How to Add an SSD to your HP Envy TouchSmart

I often show website examples and demos to clients using an iPad, or with a projector if they have room. However, I’ve always thought that a larger touchscreen laptop would be better for showing content to one or two people. Enter this great Woot.com deal for the HP Envy 17.3-inch TouchSmart laptop.

HP_Envy_M7-J010DX_imageWhile my HP Envy wasn’t without issues (I had to contact support for a replacement battery and AC charger), it has performed just as I had hoped and works well for showing designs and examples to my clients.

With one of the fastest mobile processors available at the time (Intel Core i7-4700MQ), 8GB of RAM, and a 17.3-inch touchscreen, the HP ENVY TouchSmart M7-J010DX was quite an upgrade over my old laptop. However, I wanted to install an SSD for extended battery life and an even faster boot-up and overall experience.

Unfortunately, it’s not exactly a straightforward process. This guide will show you how to install Windows 8 (actually Windows 8.1) on a new SSD for the HP Envy M7-J010DX, and presumably other HP Envy models.

Setup the Original Drive

I suggest that you first set up the computer the way you want it with the original hard drive. This means to run all Windows updates and even update to Windows 8.1.

Delete all unnecessary programs and applications, update the apps you are keeping, and make sure that you have updated all of the hardware drivers.

There is a BIOS update available for the M7-J010DX also; I suggest that you download and run that update as well.

Click here for HP’s support page with updated drivers and BIOS. Note that there may be different versions for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

Create Rescue Discs

I also suggest that you take the time to create rescue discs before you upgrade the hard drive. The rescue disc utility is on a partition on the hard drive and can be accessed through the Windows menu.

Download the Appropriate Windows 8 Image

Windows 8 now has the license key built into the BIOS on consumer computers and laptops. Because of this, you won’t be able to just install Windows from an upgrade CD. However, if you find the right image online, you should be able to install a clean version of Windows 8 with no problem. The .iso image that works the best is 915440.iso. You should be able to find a download of this if you put the following into a Google search:

?intitle:index.of? en_windows_8_x64_dvd_915440.iso

Once you download that image, burn it to a DVD and prepare to install your SSD. Note: I could not successfully burn the DVD with the included Cyberlink DVD burning software; instead I burned the .iso on another Windows 8 computer using the built-in disc image creator (right-click on an .iso and select ‘Burn Image”).

Remove the Original Hard Drive

  1. Unplug the laptop from AC power
  2. Remove the battery using the battery latch mechanism
  3. Remove the one screw that holds the back cover on
  4. Gently pry up and remove the back cover; there are tabs that will release
    • This will now give you access to the two hard drive bays, memory, and wireless card
  5. Carefully remove the hard drive (in the blue silicone anti-vibration casing) by prying it up; unplug the SATA power and data cables.
  6. Place the original hard drive in a safe location where it won’t get damaged or exposed to strong magnets

Install the New SSD

  1. Plug the SATA data and power cable into the SSD
  2. Insert the new drive into the hard drive bay
    • Note that the height of an SSD is shorter; if your SSD came with a spacer, use that so it doesn’t bounce around
  3. Re-install the back cover and the retaining screw
  4. Re-install the battery
  5. Plug in the AC power adapter

Install Windows 8

  1. Put your Windows 8 DVD into the optical drive tray
  2. Boot from he DVD
  3. Follow the instructions to install Windows 8
    • You should not be asked for a license key; it is built into the BIOS
  4. Run Windows Update and install all necessary updates
  5. Install Windows 8.1
    • Note that you won’t be able to install Windows 8.1 until you have applied all of the required updates for Windows 8

Re-Install Your Hard Drive

If you want the extra storage that comes with the 1TB HDD, re-install that in the open drive bay. Make sure you set your BIOS to boot from your SSD, and not the original HDD. Once you’re satisfied that you’re new installation works well, you can format the 1TB HDD and use that for storage.

Comments

  1. Jon said:

    Thanks for the post! If you know you’ll be using the original drive as slave, would it make sense to install the SSD into the open bay?

    • Jeff Fila said:

      Sorry for the late reply. This got hung up in moderation.

      Yes, you can install the SSD in the open bay and still boot from it. Just make sure you know which one you are booting from.

  2. Gun-Britt said:

    Excellent guide! I just have one question: do you have to remove and reinstall the original hard drive or is it possible to just install the SSD directly and set up the BIOS to only boot from the SSD? Thanks.

  3. Bill Kron said:

    Thank you for this tutorial. With these instructions, I was able to replace the original drive with a new SSD drive. It’s my first time using an SSD and I can’t believe I waited this long. Now that I am satisfied that I no longer need anything on the original drive, I would like to re-install it as the secondary drive for additional storage.

    I have this exact laptop, so can you tell me which type of cable I need in order to connect it as the secondary hard drive? It looks like I would need a cable identical to the one that was already installed in the laptop. The problem is that I don’t know the exact name of the cable and I am not immediately finding it online.

    I’m kind of a hardware dummy, so thank you for your help with this! 🙂

  4. Bill Kron said:

    I was able to locate the HDD kit part number from the HP website (http://partsurfer.hp.com) and then found it for a reasonable price on Amazon’s website here:

    http://www.amazon.com/HDD-Cable-Caddy-Envy–J000/dp/B00GIGJYBG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1402603438&sr=8-2&keywords=720237-001

    Thanks again for this resource and giving me a good head start on upgrading to an SSD!

  5. Rich said:

    At what point do you transfer programs, data, etc. from the old HDD? Would it be easier to clone it?

  6. Rich said:

    BTW, I have a new HP Envy 17T with 2 1 TB drives. I’d like to install an ssd before I migrate too much from my old laptop.

  7. Rupesh said:

    Upgraded HDD to SSD but I notice the fan is running with small usage. For example just using chrome browser we can hear the fan noise. Any suggestions? Thanks for the article.

  8. Aaron Beny said:

    I have 23″ All in One Computer ENVY i5 8GB
    When I try to clone it does not work.
    Any Ideas?

Leave a Reply

Anti-Spam Quiz: