07-30-2014 02:13 PM
I have recently (last week) upgraded my x240 i5-1.9GHz laptop using a Crucial M550 512GB SATA III SSD. It has transformed the usability of this machine. I am due to get the 8GB RAM upgrade fitted tomorrow, so this will hopefully also make a big difference.
There's no notion that this 512GB SATA III SSD is incompatible. Go for the M550 for the faster write speed over the M500, although the latter is very good value.
I've worked with this machine 5-6 days per week, including remotely on trains, planes etc. since April ....
1) pre-SSD upgrade, it was a pain to live with
2) pre-Lenovo System update utility being installed (I didn't do the build), there were numerous reliability issues with drivers, especially that WLAN card.
3) Occasionally, if I 'restart' rather than 'shutdown', then the WLAN card won't work at all, until I do a full shutdown and then switch it back on.
4) Despite turning off the setting 'Allow the system to turn off this device to save power' on the WLAN , this setting is re-enabled by something.
5) Lenovo Access Connections is absolutely essential - save your various WLANs or 3G wireless hotspots , including where you connect your iPhone or Android device via USB (Apple iPhone 5 3G hotspot via USB is much more reliable) - this tool remembers to power-on the wireless radio that is so ruthlessly disabled (probably by power management tools)... this wasn't installed on my build to begin with.
As for the upgrade:
1) Download the Lenovo x240 hardware maintenance manual and read thoroughly
2) Find a cordless powered screwdriver with forward and reverse (NOT an electric drill, too much power)
3) Have a fruit or paring knife, or optical screwdriver ready for the SATA HD retaining screw
4) Use the BIOS to disable the internal battery, removing the power lead, otherwise it restarts , re-enabling this battery.
5) After loosening the screws, which are all nylon coated... Look for the small indent on the front-left edge, which you can just get your thumbnail into - this is what you have to use to start opening the case. A lenovo engineer would no doubt have new nylon-coated screws to replace these - I didn't - this is probably where you contravene the warranty.
6) There is probably a 'proper way' , but I then slid the knife blade along, not pushing hard or deep between the two pieces of plastic. I managed to get most of the case loose, except the back-right portion (viewed from the front), and in the end, I twisted it slightly and it popped apart... nervous part over !
7) I then flipped it over, and after earthing myself again, I used the tip of the paring knife to loosen and unscrew the SATA HD retaining screw. Removed cable from drive...
8) I unclipped the black plastic U shape piece around the drive , and put the SSD in its place, plugged cable in tight.
9) Screwed SATA HD retaining screw back down, taking care not to trap the black SATA cable...
10) FItted rear casing back on, screwed down screws tight with cordless screwdriver.
110 Booted back up and ..... performance is 'night and day' different
NB - I had imaged the HD contents to the SSD beforehand using Crucial's laptop Easy SSD kit , which includes Acronis Image 6 software - worked well, intuitive, took about 45 mins, with 150GB data on the HD.
Highly recommend this upgrade. If you are not confident about doing laptop upgrades or worried about warranties or don't understand basic electrical procedures around static and earthing, then consult a trained professional.
07-30-2014 07:16 PM
Thank you for the very thorough post! I'm glad the Crucial M550 512GB SSD is working out for you. They indeed make fine products.
Since I wrote myprior post, I ended-up finding a new X240 (20AL00D7US) which is factory-configuerd with a 512GB SSD, and just ordered it yesterday from CDW: 20AL00D7US. For the life of me, I cannot understad why Lenovo does not currently offer a 512 SSD as an option.
In addition to the 512, it has 8GB ram and the full HD screen. Along the same vein as "no one ever got fired buying IBM", I figured it would absolutely safe buying the factory-configured unit. I just have too much work to do to fool around troubleshooting potential glitches! I may even use the factory install of Win8 as I was originally going to install Win7 and use Classic Shell to make it the UI as close to Win7 as possible. New computer, new operating system--besides, I need something to do with that touchscreen!
Again, thank you for sharing a most imformative and detailed post.
08-16-2014 07:34 PM
What is the exact model number of the Samsung SSD you installed?
03-11-2018 06:33 AM
Is this true?
I have a ThinkPad X240 with a 320GB SDD which I would like to upgrade!
As I understand this is the original configuration från Lenovo!
What should be the reason for the limitation, BIOS or HW...??