Reasons to perform Sony laptop hard drive upgrade

Upgrading or replacing hard drive with SSD or new HDD is the most common way to improve system performance on PCs, so as to Sony laptops. Sony VAIO comes with HDDs in different storage capacities, 500GB, 750GB and 1TB. Whichever the capacity is, hard drive is doomed to fail after several years of use as well as ubiquitous and countless potential network threads. When the system crashes caused by virus, for instance, it is inevitable to replace Sony VAIO hard drive with new hard disk.


Also, you may want to do Sony VAIO hard drive upgrade because of its awful performance, for example, 15 minutes for system startup. There are many factors that will result in long-time boot, such as too many boot startups or hard drive failure. However, replace Sony VAIO hard drive with SSD definitely will make this condition better. What’s more, low disk space cause hard drive upgrading as well.

In general, new hard disk brings better performance in computer experience. Now learn how to replace Sony VAIO laptop hard drive in detail in following parts.

How to upgrade Sony laptop hard drive

In the first place, to upgrade Sony laptop hard drive you need to find:

  • The appropriate replacement (I mean the Sony VAIO compatible hard drives). It should be a 9.5mm thick 2.5” hard drive or SSD in order to fit in the HDD OEM caddy & drive bay. If you don’t know how, you can find the model in its official site and get a Sony Vaio laptop hard disk with proper price.

  • One #0 Phillips screwdriver to uninstall Sony internal hard drive.

  • Sata to USB cable or adapter for connection.

  • A backup and restore tool to upgrade Sony laptop with only one hard drive bay. AOMEI Backupper Professional is a great option integrated with backup, restore, or other useful tools, such as, create bootbale USB.  

Before upgrading, free download this software to have a try. Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista supported. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.

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Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP

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Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper on VAIO E or S series. Then, create a disk backup for Sony Vaio laptop.

  • Click Backup and select Disk Backup.

Disk Backup

  • Select Sony internal hard drive as the source disk.
  • Then, select a location to store the disk backup image. You may backup it to NAS, network shared folder, external hard drive or USB flash drive. 
  • Click Start Backup. Wait for the process to be completed.

Important: If you backup to USB drive, it should be large enough.

Step 2. Create a bootable media (USB or CD/DVD) to boot off VAIO later.

  • Go to Tools and select Create Bootable Media.
  • Select bootable disc type – Windows PE and click Next.
  • Select boot device – USB, CD/DVD or ISO file. Then, click Next, it will create the creation of bootable media.

Select Bootable Media

Step 3. Shut down Sony VAIO and remove the battery.

  • Remove 2 screws on each side and slide-out HDD cover carefully.
  • Then, remove 2 more screws of the HDD case and slide the case to the left.
  • Finally, lift the HDD with its caddy out and free up the HDD.

Important: Do not touch any other cables or circuit on the laptop. Take a picture of the caddy before lifting it out will help you place the new disk in right location later.

Step 4. Install new disk or SSD and boot from the created bootable device.

  • Install the new hard drive or SSD to Sony VAIO laptop with the contrary method of removing.
  • Plug the battery and lid the cover back.
  • Insert the bootable device and start the laptop. If it does not boot from it, change the boot priority first.
  • Once boot up, you will see the same AOMEI Backupper Professional automatically running.

Change Boot Order

Step 5. Connect the device that contains disk backup image to Sony laptop. Then restore the backup image to new disk with AOMEI Backupper. One or two restarts are required.

  • Switch to the Restore tab and choose Select Image File to manually find the disk backup.
  • Tick Restore the entire disk and click Next.

Select Entire Disk or Partition

  • Select a restoration path to retrieve backup image. Then, click Next.
  • Tick SSD Alignment to improve disk performance if the target disk is an SSD. Then, click Start Restore to perform Sony Vaio hard drive upgrade.

Preview and Restore


  • This software will check Universal Restore by default if the hardware of new computer is different.
  • You need to adjust partition size manually or automatically with Edit Partitions if the new disk or SSD is larger. Otherwise, you cannot make full use of disk space on it. 

Now you may replace Sony Vaio hard drive with SSD successfully and use your computer as normal. Since your computer may run into issues due to many reasons, to protect your system and disk on it, it’s suggested to keep this software after upgrading.

You can choose to create a disk backup, system backup, partition backup or file backup based on your needs. And single backup only keep data currently on it, if you want to keep all the changes on it and prevent backup disk full issue from the beginning, try the following features during the backup process:

Options: It allows you to write comments, compress, split the backup and you can set email notifications.

Schedule Backup: You can set fixed intervals to backup your disk regularly, such as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event trigger and USB plug in.

Backup Scheme: You can choose different backup methods to perform the scheduled backup. Since incremental backups are more demanding to restore, it is recommended that you choose differential backup method. You can also enable automatic backup cleanup feature to save disk space.

By Quantity

In this case, you need to upgrade pro trial, since it has a 30-day usage limite. And this page provide 10% off for one computer.)

Sony Vaio hard disk not detected

Some users report Sony Vaio hard disk not detected sometimes, in this case, you need to determin why the BIOS can’t find it. You can start from the following reasons:

  • The cable or connector between the hard drive and computer is loosen. You need to tight it or replace it with a new one.  cleaned or replaced.
  • The hard disk is failing and needs to be replaced.
  • The laptop motherboard is failing. 

The above reasons are the most possible reasons. If you don’t know how to determin, please ask a professional for help.


Sony laptop hard drive upgrade to new hard drive or SSD is not as difficult as you think. However, more attention and care will do great help because this is a sort of long-run operation and you cannot be more careful with your data and system. This method also applies to ASUS Q501LA SSD upgrade, HP, Lenovo laptops etc. You can keep AOMEI Backupper on the laptop as regular backup solution since it is the best alternative to File History as well as Windows 7 Backup and Restore utility.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network. You can download this software to discover more useful features.

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Many laptop users may be surprised to find that option number 3 is the single most effective update they can perform to an older machine. (Even better: Combine adding an SSD with option number 1.) An SSD upgrade is especially dramatic if the laptop currently relies on a platter-mechanism hard drive. Here are the top laptop SSDs we’ve tested, followed by a detailed guide that explains how to choose the right one for your laptop.

Looking to upgrade your aging laptop ? You can do only so much without a fabrication plant or a tech-savvy witch doctor at your service. In most cases, your options are limited to three: (1) Wipe the machine clean and reinstall the operating system and your programs; (2) add more RAM; or (3) install a new hard drive or solid-state drive (SSD) .

Crucial P5 Plus

Best M.2 SSD for Most Laptop PCI Express 4.0 Upgrades

4.5 Outstanding

Bottom Line:

The PCIe 4.0-compatible Crucial P5 Plus posts excellent program-loading times in our testing and offers a solid software package and warranty.


  • Superb PCMark 10 overall and program-loading scores
  • Good SSD management software suite
  • 256-bit AES hardware-based full-disk encryption
  • Five-year warranty


  • Slow Crystal DiskMark 4K write speeds

Sold ByList PricePriceAmazon$99.99$69.99

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ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade

A Solid Alternative to the Crucial P5 Plus

4.5 Outstanding

Bottom Line:

Sizzling fast yet thin enough (even with its heatsink on) to fit a laptop or PlayStation 5, ADATA’s XPG Gammix S70 Blade is a killer internal SSD for gaming.


  • Blazing sequential read and write speeds
  • Good to excellent scores in nearly all our standard tests
  • Exceeds Sony’s PS5 compatibility requirements
  • 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption
  • Includes ADATA’s SSD Toolbox software suite
  • Competitively priced


  • Modest AS-SSD copy speed (folder-to-folder) scores

Sold ByList PricePriceAmazon$129.99$109.99

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Intel SSD 670p

Best M.2 SSD for Most Laptop PCI Express 3.0 Upgrades

4.5 Outstanding

Bottom Line:

It’s a tad pricey for a QLC-based drive, but Intel’s SSD 670p serves up some of the best shallow-depth 4K random read performance we’ve ever seen.


  • Record-setting game, OS, and program load speeds for PCI Express 3.0
  • Higher durability ratings than most QLC NAND drives
  • Five-year warranty
  • Solid software suite


  • A bit higher pricing per gig than typical for QLC NAND

Sold ByList PricePriceAmazon$209.00$161.00

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Crucial P3

Best M.2 SSD for a Budget PCI Express 3.0 Upgrade

4.5 Outstanding

Bottom Line:

The Crucial P3 provides good performance in a PCI Express 3.0 NVMe SSD. Its QLC NAND flash memory keeps the P3’s price down while allowing capacities up to 4TB. It’s a spot-on pick for upgrading older PCs that don’t support PCIe 4.0.


  • Available in capacities up to 4TB
  • Low cost per gigabyte for all models
  • Includes link for Acronis True Image cloning software
  • Good benchmark results for a PCI Express 3.0 drive


  • Relatively low write-durability (TBW) ratings
  • Lacks 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption

Sold ByList PricePrice Amazon$49.99$32.99

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Addlink S70

A Solid Alternative to the Crucial P3

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

If you’re on a budget but still want blisteringly quick sequential read and write speeds from your new SSD, look no further than what the new Addlink S70 has to offer.


  • Great value.
  • Fast sequential speeds.
  • High durability rating.
  • Five-year warranty.


  • 4K speeds proved lacking in our tests.
  • No software management tools.

Sold By List PricePriceAmazon$46.99$42.99

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Samsung SSD 870 EVO

Best SATA SSD for Everyday Laptop Upgrades

4.5 Outstanding

Bottom Line:

The Samsung SSD 870 EVO offers the peak of Serial ATA SSD performance, and moves so fast in 4K random read and write operations you’d almost be forgiven for confusing it with PCI Express 3.0.


  • Record-setting 4K results for SATA drives
  • Strong write-durability rating
  • Samsung Magician is the gold standard of SSD management software


  • SATA drives still have a lower ceiling than PCI Express for large file transfers

Sold ByList PricePriceAmazon$59.99$45.80

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Samsung SSD 870 QVO

Best SATA SSD for Most Single-Drive Capacity in a Laptop Upgrade

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for one of the best 2.5-inch SATA SSDs in terms of value and performance for the money, search no further than Samsung’s SSD 870 QVO, a stellar followup to its first QLC-based outing.


  • Excellent price-to-performance ratio for a SATA-based SSD
  • Very fast 4K read and write speeds
  • Feature-rich Magician management software
  • 8TB version coming soon


  • Warranty is only three years
  • QLC’s modest durability ratings make it less suited to heavy write duty

Sold ByList PricePriceAmazon$229.99$169.99

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Sabrent Rocket Q

Best M.2 SSD for Most Single-Drive Capacity in a Laptop Upgrade

3.5 Good

Bottom Line:

If you need the maximum single-drive capacity for a PCI Express NVMe M.2 drive, Sabrent’s Rocket Q 8TB is a solid option, but we’d keep an eye on Samsung’s coming SATA-drive QLC moves, too.


  • Rocket Q line includes rare 8TB option
  • Fast 4K read and write scores in Crystal DiskMark
  • Five-year warranty


  • 8TB and 4TB models have high costs per gigabyte
  • Low write-durability ratings at each capacity versus Samsung’s QLC-based QVO SATA SSDs

Sold ByList PricePriceAmazon $1,399.99$1,399.99

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SK Hynix Platinum P41

Best M.2 SSD for Hardcore Laptop Gamers

4.5 Outstanding

Bottom Line:

The SK Hynix Platinum P41 posted record-high scores in some of our general storage and gaming tests. It’s a super-value M.2 SSD; just add your own heatsink to ensure peak performance.


  • In our testing, exceeded its sequential speed ratings
  • Excellent scores in PCMark 10 and 3DMark benchmarks
  • Competitively priced
  • Includes drive cloning/migration software
  • Supports 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption


  • No heatsink included

Sold ByList PricePriceAmazon$104.99$104.99

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The Basics: Laptop SSD Upgrades

“SSDs: Okay, where can I get one?” might be your first question. You’ll need to do some homework to see if your laptop can accept an SSD upgrade in the first place. If it’s just a few years old, it might be able to. Really old models might not have BIOS support for SSDs at all, but a laptop that elderly probably isn’t worth upgrading to start with. What you need to know is the kind of drive that’s inside the laptop now and whether you can get at it easily for a swap.

First, flip over your laptop and check for a hatch on the underside secured by a small screw or two. If the hatch happens to say “HDD” or something similar, so much the better. Some laptops, such as late-model Apple MacBooks and many super-thin ultraportables, are fully sealed and won’t give you access to the innards without the help of a service technician (or some serious courage, plus specialized tools). But if it’s possible to do the upgrade yourself, here’s what you need to know.

Some mainstream laptops will afford you access to the hard drive through a bottom hatch, a slide-out bay along the edge, or failing that, by removing the whole bottom panel or perhaps the keyboard. (Some business-focused notebooks, like certain older Lenovo ThinkPads, have a bay on one side that holds the drive, screwed in behind a plastic plate. If that’s what you have, count your blessings.)

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

The best places to get the skinny on drive access, if you can’t find an obvious access hatch yourself from the laptop’s outside, are the laptop maker’s tech-support site, online forums, YouTube, and documents maintained online by the maker. Laptops vary wildly in how easy or hard it is to access the main hard drive. So doing your homework before buying—or doing anything else, for that matter—is key. Don’t pry at the laptop’s bits at random.

Alas, the trend with many manufacturers in recent years has been to make it either difficult or impossible to access the parts inside the laptop on your own. The chassis might use proprietary or uncommon screws that have no civilian screwdriver equivalent, or the back might be sealed to the front in such a way that the only way inside is with a specialized process or tool only the manufacturer’s repair team is privy to.

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

In this same vein, the other recent issue with laptop storage upgrades: As more and more machines move toward thin, light profiles, so do the drive themselves. To accommodate the demand for thinner machines, manufacturers have moved almost fully away from 2.5-inch SSDs, which are the same size as the hard drives they replace. Instead, what you may find inside will be an M.2 solid-state drive, which is a tiny sliver of a drive shaped like a stick of gum. In most cases, an M.2 drive will use the PCI Express bus and employ a speed-up technique called NVMe; otherwise, it will use the conventional Serial ATA (SATA) bus. While M.2 drives are great as space conservers, it can be trickier to figure out how to replace them. Also, in some cases, the laptop will have neither a 2.5-inch drive nor M.2 drive: The SSD will be soldered to the motherboard itself. In that case, sorry, no internal upgrade for you! (Consolation: Check out our guide to the best external SSDs.)

Again, we should stress that nowadays even looking in the direction of your laptop with a screwdriver in our hand might mean voiding your warranty. So make sure you read the details of your warranty coverage (if it’s still in force) before undertaking this process.

Identifying the Drive

The key thing to know from the outset is the specific kind of drive your laptop has inside. For an upgrade to be worthwhile, you’ll be moving from a platter-based, 2.5-inch hard drive to a 2.5-inch SSD, from a hard drive to a higher-capacity hard drive or SSD, or from a cramped SSD to a roomier one.

If the system has a hard drive inside that needs to be upgraded, it will be a 2.5-inch “laptop-style” hard drive using a Serial ATA (SATA) interface and running over the SATA bus. (To learn more about all the terms you need to know in the world of mobile storage, check out our SSD dejargonizer.) This type of drive is easy to swap out in favor of a 2.5-inch SATA-based SSD, assuming you can get physical access to the drive. Many of the SSDs available to consumers are 2.5-inch drives, with the SSD enclosed in a shell the size and shape of a laptop hard drive. There is also the possibility that the laptop already has an SSD inside in the 2.5-inch drive form factor, the same size and shape as a platter drive. You can simply swap that out for another (presumably roomier) one.

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

Another possibility, especially in a thin, late-model laptop: It may already have an SSD inside in one of two alternative form factors: mSATA or M.2. These days, manufacturers use only M.2 in new laptops; some laptop models from years back made use of the now-defunct mSATA. Both, though, implement the SSD as a wafer-thin, bare circuit board. (To tell them apart: Most mSATA SSDs measure 31mm wide by 50mm long; M.2 drives are skinnier at 22mm wide.) They can save a lot of space inside a laptop, but obviously, you can’t swap a much bigger 2.5-inch drive into their place.

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

An mSATA SSD can only be swapped for another mSATA SSD, but it signals an old laptop. If what you have is an M.2 boot drive, it’s only worthwhile upgrading that M.2 SSD for another of a greater capacity. (See our roundup of the best M.2 solid-state drives for more on M.2 and the rising variety of these drives.) Bear in mind that M.2 “gumstick”-style SSDs all look similar, but they can use either PCI Express or SATA as their bus interface. Your laptop likely supports only one bus type or the other on the M.2 slot, so make sure you know which you need and what you’re getting.

Most laptops with an accessible PCI Express bus interface use PCI Express (aka PCIe) 3.0. Manufacturers have been introducing M.2 SSDs that support the latest and fastest flavor, PCI Express 4.0. PCI Express 4.0 drives tend to be fast and generate a lot of heat, but an M.2 stick with a hulking heatsink won’t fit in a laptop’s M.2 slot; one with a thin graphene heat spreader might. Granted, most laptops with a PCIe 4.0-capable M.2 slot will likely come with a compatible SSD already in place. (If you put a PCIe 4.0 drive in a PCIe 3.0 slot, it will default to PCI Express 3.0 speeds.)

M.2 SSDs also come in different lengths, so you don’t want to buy one that’s too long for the available space. (A shorter one might work, depending on the design.) Most M.2 drives come in what’s known as the Type-2280 form factor, which stands for the drive’s width and length: 22mm wide and 80mm long. A Type-2242 (42mm) or Type-2260 (60mm) drive might be used by a laptop maker for space savings.

M.2 drives also come in varying thicknesses that will more often than not correspond to their available storage size. The more storage cells an M.2 drive needs, the more likely it is to be double-sided. Again, you need to know what type of drive you have before you buy, so we recommend looking in the manual, checking any available datasheets, or contacting support as a first resort.

Speaking of drive thickness, if the laptop is more than a few years old, in many cases you’ll have a humdrum 2.5-inch hard drive in there. So you’ll want to consider a 2.5-inch drive’s profile height, too.

Through Thick or Thin?

Almost all recent-model 2.5-inch SATA SSDs are 7mm thick, but in years past, 9.5mm-thick drives were more common. Those measurements were not arbitrary: Older 2.5-inch hard drives meant for laptops tended to be 9.5mm thick, so early SATA SSDs’ outer cases were sized to fill those bays. Now, laptop drive bays in laptops vary in height, so thinner SSDs are necessary.

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

A 2.5-inch drive bay inside the laptop will be engineered to accept only one of those thicknesses. If it’s a 9.5mm-high bay, most current SSDs will have a little bit of wiggle room in the bay. That’s not a bad thing, but not ideal; you want the SSD to fit snugly, so wobble inside the bay doesn’t stress the SATA connector (and you don’t hear any unnerving rattling). You should check whether the SSD vendor bundles a spacer to keep the drive seated firmly in the bay, if you need one. Fewer and fewer SSD makers do nowadays. You could always improvise one out of (non-conductive, please!) scrap materials, but a ready-made one will fit better and feel more professional.

If the 2.5-inch bay is 7mm high, then it will fit most modern SSDs snugly.

Know Your Software

Some drives will come with a license for a drive-copy or “ghosting” app such as Acronis TrueImage. This is a nice premium, but we don’t consider the inclusion or absence of such software a deal-breaker, as we’ve had good luck performing the kind of tasks involved (such as drive cloning) with free software such as EaseUS’ Disk Copy Home(Opens in a new window).

That said, some makers are better than others in terms of drive-specific utility software. Some SSDs come with none; others, such as Samsung’s SSD EVO and Pro drives, come with sophisticated tweaking and monitoring apps, epitomized by Samsung’s Magician(Opens in a new window) app.

So, Which SSD Should I Buy to Upgrade My Laptop?

Finally, there’s the question of whether or not all this trouble is actually worth it. If you simply want to add more storage to your laptop, and the prospects of getting inside the chassis are bleak (or the SSD is soldered down), check out our roundups of the best external SSDs, as well as the best external hard drives for Mac and the best external hard drives overall. If you just want a place to keep more photos, music, or files that you don’t access all that often, one of these external solutions might suffice, with no screwdriver required.

Otherwise, the chart below details our picks for the top internal SSD upgrades fit for laptops. Upgrading the internal hard drive (2.5-inch) on your laptop to a 2.5-inch SATA SSD is usually more about performance than anything else. Whether it’s for faster boot times, reduced load times in gaming, or just overall responsiveness during daily tasks, upgrading the internal drive with the OS installed is what’s going to affect these metrics the most, especially if you’re going from platter to solid-state storage. Otherwise, going from one boot SSD to another in a laptop is only worthwhile if the point is a bump up in capacity. In that case, you simply want to match the general SSD type (SATA 2.5-inch to another SATA 2.5-inch; PCI Express 3.0 M.2 to same) with a new model that can hold more data.

Written by Jane