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Orange, CA

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Lenovo Z710 SSD Installation with HDD Caddy Tutorial

2015-07-29, 21:01 PM
Thought I'd share my experience with installing an SSD to a Lenovo Z710 ideapad. I am by no means an expert but just a fellow community DIYer that wanted a performance upgrade for my notebook. It is a little long to read but when doing any changes to electronics, I think details are very important.
This tutorial is for a fresh install of a Windows 7 x64 CD onto the SSD via my standard optical drive. After reading the forums about cloning issues and dual boot problems with the original HDD, I have decided that doing a fresh install of windows would work best for me. Who likes Windows 8 for a non-touchscreen notebook anyway? :)

So first of all, you need an SSD. I bought myself a 250gb Samsung 850 EVO sata III SSD. You can find these for ~$100 now on amazon, newegg, microcenter, etc.
If you plan to use your original HDD as a secondary storage drive, you will also need an HDD caddy. I found one on eBay for $8 shipped. You just need to search for the 9.5mm universal sata HDD caddy. You do not need any other cables.

1) Pop your Windows 7 install disc into your optical drive. Shut down your notebook completely, unplug the wall charger, remove the battery, and flip the notebook over.

2) Remove the bottom cover by unscrewing 3 screws: 2 on the top corners and 1 in the center. Then gently slide the cover down away from the battery compartment. This will expose all the internal components.

3) The HDD is in the bottom left corner secured by a metal cover. Unscrew the 4 screws holding the HDD to the notebook first, unplug the sata cable from the HDD, and unscrew the last 4 screws for the metal cover.

4) Install the metal cover to the SSD, plug the sata cable, and secure the SSD to where the HDD was.

5) Unscrew the large screw holding the optical drive in place. There is only one screw under the optical drive area. *NOTE: this screw is for a small metal tab that is screwed onto the end of the optical drive and the HDD caddy does have holes for this but for the one I bought, the holes were too large so I couldnt reuse it. If yours fits, use it.

6) Re-install the bottom notebook cover and re-screw all the screws in place. Re-install the battery, plug in the wall charger, and flip the notebook back over.

7) Turn the notebook on and immediately start pressing FN+F2 to go into BIOS. Once in, goto the boot order which is the 2nd to the last tab and it should be defaulted to "UEFI". Change this to "LEGACY". Save the changes and exit to reboot the notebook. It should go directly to the optical drive and load the Windows installation.

8) Install Windows. The BIOS should also automatically default the primary boot device for legacy to the SSD after the installation is completed.

9) Turn off the notebook and remove the optical drive by simply pulling it out. Remove the Lenovo face panel from the optical drive by pushing out the two tabs on the ends. You will need the drive tray open and I recommend removing the metal plate on the bottom of the internal tray to get to one of the tabs.

10) Install the Lenovo face panel to the HDD caddy, slide the caddy in where the optical bay was, and you're all done!
*NOTE: if you were able to screw the small metal tab onto the caddy in step 5, you can remove the bottom notebook cover and re-screw the large screw to hold the caddy in place.

Oh and of course, you'll want to backup all the personal data, such as docs, music, video, favorites, etc before formatting your old HDD.


4308 Posts


United States of America

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Re: Lenovo Z710 SSD Installation with HDD Caddy Tutorial

2015-07-29, 21:51 PM

Thanks for posting your experience with the upgrade !

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