Replacing Acer Veriton ES2730G Hard Disk with a SSD

This page is part of a series of tutorials about upgrading the components of a second hand PC in order to give it a second life.

In this tutorial I will describe step by step how I replaced the HDD of the computer with a SSD in case you need to do something similar.

Replace HDD by SSD
Replace HDD by SSD

The PC was originally equipped with a 1 TB Toshiba SATA Hard Disk Drive (HDD). That was OK for an entry level PC but Solid State Disks (SSD) are cheap nowadays and they are far quicker than a HDD so I decided to replace the HDD with a new SSD. I didn’t need a lot of capacity, 500 GB would be more than enough for the operating system, some programs and documents. The motherboard didn’t have a m.2 slot for a SSD so a SATA SSD was the solution. I chose a 500 GB Crucial MX500 2.5″ SATA SSD (59,29€ on Amazon Spain) for its good combination of value and performance. As a bonus, Crucial SSD  include a limited version of Acronis True Image HD for cloning and backing up disks.

Crucial 2.5" Sata SSD
Crucial 2.5″ Sata SSD

The steps described in this tutorial could void the computer warranty. It was not an issue here as this second hand PC (year 2018 model) was not covered by Acer warranty anymore but you should check the warranty conditions of your computer before opening its case. Be sure to understand what you are doing and if you don’t feel sure about reproducing these steps, ask someone with good computer skills to help you. As always, the author and the website decline any responsibilities about the consequences of trying to reproduce these steps.

Be aware that static electricity can damage computer components. The charges may build up on your body when you walk on carpeted floors or if you wear woolen clothes for instance. You can easily neutralize these static charges by touching any conductive material not isolated from the ground (any metallic furniture or appliance will do) before opening the computer case.

The steps described in this tutorial require:

  • a Phillips Cruciform screwdriver.
  • a 2.5″ SATA SSD.
  • a 2.5″ to 3.5″ disk drive adapter.

They are organized into four sections:

So let’s see how I replaced the HDD with a SSD:

I. Opening the computer case and removing the metal panel supporting the disk drives

1) First I shutdowned the computer and removed its power plug from the power supply (for your safety and the safety of the computer components, be sure to always shut down the computer and to remove the power plug from the power supply or the outlet before opening a computer case). After that I disconnected all the other cables (USB, HDMI and Ethernet) and I placed the computer case on a flat surface.

2) I unscrewed the two screws from the back of the case to remove the lateral panel:

Computer's back
The two screws to unscrew from the computer’s back

3) After that, I could remove the lateral panel

Removing the lateral panel
Removing the lateral panel

4) After removing the lateral panel, I could see the HDD and its SATA and power connectors. It is often possible to access the hard disks directly so that they can be extracted or replaced. It was not the case here and it would be necessary to unscrew the metal panel that supported the hard drive cage before it could be accessed. This panel also prevented an easy access to the motherboard and it would therefore be necessary to remove it in order to be able to access the RAM for example.

SATA and power Connectors
SATA and power Connectors

5) I pulled them off gently (be sure to pull the connectors, not the cables):

Pulling the HDD connectors
Pulling the HDD connectors

6) The next step was to unscrew the screws that kept the metal panel supporting the HDD cage and DVD in place. These screws were indicated with an arrow.

Screws indicated with an arrow
Screws indicated with an arrow

Three of them were located on the left side of the frame:

Three screws on the left side
Three screws on the left side

And two more on the right side:

Two more screws on the right side
Two more screws on the right side

7) The metal panel was still held in place by some additional screws hidden below the front panel. In order to access them,  first I removed the DVD drive plastic cover by prying with a flathead screwdriver (I didn’t have to apply a lot of force):

Removing the DVD Drive plastic cover
Removing the DVD Drive plastic cover

8) Then I unlocked the three front panel plastic tabs by pulling them upward:

Pulling the plastic tabs upward
Pulling the plastic tabs upward

And I could then remove the front panel without any difficulties:

Removing the front panel
Removing the front panel

9) I unscrewed the three remaining screws that were keeping the metal panel in place:

Unscrewing the three hidden screws
Unscrewing the three hidden screws

10) The DVD drive SATA and power connectors were still connected, so I  unplugged them in order to be able to free the metal panel:

DVD drive connectors
DVD drive connectors

11) The metal panel was now free and I could remove it by dragging it:

Removing the metal panel
Removing the metal panel
Metal panel with HDD cage and DVD drive upside down
Metal panel with HDD cage and DVD drive upside down
II. Removing the HDD and replacing it with a SSD

12) The HDD cage was still attached to the metal panel by two screws (labelled HDD). I unscrewed them to free the HDD cage.

HDD cage screws
HDD cage screws

13) The HDD cage was now free and the HDD was hold in place by four screws (two on each side):

Screws keeping HDD in place
Screws keeping HDD in place

14) After unscrewing the four screws I could finally remove the HDD from its cage:

HDD removed
HDD removed

I wasn’t going to use the HDD in this PC anymore but it could still be used as a backup drive inside an external HDD enclosure or in an other PC in case of need.

15) As you can see in the following photos, the 2.5″ SATA SSD is far smaller than the HDD. It is also far quicker and it is an easy and cheap way to upgrade a PC and to give it a new life.

SSD on top of HDD
SSD on top of the HDD
The SATA SSD and HDD use the same connectors
The SATA SSD and HDD use the same connectors

16) I had purchased a 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter (5.99€ on Amazon.es) in order to insert the SSD into the original HDD cage (I wasn’t sure the SSD could be screwed directly somewhere inside the computer case). It included eight screws, a screwdriver, a SATA data cable and a SATA to MOLEX power adapter cable.

2.5" to 3.5" drive adapter
2.5″ to 3.5″ drive adapter

I didn’t need the extra cables but they could be useful for an other computer upgrade. I screwed the SSD on the adapter using four screws:

The SSD screwed to the 2.5" to 3.5" adapter
The SSD screwed to the 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter

17) I couldn’t use the original HDD screws with this adapter because they were too short but I found that I could use four holes on the back of the HDD cage that were aligned with the adapter holes:

Adapter screwed inside HDD cage
Adapter screwed inside HDD cage

18) I screwed the HDD cage back to its original location below the metal panel:

HDD cage screwed to the metal panel
HDD cage screwed to the metal panel
III. Reassemble and close the computer case

19) It was now time to put everything back in place and to close the computer case. I screwed the metal panel to the computer case:

First three screws on the left
First three screws on the left
Two more screws on the right side
Two more screws on the right side
Last three screws on the front
Last three screws on the front

20) Later I reconnected the SATA and power connectors to the SSD and DVD drive:

Sata and power connectors
Sata and power connectors

21) I put the front panel back in place:

Putting front panel back in place
Putting front panel back in place

As well as the DVD drive plastic cover:

DVD Drive plastic cover
DVD Drive plastic cover

22) Finally I put the lateral panel back in place and closed the computer case using the two screws:

Lateral panel in place
Lateral panel in place
IV. Check if the SSD is properly detected in the BIOS setup

23) I reconnected the computer cables (power supply, HDMI, Ethernet, mouse and keyboard), I switched it on and I entered the BIOS setup to check that the SSD was properly detected by the BIOS:

SSD Detected
SSD Detected

Conclusion:

The whole process was not to complex: it took me maybe half an hour to remove the original HDD and to replace it by a new SSD. Be sure to keep all the screws in a safe place (a small plate for instance) in order to avoid to loose them. The next step was to reinstall the operating system, but that’s something that we will see in an other tutorial. You can also see how I cloned a HDD onto a SSD using Acronis True Image or how I copied a HDD onto a SSD using Acronis True Image backup.

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