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 Post subject: Upgrading my T420s 4174
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:44 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:18 am
Posts: 1
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Hi guys/girls,

I am very pleased with my T420s, but is thinking about upgrading it (memory + ssd).

According to ThinkAdvantage Toolbox I have:

1 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz. Samsung, model M471B5273DH0-CH9. It seems to be quite difficult to get hang on exactly that memory model. What would be your recommandation? I need totally 8GB eventually 16GB if possible.

1 x 160GB SSD, INTEL SSDSA2M160G2LE. What is your recommandation here? I have seen both 300GB and 600GB Intel SSD drives but don't know which ones would fit my T420s. Seems as it need to be in the Intel 320 series, right?

Again, what is your reccomandation? :-)

Last but not least:

- How about warranty on my laptop when chaning these things?

- Is it enough to ghost the old disk (whole disk) to the new one, preserving the hidden recovery partition etc.?

- Anything else I should be aware of?


- Michael

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:05 am 

Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 1:33 pm
Posts: 4440
Location: Minnesota
msvendsen wrote:
Again, what is your reccomandation? :-)

You might want to consider a mSATA SSD for your T420s. mSATA SSDs are small SSDs that plug into the miniPCI slot underneath the palm rest. Once installed, Windows sees it as another hard drive. You can put the OS on the mSATA SSD for speed. The benefit of doing this is it allows you to keep the platter drive in the main bay for storage where speed isn't as important. I have this setup on my X220i - the Intel 80GB mSATA along with the 500GB Hitachi Z5k500. It's quite slick. Do keep in mind that using the mSATA drive prevents you from doing WWAN. The WWAN card and the mSATA SSD would share the same miniPCI slot.

I don't think matching memory sticks matters all that much. My X220 and R60e both have mismatched modules and they work fine.

Both the memory modules and hard drives are considered user replaceable and will not void the warranty.

When I got my X220, I made the recovery discs and a copy of the SWTools folder, which contains all the drivers and applications installed on the machine. I installed my mSATA and did a clean install. It's a little more time consuming, but then I get to put on only what I want. I then make an image with True Image that I can put back at any time, then just make any needed updates. If you're interested in a clean install, you can download a disc here.

The thing one should be concerned about when using a SSD is whether the partition is aligned. If it's not aligned, performance will suffer. A Windows Vista or 7 disc will align it properly when creating install partition. I don't know if the recovery discs do. It's been so long since I used them. I don't know if Ghost does either. Maybe someone smarter than me can chime in here. If you do a clean install then put it back, at least with True Image, it will remain aligned. That's all I know. Good luck and welcome to TPF.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:53 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:12 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
To make the 420s as strong as it can be, what should I do?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:05 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 9
Location: London, UK
I recently upgraded my T420s.

I doubled the RAM from 4GB to 8GB.
I then installed an Intel 310 80GB mSATA PCIe SSD (SSDMAEMC080G2C1) and have installed Windows and my applications to this.
I then removed the stock 320GB HDD and replaced it with an Intel 520 SSD 240GB (SSDSC2CW240A3K5) for all my data.

Since doing this the machine has become incredibly quick, booting up in seconds, opening applications instantly. I can still use the 320GB HDD in the bay using a caddy.

In order to fit the Intel 520 SSD in the HDD bay, I had to remove the spacer on top and then use the rubber rails in the caddy to hold the lid on the drive. So far so good. I read somehwere that the 520 SSDs were not compatible with the T420s, but its SATA 6Gb/s and is working fine.

ThinkPad W520: i7-2720QM, 12GB RAM, 80GB SSD+500GB HDD, NVIDIA Quadro 1000M, FHD screen
ThinkPad X220i: i3-2310M, 240GB Intel 520 SSD, 4GB RAM, WWAN
Previous ThinkPads: X60, X61, R500 (x2), Edge 13, X100e, Edge 11, X300, X301, T420s

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:50 am 
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:10 am
Posts: 502
Location: Bucharest, Romania, EU
Samsung 830 worth a look too; it's 7mm height, one doe not need to remove any spacer, it fits directly the T420s main bay.

T430 · i7-3632QM · 12GB RAM · 512GB SSD · HD+ · NVIDIA NVS 5400M · H5321gw
T420s · i5-2520M · 12GB RAM · 480GB SSD · HD+ · HD3000 · F5521gw
T60 · T2500 · 3GB RAM · 128GB SSD · 14.1 SXGA+ · 128MB ATI X1400
Past: T400, T41, T22, 600X, 390X

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