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Upgrading X270 SATA SSD to NVMe SSD

2018-02-07, 23:55 PM

Hey all! I picked up a refurb'd X270 from the Lenovo Outlet store for super cheap with a 180GB SATA SSD. I did lots of poking around on the forums to see if anyone had successfully done the upgrade to NVMe, and the concensus was mixed with no one really agreeing what parts were needed. I successfully pulled it off and wanted to share for future users!


What you NEED:

NVMe-capable M.2 SSD

FRU 01HW969 - cable from motherboard to the M.2 adapter

FRU 01HY565 - M.2 adapter and bracket


I ordered my OEM parts through Encompass for around $40 shipped, not including the cheap 256GB Intel 600p SSD I already had laying around.


The process took less than 10 minutes to complete.


1 - Assemble the M.2 adapter with your new NVMe SSD. NOTE: M.2 SATA SSDs are NOT compatible, ONLY NVMe.

2 - Boot to BIOS, navigate to Power to disable the internal battery.

3 - Remove the external battery and unscrew the screws from the bottom plate of the system, and gently remove the plate.

4 - Remove the single screw holding in the existing SATA drive and gently remove from system.

5 - Remove the SATA cable from the motherboard, being careful to lift the little metal latch before pulling horizontally out of the connector.

6 - Attach the new cable to the motherboard. I had to bend mine a bit to make it fit, but I used the original cable to show me where to bend.

7 - Attach the new cable to the M.2 adapter and install in place using the same screw.

8 - Reattach the bottom plate, put in your battery, and apply AC power.

9 - Check that BIOS recognizes your new drive by seeing if it shows up under the Boot options. NOTE: your boot options should be UEFI Only, not Legacy.



You can boot to a USB disc from Acronis or similar and perform a clone of your existing drive to the M.2 drive. I did this and it saved me significant time. Just don't forget to disable your whole-disk encryption BEFORE doing all of this, otherwise you'll have to un-do all of that work to boot to and decrypt your drive for the clone procedure. ;) I use an IODD USB DVD emulation drive thing with an old 850 Pro SSD in it to mount my Acronis ISO and emulate a USB DVD drive. It's a super helpful thing to have on hand.


Anyway, hope this helps others with the X270 who want to perform this upgrade. Please note that I provide NO WARRANTY for any of this, and anything that you break is 100% on you. Don't just shove screws in random places in your laptop or anything. It's not my fault. :)


Feel free to ask questions!



EDIT: I sourced my FRU choices from this document:


This could be helpful for upgrading anything else down the line as well.




X220 - i5-2450, 8GB DDR3-1600, 180GB SSD
X270 - i5-7200U, 8GB DDR4-2133, 256GB NVMe SSD

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Re: Upgrading X270 SATA SSD to NVMe SSD

2018-03-14, 3:24 AM

Please can you post the details of how fast the nvme is capable of and how fast it is performing in your laptop.


I am wondering if SATA is the limiting factor here. I.e. is it worth it to just buy a sata ssd capable of 540mbps or getting an nvme that can do Read 1,933, Write 1,093  and performing the upgrade you detailed


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Re: Upgrading X270 SATA SSD to NVMe SSD

2018-06-29, 7:13 AM

its a 2 lane pcie ssd


theoretical speeds would be half of what the 970 pro would be able to put out.


a quick and easy way to determine this is by the "tooth" of the m2 ssd - a pure nvme drive would be a M key drive which looks like a single tooth on one side.


Other pcie ssd that are not full fledged nvme are often keyed with 2 fangs like their sata counterparts.


The recent Toshiba RC100 series is one example.


but the takeway message here is that : most notebooks (biz class have 2 m2 slots - with different bus protocols - the form factor of opcie ssds has allowed for us to have yet another potential option for a 2nd or 3rd drive (bios permitting)


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