1. htmiata's Avatar
    There is a tutorial floating on the net that shows how to swap out the HDD for a SSD drive. Has anyone done that yet? I want to, but dont want to be first over the hill and take the arrows......anyone?
    02-12-2017 05:27 PM
  2. Ramrunner73's Avatar
    Which tutorial are you referring to?

    The general steps I follow are:

    Use Macrium reflect to make a disk image off the system on to an external hard disk.
    Create a Macrium Reflect USB boot drive.
    Swap out the HDD for an SSD in the system.
    Boot from the USB drive in to Macrium Reflect.
    Choose Restore and drag all partitions to the new SSD.
    When done, unplug USB drives and reboot.

    Haven't had any issues doing it this way for years.

    Regards,
    Ed.
    DCW1000 likes this.
    02-12-2017 08:30 PM
  3. DCW1000's Avatar
    I haven't done it yet but am considering the conversion later this year. I didn't mind the slowish boot and program loads when I first got my Studio, but as time passes I am getting more annoyed with less than instantaneous processes. The rest of the Studio is such a special machine that its few shortcomings really stand out.

    Alternatively, by early next year the Studio II should be in the news, and a solid state drive would be an obvious next-gen improvement. Maybe I'll just wait, sell off my old one and get the faster replacement.

    The only tutorial I have seen on the conversion process is the one in which Fr. Robert Ballecer tears apart Leo LaPorte's Studio to put in a SSD. It's available on YouTube. There may be other tutorials as well that I haven't seen because I didn't look for them. The Ballecer tutorial looks pretty good at the hardware level. I like Ramrunner73's process outline as well.
    02-12-2017 09:55 PM
  4. cactuspete23's Avatar
    If you buy a Samsung SSD, they come with software to copy your existing HD before swapping. Just need USB cable to connect the SSD when making the copy.
    02-13-2017 06:33 AM
  5. htmiata's Avatar
    found this with a google search in between some other posts.....iFixit had a complete step by step way to remove everything and get to the hard drive...but as you will see below the author decided to take it back down.....

    "The Surface Studio's "rapid hybrid drive" can indeed be replaced, but it's certainly not for the faint-of-heart. There's quite a bit more involved than simply opening up the case and replacing the two drives (which isn't exactly easy to do in its own right). The stock "rapid hybrid drive" setup needs to be split up into its separate SSD and HDD components (before actually replacing the drives), and then it can be a challenge to get the operating system properly installed, activated, and booting from the PCIe 3.0 X4 M.2 connector (so that the Surface Studio is returned to its out-of-box configuration).
    I had a nice step-by-step walkthrough on how to do it all posted over on the iFixit Answer Forums, but it has since been removed (seeing as splitting the "rapid hybrid drive" cannot be 100% undone on the Core i7 models of the Surface Studio, and so I didn't want to cause unnecessary support headaches for Microsoft). I'm sure that lots of folks can figure it all out for themselves if they want to though (and I'd be happy to help if you happen to have any questions).
    That being said, the Surface Studio has a 2.5" SATA III connector (disk 0), and a PCIe 3.0 X4 M.2 2280 connector (disk 1) that fully supports booting from a NVMe SSD. The Intel-based storage controller is configured in RAID mode (in order to support the stock "rapid hybrid drive" setup), and it cannot be switched into AHCI mode (since there's no place to configure it in the UEFI firmware, etc.). However, the drives work just fine, and run at full speed, when using them as JBOD in RAID mode.
    If you want your Surface Studio to really fly, try adding a Samsung 960 Pro/Evo SSD to it. It's pure heaven! Just make sure that you fully understand exactly what it is that you're getting yourself into before you commit to the project. ;-)"
    02-13-2017 07:39 PM
  6. Matty's Avatar
    There is a tutorial floating on the net that shows how to swap out the HDD for a SSD drive. Has anyone done that yet? I want to, but dont want to be first over the hill and take the arrows......anyone?
    Depending on which SSD you purchase, the difference is like studying for a test and not studying for a test. haha :D

    I had a stock 'hard drive' in my laptop and it took my laptop about 1 minute, 15 seconds to fully start up. I then swapped it with a Samsung 850 PRO SSD and my start up time is now around 20 seconds. The difference is really big and if brave enough to complete the surgery. I would definitely recommend it. Your computer will be super fast :D

    Luckily, exchanging a Hard Drive for an SSD isn't new and many have done it, so i wouldn't worry about 'taking the arrows' :)
    02-14-2017 07:39 AM
  7. TheOfficeMaven's Avatar
    found this with a google search in between some other posts.....iFixit had a complete step by step way to remove everything and get to the hard drive...but as you will see below the author decided to take it back down.....
    If you are going to quote me, the very least you could do is add a link back to the source of the quote.
    Last edited by TheOfficeMaven; 02-14-2017 at 10:50 AM.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    02-14-2017 10:27 AM
  8. htmiata's Avatar
    If you are going to quote me, the very least you could do is add a link back to the source of the quote.
    my humble apologies......I didnt think it was necessary as I referenced iFixit .
    02-14-2017 02:20 PM
  9. TheOfficeMaven's Avatar
    my humble apologies......I didnt think it was necessary as I referenced iFixit .
    Forgive me if I came across as sounding upset, as I was not, I just thought that it would be nice to have context of where the quote originally came from is all (which is actually a Microsoft Community answers post and not an iFixit post). Mea culpa.

    Oh, and BTW, for those interested in "properly" upgrading the storage in their Surface Studio, Cesar De La Torre has posted a very detailed write-up on how to upgrade the storage in the Surface Studio here:

    Upgrading the Surface Studio drives to a SATA SSD 2TB and a M.2 NVMe SSD 1TB

    And (continued here):

    Installing Windows 10 on a PCIe M.2 SSD drive in the Surface Studio

    You’ll also find the original write-up of the exact steps that I took in order to perform the upgrade in my own Surface Studio posted in the comments section of Cesar’s first article (i.e. the write-up that was originally posted over in the iFixit forums, but was removed).
    olyar15 and HaPeKa like this.
    02-14-2017 04:23 PM
  10. olyar15's Avatar
    Awesome. That is what I was thinking of doing if/when I get mine. I was planning on replacing just the SSD with a higher capacity one and "split" the hybrid system into the SSD and regular hard drive, then install Windows and all the programs on the SSD. I don't have a problem keeping the regular slow HD for music and video files, archives, etc.
    02-15-2017 12:42 AM
  11. TheOfficeMaven's Avatar
    Awesome. That is what I was thinking of doing if/when I get mine. I was planning on replacing just the SSD with a higher capacity one and "split" the hybrid system into the SSD and regular hard drive, then install Windows and all the programs on the SSD. I don't have a problem keeping the regular slow HD for music and video files, archives, etc.
    Keeping the HDD also makes things go much easier seeing as it is buried down below the CPU and GPU heatsink. Thus, not having to remove it will save you the hassle of having to further disassemble the PC, re-paste the heatsink, etc. Just be aware that it is a super slow drive, and so you will definitely feel that slowness anytime you need to interact with it. Personally, I went ahead and just replaced it with a 1 TB Samsung 850 Evo seeing as I had the thing apart anyway (and I went with a 1 TB Samsung 960 Evo for the M.2 drive). My Surface Studio absolutely flies now and it's a complete dream to work with. I love it!
    Last edited by TheOfficeMaven; 02-24-2017 at 05:05 PM.
    02-15-2017 10:32 AM
  12. HaPeKa's Avatar
    Hi there, just got the Surface Studio (i7, 32GB, 2TB) on Black Friday and would like to speed things up a bit.
    As others here mentioned already, keeping the HDD but replacing the SSD with a bigger and faster one makes sense to me. I would like to have Windows and Lightroom (catalog and pictures) on the SSD, the existing HDD as backup and archive. Therefore, I bought a Samsung 970 Evo 2TB M.2 and replaced the 128GB SSD today.
    However, that did not work.
    After the installation of the M.2 drive, I installed Windows 1809 from a bootable USB stick, but could not install the RST-AHCI Driver from the latest MS Driver package (SurfaceStudio_Win10_17763_1805006_0.msi). When I try to install it from the USB stick, I can chose it, but it does not install. I could only install on the HDD ...
    After installation, I tried to install several Intel RST apps and drivers, the newest ones tell me, that I do not have the required hardware, the older one starts installing and exits with an fatal error. I found no way, to split the hybrid system up.
    So, I think it needs some time to get all the relevant informations, and went back where I started. Now, I have the original SSD back in the system with a running system.
    Could the newer Firmware be the reason, that I can't split the hybrid system, or did I miss something out of the different information sources at iFixit and Cesars Blog?
    Any help is appreciated I'd love to have the Samsung SSD running as standalone drive ...

    Windows sees the M.2 as drive, but I cannot split the hybrid system.
    After
    11-28-2018 03:53 PM
  13. HaPeKa's Avatar
    Just a short feedback.
    I did not find a way, to bring it up with the existing harddrive.
    So I tried with a 960 Evo SSD as replacement of the 2TB drive and everything went like described in the Blog and the different pages.
    My guess: As soon, as the system has two SSDs the hybrid system is deactivated as it is not needed anymore.

    Art the moment, I can easily live with a 2TB M.2 and a 1TB SSD, and, if needed sometime in the future, I might upgrade the 1TB SSD with a bigger one. However, for backups I can also use an external, no problem at all.

    By the way, CrystalDiskMark shows the following speeds (first line):
    Drive C: (2TB 970 EVO M.2 SSD): 3'158MB/s - 2'711MB/s
    Drive D: (1TB 960 EVO SDD): 555MB/s - 510MB/s

    Conclusion: Until someone finds another way, speed up the system seems only possible by replacing both storage devices with SSDs ...
    11-30-2018 03:24 AM
  14. perfarny's Avatar
    I just attempted the drive upgrades. Install went fine, but the firmware update thereafter nukes the system.

    I installed the 2 SSD's (Samsung 860 EVO 2TB, and WD Black 1TB M.2) and downloaded the latest generic Win10 install from web. First thing I noticed: I did NOT have to load a separate driver - it saw the m.2 already and happily installed the OS on it.

    My problem: it went all the way through setup and I was logged into the desktop, no issues. It started to automatically update via Windows Update, getting the right drivers, etc. All good, until it applied the Surface firmware update (didn't get screenshot, I think it's the Feb-2018 update). It reboots and shows it's applying that system update, and thereafter: bye-bye install. It reboots and next thing you see is 'starting automatic repair', and no matter which option I choose, it's not able to fix it, is stuck in a reboot loop, and the only way to get it back is to reinstall via USB drive.....only to then eventually repeat the same process once it auto applies the firmware update.

    I now ordered the Samsung Pro 970 M.2 and will see if I get any different results. Huge bummer if it doesn't work, as the difference is responsiveness was already easily apparent in my minimal use of the system while it was up.
    Last edited by perfarny; 12-14-2018 at 02:16 PM.
    12-14-2018 11:27 AM
  15. HaPeKa's Avatar
    very strange and I hope, this works for you as expected.
    However, the WD black is an NVMe M.2 SSD like the 970 PRO, that should not make a difference.
    I did my installation with a Windows 1809 on a USB stick, that worked fine for me ...
    After the first start I could then install the Surface Studio Driver Package.
    Let us know, how it went with the Samsung M.2 970 PRO.
    12-15-2018 03:22 PM
  16. perfarny's Avatar
    I did it and it worked and is humming along great!
    One thing I did different outside of change of hard drive: even though I could already see the drive, I still loaded the driver as per the write-up. No idea if this made the difference or if it was indeed just the hardware, but it's working great.
    HaPeKa likes this.
    12-17-2018 02:57 PM
  17. J_Meagher's Avatar
    I just recently attempted upgrading the M.2 SSD to a larger faster NVMe drive for a customer but having problems getting the Windows installation to detect either of the drives. I left the HDD in place as the customer was only interested in upgrading the SSD and from what I gather after reading multiple sources some had better luck after replacing the HDD as well. Wishing i did some more research before tearing into the system as it appears Microsoft is using a "fusion drive" setup. I followed the steps in Cesar De La Torre guide as mentioned above but had problems using msiexec to extract the required RST_AHCI driver from the .msi file, not sure if related to newer driver/firmware .msi files published by Microsoft then what the guide referenced and i tried various parameters but nothing worked. I see other people mentioning the same problem but solution. Hopefully somebody here can share some insight, thanks in advance.
    04-09-2019 10:33 PM

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