SSD and SATA Drives

Is it possible to just substitute a SATA 2 drive for a SSD of comparable size in a Laptop or NAS box without having to change anything such as BIOS and other hardware / software
The laptop is running windows 7 Pro
The NAS box is an IcyBOX NAS 4220 b
Re. the NAS box - I am aware that I may need to get a conversion rack for the smaller SSD to allow it to sit correctly
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Yes, you can make the change.
Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor Commented:
In general, the answer would have to be 'no' instead of 'yes' without specifying drive hardware etc.
I've experience trouble when replacing an internal HD in a Windows7 laptop where Windows would not recognize the new SSHD drive. Additional drivers were needed to get the system working. And about your NAS: it has a 100Mb network interface, right? You would nog get much performance improvement by replacing the HDD with an SSD as the network interface will be the bottleneck.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Yes, there's no problem replacing a rotating platter drive with an SSD, as long as the size is large enough to accommodate cloning the old drive.

Note that an SSD  IS  a "SATA drive" => but I presume you mean a traditional rotating platter unit when you refer to SATA.

r.e. the laptop running Windows 7 ==> You should confirm that the SATA access mode is AHCI, and if not, change that in the BIOS and in the Windows registry before making the swap.    Otherwise TRIM won't be correctly implemented for the SSD, and performance will degrade over time.

r.e. the NAS box => I wouldn't generally recommend switching this to an SSD, as you usually want the highest capacity drive you can get in a NAS.   If that's not the case, and the SSD capacity is large enough for you; then by all means go ahead.   But as already noted, since the NAS is accessed over the network, the benefit of using an SSD will be smaller.   For small file accesses, it will still be substantial, since the access time will be MUCH quicker (less than 1% of the time for a rotating platter unit) ... but the actual data transfers won't be any quicker than they would be with traditional drives.
You BIOS should be set to AHCI or SATA mode, and not IDE or compatible modes when you use an SSD. That gives you the best performance. In IDE or Compatible modes you probably wouldn't see too much improvement when comparing an SSD to a SATA disk.

So if your BIOS is already set to the correct mode and your conventional disk is running properly and your OS starting up, it should be no problem. Changing from IDE to AHCI modefrom an installed system on the other hand isn't an easy task.

Besides that, I suggest you use a good software that can properly migrate your current installation to SSD disks. Paragon's tools can do that. Or better of course is to do a fresh installation.

On a NAS I wouldn't recommend using SSD's unless the manufacturer specifically lists SSD's as being compatible. Usually you won't get too much performance boost if you use them in a NAS though, as the bottleneck of most NAS (at least the consumer type NAS), is it's CPU and processing power, and the LAN, and not the disks used in them.

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