You shouldn't have any problems just switching them out. Make sure you have the SATA controller set to AHCI mode in the bios tho (as opposed to IDE mode). (you will want to do that BEFORE installing windows...you can run into problems trying to switch it after the fact)
SSDs are generally 2.5" form factor drives, same as the mechanical drives that will be in the laptop. All you do is remove the old from the bay, slide the SSD in, and secure it if necessary. Then put the cover back on and fire up the laptop, and enter your BIOS setup to see if the SSD shows up under the boot options. If so, make sure it's in AHCI mode (as senkasaw mentioned). Then you're set to install Windows! If not listed in boot options, reseat the drive and try again.
P.S. I recommend the Samsung 830 or the 840 Pro over the 840.
Prostar You brought up a very good point.
1) have 3 M4's. 2 x 128 gig drives bought quite some time go (shortly after they came Out), Bought a 256 Gig M4. No problems.
.. HOWEVER, you have a point on recent increase in "Died" M4's at newegg - Checked the high volume all vs 6 months and there is a big jump. This drive appears to the most popular based on Nr of responses.
... Very hard to compare "reliability" issue as many of the drives manuf back when M4 first came out are "gone" - in that they have been replaced ( ie Agility/Vertex III with IV Samsung 830 with 840 ) or the Part Number was changed which tends to restarts Nr of Responses ( basically ) camouflage problems. Really wish they would have a "M4", Or what ever, generic tracking record. PS I really wonder how many of the "died" after x time were USER caused.
2) Firmware, maybe I missed that as last problem was their 5000 Hr "bug". Over the last couple of years have not seen much difference in "Firmware" problems between M4 and Intel - Both have had "bugs" and both seem to resolve realitly quickly.
3) You did Not mention, but I found a disturbing trend when reading the 1/2 egg comments for M4, and that is with their Customer service.
.. Mixed feelings.
A) If just trying to reduce RMA's with out justification -BOOO, almost as bad as OCZ (May have improved as they changed upper management)
B) RMA's add cost to product and IF USER caused problem then company should disallow RMA, not just on SSDs. All merchandise that is returned should have to be justified before RMA (or Return) at Brick and Mortar store.
Can't argue with any of that, ReitredChief (good info, by the way). I have little experience with their support, but thus far, they have not let any of our/their customers down when it came to stepping up to the plate. Perhaps the M500 drives won't be plagued by the same idiosyncrasies.