Need To Upgrade The Storage On Your Laptop Or Tablet? Here Is What To Do.
There are many kinds of laptops and tablets out there. This article is a guide to how to upgrade the storage of these devices in the most painless way. If you are just installing a larger SD card into your Android or Windows tablet then the process is quite straight forward. Upgrading laptop hard drives is more difficult.
Upgrading Micro SD Cards
Most modern tablets and laptops are equipped with micro SD card slots these days. If you have a laptop or tablet with an SD card slot then you will be able to easily slide in a new or larger capacity SD card. Most of the modern devices will allow you to do this without removing any covers and even when the device is powered up.
You will need to conduct a little research here to see what the maximum capacity SD card your device can handle. There are some very large capacity SD cards around these days and San Disk have a 512 GB card now available.
If your tablet or laptop is an older version it is quite possible that 128GB, 256 GB and 512GB SD cards will not be supported. There is a plethora of information available online about this and if you are in any doubt you can always contact the manufacturer of the device.
There are three SD card formats and you will need to check your device here. First there is microSD and this only has a capacity of 2 GB. Then there is microSDHC and this supports more than 2GB and up to 32GB. This format can usually support SDHC and SDXC card formats. Finally there is micro SDXC which supports more than 32 GB and up to 2 TB. Only devices that support the SDXC format can use these cards.
You do not want to spend up to $800 on a 512 GB SD card only to find that your laptop or tablet is unable to use it. San Disk is not the only game in town. Kingston Digital and Microdia also offer large SD cards.
You need to think about how much extra storage that you will really need. Most people find that 64GB or even 128 GB is enough for the storage of photos and videos. You can usually pick up a 64 GB SD card for around $35 and 128GB for around $70. If you look on eBay you will find plenty of used bargains.
Apple tablets do not have an SD card slot. They have internal storage and the latest devices come with either 64 GB or 128 GB storage options. If that is not enough for you then you do have some storage upgrade options available.
One of the best options available is a wireless hard drive. You can connect to this storage using WiFi and an app. Seagate offer a good solution here where you can get a 500GB wireless hard drive for around $130.
The installation is pretty painless and the Seagate offers a feature where you can auto upload your videos and photographs from your iPad.
A different option is Kingston’s MobileLite Wireless solution which enables you to plug in SD cards or USB storage devices and connect with them wirelessly. There are also USB storage devices available that connect with your iPad using the lightening connector and an adaptor cable.
USBH storage can be pretty expensive though. The iBridge from Leef offers an additional 16GB of storage from around $60 and 256GB for around $400. San Disk offers an iXpand flash drive for a similar price but the maximum capacity is 128GB at around $150. Check the compatibility of your Apple tablet before you go for any of these additional storage solutions.
Laptop Hard Drive Upgrades
Things get much more complicated here. Laptops only have one hard drive so if you are going to upgrade your drive you will need to back everything up that is important on your current drive first just in case there are any problems. There are software tools that will create an image of your drive including the operating system so that this can be copied to the new hard drive.
Before you purchase a larger laptop hard drive you will definitely need to check that your laptop can support the new drive. This is fairly easy to find out online but if you have any doubts contact the laptop manufacturer.
Older laptops use IDE hard drives while the newer generation use SATA. You must get the right hard drive for your machine. Once you have purchased the new drive you can follow this process:
- Make a copy of your existing hard drive using image software onto the new hard drive using an external case with USB connection.
- Then insert the new hard drive into your laptop.
- Use an image software boot CD to start your laptop.
- Place your old hard drive in an external case and use this as the source drive with your new hard drive as the destination.
It should work perfectly.
Upgrading Your Laptop Hard Drive To A Solid State Hard Drive
If you have a fairly modern laptop then you might want to swap out your existing drive for a solid state hard drive. Laptop SSD hard drives won’t necessarily offer more storage but they will make your laptop a lot faster.
It is now possible to buy a 512GB solid state hard drive and this will cost less than $300 on Amazon. With this kind of SSD hard drive Windows start up times will be significantly improved and so will the launching of applications and large file moves.
Consider Cloud Storage
Instead of paying for expensive hardware upgrades you can consider cloud storage as an alternative. Cloud storage is safe and secure and relatively cheap. Providers such as Dropbox and Google offer 1 TB of storage for around $10 a month.
There are cheaper cloud storage providers out there. If you have Windows 8 you can integrate with Microsoft’s OneDrive and get 1 TB of storage for around $7 a month. Amazon also offer competitively priced cloud storage. It is recommended that you choose a well known brand for this as you do not want to trust your precious data with a small company.