SSD upgrade for Dell laptop

Now that I have the Crucial M4 running nicely on my workstation, I want to update my wife's laptop as well.
This is a 2 year old Dell Inspiron 1545 with Win 7. Will the same drive work/fit into this laptop?
I suppose the easiest way to change out the drive on a laptop is to make a full system backup to a CD, then boot from the CD drive?
The Dell website mentions some rediculously over-priced SSDs for their laptop upgrades but I think the Crucial will work.
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  1. it does look like they have 2.5 inch drives with sata cables so should work fine.
    heres what i watched for info. might not be your exact model but pop out your drive and if its an sata interface your fine.
  2. You should be able to use that SSD in that laptop as that laptop has a SATA connection.

    Before you start - go into your BIOS and make sure AHCI is selected for correct operation of your SSD. Also make sure you back up any files you may need, as the way i'm describing is for a full rebuild.

    What you might have to do (for me this is the easiest way) is find a Windows 7 ISO OEM image off the web (this is legel as it has no keys on it, so you will need your dell windows key) which contain 64bit versions of Windows 7 (home premium, pro, ultimate).

    Once dowloaded, burn it to a DVD, or you could make a bootable USB key if it's large enough.

    After that, once you boot to your DVD select which version of Windows 7 the laptop is using (such as home premium, Pro, or ultimate), and don't worry - your windows 7 key is good for both 32 and 64bit versions of Windows 7.

    Once you get to the Key part - enter the key that's found on the windows 7 OEM sticker, which should be on the laptop somewhere- usually on the bottom.

    Once done - go to the Dell website and update the drivers.
  3. Best answer
    The clean install method is usually recommended as best for getting everything to run properly.
    Before beginning it, make sure you retrieve your Windows key and write it down (the umpteen-digit serial number). Also backup any data that you want to keep. You won't be affecting your original drive so it should still provide some safety for your data.
    The last time I did this I needed the network port driver for my laptop before it would connect to the internet. I downloaded this through my other computer to a USB drive and transferred it into my laptop that way. If you don't have another computer handy then you would need to get the drivers ahead of time. I loaded Windows onto the computer from a DVD, then loaded the network card driver. This allowed me to connect to my router with a wire and then I was able to download all of the other drivers that I needed.

    Another option is to clone your existing hard drive to the new one. This will preserver your installed programs and so forth, but takes more effort to get it running. You would need an external USB enclosure and some cloning software. Some SSD kits come with this. The general procedure is to put your existing hard drive into the USB enclosure and connect to the computer, put the SSD in the laptop, boot the laptop with the cloning software, clone the existing drive to the new drive, then reboot the computer and you're in business. If you elected to go this route you should do some google research to find more detailed instructions.
  4. Thanks for the replies. I found my brain and went onto the Crucial web site. They have a tool to verify your model PC/laptop and their SSDs are compatible, just like the usual RAM compatibility tool. I noticed I can buy the Crucial SSDs with the SATA to USB adapter and their cloning SW included for about $15 more on Amazon and NewEgg. That sounds like the simplest method since it is already using Win 7.
  5. Best answer selected by bwhiten.
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