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Can You Install M 2 Ssd While Pc Is On? (Real Research)

    ✅ Fact Checked
    Updated on February 11, 2023
    John Chad, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
    Written by
    John Chad, Bachelor Degree in Computer Science & Computer Engineering.
    Russel Collins
    Fact Checked by
    Russel Collins
    John is a certified IT & Computer Engineer with a Bachelors Degree. He has worked for a International Insurance Company in the IT department before deciding to become a full time blogger to help his readers. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.

    Fun Fact
    An M.2 SSD is named after the form factor it was built for and M stands for Module, and the number 2 refers to the specification version it follows.
    Upgrading to a solid-state drive (SSD) is an effective way to improve the performance and storage capabilities of a computer. One of the biggest concerns for users who are considering upgrading to an M.2 SSD is whether it’s possible to install the new drive while the computer is still on. While some computer enthusiasts may say that it’s possible to install an M.2 SSD while the computer is on, this is not recommended. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at why installing an M.2 SSD while the computer is on is not recommended and what the best practices are for installing an M.2 SSD.

    1 Overview of the process

    A. Definition of M.2 SSD

    M.2 SSD is a type of solid-state drive that is designed to connect directly to the motherboard using a tiny, compact slot. It was created as a way to provide high-speed storage solutions to small form-factor computers, such as laptops and ultra-compact desktops, that lack the space to install larger storage drives. M.2 SSDs typically use the NVM Express (NVMe) protocol, which provides fast read and write speeds, compared to older SATA-based drives.

    B. Types of M.2 SSDs and compatibility

    There are two main types of M.2 SSDs, SATA and NVMe. SATA-based M.2 SSDs use the same interface as traditional SATA drives but with the added advantage of being smaller and faster. NVMe M.2 SSDs are the newer and faster version of M.2 drives, as they use the NVMe protocol, which offers even faster read and write speeds compared to SATA-based drives. It’s important to check the compatibility of the M.2 SSD with your computer’s motherboard, as some motherboards only support SATA M.2 SSDs and others only support NVMe M.2 SSDs.

    C. Advantages of M.2 SSD

    The main advantages of M.2 SSDs are their speed, size, and versatility. Compared to traditional SATA drives, M.2 SSDs offer significantly faster read and write speeds, which can greatly improve the overall performance of a computer. M.2 SSDs are also smaller in size, making them a great option for small form-factor computers. Additionally, M.2 SSDs are versatile as they can be used in a wide range of applications, including as a boot drive or as a secondary drive for storing data. M.2 SSDs are also more energy-efficient compared to traditional SATA drives, which can help to prolong battery life in laptops.

    2 Safety and Precautionary Measures

    Safety and Precautionary Measures:

    When installing a new M.2 SSD, it’s important to take certain safety and precautionary measures to ensure that the process goes smoothly and without any incidents.

    A. Importance of checking power supply:
    Before starting the installation process, it’s crucial to check the power supply to ensure that the computer has enough power to handle the new SSD. If the computer does not have enough power, it can cause issues during the installation process or even damage the SSD.

    B. Powering off the computer:
    It’s also important to power off the computer completely before starting the installation process. Do not simply put the computer in sleep mode or hibernate mode as these states do not fully turn off the computer and can still cause problems during the installation process.

    C. Precautionary measures to be taken before installing the SSD:
    Before installing the SSD, it’s important to take a few additional precautionary measures. This includes making sure you have the right tools, such as screwdrivers, anti-static wristbands, etc. It’s also important to ensure that you have the necessary hardware and cables to complete the installation. Additionally, you should also make sure that you have a backup of your important data in case anything goes wrong during the installation process.

    So basically, taking these safety and precautionary measures is important to ensure that the installation process goes smoothly and without any incidents. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your new SSD is installed properly and is working properly.

    3 Installation Process

    A. Tools and hardware required

    Before getting started with the installation process, it’s crucial to have all the necessary tools and hardware ready. This will make the installation process smoother and help you avoid any last-minute running around for missing components. The list of tools and hardware you will need are:

    – A M.2 SSD that is compatible with your system.
    – A screwdriver (Phillips head)
    – A computer with an M.2 slot.

    B. Steps involved in the installation process

    Once you have all the necessary tools and hardware ready, you can start with the installation process. The steps involved are as follows:

    1. Power off your computer and unplug it from the wall socket.
    2. Open the computer case to access the M.2 slot.
    3. Carefully remove the screw(s) holding the M.2 slot cover in place.
    4. Carefully insert the M.2 SSD into the slot. Ensure the connectors are properly aligned.
    5. Replace the screw(s) holding the M.2 slot cover in place.
    6. Close the computer case.
    7. Plug the computer back in and power it on.
    8. Enter the BIOS setup and configure the SSD as the primary boot drive.
    9. Install the operating system on the SSD.

    C. Common challenges and solutions

    Installing an M.2 SSD can be a straightforward process, but there can be a few challenges that you might face. Some common challenges are listed below, along with their solutions:

    – Incompatible M.2 SSD: Make sure that the M.2 SSD you have purchased is compatible with your system.
    – Inadequate power supply: Check the power supply requirements of your system and ensure that the power supply is adequate for the M.2 SSD you are installing.
    – Difficulty in accessing the M.2 slot: Some computer cases can be challenging to open. In such cases, refer to the user manual or manufacturer’s website for guidance.
    – Difficulty in aligning the connectors: If you are facing difficulty in aligning the connectors, make sure to take your time and align them properly. Do not force the connectors.

    With these simple steps and solutions, you can successfully install an M.2 SSD in your computer, and enjoy its many benefits.

    4 Testing and Maintenance

    A. Testing the SSD after installation

    After the installation of a new solid-state drive (SSD), it is important to verify its performance and functionality. One effective way to do this is by running benchmark tests, which will help you determine the read and write speeds, as well as the overall performance of the SSD. This will also give you an idea of how the SSD will perform under different workloads and scenarios. Some popular benchmark tools include CrystalDiskMark, AS SSD Benchmark, and HD Tune.

    Another way to test the SSD is by using it as your primary drive and observing its performance in everyday tasks such as booting up the computer, opening and closing applications, and transferring files. If you notice any issues, it is recommended to troubleshoot and resolve them as soon as possible.

    B. Maintenance of the SSD

    Proper maintenance of an SSD is crucial for its longevity and performance. One important aspect of maintenance is to ensure that the drive has sufficient free space. An SSD works by writing and erasing data in blocks, and having too little free space can cause excessive wear and tear on the drive. It is recommended to keep at least 10-15% of the drive’s capacity free.

    Another aspect of maintenance is to regularly run disk defragmentation and disk cleanup. This will help to optimize the drive’s performance and keep it running smoothly. It is also recommended to run regular backups to ensure that your data is protected in case of drive failure.

    C. Updating the BIOS and Drivers

    Updating the BIOS and drivers can help improve the performance and stability of your SSD. It is important to check for updates regularly and install them as soon as possible. This is especially important if you have recently upgraded the drive, as new drivers may be required to fully support the new hardware.

    So basically, testing, maintenance, and updating are important aspects of ensuring the longevity and performance of an SSD. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy the benefits of your new drive for many years to come.

    5 Alternative Options

    Alternative Options:

    There are a variety of options available to users who want to increase their storage capacity or improve their system’s performance. The most common options include external hard drives, upgrade kits, and enclosures and docking stations.

    External hard drives are a convenient and straightforward solution for users who need more storage space. These drives come in various sizes and can be connected to a computer via USB or other ports. They are an excellent option for those who need to store large amounts of data or media files, but they don’t offer the same speed benefits as internal storage upgrades like solid-state drives (SSDs).

    Upgrade kits are a more involved solution for users who want to upgrade their internal storage. These kits typically include a new SSD, a data cable, and sometimes an adapter for connecting the SSD to the motherboard. This option is ideal for users who want to upgrade their storage and improve their system’s performance, as SSDs provide faster read and write speeds compared to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs).

    Finally, enclosures and docking stations are an option for users who have an old or unused hard drive or SSD lying around. These products allow users to turn an old internal drive into an external drive that can be connected to a computer via USB or other ports. They are a cost-effective solution for users who want to increase their storage capacity and make use of old hardware.

    It’s important to consider the needs and budget of each user when choosing an alternative storage option. External hard drives and upgrade kits are the most straightforward solutions, while enclosures and docking stations offer a more cost-effective option. Regardless of the choice, users should make sure to choose a reputable brand and a product with a good warranty.

    6 FAQ

    Can I install a SSD while my PC is running?

    No, it is not recommended to install a SSD while your PC is running. This can cause data corruption and potentially damage the drive. It is best to shut down your PC, unplug it from the power source, and install the SSD properly before turning it back on. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use proper equipment to ensure a safe and successful installation.

    Can I use M 2 SSD and HDD at the same time?

    Yes, it is possible to use an M.2 SSD and an HDD at the same time. Your computer’s motherboard should have multiple storage interfaces to allow for multiple storage devices to be installed. This setup is commonly referred to as a “dual-drive” or “hybrid” configuration, which allows users to enjoy the benefits of both an SSD and an HDD in one system. The SSD provides fast boot and load times, while the larger capacity HDD can be used for long-term storage. This setup is ideal for users who need the speed and efficiency of an SSD but also require ample storage space. To utilize both an M.2 SSD and an HDD, you will need to install the SSD as the primary boot drive and the HDD as a secondary storage drive. Make sure to properly set up the storage configuration in your computer’s BIOS or UEFI firmware to ensure optimal performance and stability.

    How do I get my computer to recognize my new m 2 SSD?

    Here is your answer:

    To get your computer to recognize a new M.2 SSD, you need to follow a few steps. First, make sure that the SSD is properly installed and securely connected to the motherboard. Next, you need to update the motherboard’s BIOS/UEFI to recognize the new drive. This can be done by downloading and installing the latest BIOS/UEFI update from the motherboard manufacturer’s website.

    Finally, you can install an operating system on the new SSD and boot your computer from it. If the operating system is already installed on the computer, you will need to clone it to the new SSD. This can be done using disk cloning software, such as Acronis True Image or EaseUS Todo Backup.

    In conclusion, getting your computer to recognize a new M.2 SSD requires a few basic steps, but with the proper tools and knowledge, it’s a straightforward process.

    How to upgrade m2 SSD without reinstalling Windows?

    Upgrading an M.2 SSD without reinstalling Windows can be achieved by following these steps:

    1. Back up important data: Before proceeding with the upgrade, it’s crucial to back up all of your important data to an external storage device to avoid losing it during the process.

    2. Cloning the Hard Drive: You can use a cloning software such as EaseUS Todo Backup, Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect to clone your current hard drive to the new M.2 SSD. The cloning software will copy everything on your current hard drive, including the operating system, to the new SSD.

    3. Replacing the Hard Drive: Once the cloning process is complete, you can physically replace the old hard drive with the new M.2 SSD. Make sure to properly disconnect the old hard drive and connect the new SSD in its place.

    4. Boot from the New SSD: After replacing the hard drive, you need to go into your computer’s BIOS and change the boot order so that it boots from the new SSD. Then, restart the computer and boot from the new SSD.

    5. Verifying the Upgrade: Once the computer boots up, check to make sure that Windows is running smoothly on the new SSD. You can check this by going to the “System” control panel, which should show the new SSD as the primary drive.

    By following these steps, you can upgrade your M.2 SSD without having to reinstall Windows and your important data will be preserved. It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional or the manufacturer’s guidelines if you’re unsure about the upgrade process.

    7 Conclusion

    To sum it up, upgrading your computer with an M.2 SSD is an excellent way to improve your overall performance and increase storage space. The installation process, while not necessarily simple, can be done by anyone with basic computer knowledge and the right tools. While it’s technically possible to install an M.2 SSD while your PC is on, it’s not recommended due to the potential risks involved.

    Summary of the installation process: Installing an M.2 SSD involves removing the old drive, connecting the new drive to the motherboard, and configuring your operating system to recognize the new drive. You’ll also need to install the necessary drivers and update your BIOS, if needed.

    Advantages and disadvantages of installing the M.2 SSD: The advantages of installing an M.2 SSD include increased performance and storage space. However, the biggest disadvantage is the cost of the SSD itself, as well as the cost of the tools and hardware needed for installation.

    Final thoughts and recommendations: If you’re looking to upgrade your computer, installing an M.2 SSD is a great choice. Just be sure to follow all the steps carefully, and if you’re not confident in your technical skills, consider hiring a professional to help. And remember, while installing the SSD while the PC is on is technically possible, it’s not recommended due to the potential risks involved.

    In summary, upgrading your computer with an M.2 SSD is a smart investment that will improve performance and storage capacity. With careful consideration and proper planning, you can successfully install an M.2 SSD and enjoy the benefits of a faster and more efficient computer.