By Ailsa / Last Updated January 18, 2021

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Hard Drive/SSD Specifications Check Before Upgrade

If you want to upgrade your hard drive for your MSI gaming laptop for better performance, you may need to consult your manufacturer for the detailed specifications first.

As far as I know, apart from GS series, GT, GE, GP, GL, GF series, like MSI GT76/63, GE65, GP75, GL65/75, GF63, they have one of the three hard drive (or SSD) settings:

  • One M.2 SSD slot, two M.2 SSD combo slot and one 2.5” SATA HDD.

  • One M.2 SSD combo slot and one 2.5” SATA HDD.

  • Only one 2.5” SATA HDD.

MSI Gaming Laptop Hard Drive Upgrade

If your MSI laptop belongs to GS series, like GS65, GS75, you’re not allowed to unauthorized disassembly for hard drive. Otherwise, the warranty period is deemed to have expired. It’s better to go to MSI Service Center for MSI hard drive upgrade.

Generally speaking, MSI gaming laptops come with a 1T HDD drive usually, and some of them pre-installed a small 120GB or bigger SSD. So, how to upgrade hard drive for better performance if there is no enough space? Perform MSI laptop hard drive replacement or doing MSI laptop SSD upgrade may be the ideal solution at this moment.

Two Ways to Do MSI Hard Drive Upgrade

Maybe you have other solutions to do this upgrade, like buy a bigger HDD or SSD, then replace your original one with the new one, then reinstall your Windows 7/8/10 with the Windows installation media. However, this way will take up a lot of time and is quite complicated.

To make it easy for you to perform MSI laptop hard drive replacement, it’s highly recommended to try the best disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Professional. AOMEI Backupper offers two solutions for the MSI hard drive replacement in Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP:

  • Clone HDD to SSD without reinstalling everything.

  • Backup hard drive to USB/external drive then restore to SSD drive.

Please download the AOMEI Backupper Professional 30-day free trial and have a try: (The Clone features in the free trial can only be demonstrated, please upgrade to enjoy.)

What Do You Need?

Before you do, please prepare the following things.

  • Your MSI laptop with Windows installed.

  • A brand new SSD. To make sure what kind of SSD suitable for your MSI computer, consult for the manufacturer.

  • A USB flash drive or external hard drive.

  • SATA to USB enclosure or M.2 to USB enclosure.

  • Screwdriver.

  • Create a WinPE bootable media with AOMEI Backupper.

Way 1. MSI laptop SSD upgrade with clone feature

Here is how to upgrade MSI hard drive with the SSD using the disk clone feature in just a few clicks:

1. Use the SATA to USB enclosure or M.2 to USB enclosure to connect the new SSD, or you can just install the new SSD into the computer. Ensure the SSD can be detected by Windows.

2. Launch AOMEI Backupper Professional, select Disk Clone under Clone tab.

Choose Disk Clone

3. Choose the MSI hard drive as the source disk, and press Next.

Choose MSI Hard Drive

4. Select the new SSD as the destination disk, and hit Next.

Choose Destination Disk

5. Tick SSD Alignment to speed up the SSD and press Start Clone >> to upgrade hard drive to SSD for MSI laptop in Windows 10/8/7.

MSI Hard Drive Upgrade SSD Alignment Checked

★ Tips:
Edit Partitions will help you fully use the storage space on the destination disk while cloning disk to larger disk.
Sector by Sector Clone enables you clone all sectors on the source disk, and the time will be much longer. Uncheck this option only clone the used sectors which makes the clone be quicker.

After the clone finished, please restart your computer to boot into BIOS, and then change the boot order to boot from the cloned SSD; or shut down the computer, and replace the hard drive with the SSD, and boot the computer from it.


Way 2. Replace hard drive for MSI with backup & restore

All detailed steps listed below to upgrade MSI hard drive to SSD with backup and restore features.

Step 1: Backup MSI Original Hard Drive

1. Connect the USB drive or external hard drive with your MSI laptop, launch AOMEI Backupper, select Backup -> Disk Backup in turn.

Disk Backup

2. Click + Add Disk, tap to select the MSI hard drive and click Add. Modify the Task Name to differ from others if required.

Add Disk

Select Disk

★Tip: If you want to backup multiple hard disks, you can repeat step 2.

3. Select the external hard disk or USB flash drive as destination path and click Start Backup.

Select Destination

There are some optional settings you could customize before backing up MSI hard drive:
✍Options allows you to comment, compress, split, even encrypt the disk backup task, use VSS, make an exact copy(sector by sector backup), enable email or SMS notification, etc.
✍Schedule offers 5 modes for you to automatically backup hard drive, daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers, USB plug in. Besides, you could create full backup, or incremental and differential backup, etc.
✍The Scheme option could help you automatically delete old backup images once the backups over the number you specified to free up space.

After the backup finished, the disk image file of MSI hard drive has been stored to the USB drive or external hard drive.

Step 2: Remove MSI original hard drive and connect SSD

On this condition, shut down your laptop, and upside down.

  • Unscrew the screws that keep the back cover in place. Gentally pull off the back cover.

  • Unscrew the screw for fixing the battery, and take it out carefully from the MSI laptop.

  • Gentally pull the MSI hard drive out after unscrewing the screws on the hard drive.

  • Put the new SSD drive into the slot.

Step 3: Restore MSI Disk Image to SSD drive

1. Plug the USB flash drive or external hard drive into the MSI laptop, boot your computer from the WinPE bootable media created before, and AOMEI Backupper will automatically run on your computer. Click Restore, and Select Task or Select Image File to locate the MSI disk image.

2. Select to Restore the entire disk or Restore a partition in the disk and click Next >>.

Restore Entire Disk or Partition

3. Choose the new SSD drive as destination to restore entire disk, and then press Next >>.

Select Destination

★Tips: If your destination disk is different from your backup source disk, you will be prompted by this message "Because your current selected destination hard disk is different from the backup source hard disk, please make sure that your system is Windows Vista or latter Windows 64-bit OS. Otherwise, it may cause destination system boot failure after restoring."

4. Preview the result of restoring, and check the SSD Alignment option to optimize reading and writing speed for SSD, press Start Restore >>.

SSD Alignment

★ Tip: The Universal Restore could help you to restore disk image to another computer even with different hardware configuration. And make it bootable without any issues.

Until now, the MSI SSD upgrade has been done successfully. Just enjoy it.


Further Reading: MSI RAM (Memory) Upgrade

Besides, you could upgrade your memory (RAM) to get better performance, MSI gaming laptops allow you to upgrade RAM up to 64GB. Generally, you have RAM 16GB (8GB*2) with 2 slots. If you want to upgrade RAM to 32GB or 64GB, buy compatible larger RAM sticks, and then replace them with the new RAM sticks.

MSI Laptop RAM Slots

How to upgrade RAM for MSI computers, refer to the following:

  • Shut down MSI gaming computers, and upside down.

  • Pull off the back cover after taking out the screws.

  • Release the buckle and take out the two old smaller RAM sticks.

  • Insert larger RAM sticks at an angle of 45° and press it down to secure it tightly by the buckle.

  • Put everything to its places, and MSI RAM upgrade is done.


Conclusion

With this powerful Windows backup software - AOMEI Backupper, MSI hard drive upgrade will be finished with simple clicks. AOMEI Backupper also provides system clone for cloning Windows operating system only, and allows you to create bootable media to restore windows when your MSI laptop refuses to boot (or you could create AOMEI Backupper Recovery Environment to get the same effect).

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.

For who is running Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019 (including R2), please try AOMEI Backupper Server to enjoy more advanced features, like universal restore, command line utility to backup/restore/clone, create differential backup with a schedule task, etc.