to be installed for data and an affordable SSD to be installed for the boot drive.
If using an Optical Drive to Hard Drive adapter its recommended for the storage drive and not the boot drive if its IDE as IDE is slower than a SATA connector.
3.5″ SATA Drive for Desktops DT and MiniTowers MT
Most SSDs are 2.5″ and older Desktops come with 3.5″ Drives as standard. Installation of the 2.5″ in the 3.5″ bay is possible but an adapter should be used to make sure its snug.
Such an adapter usually comes with 2.5 ” Drives when purchased for a Desktop.
In Desktops with multiple Hard Drive bays the SSD boot Drive should be plugged into the SATA port denoted SATA 0 as its the fastest port.
Much smaller in size then older drives and used only if you have a mSATA slot (the Crucial system scanner will let you know if your model has one).
This is the new form factor of drive and is present as the main drive in post late 2013 systems such as ultrabooks and tablets.
It is also present in some laptops and desktops mainly as cache drives but will eventually supersede the 2.5″ and 3.5″ bay when SSDs become more affordable than HDs.