Switching to an SSD can make your computer feel brand-new again. SSDs are lightning-fast compared to hard disk drives and have no moving parts that can break down on you when you least expect it. But if your seller shipped your brand new SSD without a mounting bracket, what will you install that new SSD into?
You need a bracket to install your SSD and secure it in place. However, that doesn’t mean you must have one for the drive to work. SSDs can work without brackets as long as the data transfer and power cables are connected firmly and securely.
Installing an SSD can get messy without a bracket, especially if you’re constantly bumping your computer into something. What’s more, if the new SSD has a smaller form factor than the old one, you might need something to provide support while keeping the new storage unit snugly in place instead of flopping around inside the case. Read on to learn more about brackets and how to install your SSD without them.
How To Install Your SSD Without a Bracket
First things first, you don’t need a bracket if your computer is set up on a flat and stable surface. Unlike traditional hard disk drives, your SSD has no moving parts that could loosen over time.
There are different ways to mount an SSD without using a bracket. You can use a rubber band or masking tape to position your SSD on your computer tower. When using clips to mount your SSD, ensure that they are sturdy enough to securely hold the SSD in place.
Installing an SSD without a bracket is incredibly easy – just pop it in where the old hard drive used to go, and you’re good to go. Follow these simple steps to install your SSD without a bracket:
1. Check Your Motherboard
First, you’ll want to make sure your current motherboard supports an SSD. If you have an older computer, you may need to replace your motherboard entirely or use an adapter to use a modern SSD. Alternatively, you can check if your motherboard has a compatible PCIe slot that can be used to connect an M.2 form factor.
Once you’ve determined that your motherboard supports an NVMe, SATA, or M.2 SSD, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
2. Access the Computer Tower Interior or Chassis for Laptops
You will need a Phillips screwdriver that’s about the same size as the screws on your computer chassis. Once you’re in the tower, locate the SSD ports.
If you’re installing an SSD in a laptop, you may need to remove the chassis and the battery to access the drive bay. There are different types of drive bays, so you’ll need to check your laptop’s manual to find out how to access yours.
The other consideration is what form factor SSD you have.
Some SSDs, like the M.2 SSD, should be plugged directly into the motherboard, and no, not all laptops can support them. Other times, you may need a special adapter to install your SSD.
3. Find a Suitable Location To Place Your SSD
Once you’re sure your motherboard supports your new SSD, you’ll need to figure out where to install it. The motherboard SATA ports are a great choice. However, the downside with this is that it can be a little tricky to route your data cable by hand.
If you want to avoid this hassle, you can simply place the SSD near or below your computer’s SATA ports (in a PC tower). This is easier to manage, but it does leave your data cable a little exposed. If you’re worried about the cable getting damaged, you can always wrap it in a protective sheath and tape or clip it along the frame of the chassis.
4. Install Your SSD’s Data and Power Cable
Once your SSD is mounted to the motherboard, connect one end of the SATA data cable to the SSD and ensure that the other end goes to the SATA port on your motherboard. Next, attach one end of the SATA power cable to the SSD and the other to the power supply unit.
After successfully mounting the SSD, perform a test by turning on the device and ensuring it’s properly connected. Check to ensure that the power and SATA cables are properly connected.
5. Install the SSD Firmware
Once your SSD is installed and connected, it’s time to format the drive to get it ready for use. Here, you’ll need to install the manufacturer’s firmware. The firmware is a program that makes communication between your computer and the SSD run more smoothly.
Here’s how to install the firmware:
- Identify the SSD’s manufacturer and model number, which you can usually find printed on the drive’s case.
- Once you have this information, visit the manufacturer’s website and look for a firmware download section. Most manufacturers will give you a link to the latest firmware version and a guide on how to install it.
Installing an SSD without mounting brackets is easy. Unlike SDDs, HDDs need mounting brackets because they’re delicate computer storage devices. They rely on mechanical parts to read and write data, which makes the brackets necessary for mounting.
Check out this video from fishpotpete for more detailed instructions on how to install your SSD without brackets:
Should You Use Brackets Anyway?
The most likely theory is that brackets were designed to allow you to screw the SSD down to the inside of your PC’s case, so it doesn’t rattle around. In reality, though, by installing your SSD with a bracket, you’re actually bound to run into some issues.
For instance, brackets are designed for a specific type of screw, depending on the machine.
Additionally, if you over-tighten the bracket, you could damage the drive’s printed circuit board (PCB). Brackets may also not be long enough to reach the screws on your PC’s case, making it impossible to use them anyway.
In the worst-case scenario, a bracket could cause your new SSD to short internally.
Brackets aren’t necessary for mounting an SSD, but it’s easy to see why people think they are. When you open up a computer, you’ll probably see brackets installed on the hard drives. Since SSDs look very similar, it’s easy to assume they also need a bracket.