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SSD upgrade for Acer Iconia Tab W500

SSD upgrade for Acer Iconia Tab W500
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How do I upgrade the SSD (Solid State Disk) of my Acer Iconia Tab W500 Windows based tablet?
That’s what this article is about, in a nut shell. The  Acer Iconia Tab W500 standard comes with a minuscule 32Gb harddrive, actually it’s an SSD. After installing Windows 7 (or 8) and an application your disk is pretty much full … so what can we do to upgrade this to a more sizable 128Gb SSD?

In this article, I’ll show you how to open your Acer Iconia Tab W500 and how to replace the SSD with a larger one …




Before we begin upgrading …

 At your own risk …

I cannot be held responsible for any (!) damages as a consequence of following this guide!
Shutdown your Acer, Remove the power cordNEVER use excessive force, work in an ESD safe envirmonment (straps, etc), and ALWAYS make a backup of your disk!

 

Step 1: Get a suitable replacement SSD

Before even trying to open your Acer Iconia Tab W500 I strongly recommend doing your homework on finding a compatible replacement SSD.

In my case, I didn’t want to go overboard on spending money so I did stick with the well performing and very fair priced 128Gb MyDigitalSSD, at the time in the $180 range for 128 Gb. Some resellers: Amazon, My Digital Discount, and My Digital SSD – there are more stores online selling this SSD.

MyDigitalSSD 128Gb (mSATA SSD)

MyDigitalSSD 128Gb (mSATA SSD)

Other brands and models might work just as well – feel free to report succes with other drives in the comment section.

Just keep in mind that it has to be a so called mSATA SSD, where mSATA is the interface.
mSATA, also known as mini-SATA (a good FAQ to start with can be found here), is an interface format typically found in (ultra) portable devices that became popular with the rise of the Intel Atom based netbooks.

 Warning! mSATA is NOT the same as mini PCI Express!

mSATA looks VERY similar to a mini PCI Express card – but it’s not compatible!

mini PCI Express cards are typically used for your WiFi and Bluetooth modules, and yes, some manufacturers (Asus and early Apple Macbook Air models for example) even use a modified  mini PCI Express slot for SSD purposes. But again: it’s not compatible!

Step 2: Get your tools …

  • An old towel to work on (prevent scratches)
  • Pry tools to open the case
  • mSATA to USB adapter
  • Disk imaging software
  • Philips #1 screwdriver
  • USB DVD Drive (for recovery and/or OS installation)
  • A few pounds of patience …

I always find it a good practice to start with preparing my work area and having the necessary tools handy. In this case, to prevent scratches on the screen, I typically use an old towel to work on.

To pry the casing open properly, I grabbed a few pry tools (typically used for opening iPods, cellphones, etc) from Amazon as well – this  Pry Tools set is what I got and for the price (app. $7 for 10 of them) it’s well worth it. Note that most of these tools can be used once maybe twice before they wear down, so a set of 10 is always handy.

Pry tools for opening cellphones etc.

Pry tools for opening cellphones etc.

The mSATA to USB adapter is needed to clone to original 32Gb SSD to the new 128GB MyDigitalSSD. This appears the only way to make your Acer Iconia W500 recognize the MyDigitalSSD – sad, I know. I’m not sure if it has to do with the very small partition found on the original SSD.

I used Paragon Disk Manager Suite to clone the drives by plugging the 128GB MyDigitalSSD in the mSATA to USB adapter and connecting the USB connector to the Acer Iconia W500. The Paragon Disk Manager Suite boot cd allows me to “migrate” the old disk to the new one.

Step 3: Clone the original SSD to the new SSD

Like I said before; I used Paragon Disk Manager Suite to clone the drives. The process is straight forward:

 

Once cloning is completed (took app 25 minutes), close the windows and shutdown the tablet PC.

 Note …

If you skip this step, your Acer might not recognize the drive and might not even boot normally (some unreadable comments will be displayed – barely visible). If this happens, it has been suggested that a BIOS update might be needed. Unfortunately I cannot confirm this.

Formatting the 128GB MyDigitalSSD instead of making an image (MBR) did not make a difference.

Cloning the original disks DID make a difference – I’m open to ideas; feel free to place them in the comments.

Step 4: Opening your Acer Iconia W500

OK, personally I find this the tricky part, and before you begin a reasonable basic understanding on how these cases typically click together will save you headaches later on.

Most of these kind of cases are “clicked” together, meaning; two parts (front and back) are pushed together until little hooks click into little openings, holding both parts firmly together. Now when taking those two parts apart, we want to prevent that we rip those little openings, below you see an enlarged picture of the opening part.

Enlarged plastic opening

Enlarged plastic opening

Now what we want to avoid it that they look like this once we are done opening the casing – if one or two break, then this typically doesn’t create any dramatic issues, but we’d like to avoid it none the less.

This what this looks like when it's broken ...

This what this looks like when it’s broken …

For the Acer Iconia Tab W500 the hooks work like they work in most scenario’s: the backside has the opening and the frontside (screen) has the pins that go into the hooks;

Hooks: A is the backside, B is the screenside

Hooks: A is the back-side, B is the screen-side

In the sketch above, side A (backside of your Acer Iconia Tab W500) is being clicked on side B (the screen side). In the red circle you will see that the “pin” of side B clicks into the opening of side A to hold both parts together.

Imagine what would happen if we would simply, with some force, would lift side A away from side B … the openings would break as shown in the image above.
To take this properly apart we basically have to shove side A (in the sketch) to the right, so that the pin of side B no longer has a hold of the opening. This process has to be done all around as show in the images below (don’t even think of simply lifting the back once you have done 3 sides – you will damage some of the openings of that last side).

OK let’s get started. I started by opening the SD-card latch to have easier access, I used the pry tool to gently push between the front and back side as shown below;

Acer Iconia W500 - Gently push the pry tool between the two sides

Acer Iconia W500 – Gently push the pry tool between the two sides

Once you have accomplished that, gently slide it to the right (keeping the pry tool between the two sides) – the use of a second pry tool can be practical;

Acer Iconia W500 - Keep the pry tool moving to the right

Acer Iconia W500 – Keep the pry tool moving to the right

Moving the tool might not always go as smooth as hoped for, in case you run into a “bump“, gently lift the pry tool – it will “unhook” the two sides and you can continue moving.

Acer Iconia W500 - Keep moving even around corners

Acer Iconia W500 – Keep moving even around corners

You will need to “unlock” all 4 sides, so keep moving around the corners (the corners are a little tougher to do).

Once you have done the 2nd side (top of your Acer Iconia Tab W500) the casing will start to open a bit more and you will be able to see some of those hooks I have been talking about.

Acer Iconia W500 - 2nd side - hooks are becoming visible!

Acer Iconia W500 – 2nd side – hooks are becoming visible!

Once you have done all 4 sides (again: do not even think that you can simply lift the back when you have done only 3 of the 4 sides), remove the back and see the inside works of your beloved Acer Iconia Tab W500.

Acer Iconia W500 - Inside view ...

Acer Iconia W500 – Inside view …

Step 5: Replacing the SSD

Compared to opening the casing; this will be easy. However, be warned that you should never touch any of the gold contacts, and that working with a so called ESD strap is strongly recommended! Static charges can cause damage beyond repair.

In the previous image, the inside of an Acer Iconia Tab W500, you will see a red box and an arrow on the left side of the picture – this indicates your current (32Gb) SSD drive.

  1. First remove the philips (#1) screw in the lower right corner of the SSD.
  2. Next remove the silver sticker covering the SSD – you don’t need to completely remove this, just remove it enough so that you can remove the SSD.
  3. Finally remove the SSD, place the new SSD, place the silver sticker back, and put the screw back in ….
Acer Iconia W500 - Swapping the SSD for a bigger one

Acer Iconia W500 – Swapping the SSD for a bigger one

Now comes the exciting part; does the Acer Iconia Tab W500 recognize the new SSD …?

Time to close the Acer Iconia Tab W500 back up before trying to boot it … (if you’re like me and first want to make sure it all works before closing the casing up – so we don’t have to open it again – make sure you know what you’re doing!). Gently put the back in place and press the sides back together by putting a slight pressure on the edges, moving around, possibly more than once, until there is no clear opening left between the two sides.

Step 6: Getting Started with your new SSD

First Boot – Into the BIOS

Tip: Connect your keyboard and USB DVD drive first! You’ll need it! :)

During the first boot, we would like to go into the BIOS. On you Acer Iconia W500 this is done as follows;

  1. Press the Windows button (left corner, below the screen) and keep it pressed
  2. Press the power button until the Acer boots
  3. Release the Windows button when you see a cursor in the upper right corner of your screen
  4. Press F2 to enter the BIOS (or press F12 to see the boot priority menu – if enabled in the BIOS)

 

In the BIOS modify the boot priority so it will boot from your external USB DVD drive first and save the settings.

Acer Iconia W500 - BIOS sees your new SSD

Acer Iconia W500 – BIOS sees your new SSD

Recovery DVD’s

Your Acer Iconia came with 2 recovery DVDs.

You can use these recovery DVD’s to restore the Windows 7 setup to factory default. Boot from DVD 1 (of 2) and follow the instructions.

 Note:

During recovery from the DVD I did experience some strange lockups which required a reboot, and I had some instances where the bootmanager appeared “corrupt” – a simple reboot fixed that. At one point I had to go into the Windows boot options (press F8 during boot) and select “Start Windows normally” to get things going. But in the end things went just fine … the full disk is automatically utilized by Windows 7.

Other Windows version

I had Windows 8 Preview installed on my old 32Gb SSD which didn’t like booting from the cloned SSD – but at least the BIOS recognized the drive.

I used the Windows 8 Preview install CD (free while availability lasts) to reinstall Windows 8 – by removing all partitiones during setup.

Other Windows version will have to be installed the same way.

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Comments


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  • Jul 8, 2013 - 8:45 PM - Jim Miller Comment Link

    Worked flawlessly. using a 120GB SSD from mydigitalssd.com.  I didn’t need to initialize the new SSD, just expand it to fill the new space.  Many thanks!

    Reply

    Jim Miller

    • Jul 8, 2013 - 10:08 PM - hans Comment Link

      Glad to hear that Jim, thanks for the feedback! 

      Reply

      hans

      • May 3, 2015 - 11:36 PM - Ernesto Comment Link

        I have a question. After the cloning procedure is complete, is the Acer tablet supposed to recognize the drive and show up? My took about the suggested time but afterwards I wasn’t able to see it as a drive.

        Thank you

        Ernesto~

        Reply

        Ernesto

      • May 4, 2015 - 2:19 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Hi Ernesto,

        Yes the drive should now be visible, at least to your BIOS (worse case scenario).
        After cloning I had to reinstall Windows – but there are other methods: please look through the comments by others who have had success with other methods.

        Reply

        hans

    • Sep 18, 2015 - 5:34 AM - Richard Cannon Comment Link

      Many thanks for posting such a detailed upgrade post.

      It worked perfectly for me, I cloned the ssd and it was recognised straight away.

      I noticed the boot up time was quicker and have since improved the cpu idle and memory usage by disabling the windows update servce

      Reply

      Richard Cannon

      • Sep 18, 2015 - 6:52 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Thanks Richard for taking the time to post a thank-you – it’s much appreciated! 

        Reply

        hans

  • Jul 22, 2013 - 8:14 AM - jeff Comment Link

    Great pointers, my w500 got busted, so had to replaced Sandisk  mSSD-2 with Plextor 64GB. Broke couple of hooks. Reinstall was a breze by the Restore (3xCD). Just change the Boot sequence.

    Reply

    jeff

    • Jul 22, 2013 - 10:27 AM - hans Comment Link

      Hi Jeff,

      great to hear that this article was helpful to you and thanks for letting us know the SSD you used for this.
      I’m sure others love to know what SSD’s are compatible with their W500! 

      Reply

      hans

  • Sep 6, 2013 - 4:44 AM - Mathias Comment Link

    Hello everyone! 

    As we know Iconia W500 is not a very new “tablet” and people are probably spending their money on a newer tablet if they’d every buy one today.

    But for all those who got a W500 I just wanted to share my knowledge so that people could take part.

    I recently bought a new mSATA for my W500, in hopes of getting some more space. I also wanted to choose one which had a decent speed (Read/write) so I finally choose this one:
    Kingston SSDNow mS200 120GB mSATA (SATA 6 Gb/s (SATA3.0), 550MB/520MB/s read/write, LSI SandForce 2241)

    I got it home today, unpacked it and opened up my Iconia W500 (as everyone knows it takes some time and patience).

    I replaced the HDD’s (took about 1 minute) and put back the back cover.

    Started the tablet and as many people have been saying before “Saw some very dimmed digits/texts in the top screen”, not to worry thou! I just shut the tablet down, hold the Windows key while pressing the start butting to be able to enter the BIOS, switched the boot order and installed Windows 7 from a USB stick. Took about 7 (yes read it again 7 minutes) to install Windows 7 onto the machine.

    I am right now in the progress of downloading some drivers and everything seems to working very well! I’ll post a screenshot soon, with the read/write from bench32 so everyone can take part!

    Thanks for a great guide! You really made it easier for me :)!

    Reply

    Mathias

    • Sep 6, 2013 - 9:58 AM - hans Comment Link

      Thanks Mathias for the great feedback and the SSD specs! Glad to hear this article was of help to you 

      p.s. Windows 8 runs smooth on the W500 … I just added the Start button back with Start-is-Back ($3 for 2 PC license) …   

      Reply

      hans

    • Nov 26, 2013 - 11:55 PM - Mick Szabo Comment Link

      Hi,

      Thanks for your useful description on upgrading the HD.

      I planning to upgrade my Iconia too after your description.

      How did you put the start up discs (or what files) on to the USB drive?

       

      Thanks

      Mick

       

      Reply

      Mick Szabo

      • Nov 27, 2013 - 1:36 AM - hans Comment Link

        Hi Mick,

        Originally I used the image of my original SSD, later I used a USB stick using the MicroSoft tool to create bootable Windows USB stick.
        A tool like WinToFlash would do the trick as well.

        Hope this helps get you started 

        Reply

        hans

        • Nov 27, 2013 - 2:36 AM - Mick Szabo Comment Link

          Hi, thanks for your quick reply.

          I am just wondering (as I am a beginner), if I use any ordinary Win7 files,

          what will happen with the original Acer software?

          Will I use any important files?

          Thanks Mick

          Reply

          Mick Szabo

          • Jan 22, 2014 - 6:00 PM - Mick Comment Link

            Hi, I have tried the given suggestions. I bought a KINGSTON 120GB SSD (SMS200S3/120G), and a USB micro SATA to SATA adapter. Unfortunately the Iconia tab does not working with this type  of SSD mSATA. Any suggestions?

            It looks like that the BIOS does not recognise this SSD, because some strange characters are showing up on the screen.

            When I reformat my existing SSD mSATA (SDSA5DK) 32GB the adapter and computer works well.

            PS: I have a Acer Iconia W501 and the BIOS is the latest version.

            I am wondering if anyone would have any suggestions?

            Thanks

            Mick

          • Jan 23, 2014 - 9:54 AM - hans Comment Link

            Seems like that’s the same model Mathias used.

            The issue you’d mentioning sounds similar to the issue I ran into – that’s why I had to image the original SSD to the new SSD.
            Did you try that? 

            hans

        • Nov 27, 2013 - 11:05 AM - hans Comment Link

          After a clean Windows installation, meaning not from the Acer recovery disks, Acer utilities will not be available unless you download them manually from the Acer website (drivers and applications downloads) and manually install them.

          The drivers G-Sensor and Touch are probably the most important one, and for the W500/501 you’ll find Windows 7 and Windows 8.x drivers and applications as well. 

          Reply

          hans

  • Oct 27, 2013 - 4:22 PM - Ian Pett Comment Link

    Hi,

    Just about to upgrade my W500 this week using a Crucial CT120M500SSD3 120GB M500.  Thanks for the great guide,  let you how I get on. :)

    Reply

    Ian Pett

    • Oct 27, 2013 - 5:52 PM - hans Comment Link

      Thanks Ian – any info and feedback would be greatly appreciated 

      Reply

      hans

  • Oct 28, 2013 - 4:35 PM - ianpett Comment Link

    Hi Hans,

    Today have successfully upgraded my tablet using a Crucial CT120M500SSD3 120GB M500.  I used Windows 8 system recovery to image my old drive, Windows 8 no less.  It was a little bit hard opening the case, the corners were the pain, luckily I didn’t break any clips .

    Initially when I installed the new ssd, I couldn’t boot in to the Bios, blank garbled screen! good thing I didn’t put the case back together.  (I used a bit of tape to hold the tiny switch down so I could start Windows)

    I then put the original sdd back in & then was able to get in & set the boot to USB CD rom. I then put the new ssd back in.  I used an external CD drive with Windows 8 image recovery & a usb hdd which had the Windows 8 image. It then took about 30mins to restore Windows, with no problems at all.

    This is my Windows score before & after. 

    primary HDD went from 6.6 to 7.8, strangely the Graphics went down from 3.9 to 3.8. the overall Base score stayed the same at 2.6, didn’t think that would change.

    Some more ssd results to look at.

    Before:

    CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1
    (C) 2007-2010 hiyohiyo

    * MB/s = 1,000,000
    byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

    Sequential
    Read : 138.746 MB/s

    Sequential
    Write : 52.133 MB/s

    Random Read
    512KB : 0.000 MB/s

    Random Write
    512KB : 0.000 MB/s

    Test : 100 MB [C:
    55.4% (16.5/29.7 GB)] (x5)

    Date : 2012/03/02
    21:41:18   OS : Windows 7 Home
    Premium Edition SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x86)

    After:

    CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2
    Shizuku Edition (C) 2007-2013 hiyohiyo

    * MB/s = 1,000,000
    byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]
    Sequential
    Read : 388.601 MB/s

    Sequential
    Write : 138.043 MB/s

    Random Read
    512KB : 351.731 MB/s

    Random Write
    512KB : 138.403 MB/s

    Random Read 4KB
    (QD=1) : 11.541 MB/s [ 2817.7 IOPS]

    Random Write 4KB
    (QD=1) : 21.831 MB/s [ 5329.8 IOPS]

    Random Read 4KB
    (QD=32) : 42.628 MB/s [ 10407.2 IOPS]

    Random Write 4KB
    (QD=32) : 43.627 MB/s [ 10651.1 IOPS]
    Test : 1000 MB [C:
    16.4% (18.3/111.8 GB)] (x5)

    Date : 2013/10/28
    21:03:23  OS : Windows 8
    Professional [6.2 Build 9200] (x86)

    sorry I didn’t do the before: Random read/write 512k or the 4k tests on Windows 7.

    Note: The before results I had Windows 7 installed, & after Windows 8.

    Overall I’m very pleased with the results & windows seems a lot more snappy.

    I’m now debating whether to install the Windows 8.1 update or wait bit, as I hear people have issues with the update. What you think I should do.  If I take the plunge I’ll keep you posted.

    Many thanks for your guide.

    Ian

     

     

     

     

     

    Reply

    ianpett

    • Oct 29, 2013 - 10:34 AM - hans Comment Link

      Awesome and thanks for the feedback! Seems your new SSD performs very well!

      I’m running 8.1 on mine now combined with Start-is-back (Start button) which works great … 

      Reply

      hans

  • Nov 8, 2013 - 8:12 PM - Doug Comment Link

    Hey all!

    Just followed the directions above (to step 5) and upgraded my older W500 32GB tablet with a new MySSD 240GB drive ($170 from Amazon). I used EaseUS Todo Backup Free to clone the drive (Sector by Sector copy) and then installed the new drive. It worked immediately (still as a 32GB drive and the little system partition), then I just expanded the unallocated space using windows disk management. It booted right into windows, logged right in, and after installing the new drivers, I have plenty of breathing room now! I didn’t even have to restore or fix the windows installation, or alter any BIOS settings. The hardest part was separating the covers, but I managed that without breaking any tabs (45 minutes or so), since I knew what to expect.

    Flawless. Victory.

    Thanks!

    Reply

    Doug

    • Nov 8, 2013 - 9:04 PM - hans Comment Link

      Thanks Doug for the feedback!

      Glad to hear everything worked out! 

      Reply

      hans

  • Nov 25, 2013 - 5:56 PM - Mick Szabo Comment Link

    Hi,

    I have an Acer Iconia w501 tab with Win7 and 32GB SSD, and wondering if your hint would work with this model?

    I am getting sick of not able to upgrade to Win8 because the luck of hard disk space.

    What other HD brand 128GB would would be suitabe?

     

    Your suggestions will be appreciated!

     

    Thanks: Mick

     

    Reply

    Mick Szabo

    • Nov 26, 2013 - 12:27 AM - hans Comment Link

      Hi Mick,

      As far as I understand de W500 is identical to the W501 – the only real difference: the W501 has a 3G module for wireless cell data, where as the W500 does not. The only way to be sure is to actually open the W501 – but considering comparable build, I would not be surprised if the W501 would use a mSATA SSD as well. Opening the W501 will work the same way as for the W500. 

      As you can see in the comments, others had succes with different models and brands as well.

      Hans 

      Reply

      hans

  • Jan 4, 2014 - 1:11 PM - Chris Comment Link

    I have they w500 with win 7 prof. I bought off amazon, Mine did not come with reinstall disk’s so how can I go about doing this I want to replace my hard drive. I need more room. Any help would be great. thanks in advance.

     

    Reply

    Chris

    • Jan 4, 2014 - 2:54 PM - hans Comment Link

      Not sure if a recovery disk set would be needed …

      A few users have used other tools to image their current SSD, see for example Doug’s post (above) on EasyUS Backup Free.
      The bottom line is to image the old SSD to your new SSD, but some SSD’s seem to function just fine with a clean Windows install (but I’m guessing you want to use the Windows license that came with your Acer).

      To get your recovery disks it looks like you have 3 options:

      1. Get a new recovery disk set from Acer (not sure what the procedure is, but a call to customer support sounds like a good start, might need your W500 Serial number).
      2. Download a torrent (found one here), but that would be at your own risk – you never know if the images have been altered or not.
      3. Borrow the discs from a friend (obviously not an option as you would have done so already).
      If the images would not have been that big, I’d emailed/uploaded it for you after I manage to find mine again  … (app. 8.5 Gb is a bit too big for that)

      Reply

      hans

  • Jan 17, 2014 - 4:53 AM - diida Comment Link

    j’ai perdu le cd recovery est ce que je peux avoir votre aide

    Reply

    diida

    • Jan 17, 2014 - 10:05 AM - hans Comment Link

      My French is rusty, but it sounds like you’ve lost your Recovery CD’s?

      See previous comment:

      To get your recovery disks it looks like you have 3 options:

      1. Get a new recovery disk set from Acer (not sure what the procedure is, but a call to customer support sounds like a good start, might need your W500 Serial number).
      2. Download a torrent (found one here), but that would be at your own risk – you never know if the images have been altered or not.
      3. Borrow the discs from a friend (obviously not an option as you would have done so already).

      If the images would not have been that big, I’d emailed/uploaded it for you (app. 8.5 Gb is a bit too big for that).

      Reply

      hans

      • Jan 17, 2014 - 12:35 PM - diida Comment Link

        Mon acer s’allume automatiquement quand il me demande le cd de restauration parce-qu’il a un problème

        Reply

        diida

      • Jan 17, 2014 - 5:12 PM - hans Comment Link

        I’m sorry – I really don’t speak French and Google translates it goofy …

        Is “My acer turns on automatically when it asks me the cd restore because there was a problem” this what you’re trying to say?

        When does this happen? Does it switch on at random? Or do you mean it reboots?

        Reply

        hans

  • Jan 17, 2014 - 9:57 PM - diida Comment Link

    j’ai besoin d’un lien pour telecharger le cd recovery parce que mn pc ne s’allume plus

    Reply

    diida

    • Jan 18, 2014 - 11:00 AM - hans Comment Link

      Diida … again just guessing what you’re asking. If you’re looking for a download link:
      Contact Acer or download the disks through the Torrent in my previous answer.

      I have no direct download link available …

      Reply

      hans

  • Jan 20, 2014 - 5:44 AM - George Duthie Comment Link

    Just to say a BIG thanks to the author of this article, my Acer Iconia Tablet W500 is now up and running with a crucial mSATA M500 120 GB drive.

    It wasn’t as hard as I expected, this is for all of you who live in the UK (as I do)

    The Pry tools can be got from Amazon or EBay, the mSATA to USB was a little more difficult to find, but found one on Amazon UK (My Digital SSD mSATA to USB3.0 Bullet Proof SSD Enclosure) 

    Here are the costs 

    The mSATA SSD 120 GB £65.00

     mSATA to USB3 £17.18

    Pry Tools £00.99

    Total for the lot £83.17

    The tablet is running a lot snappier, a BIG thanks to all

    Reply

    George Duthie

    • Jan 20, 2014 - 10:01 AM - hans Comment Link

      Awesome George! 

      Glad to hear this worked for you as well – and thank you very much for the additional information, others will benefit from it as well!

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply

      hans

  • Feb 25, 2014 - 6:33 AM - Dan Comment Link

    After reading your article the upgrade with smooth!

    I purchased a CT240M500SSD3 – 240GB, mSATA Solid State Drive , from http://www.Crucial.com Part Number: CT240M500SSD3

    To perform the clone I used Acronis True Image 2014 (Clone Disk Option)

    and two MyDigitalSSD Bullet Proof USB 3.0 mSATA SSD Enclosure Adapter – MDMS-BP-USB3 from Amazon.com

    I did break a couple of the tabs opening the case even though I was determined to be patient and not do so, but the case went back together well even so.

    I had already had Windows 8.1 Pro installed on the old drive with all the updates performed.  After power up the W500 powered right up with no issues!

    Thanks for this article,.. it was VERY helpful! 

    Reply

    Dan

    • Feb 25, 2014 - 11:20 AM - hans Comment Link

      Thanks Dan for the detailed info – most helpful to others! – and thank you for the very positive feedback, it’s much appreciated! 

      Reply

      hans

    • Apr 8, 2014 - 2:33 PM - StygianAgenda - Author: Comment Link

      Seeing as how you were able to perform the cloning op with Acronis (I use that at work), and after having read over the feedback from the others here, it occurs to me that there’s really not a problem with handling these installations as a normal imaging job using your choice of tools, provided those tools go the lengths needed to get the job done.

      I’ve been researching across the day, today, what route I would need to go to upgrade the SSD on my W500.  Having worked with this system across a multitude of operating systems, I feel pretty confident that it’ll simply be a matter of (1) installing the drive, (2) initializing the drive via Gparted, (3) either imaging or scratch-building the OS loadout, and (4) verify system sanity & performance.  With the initial article mentioning hidden partitions and such, I quickly realized that the author isn’t an IT industry veteran like myself.  While there’s nothing wrong with that… we each started somewhere and learn at our own pace, in my line of work “I don’t know why that happened” is never an acceptable answer, especially when Google is available for data-mining out the correct answer.  And I say this with no intent of offense… simply just to point out that further prerequisite knowledge or training will go a long way toward gaining insight into issues when they occur.

      I will likely do things this way:

      1.  Create a backup image of my existing drive before starting, using CloneZilla (pointed to an NFS target share on a NAS)
      2.  Remove the case according to the instructions above, and replace the drive;  Close it all back up properly.
      3.  using Gparted (live-USB), boot up and initialize the new drive. shut down.
      4.  using CloneZilla (live-USB), boot up, and restore system image taken from original drive.  Reboot.
      5.  Provided system boots without error, shut system back down and reboot up on Gparted.
      6.  Re-size system partition to desired scale.  Create second primary partition to use remaining space (use 1-to-3 or 50/50 ratio for sizing partitions;  Modern OS’s can have up to 4 primary partitions on 1 physical drive, so make the 2nd partition a primary, not an extended which would have to contain a logical;  set boot flag on 1st primary partition, if not already set, and ensure that 2nd partition *does not have* the boot flag enabled.   Reboot.

      7.  Verify all is working as expected.  If so, begin migrating user tree structure into 2nd partition to split system files from personal data, and complete loadout of system as desired.

      As you can see, I prefer to use Open Source licensed tools, but to each their own there… so long as it gets the job done, what difference does the vendor’s name (or lack thereof) make?  (none at all)

      All in all, it seems to me that the only reason these drives won’t come online right away is either (a) because the BIOS needs updating, (b) the drive needs to be initialized to have a meta structure created to house the headers of the file system and master boot record (aka, MBR), or (c) due to foregoing performing a backup image, instead opting for a scratch-build.  I suppose that’s one of those ‘your own mileage may vary’ kind of things.  Still, I can’t wait to upgrade mine!  :)

      Reply

      StygianAgenda

      • Apr 8, 2014 - 2:57 PM - hans Comment Link

        Hi StygianAgenda  …

        I most certainly prefer open source tools as well, but at the time I did this upgrade on my SSD, none of the available tools seemed to be able to pull it off. Now granted; this could indeed be because of the lack of initial meta structure on the SSD (I believe MySSD addressed this) or outdated BIOS.

        At the time I did do the most recent BIOS update, but that didn’t address the issue unfortunately, maybe a newer BIOS will.

        Please let us know if your plan of attack works, as it sounds like the right approach to me, I’m sure others will benefit from your findings! 

        Reply

        hans

  • May 7, 2014 - 2:23 PM - Jermaine Comment Link

    Hello all, I have a Acer Iconia W500 and my Hard drive has Crashed. I bought a Crucial 120gb msata drive to replace my bad drive. How can I get my drive to show up since Iam not able to clone my old Hard Drive with the new one. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated thanks. 

    Jermaine

    jermaine_archie@yahoo.com

    Reply

    Jermaine

    • May 7, 2014 - 2:29 PM - hans Comment Link

      Hi Jermaine,

      Oh man that s*cks  … well, it seems some users got lucky and their drive did get recognized right away. This could be BIOS related or SSD firmware related. I carefully assume that in the past year, firmware of SSD’s has become better, so this might work for you. If not: consider (if possible) updating the BIOS of your W500 to the latest version.

      Once recognized, use the recovery disks or install Windows from scratch.

      Maybe others have additional tips …?

      Reply

      hans

      • May 7, 2014 - 2:47 PM - Jermaine Comment Link

        Hello Hans,

        I just bought the msata drive today and will install when I get home. Hopefully I get lucky and it recognize it right away. I just wanted to plan a head and see what advise someone else with the same experience had before attempting replacement. Thanks for replying back and I will try and update BIOS if it does not work right away. I will update my success when done (thinking positive!). Thanks again

        Jermaine

        Reply

        Jermaine

      • May 7, 2014 - 2:49 PM - hans Comment Link

        I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you  …

        Oh and before I forget: some SSD manufacturers offer firmware updates for their SSD drives. The only downside is that you’d need your computer to recognize the SSD before you update. Nice chicken-and-the-egg problem … unless you have another computer with msata.

        Reply

        hans

        • May 8, 2014 - 7:28 AM - Jermaine Comment Link

          Good morning Hans, I guess I was one of the lucky ones. I put msata drive in and went into my BIOS and it recognized drive right away. I didn’t have to do anything but install the restore disc from Acer. I ran all updates and Windows 7 is working better than ever. For those who need a msata drive and live near a micro center. They have a  Crucial 120gb msata drive for $82 on sale right now. Thanks again HANS and have a great day!

          Reply

          Jermaine

          • May 8, 2014 - 8:37 AM - hans Comment Link

            Awesome, thanks you! 

            Glad to hear it all worked out without problems … 

            hans

  • Jul 26, 2014 - 10:48 AM - Jerry Comment Link

    Can you tell me how to install a second hard drive in the acer iconia w500 BZ467? Or if it is even possible to get it to recognize a second drive? The machine is my wife’s, It’s running out of space & I don’t want to go thru cloning etc and was just wondering – probably the easiest way for me is to just physically install a second drive. I’m thinking of trying this :Crucial M500 mSATA 240GB SATA3 Internal Solid State Drive (MLC) CT240M500SSD3

    Reply

    Jerry

    • Jul 26, 2014 - 12:29 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Off hand I would say that you cannot install a second drive (internally). I do see some solder points next to the SSD slot, highly suggesting that the PCB design was made with 2 SSD slots in mind. However, adding a connector there is not easy and that’s all under the assumption that these pins are actually connected … So my guess would be: Not possible.

      You could consider a USB drive or maybe one of those USB drives with WiFi built in … like this Buffalo mini station, or this Seagate Wireless Plus. They’re available in several sizes (I’ve seen 500Gb, 1Tb and 2Tb), and some even double as an emergency charger for your phone (build in battery can be used to charge your phone).

      Reply

      hans

    • Jul 26, 2014 - 6:11 PM - Dan Comment Link

      When I upgraded mine I saw the solder points that another response mentioned, but the problem I see, even if these were intended for a second drive, and even if the bios would recognize and allow the use of the second drive, there’s simply no room to add the second drive and close the case.  
      If you don’t want to go to the bother of cloning and simply adding a larger drive (which I didn’t find difficult) then as mentioned your only option is some sort of external storage.

      Reply

      Dan

  • Jul 26, 2014 - 6:26 PM - Dan Comment Link

    Update:
    I’m happy to report that my upgraded W500 has continued to run flawlessly.  It’s run almost nonstop since the upgrade was performed in February.  
    I’m a weather chaser (hobby) and this runs my software for that, and I’ve even installed a full version of MS Office on it so I can manage my documents.  There’s WAY more room with the 240GB drive than I’ll ever use.
    My suggestion is that if you don’t plan to store a lot of pictures or video on this, you may consider saving some money and going with the smaller drive.  Then again, I remember the days when I figured I’d NEVER fill a 250MB hard drive after upgrading from my 40MB lol.

    Reply

    Dan

    • Jul 26, 2014 - 8:57 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Good to hear that Dan – Weather Chaser, that sounds interesting. I could get into that (photography).

      I have to admit that I’m not very active in using my W500 anymore. 

      I had the same experience after buying my first 20Mb hard-drive for my Amiga (@ $1300). Haha, boy was I wrong …
      Didn’t even Bill Gates say something like: Nobody would ever need more than 640Kb RAM? Haha … oh where did time go? 

      Reply

      hans

      • Jul 26, 2014 - 9:40 PM - Dan Comment Link

        Amiga 2000 was my first computer and what I was referencing as well.  Great machines.  Hated to give mine up.  Those days we couldn’t even imagine a tablet that could outperform exponentially what we had then in our big ugly boxes.  

        I love photography, unfortunately I’ve not done much in the last years.

        My W500 is just a perfect size to use in my truck to keep up with the radars and such.  Otherwise I’ve moved on as well.  But the fact that others are still looking at the upgrade means they are still churning away.  

        I got my feet wet on the old Apple IIe’s.  I remember upgrading our ram from 12k to 24k I think, and feeling like we were in heaven, along with moving from cassette tape storage to disk drives, and color monitors rather than green screens.  Yeah, we’ve come a long way baby,.. how far can I get in this lifetime?  Can’t wait to find out!

        Reply

        Dan

      • Jul 27, 2014 - 7:35 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Haha ….

        Yeah I remember my first computer, a kit, the Ohio Scientific C1P, 2 K memory. Followed by a ZX81 with 1Kb memory. Even with 1Kb you could runa game, amazing. Later I had a Commodore 64 (that computer made the biggest impression), and the Commodore Amiga series (500, 2000, 1200 and finally the 4000/030) until Commodore went belly up. I never really adjusted to the Windows PC’s, had a Mac LC for a while netx to my Windows machines, and eventually switched all the way to Mac when Apple started using Intel CPU’s so I coul run Windows (work) and Mac (fun).  

        I noticed that newer tablets do not perform much better than the W500 at a much higher price. Strange.
        So I can totally imagine people sticking to the W500, I actually might put mine up for sale. It’s upgraded to 128 GbSSD and runs Windows 8.1 now.
        Still do like that little computer though, but it’s mostly laying in a corner, just like all my other Windows computers. 

        Reply

        hans

  • Oct 3, 2014 - 5:42 AM - Nicholas Comment Link

    I finally got the money together and bought a MyDigitalSSD 240GB 50mm BP4 Eco mSATA SSD SATA 6G – MDMS-BP4e-256 on Amazon for $109 it should be here on Monday (loving Amazon Prime, so excited!). I’ve done research before to accurately explain how to replace my current SSD, and they just don’t do it for me. Upon purchasing the drive tonight, I again began searching high and low for a descriptive way to replace my SSD, and I came across this website. I just want to personally thank the author for the amount of detail put into describing how to take the tablet apart. I would probably have an epic fail moment if I try to do this myself, and will literally die if I break one of the pins inside. Thank you.

    It is the most annoying thing when I go to save a simple notepad file, and I get a message that says that there is not enough space to save the file, and we’re talking a file of a >1Kb here. Then I find that when I go to my C drive, I literally have 0Kb of space left! How is that even possible? Once I close down everything though, my HDD space goes from 0Kb to ~200MB! Astonishing. It’s worse than trying to balance a checkbook, and that’s easier to do in comparison! I am currently running Windows 8.1, and I think I would like it a lot more if I had more than ~200 MB of space on my C drive at any given time, hence the necessity for more storage. I just have a couple of questions, however, after reading the comments (very helpful btw), I came across a couple of people who have been able to use the utilities that came with their version of windows to clone the current SSD. What I’m wondering is can I just use a USB stick to copy the files necessary to clone my current SSD, or do I need to use an adapter? My other question is, if by some chance I need to update my BIOS, how do go about doing that? What version number should I look for? I’m sorry to put so much on you at once, but I’m a very pro’s vs. con’s kind of guy and I want to make sure that ALL of my bases are covered before I do anything. I love my Acer, it was the best purchase I’ve ever made. I plan on using it until I can’t anymore, and while it isn’t a hard tablet to find, I don’t have the money to replace it should I mess something up. So while it still has some life left, I’d like to actually use my tablet, and give it a little more breathing room. Thanks in advance.

    Reply

    Nicholas

    • Oct 3, 2014 - 6:25 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Nicholas!

      Great to see you here and thank you for the very nice compliment – it makes it worth writing more articles.

      Disk space is indeed a headache under Windows. 

      Cloning the disk worked best by cloning it straight to the replacement SSD. In my setup I experienced that the new SSD was not even recognized after replacement (others seem to be more lucky though). So I couldn’t even start a windows setup or restore after inserting the new SSD.

      If you computer does recognize the new SSD right away, then copying needed files to an USB stick should work. Well, not Windows itself or installed applications of course. It’s worth a try …

      Reply

      hans

    • Oct 3, 2014 - 6:28 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      For the BIOS update: verify in your current BIOS what version you have and go to the Acer website to see what the most recent version is. Probably best to do this before swapping SSD.

      Then again, re-inserting the original SSD shouldn’t be too difficult either, in case your SSD is not properly recognized. I have the impression that proper SSD recognition is more a SSD firmware related issue than a BIOS issue.

      Reply

      hans

      • Oct 3, 2014 - 1:35 PM - Nicholas Comment Link

        I believe you’re right in that it is more of a firmware issue than a BIOS issue, but I will look into updating the BIOS shortly. So after I clone my current SSD, what does that do? Will it enable me to login to my new SSD just as I had before? Or will I have to reinstall Windows?

        Reply

        Nicholas

      • Oct 4, 2014 - 2:57 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Updating the BIOS should never be a bad thing.

        The reason why I cloned my disk was because in it’s empty state, the BIOS did not recognize it properly.
        I assume that the bootblock of the disk is critical for the BIOS to recognize it properly.

        If it recognizes the new SSD right away, then I’d do a Acer recovery (with de disks that came with your Acer) or even better: a clean Windows install.

        With my cloned disk, I was able to login right away … but then again: this is Microsoft, so you might run into activation issues, although I highly doubt it, since everything else remains the same.

        Reply

        hans

        • Oct 6, 2014 - 10:46 PM - Nicholas Comment Link

          I received my new 256GB MSATA SSD in the mail yesterday (apparently USPS delivers on SUnday?), and installed it after I got home from work. Let me tell you, I was so stressed to the max about doing this. The last time I had to perform surgery on any of my devices was when I had to replace the SIM card slot on my cell phone, and although it still works to this day, my unsteady hands almost ruined it. Once I calmed down, I read your guide, and got the back of the tablet off with ease, pulled back the tape, took the old SSD out, replaced it with the new one, and finally replaced the tape. I kept the back cover off just in case anything went south.

          At first boot I saw the Acer logo, then I saw all of these very small, incomprehensible, very dim letters on the screen, but I remembered one of the comments from above said if that happens, just restart the tablet, and it should work fine. They were right. My tablet recognized the hard drive immediately! I was getting weird stares from my wife and son when I was cheering like we had just won the superbowl again lol (Sorry non Seahawks fans – 12th Man Loud and Proud).

          I could not find any kind of software to clone my original SSD to a flash drive, so I plan on purchasing an adapter to do that soon. I couldn’t find any of my Windows 8 media either, so I used the Acer recovery disks to install Windows 7. I never realized how much I liked Windows 8 until I’m not using it, I still look for my charms bar from time to time lol.

          Upon doing some research, however, I found that there are many options for this MSATA to USB adapter. What adapter did you use? Where did you buy it from?

          I cannot thank you enough for writing this article, it has really helped me to give my tablet more usability, and some much needed breathing room.

          Reply

          Nicholas

          • Oct 7, 2014 - 2:52 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Hi Nicholas!

            It actually made me smile when you I read the cheering part! Awesome!
            Things like that makes is sooooooo worth writing articles for. Thanks for sharing that! 

            As for the adapater: I bought mine at Amazon (here is a list of options). You will have to pay attention that you get the right one (quick glance: you can find one for $2.50).
            Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the link to the one I have (that would have been helpful). In the comments you’ll find an mSATA to USB adapter others have used.

            hans

  • Oct 7, 2014 - 12:34 PM - brooksie1 Comment Link

    I bought a Toshiba 128GB SSD for my Acer W500, and a USB 3.0 external case for the SSD. The next step — clone the internal 32GB SSD to the new one — is the problem because the W500 cannot see the external SSD. It shows up on my Dell and Gateway PCs running WIN8.1, but not on the W500. My son’s older Dell running WIN 7 can’t see the external drive either. I need to replace the battery on my W500, so I’m waiting to open the case until I get the SSD swap ready. 

    Any ideas on how I can get the SSD recognized by my W500?

    Thanks,

    Jim

    Reply

    brooksie1

    • Oct 8, 2014 - 2:36 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      You could place the original SSD in the external case, make a clone file on one of the other computers, place the new SSD in the external case and write the image back to the new drive.

      If you haven’t done so already:

      – Make sure you have the latest BIOS
      – Make sure your new SSD has the latest firmware

      The reason why I had to clone is exactly that problem: The W500 seems to have issues recognizing certain SSD drive. Cloning solved that problem for the SSD I chose.

      Reply

      hans

  • Dec 8, 2014 - 9:32 AM - Tarl Comment Link

      Wow, I had begun to think that I was the only person on Earth still using a W500…then I found this post.  I love my tablet and will likely use it until it fassl apart. I had upgraded some time ago with a Crucial 120GB SSD and Windows 8.1 and I haven’t looked back.
      I find that this version of Windows is much easier to use because of the APP based programs that are available, and it typically runs a bit faster than Windows 7 did. I didn’t really use any of the ACER Bloatware (ACER Ring, etc…) so the only thing I did was download the drivers from the support web site and go to town.  The only problems that I have are that the screen auto-rotation and built in microphone no longer work. No big problems, so I just roll with it.

      Long live the W500!

    Reply

    Tarl

    • Dec 8, 2014 - 11:50 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Thanks Tarl! 

      Still using mine as well – just as others who have posted here!
      (kind-a sad to notice that Windows tablets with similar performance only have become more expensive haha)

      Reply

      hans

      • Dec 10, 2014 - 6:00 AM - Tarl Comment Link

        Right?  I thought about upgrading to the W700, but it’s not worth the cost.  I did buy an ASUS Transformer for my girlfriend when I caught it on sale, but this one is still better than hers. 

        Reply

        Tarl

      • Dec 10, 2014 - 6:41 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Haha, fun to see that I’m not the only one thinking this … I’ve looked at Asus as well, the W700, and others (Surface etc), but in the end, the W500 is either better or the difference is minimal at a huge cost. 

        Reply

        hans

  • Feb 9, 2015 - 7:59 AM - Stephan Comment Link

    Hi,

    thanks to all involved in helping!

    Today I managed to exchange my 32 GB SSD and to install an Samsung Msata SSD 256Gb. I broke to openings, but the tablet closes nevertheless.

    Before installing the new SSD I created a partition with Geparted live and then cloned the original SSD with Clonezilla live (thanks to StygianAgenda!) to the new drive.

    Win 7 had no problems with the new SSD, but of course it still had the size of the original SSD, so I used windows device control to enlarge the partition.

    Now I can work with the W500 as if it were a real desktop pc.

    Thanks again.

    Reply

    Stephan

    • Feb 9, 2015 - 8:01 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Thanks Stephan for letting us know your story!
      It’s much appreciated and I’m happy it worked out for you as well! 

      Reply

      hans

  • May 8, 2015 - 2:06 PM - Greg Comment Link

    Thank you very much for this guide. Thanks to it, I was able to upgrade my Acer Iconia yesterday so that it now has a usable amount of storage space.

    I did my upgrade slightly differently than what your guide and others here seem to have done. I bought two mSATA SSD enclosures for about $10 each. The new SSD I bought was a 128GB MyDigital SSD BP4e (about $60). I downloaded and installed EaseUS Todo Backup Free 8.2 on my desktop computer. I installed the new SSD in one enclosure, and opened the Acer, removed the SSD and installed it in the other. I then hooked up both to my desktop. Before EaseUS would recognize the new SSD, I had to go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management, select the new SSD and then choose the option to install an MBR. After that, the clone operation was simple and straight forward. It took about 35 minutes. When it was done, I went back into Disk Management and expanded the partition on the new SSD. Finally, I installed the new SSD in my Acer and everything is running fine.

    Reply

    Greg

    • May 9, 2015 - 2:18 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Thanks Greg!

      Great to hear that the upgrade worked for you and definitely thank you for posting your steps – others will benefit from it.
      Seems the days of “incompatible SSD firmware” are numbered … very good to hear that! 

      Reply

      hans

  • May 12, 2015 - 11:03 AM - Midget Comment Link

    Thank you for this great information on upgrading. My husband and I just finished putting in the msata sad 120 and upgraded to windows 10 works like a champ :-).took me awhile to find the sad card. Thank you. Oh is there any way to increase memory? Just asking.

    Respectfully

    Midget :-)

    Reply

    Midget

    • May 13, 2015 - 9:13 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hello Midget!

      Thank you very much for taking the time to leave such a nice feedback! It is very much appreciated and makes it worth writing articles like this. 

      As far as I recall, memory cannot be upgraded 

      Kind regards,

      Hans

      Reply

      hans

    • May 19, 2015 - 8:42 AM - Tarl Comment Link

      The RAM is soldered in and could only be changed by someone with extensive experience.  I did contact ACER when I bought my TAB and they said they would upgrade it for me, but I would have to pay the shipping and the cost was huge.

      Reply

      Tarl

  • May 19, 2015 - 8:41 AM - Tarl Comment Link

    Can you upgrade the processor in the W500?  I know that the RAM is soldered in and cannot be easily upgraded, but is the processor in a socket?

    Reply

    Tarl

    • May 19, 2015 - 5:10 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      AFAIK the RAM and CPU are soldered on the mainboard. With proper equipment you might be able to do that, but

      a) it remains tricky (because of the way SMD components are soldered)
      b) it remains to be seen if a suitable CPU will indeed increase performance

      Reply

      hans

  • Jun 16, 2015 - 4:24 AM - pratical Comment Link

    A Crucial CT500MX200SSD3 500B works well. Just use Acronis True Image to clone the 32GB to the 500GB.

    Reply

    pratical

  • Jun 24, 2015 - 1:58 AM - Tarl Comment Link

    Does Windows 10 work well on the W500?  I bought Windows 8.1 not long ago and it keeps popping up now and saying that 10 is available.  Is it worth the upgrade?

    Reply

    Tarl

    • Jun 24, 2015 - 5:22 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Tarl!

      I would guess that Windows 10 works just fine on the W500. I’ve been running Windows 8.1 for a while now without any issues.

      For now I can only compare the performance based on a virtual machine – Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 (beta) run equally smooth.
      So I would not expect any issues.

      AFAIK, the upgrade to Windows 10 is supposed to be free too …

      Reply

      hans

      • Oct 24, 2015 - 10:06 AM - Tarl Comment Link

        So, I bit the bullet and did the Windows 10 upgrade. I have to say, I’m loving the new OS, but I get a fairly regular Blue Screen of Death.  I get an error that says my computer is gathering information and will then restart and that if I want more information I can search DPC_Watchdog_Violation on the internet.  I haven’t determined the cause of the error, but research leads me to believe that a clean install vice upgrading is the only consistent solution.  I haven’t tried that yet, but I will comment again if I do.  Other than that, though Windows 10 is great.

        Reply

        Tarl

      • Oct 24, 2015 - 1:54 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Hi Tarl!

        I have yet to upgrade mine, thanks for the heads up and the reminder 

        If you find a solution for that issue, then please post it! 

        Reply

        hans

        • Mar 4, 2016 - 6:34 AM - Tarl Comment Link

          Sorry for the late reply.  I did fix the watch error.  Microsoft said that it is caused by a faulty driver and said that you can submit the crash logs and they can identify which one, but I did a system reset and selected to do a clean install instead.  Now it works great, except that the screen rotation still doesn’t work.

          Reply

          Tarl

  • Jul 1, 2015 - 2:15 PM - Geo Comment Link

    Just one question….what size have to be de ssd to work on the tablet?2.5” or 1.8”??Thanks

    Reply

    Geo

  • Jul 5, 2015 - 6:38 PM - paetzke Comment Link

    Hans, YIPPEE, YOU’RE MY HERO! Over a year and half ago I found your article on upgrading the SSD in an Acer TAB W500. I had received one for a Christmas present (at my own request) and after I got it thought I’d made a major mistake. The 32 GB storage was just far too small. I started searching for some way to upgrade it and found your great article and all the comments. “Omigosh,” I thought, “This is way beyond me.” But an inadequate computer wasn’t much good to me either. I bought a 256 GB My Digital BP4 mSATA 6G SSD and companion MyDigital USB 3.0 enclosure. I read of every word of your article over and over and also every post to the article. All the different approaches left me with my hair standing on in with trepidation. Yet I even bought some pry tools, so after about a month of fearful fretting I took a deep breath and took the W500 case apart. Amazingly I didn’t break a single one of the little hooks and latches. I could now see where the 32 GB SSD was and what it would take to replace it. But it still took me about a year to whip up enough nerve to actually follow through with a lot of steps I had absolutely no experience with (or confidence that I could actually do.) This time I followed your article only, plus looked up some guidance on disk management and partitioning in David Pogue’s massive WINDOWS 8. THE MISSING MANUAL. With my new larger SDD installed in its USB enclosure I used a free version of Macrium Reflect to clone a copy of the W500s 32 GB SSD to my new SSD. Plugging the new 256 SSD in its enclosure into my computer I discovered that,  while it showed up in Disk Manager, it wasn’t detected in file manager as a drive. When I bought the SSD from MyDigital it came with a thank you letter that had a support phone number. I called it immediately and great, helpful guy named Doug told me that it needed to be initialized and walked me through how to do it as I followed him on the phone. But while it now read as a drive it also had a 192 GB “unallocated” partition, which he showed me how to activate. Last night I once again read your instructions, and again this morning. I once again managed to open the W500 case without breaking anything, removed and replaced the 32 GB SSD with the new larger one. I temporarily taped the case mostly closed, blocking the tiny on/off switch in the corner with tape so I didn’t have to snap the case together to fire it up. I got a message that no drive could be found, but went back to your instructions and installed the two Recovery DVDs that came with the W500. Once Windows was reinstalled, along with a bunch of Acer bloatware that I will never use, I restarted the computer and, Glory Hallelujah, I now have a wonderful whole new little machine that I will be able to load up with the my favorite programs. I am immensely happy and proud of myself. I also am enormously grateful to you for guidance and being there when I needed you. When I first started thinking about replacing this SSD I went to the Microsoft Store where my wife bought the W500 for  in the first place. It came with a promise of some short term technical  support that I hoped could help me. When I told them what I wanted, they told me it couldn’t be done, which was the primary reason I was so apprehensive about trying to do it myself. I owe you many thanks. You’ve made the “impossible” possible.

    Dick 

    Reply

    paetzke

    • Jul 6, 2015 - 1:53 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Paetzke!

      Awesome! I’m glad it worked for you as well – thanks for posting your nice comment!
      I totally agree with getting nervous when planning on breaking open a device like this haha … I was nervous too!

      Thank you too for describing what you went through – it might be useful to others! 

      Reply

      hans

  • Jul 12, 2015 - 11:31 PM - bernzy Comment Link

    Worked perfectly Thanks for the info…I tried 4 lots disc clone software but they all stopped at 30% copy advising me of an error and to close the program..I stumbled across Acronis imaging software and they gave me the option to ignore all errors so tried that and it worked fine

    Reply

    bernzy

  • Aug 19, 2015 - 10:14 AM - Travis Comment Link

    Did this over the weekend with a

    MyDigitalSSD 256GB (240GB) 50mm Bullet Proof 4 BP4 50mm mSATA Solid State Drive SSD SATA III 6G – MDMS-BP4-240

    and enclosure. I used “EaseUS Disk Copy Home” to copy of the hard drive. after that all i had to do was switch out the old hard drive for the new one and expand the partition to the full size and it just worked. I did not even have to use the repair disks.

    Then I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, which feels stable enough, every now and then it can be a little sluggish to respond to the first touch input in a while (like the first touch in an hour). Over all the only real issue i am having is with the auto rotate feature, i can not get it to work, I know it has something to do with the g-sensor but there are no drivers for it for 10. Beyond that one or two of the Acer programs seem to crash on starting (i want to say one may be the devise controller).  Any suggestions about the g-sensor or some of the programs that may be crashing would be appreciated. For now I think Windows 10 is worth keeping if for nothing more that a testing system for my code.

    Other than that every thing worked like a dream.

    Reply

    Travis

    • Aug 19, 2015 - 10:55 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Travis,

      thanks for posting your findings! It’s always great to hear about more SSD’s that work well.

      As for your Windows 10 findings; I’d assume this is a driver issue – like you already guessed – maybe Acer will make a Windows 10 version available?
      Not sure if the apps are really needed though (I haven’t used my W500 in a year now, due to a lot of traveling and moving).

      For now I would not know where else to find the proper drivers. If it’s a USB device though vendor and ID of the USB device might enlighten us and point to the same hardware use elsewhere (and hopefully with a driver that is Win10 compatible).

      Reply

      hans

      • Aug 19, 2015 - 12:39 PM - Travis Comment Link

        I am not talking about an external USB device, I am taking about the “Bosch Sensortec BMA-150 G Force Sensor”. I think you are right though i think it may be something i have wait for from acer.

        Overall i am not that worried, i usually kept the screen rotation locked any way because it would usually take a few seconds for the tablet to become usable after the screen rotated.

        Reply

        Travis

      • Aug 20, 2015 - 3:12 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Most of these devices are internally connected through the USB ports. I know my Mac does, and I have another Acer laptop which does the same. Neither here nor there … haha, Acer should provide a driver.

        I did see this Acer Forum post, suggesting a BIOS update … or even reverting back to an older Video driver. I can see that the results appear mixed. But might be worth a try.

        My first attempt would be trying the latest (old) Acer drivers. Default it came with Windows 7 drivers, and after that Windows 8 drivers have been made available, not sure of you tried those yet. Here is the link to Acer’s Driver Download Page.

        From what I have read: You’d need a suitable Sensor driver with fitting AMD video driver. But … I have not tested Windows 10 yet. Still waiting for the download … 

        Reply

        hans

  • Oct 29, 2015 - 5:42 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

    For those interested:

    I have just upgraded my Windows 8 to Windows 10 (I downloaded the Windows 10 ISO and created a USB media).
    Installation went smooth, and Windows 10 is running just fine.

    I had to manually update the Bluetooth driver for some reason, but it’s working fine now (I used the Update Driver option in the device manager).

    Rotating the screen is not working at the moment, which would probably due to a missing driver (seen as “Unknown device” in the device manager).

    Reply

    hans

  • Mar 3, 2016 - 9:38 AM - Malcolm Comment Link

    Just in case anyone still reads this:

    I stumbled on this forum as a response to “what the heck can we do with a much loved Acer Iconia – complete with Keyboard and cases, would be a shame to get rid of them.” I read and re read all the posts – there is so much really good really clear information here and almost 3 years on it is relevant.

    Once I got over my fixation with SSD drives

    Since I am UK based I used a mSSD

    ·         Crucial CT250MX200SSD3 MX200 mSATA Internal Solid State Drive – 250 GB – £77 GBP

    Enclosure was

    ·         Sabrent USB 3.0 mSATA II or III/6G SSD Enclosure Adapter – £15.00 Amazon

    Pry Tools

    ·         Storm & Lighthouse® 5pc Safe Pry Opening Repair Tools Screen Open Tools  – £5.49 GBP

    I had problems with the mSSD drive – it wasn’t recognised then after initialising and formatting and cloning it was read only – the cloning using Acronis was a breeze, but maybe I missed something in the process. (I also looked at  Macrium, but wanted to use the tool provided) The stubbornly remained read only

    I used DISKPART to rectify that

    Separating the Iconia case was slow and careful work – but following the guide worked like a dream. Interestingly I ordered pry tools -which must be coming a long way, since  delivery changed from early march to end of march, the second set I ordered on next day delivery arrived and did a good job – but they are all very much disposable.
    Inside the casing, the silver backing paper on the mSSD  foiled me for a while(sorry no pun intended) but in a few moments I had  replaced the mSSD, fastened with a screw and taped the back on – I didn’t want to have to repeat the process.
    THE ACER booted straight into windows, I wondered if I had made a mistake and put the original disk back in, except it took half as long to boot! And it was showing 232 GB.
    I could not believe it was so simple,  I started looking for problems.So decided to take the plunge and do the WIN 10 Upgrade.
    As I write the upgrade is at 83 % for the last 25 minutes, I am begining to worry . I guess time will tell. (If you tackle this then definately leave plenty of time -it’s slow. But then we have a slow broadband connection)

    I think  I will use this experience to do some other SSD upgrades to old desktops and laptops around the place and look in on this forum, in case anyone decides to do an Iconia Upgrade even later than me.

    Overall INCREDIBLE, what a success and none of it would be possible without all the great information and especially the step by step process from HANS. Thanks to all – especially Hans.
    The project cost almost £100 GBP but has given new life to a great piece of kit and its accessories and at so much lower cost than any of the must have WIN 10 Tablets. I have also learnt (remembered) a lot, since an occasional visit to the CMD prompt is always good.

    And just in case WIN 10 fails -I can do it all again and leave win 7 on the new disk . All is not lost :-)

    Reply

    Malcolm

    • Mar 4, 2016 - 6:22 AM - Tarl Comment Link

      I still use and love my Iconia Tab.  I am traveling on business now, and I brought it with me.  

      When I did the Windows 10 install it took a long time to complete, and I thought it had frozen more than once.  After it completed, mine was pretty buggy and would crash every few hours with a Watchdog error.  I did a full refresh (which has the same effect as doing a clean install) and it works perfectly.  The screen rotation is the only thing that didn’t work afterwards.

      I even found an old Microsoft Office 2003 cd and installed it,too.  Yes, I plan on keeping my Iconia for a long, long time.

      Reply

      Tarl

    • Mar 5, 2016 - 4:19 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Malcolm,

      Thanks for posting your experiences! Awesome! 
      Mine is running Windows 10, not at a stellar speed, but it works good enough for most tasks … and yep, screen rotation is not working, something I still have to look into, but a feature that I rarely use anyway.

      Can I ask you what browser/OS you have used to post here? I’ve noticed a lot of CSS classes being added, and was wondering if this is created by a specific browser. Or did you maybe type the text in another program first. Just trying to see if I can improve this editor 

      Reply

      hans

      • Mar 5, 2016 - 4:30 AM - Malcolm Comment Link

        Hello Hans

        I am jealous of  your Windows 10 installation – so far I am on third attempt after two messages at 83 %  “0xC1900101 – 0x4000d The installation failed in the second boot phase with an error during the migrate data operation.”

        I will follow “more of ” the online advice and suppose if it comes to it an instal without data may work. Its certainly taking a lot of time though.

        To answer your question – I used word (office 365) to write the posting – My browser is firefox 44.0.2 . I use word like this and for trip advisor and other sites, so that way I can check spelling and format -or so I thought. I was quite embarrassed when I saw the posting  – a lot of carriage returns and wierd layout. On pasting it in the text was coloured ornage and quite large , I changed that , but the format I didnt see until after it was posted.

        I hope that helps.

        Thanks for asking and thanks again – awesome site , I will be a regular visitor.

        Have a good day!

        Reply

        Malcolm

        • Mar 5, 2016 - 4:38 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Hi Malcolm,

          I’m traveling at the moment, but when I get home, I’ll see what I can find on my Acer – not sure if I installed anything extra. It has been a while that I did the upgrade (from an USB stick).

          As for editing with Word – yeah that’s what I kind-a suspected. Word has a reputation of doing these kind of things.
          Two ways to fix that:
          – Some browsers offer a “Paste and Match Style” option to paste text, this strips all CSS/HTML,
          – Paste the text in Notepad, Copy it again, and then paste it in an online form, which will also strip CSS/HTML.

          I tried cleaning it up a bit, I’ll give it another try in a minute. No problem. 

          Reply

          hans

          • Mar 21, 2016 - 6:33 AM - Malcolm Comment Link

            Hello Hans

            A final update, I managed to upgrade to Windows 10  by taking the option to install ONLY windows 10. (no APPS and No data)The five plus attempts to install with  data and apps failed and probably took in terms of elapsed time in excess of 25 hours.

            Therefore wherever possible I would suggest anyone also upgrading their Iconia to take this route first rather than waste a lot of time with trial and error. There is no one right solution(suggestions tried range from remove the Virus checker to install all microsoft  upates)

            Now, in Summary this Acer Iconia tablet is really impressive, my partner says its better then her Surface pro  . and with the accessories we had, I think it is. The Keyboard is great and the connectivty is in advance of a lot of portable devices….

            It is clean , fast and  responsive and having installed office 365  has everything I need. I am so pleased we took the plunge and again it is all down to this web site and posts.

            Maybe the screen rotation doesnt work – I havent even tried. The device now  works as required thats all that matters.

            Thanks to all

            Malcolm

          • Mar 21, 2016 - 7:55 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Thanks Malcolm for the update! 

            I went the silly route by upgrading Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 (followed the path Windows 7 -> 8 -> 8.1 -> 10), which worked for me. Granted; I am considering wiping the Acer clean and do a clean install, once I get beyond doing my taxes hahah … 

            hans

  • Mar 14, 2016 - 11:48 AM - rawl747 Comment Link

    Acer Iconia W500 mSATA SSD upgrade success with new Macrium Reflect Free disk imaging software

    My wife’s beloved W500 was showing its age (and original design limitations) throwing up “insufficient RAM” and “failure to create swap file” errors every time she would try to use it for the most mundane tasks.  I suspect this was the result of years of Microsoft updates to its 32-bit Windows 7 Professional OS using up most of the available space on the original 32 GB SSD.

    Knowing from other posts that an upgrade to the actual RAM was not a viable option and determining that the original 32 GB SSD hard drive was essentially full, I decided to embark on the road to an mSATA SSD upgrade.

    I am posting here in order to provide an update regarding disk imaging software that eliminates the need for the original recovery disks and provides an  easy upgrade path for others.  I am in no way intending to replace the excellent tutorial by on this subject.

    But regarding disk cloning software, here are my 2 cents:

    It took several attempts with current disk cloning software before I found a successful path and the good news is that once I arrived there, the hardest thing became getting the case apart.

    My parts list was as follows (all from Amazon):

    Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB mSATA 2-Inch SSD (MZ-M5E250BW) – link

    Sabrent USB 3.0 mSATA II or III/6G SSD Enclosure Adapter [Support UASP] (EC-UKMS) – link

    Leegoal (TM) T5 T6 Philips Slotted Screwdriver Opening Tool Set for Cell Phone – link

    Belkin High-Speed USB 2.0 7-Port Mobile Hub – link

    Macrium Reflect Free Version: 6.1.1196 (drive cloning software) – link

    The last item, the Macrium Reflect Free was the key to painless cloning. 

    I had previously tried booting to a BartPE disk (with Drive Image XML) that I burned (as a boot-able image) to a USB stick using this software:

    Rufus v 2.7.855 – Link

    No fault of the Rufus software as far as I can tell but the W500 tablet did not like the BartPE disk yielding a blue screen even though I have used this BartPE disk with other machines for disk upgrade cloning.  I also tried a copy of the “RuntimeLiveCD” iso image burned to a flash drive.  This is essentially a boot-able Linux instance with drive cloning software included but in this case I ended up after boot with a screen of pretty colored noise and a big square for the mouse pointer.

    Since I purchased a qualifying Samsung SSD I was offered the Samsung SSD cloning (Data Migration) tool here:link

      
    Unfortunately it would only clone the system partition and I wanted to clone the entire disk including the 100 MB reserved recovery partition so I decided to try the Macrium Refect first.  It worked like a champ so I never looked back.

    After installation, the first thing the Reflect software wanted to do was to create its own recovery disk and I allowed it to re-using the aforementioned 16 GB flash drive for that purpose.  After the successful cloning of the original SSD disk to the new 250 GB Samsung EVO SSD disk, I did try booting to the Reflect Recovery Disk and it is a good thing to have for down the line.  It actually is based on a Windows PE instance.  It was created by the Reflect software based on the W500 Windows OS instance and is therefore 32 bit and includes a copy of Reflect if I ever need to go down this path again. 

    Once the Reflect software finished cloning the old disk to the new one, I carefully removed the cover, swapped out the drives and put the cover back on.  No additional steps to create a MSB on the new drive were required.  Bringing up the Windows instance on the new drive, the first thing I had to do was go into Windows disk management and extend the drive from 32 GB to the balance of the new 256 GB drive.  Reflect made an exact clone so the initial new drive partitions were 100 MB and 32 GB (less 100 MB) leaving much free space thus the need to extend the system partition.

    This appears to much simpler than the other methods mentioned that require the original recovery disks or an installation copy of the OS.  All that was needed was the Reflect software (which requires an internet connection to download).  BTW, I would suggest obtaining your free copy of Reflect directly from the software manufacturers site to avoid any bloatware that might be added by other sites.  It always pays to go to the source.

    Once the drive swap was completed, I was able to create a swap file for the first time in many months and my wife’s W500 is now better than ever.  The performance gains are very noticeable.  I don’t know what the old drive had for specs but this new Samsung EVO SSD is VERY FAST. 

    So, no RAM upgrade but the next best thing.

    For those who are interested in the hardware mentioned. I used the external powered USB hub to support a mouse, the SSD drive in the Sabrent mSATA enclosure and the USB 16 GB flash drive.  The cell phone toolkit was acceptable but I did break two case tabs.  I have to say that first tab is a real pain in the behind.

    I hope this helps the next person.  I must say thanks to the folks who posted before and Hans for the original tutorial because they made the concept approachable. 

    Cheers,
    Rawl

    Reply

    rawl747

    • Mar 14, 2016 - 3:23 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Thanks Rawl747 for this extensive report of how you did it! 
      Nicely done and much appreciated, thank you for taking the time and effort.
      Good find on the Sabrent enclosure too – I’ve added that to my wish-list right away – nice! 

      (I did cleanup the links a little to keep it more readable, since this is really good info)

      Reply

      hans

  • Aug 1, 2016 - 12:34 AM - AXEL Comment Link

    Hi, so long without a post here,  I hope somone can help me….please I need this upgrade.. well the case is:

    I recently bough the Sandisk X300 MSATA 256GB and afther  I changed it in my W500 it is recognised for the BIOS, I follow the steps and boot from the CDs of restauration, it starts good, load the files of windows and show the green windows of restore, but just a few seconds when it started to copy the fyles from the restore disk apears a window that says:  

    There is insufficient space on the disk for the temporary files required for this operation” and then the instalation stops, I press enter and then took me to another black screen that says: ” windows failed to start . A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:

    1.Insert your windows instalation disk and restart your computer 

    2.Choose lenguage settings

    3.Click “repair your computer .”

    status : 0xc0000034 – the error code

    Info: An unexpected error has ocurred. —-  -_-

    I did it like four times, I restart form the disk, I cheked the BIOS boot order and its correct

    I serch the error code,  0xc0000034 , and it seems to be present on the instalation of upgredes of service packs of W7 and W8,  

    The reason according some sites for this error: The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information.

    You’ll need to use the recovery tools on your installation media. If you don’t have any installation media (like a disc or USB device), contact your system administrator or PC manufacturer.

    Also for that I found searching for this error the problem generaly apears on winsows 7 Upgrades of service pack 1 but how can be that if this is a empty SDD without SO already…… 

    I think that maybe there is not partitions asigned on the new SSD Disk but not sure.

    So Im gonna try windows media instation or use a image of my disk from a clean instalation of W7 or maybe W10 but I guest that clonning the old disk to the new with an enclosure adapter have to work, it is right? but I want to save money, so if is possible to use other alternatives to fix it  please tell me…..and if the only alternative is clone the SDD what enclosure adapater is compatible with the Sandisk X300 MSATA 256GB….well, I hope this revive the activity here, guest many people still using the W500 well……. on  advence, thanks

    Reply

    AXEL

    • Aug 1, 2016 - 3:52 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Axel,

      it’s been quite a while that I played with my W500 … but by the sound of it, it might be that your SSD is not recognized properly.
      As an alternative yo could try making a large partition on the SSD first with for example the free GPartEd Live CD (or USB stick).
      You can create this CD or USB stick, and boot from it. Then create one large partition (for example NTFS or FAT).

      After having done that, try the installation of Windows again – you would then also see if the size of the disk is what it is supposed to be. 

      Reply

      hans

      • Aug 2, 2016 - 11:32 PM - AXEL Comment Link

        Hi, thanks for the answer…

        I tried with GpartED I booted from a USB and then I found the SSD aopening the info windows it show me the disk space or capacity of 238GB (NTFS) disk with 226GB  of free space and 6.6 GB used, and the program show me other 2 partitions NTFS too….one of them says RECOVERY on the laber and have 11.73 of size with 8.86 used and the other have 39.19 MB it says ACER on the label…..well to be more clear i resume the window on the program:

        Partition        File system           LABEL                       Size                      Used          Unused              Flags

        —————————————————————————————————————————————————

        /dev/sda1          ntfs                     ACER                    39.1MB

        /dev/sda2          ntfs                     RECOVERY           11.73 GB                8.86 GB         2.87 GB        boot, diag

        /dev/sda3          ntfs                                                  226.70 GB             6.66 GB          220.04 GB                       

        Unalocated         Unalocated                                      1.34 MB                  ……….               ……

        Then I deleted the 226 disk and create the partition again with 226 and it is created.. .but when put it apply buttom it show me: an error ocurred while applying the operations  and then the disk appers like a unknown on the list of the window(and before have a green square on the side like the other partitions…now is black) 

        I try install windows with the recovery disk but it stops ……then I created a extended partition with GpartED and it was created rigth,  dont show me error (and put the little square on side green again too) , afther that reboot from the recovery disk again and it stops show me the same error that it had before : THERE IS INSUFFICIENT SPACE ON THE DISK FOR THE TEMPORARY FILES REQUIRED FOR THIS OPERATIONN. 

        Well, I think it is related to the partition that says RECORY (11.73 + 226.7= 238.4 GB ..guest is on the disk) that is on the disk……. maybe this partition is almost all full, then if I format this partition should works??? or is not a partition  of the SSD disk.. dont know…..

        I am getting stressed for this , because I bought this SSD msata used online…..but it is supposed that it is tested(show some pics testing the SSD and is a seller with excelent reputation) but maybe it not served from before it was selled to me ……. well .. …please I hope you can help me…. 

        So what do you think is better now…ask for refund and buy another or try clonnig the old disk to the new

        I gonna try with a clean instalation with a ISO from USB, but what are the alternatives? and is the problem related to the RECOVERY partition of the SSD disk?

         Even if I ask for refund it going to take some days so meanwhile  I can try to fix the SSD disk and install the SO   

        so please if you know how I can make it work tell me   ……. and thanks again for the help… I hope you or someone know how to fix it

        Reply

        AXEL

        • Aug 3, 2016 - 5:44 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Hi Axel,

          I would try cloning first. If that doesn’t work then there might be something wrong with the firmware of the SSD or your BIOS might not pick it up correctly.

          I’m not sure which disk you were modifying, since there is an ACER and a RECOVERY partition. Is this the “new” SSD?

          Reply

          hans

    • Aug 1, 2016 - 10:44 AM - rawl747 Comment Link

      Axel,

      If your existing (old) SSD drive is still available, I suggest you consider cloning the old disk to the new SSD rather than using the recovery disk approach. It would mean the additional purchase of an external disk enclosure such as the Sabrent I used for my upgrade. If you follow my step by step approach described above, you should have success. The BIOS on my unit had no issue recognizing the new SSD and I ended up with all the existing programs, files, and Windows updates still intact.

      The hardest part of the entire process was getting the case opened without damaging too many of the plastic tabs.

      Reply

      rawl747

  • Aug 11, 2016 - 1:23 AM - AXEL Comment Link

    Hi, finaly , some days ago, afther trying with the restore disk and instalation of W7 and with GepartED like HANS seggested,  I got  the upgrade, dont need to clon the disk, Just have to clean all the partitions on the new Disk( it had like 3 partitions installed) and did a clean instalation of windows 8.1, it works better now, my W500 is faster than before, the W500 turns on and start on just seconds ,now is more fluid running the programs.

    But guest I am not using all the space of my my new SDD disk, is a SDD Sandisk of 250GB but according to other disks generally must have 238 GB available, and now for some reason I just have 200 GB avalaible on my W500, I haven’t any problems with that, I mean 200 still being a good capacity, but why is not all capacity avalaible?(the 238GB that usally can be used on 250GB sdd disk), do you know some way to resize or increase the capacity without format the disk or without the risk of damage the sistem i mean to do it from inside of the SO or even better can ise more or all of the 250GB? , guest the GeparED live can works or the disk manager but i dont remenber how to use it on W8…. and seems like W10 is not free now and many peaple is recommending it,recently had a update,  can I install W10 with another way…, there is another version online but isn’t the original, but is these versions online the same? if you know some other way to get W10 free please tell me, well please I hope you can give me your opinion. and can revive the comments 

    Thr Iconia W500 still being one of my favorites it has a good level of preformance with the upgrades that can be done on the computer, even compared with seme new models…. well thanks for helped me to get the upgrade and hope semeone can answer my qustions….on advance thanks…

    Reply

    AXEL

    • Aug 11, 2016 - 4:09 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Axel!

      Good to hear you’ve got things to work! 

      As far as I know, the free Windows 10 update is still active (see this article) – after upgrading, make sure to use the “Disk Cleanup” utility, and click “Clean up system files” so you can clear a lot of space. Windows stores everything you’d need to revert back to the older Windos version and this would remove that, which saves several gigabytes (almost 10 Gb if I recall correctly).

      As for 250 Gb resulting in 200 Gb, yeah that seems like a lot of “loss”. You could check with GPartEd to see why this is. Maybe there is some space used as a recovery partition. I know Windows, these days, makes a lot of partitions during install.

      Reply

      hans

      • Aug 11, 2016 - 5:52 PM - AXEL Comment Link

        Hi !  well maybe I will try to get W10. well one last thing ……

        I have a backup of all the drivers of my W500 when I had W7 and some other external devices, but when I try to install it again on W8 it shows a warning window during instalation that says install that driver(s) can damage the computer or the sistem,its that right or is just one soft warning like a default window? and thanks again for help me with the upgrade

        Reply

        AXEL

        • Aug 12, 2016 - 5:20 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Some drivers will work, some might not and might need a newer version.
          I forgot which one was problematic, if I recall correctly, the driver that handles rotating the screen is a bit of a pain. But since I never use that option, it’s not bothering me.

          The drivers need to be signed by Microsoft and if that’s not the case, you’ll get such a warning.
          This is not a problem though, if you have the drivers from Acer, then just use them and ignore the warning.

          Reply

          hans

  • Jan 16, 2017 - 7:23 AM - Roger M Comment Link

    Hi, i just wanted to confirm with you all that trying to use a 2nd pcie connector onto the board of a W500 does not work. I have a battered but working unit here at work and i soldered on the 2nd connector. I plugged in a pre-win32 formatted 16gb SANDISK mSATA ssd and windows did not detect it. There must be other components that are required but missing from the PCB. 

    Reply

    Roger M

    • Jan 16, 2017 - 8:17 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Roger,

      Wow! You actually tried this! Nice!
      I don’t have the equipment, patience or guts to try this …
      Could it be that something needs to be set in the BIOS? Missing components is not unlikely though … silly why they design something nice but just not add the one or two cheap components right?

      Thanks for trying and posting your findings here though! 

      Reply

      hans

      • Jan 16, 2017 - 8:31 AM - Roger M Comment Link

        The unit was part of a trade lot of tablets that the boss purchased a few years ago but never got round to dealing with. i found it in a box whilst looking for something else. I was going to fix it for myself and buy it from the company i work for and found this site doing searches for info about the unit. I noticed some posters were curious about the 2nd slot and as I have all the necessary equipment and experience to carry out soldering one i decided to do it. 

        As for the ‘bios’, this unit never came with the keyboard and i believe i need the keyboard to be able to use F2 to enter the bios. Is this correct?

        Reply

        Roger M

      • Jan 16, 2017 - 8:46 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Hi Roger,

        Unfortunately, mine is still in Europe (I recently moved to the US) right now, so I am unable to test anything.
        However, the keyboard that comes with it, is connected with a USB plug, so I would assume any USB keyboard would work as well.

        Nice though to have a pile of stuff to play with 

        Reply

        hans

        • Jan 17, 2017 - 4:57 AM - Roger M Comment Link

          I figured out the F2 for bios, i plugged in a standard USB keyboard and it worked OK. The BIOS has nothing that relates to the 2nd slot so i dug a bit further and found bad news for anyone that is thinking they can try it and get it to work. I don’t have a schematic diagram for the W500 so i started looking at schematic diagrams of boards that that use the same principle of using the pcie slot for ssd.  I noticed they are connected to the hhd points on the main controller chip. Using a multimeter I started checking various points on the PCB and found that the 2nd slot is wired differently than the 1st one. 

          It is therefore my conclusion that Acer has deliberately made it so the 1st slot is used primarily for an SSD and the 2nd slot is primarily used for the 3G phone module that you find in the W501 versions.  So sorry W500 users, it’s impossible to use the 2nd slot as a 2nd SSD. 

          Reply

          Roger M

          • Jan 17, 2017 - 8:55 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Hi Roger,

            excellent investigation work! 
            I did not thing about using the 2nd slot for 3G modules, but now that you mention it: that does make sense.
            Well, that’s unfortunate. Just a random thought, for those looking to expand storage space: Maybe there is a way to strip a USB stick from it’s housing and find an internal USB connector to hide a USB stick internally?

            hans

  • Jan 18, 2017 - 3:55 AM - Roger M Comment Link

    It would seem this comment section restricts how many replies to one post you can respond to. To follow up on from your question Hans, without a schematic diagram of the PCB it will be impossible to know the functionality of the unused connectors on the PCB, i think i saw 3 when i removed the PCB. The other alternative would be to use a USB port hub but having it so it is hard wired to one of the USB’s internally (soldered). In theory when the W500 boots up in to Windows, windows should automatically detect the port hub and anything that is connected to it, just like if you was to plug it in via the usb connector on bottom of the W500.

    The problem with do that though is space. The back cover fits snug on the unit and thus you are severely restricted on space. The only space that can be used to the small area where the 3G module sits and a elongated gap at the top of the unit by the battery.  All parts, the usb port hub and the usb pens would have to be extremely small (PCB size) because all their plastic housing and usb metal connectors would have to be removed and replaced with soldered wires. 

    If you know of any very small usb port hubs and usb pens (PCB size NOT plastic housing size) then let me know because i could wire them into this test unit i have here. At least it will prove proof o concept.

    Reply

    Roger M

    • Jan 18, 2017 - 9:16 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Yep, the comments are displayed nested, and I wanted to avoid that it would become unreadable.
      I guess there is room for improvement there of course …

      I do have a really tiny USB hub laying around somewhere, not sure how big the PCB would be though. It looks like this one at Amazon – mine is very old and just USB 2.0 of course. I’d assume you’d want to use a hub so the external USB connector can remain functional?
      As for storage, well … ripping apart one of these or these might result in something useful. But the first one or this tiny one kind-a make the whole effort not even worth the effort, as it is almost flush with the casing to begin with … 

      Reply

      hans

      • Jan 18, 2017 - 9:44 AM - Roger M Comment Link

        Good news, your idea works. I managed to find the schematic for the W500 and thus proceeded to work out how i can add a USB pen. I used the data pins that are used for the 2nd pcie connector. Soldered the tx and rx of the USB to those pins and the +5v and GND to a chip that is used to supply power to the internal USB’s .. I also had to add a tiny component on the other-side of the PCB, a small coil. Here is a pic of it wired together USB MOD

        It took Windows a bit of time to sort itself out because you have to remember that I am going through what should be the 3G module connector but after a bit, windows detected it and displayed as drive H: :)

        This is just proof of concept that it will work, and it does :)

        Reply

        Roger M

        • Jan 18, 2017 - 10:25 AM - Roger M Comment Link

          I’ve now gone one better. Due to the fact the test wiring i installed has a standard usb connector on it i decided to again prove proof of concept using a usb port hub with multiple USB’s connected. You will notice in the pic of the windows OS that it does see all the USB pens, proof it works :). The other pic is showing everything wired in. Pic1 – Windows OS multi USB Pic2 – Port Hub & 3 USB pens

          Now all i need to do is shrink everything down so  will all fit with the rear cover on. 

          Reply

          Roger M

        • Jan 18, 2017 - 1:21 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Haha, awesome, wish I had toys to play with like that – thanks for sharing Roger! 
          But instead of using a hub, you could use a larger capacity USB stick, rip it apart, and solder the wires straight to PCB of the USB stick. So the stick would get smaller/flatter and the extra connector doesn’t need to be pushed in some corner either.

          Reply

          hans

          • Jan 19, 2017 - 6:32 AM - Roger M Comment Link

            The beauty of the usb hub concept is why restrict yourself to one large usb stick when you know 4 of them will work? If price is the main concern due to the high prices of 256Gb and above usb pens then yes just using one large capacity usb pen becomes very practical. 

            In terms of storage space the possibilities are now endless. In Theory you could have 3Tb of storage, mSATA of 1Tb (provided W500 allows 1Tb of mSATA) and 4 usb pens of 512Gb. How ridiculous would that be on a W500 :) . There is so many options available. I also found during my investigation that there is another unused USB point i can use which is that of the SIM. Looking at the schematic it uses similar pinouts to that of the 3G pinout. All i would need to to is solder another 4 wires and coil and that would then provide 3-4 more usb pens depending on what usb port hub is used. 

            So yeah, just think, a large capacity mSATA ssd, two usb port hubs with 8 high capacity usb pens!!!! madness :)

            Roger M

          • Jan 19, 2017 - 10:21 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

            Point well taken 

            Haha yeah that would indeed be an insane amount of storage capacity for such a little tablet.
            My concern was mostly about size … trying to minimize the needed space in the W500 case.
            If space would not be an issue, then using a USB to mSATA would make things even more insane. But more expensive as well of course. 

            hans

    • Jan 19, 2017 - 4:08 PM - Tarl Comment Link

      Just a thought, but if the third connector was designed for a 3G chip, do you think you could get a W510 3G card (or maybe even a 4G) and have this thing go online?  Right now I fight with trying to tether it when I’m not in a WiFi area and 3G or 4G data rates would be GREAT!

      Reply

      Tarl

      • Jan 20, 2017 - 3:33 PM - Roger M Comment Link

        I’ve looked at the possibility of adding a 3G module to a W500 and can say it will be extremely difficult because the W500 is not fitted with any of the components for 3G. Having the pcb schematic i am able to see what components are required BUT the pcb does not have any component markings on the board. So when i look at a resistor that is required, the schematic will say R36 or something like that but there is no way of knowing where R36 is (R36 is being used as an example, it is not a real ID). The time consuming part is using a digital multimeter to work out which solder joint on the PCB relates to a part on the schematic.

        Buy the time someone with the electronics knowhow has managed to work out what component goes where, they will have to purchase all the parts, pcie connector, sim holder, numerous resistors and capacitors, transistors, the costs involved in parts and labour make the job uneconomical. 

        Reply

        Roger M

        • Jan 21, 2017 - 3:30 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          I’d agree with you Roger … probably not worth all the effort. Thanks for checking it out though! 

          Reply

          hans

        • Jan 22, 2017 - 12:48 AM - Tarl Comment Link

          Cool, thanks for getting back to me.  I thought it would be something as simple as plugging a PCIE card in the empty slot that’s already there.  Didn’t realize you would have to add missing electrical components.  I guess I’ll stick with WiFi and tethering.

          Reply

          Tarl

  • Jan 25, 2017 - 8:43 AM - Roger M Comment Link

    Well i am now officially part of the W500 club :). I bought a cheap unit off ebay. Using the test unit at work gave me the desire to get one and oh boy am i glad i did. I’ve upgraded the mSATA to 128Gb and installed Windows 10. The cpu supports 64bit so i am using that version. Yes i am already aware that the G-Sensor will not work in 64bit due to there being no 64bit windows 10 drivers for it but that’s not a big concern.

    I’ve been using it for a few days now and with Windows 10 this thing rocks :) (test unit is Windows 7). I am so glad i purchased one now.

    Reply

    Roger M

    • Jan 25, 2017 - 9:09 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Roger,

      welcome to the club! 
      Personally I think your boss should have given you the one you were testing with haha …  

      Reply

      hans

  • Jan 31, 2017 - 10:00 AM - Roger M Comment Link

    4 port USB mod This is a picture of the completed 4 port usb mod on my W500. At the present moment I have only wired in one usb connection which i am using a wireless dongle, you can see it the bottom right of the picture. I wanted to use a wireless mouse while being able to have the tablet propped up. As you know, this cannot be done if you plug usb devices into the bottom two usb ports. At some point i will finish off wiring in the remaining ports on the USB hub. 

    My new project was to see if something similar could be done with a W501 (3G module) but alas this is not possible. I purchased a cheap unit off ebay and once i removed the back I noticed there is no room to put the modified usb hub or any of the wiring or modified usb devices because all the areas I use in the W500 are now taken up by a) 3g module b) connecting wires for modules antenna and c) the antenna’s themselves in the W501. Oh well, can’t have it all our own way :)

    Reply

    Roger M

    • Feb 1, 2017 - 2:43 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Roger,

      very cool and snug fit – nice! 
      I’ve added the picture here for future references. Well done!

      AcerW500-4PortUSBMod

      Reply

      hans



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