The Lenovo Slim 7i is a solid laptop, but it’s limited to 1TB of SSD storage out of the box. Here’s how you can get more.
The Lenovo Slim 7i is a pretty compelling laptop. Featuring 13th-generation Intel Core processors and options for a 2.2K or a 2.8K display, it’s a great choice for anyone wanting a new laptop for day-to-day use. It also comes with a solid RAM and storage configuration, up to 16GB and 1TB, respectively. But what if you need more? While the RAM isn’t upgradeable on the Lenovo Slim 7i, you can change out the SSD if you need more storage or if you just want to destroy an old drive for data protection. This guide will show you how to do just that.
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What you’ll need
Upgrading the SSD on any laptop requires a few tools, and it’s no different here. As a consumer laptop, the Slim 7i requires some more specialized tools, particularly a Torx T5 screwdriver. Otherwise, you’ll need a Philips screwdriver and a non-conductive prying tool. We also recommend getting an anti-static wrist strap to prevent damage to your laptop due to electrostatic discharge while you’re working. All of this and a lot more are included in the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit, which is an essential piece of kit if you plan to do things like this frequently.
Of course, you’ll also need a new SSD, and one of the best you can get right now is the Samsung 990 Pro, one of the fastest PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the market. The Lenovo Slim 7i doesn’t yet support PCIe 5.0, so don’t waste your money on those.
One last thing you need to do is back up your data and create Windows 11 installation media before you start. When you replace your SSD, the new one won’t have any of your files or even an operating system on it, so you’ll need to install it yourself if you want to be able to use your computer, so you need a USB drive to serve as installation media. You also need a cloud storage service or a separate USB drive to back up your files.
How to upgrade the storage in the Lenovo Slim 7i
Once you have everything ready, you can start the process of upgrading the SSD inside the Lenovo Slim 7i. Here’s what you need to do:
- Start by turning off your laptop completely and unplugging it from the charger.
- Close it and lay it upside down with the hinge facing away from you.
- Using the Torx T5 screwdriver, remove the six screws holding the bottom cover in place. Two of them have different sizes, so keep them separate and remember where they should go.
- Use the prying tool to detach the bottom cover from the laptop, starting around the hinge and making your way around the laptop.
- Lift the bottom cover to remove it completely.
- Disconnect the battery cable from the motherboard. The battery takes up the bottom half of the laptop, and the connector is found right above it, near the center.
- Locate the SSD on the right side, just above the battery. Use the Philips screwdriver to remove the single screw holding it in place.
Some models may have a smaller M.2 2242 SSD with a metal bracket, but the removal process is essentially the same.
- Pull the SSD out of the slot at a slight angle. You can remove the mylar sheet wrapped around it if you want to use it elsewhere.
- Take your new SSD and slot it into the M.2 slot, bearing in mind the label should face up, and the notches on the connectors need to align.
- Use the Philips screws to hold the SSD in place. Avoid overtightening, which can damage the motherboard.
- Re-connect the battery cable to the motherboard.
- Attach the bottom cover to the laptop and secure it with the six screws you removed in step 2. Remember to place the longer screws in the correct position to avoid damaging the laptop.
That’s all there is to it. Before you turn on the laptop, make sure to plug in your Windows 11 installation media, so you can install the operating system again and restore all the data you backed up. Once that’s done, you’re ready to go, so you can go about using your laptop as normal with the newly-upgraded storage.
If you haven’t bought the Lenovo Slim 7i yet and you’re more comfortable knowing that you can upgrade the storage later, you can buy it using the link below. While it’s not the best Lenovo laptop out there, it’s certainly a great one for the price.
Lenovo Slim 7i (2023) $840 $1180 Save $340
The Lenovo Slim 7i is a thin and lightweight laptop with capable specs and a great 14-inch display. And it brings some great improvements over its predecessor.
$840 at Lenovo $1180 at B&H