Unlike current ARM or Atom based tablets, Microsoft's Surface Pro integrates a full blown mSATA SSD. My review sample included a 128GB Micron C400, while I've seen reports of users getting Samsung PM830 (OEM SSD 830) based drives. Both of these drive options are great so long as you remember to keep a good amount of space on the drive free (15 - 25% free space is a good rule of thumb). Unfortunately, Microsoft only offers two capacities (64GB and 128GB) despite there being much larger mSATA SSDs available on the market. To make matters worse, supplies have been tight of the 128GB Surface Pro, with 64GB models a little easier to come by. 

A few adventurous Surface Pro owners have decided to try to swap out their 64GB mSATA SSDs with larger models. One of our readers (Tim K.) managed to successfully transplant a 240GB Intel SSD 525 in his Surface Pro. The trick is to make sure you clone the original GPT formatted mSATA SSD properly. For this, Tim used Reflect to clone the drive and MiniTool Partition Wizard to expand the data partition to the full capacity of the new SSD.

While he had no issues getting the drive working, his Surface Pro did sustain damage during the upgrade process. As we learned from iFixit's teardown of the tablet, there's a ton of adhesive everywhere and melting/breaking it is the only way to get inside Surface Pro. Unfortunately the cable that drives the touchscreen was pulled up when Tim separated the display from the VaporMg chassis. The tablet works as does the pen, but the display no longer functions as a capacitive touchscreen.

Tim tried to use a conductive pen to restore contact between the cable and the contacts on the back of the display but so far hasn't had any luck (if any MS engineers who worked on Surface Pro are reading this and have any suggestions feel free to comment here or email me). The process of disassembling the Surface Pro isn't easy. It took Tim roughly an hour and a half to get inside. With the knowledge that he now has, Tim believes that he'd be able to get in without damaging the unit but he cautions against anyone else looking to get into Surface Pro. I didn't want to risk tearing apart my Surface Pro review sample, so I'm grateful to Tim for going the distance to prove it works. He's also awesome enough to share photos of the aftermath with us and post a thread in the forums to help other folks brave enough to try this.

John566 over at the tabletpcreview forums managed to get into his Surface Pro safely (it looks like he didn't attempt a complete disassembly, but rather left the cable side of the display in place and just lifted up the other side). He was having issues getting the new SSD (a 256GB Micron C400) recognized however.

Source: AnandTech Forums



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  • JeffFlanagan - Monday, February 18, 2013 - link

    >And the device won't go into a landfill, it can be recycled.

    You haven't met very many people, have you?

    Anything small enough to hide in garbage will wind up in a landfill.
  • jabber - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Exactly! Too much effort to take it down to the local recycling centre.

    Much easier to smash it and throw it in the trash with all the rest.

    Not good. Plus why would I want to recycle my $900 tablet after just say 14 months?

    Wouldn't it be better if I could swap the battery myself?
  • CaedenV - Monday, February 18, 2013 - link

    nope, donate it to a local nonprofit refurbiser. In my area there is once called Cincinnati Computer Cooperative, and I know other states and localities have their own. These kinds of groups will refurbish anything they can to make available to students, low income families, seniors, nonprofits, or schools. Anything they cannot fix will at least make it into the hands of a recycler instead of a landfill.
    /end shameless plug :D
  • Kungpaoshizi - Monday, February 18, 2013 - link

    No doubt, I think consumers have basically voiced this to Apple for all the versions of the ipad. But ultimately, I think this is a good start for Microshaft.
    I mean really, they put in that new tech, it's called a "usb port"... seems like they listen better than Crapple
  • nerd1 - Monday, February 18, 2013 - link

    Surface is not any thinner than other core i5 tablets. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Then please feel free to add your thoughts to EVERY single iPad article Reply
  • UpSpin - Monday, February 18, 2013 - link

    I don't know how the ribbon cable gets attached properly, but both the contacs on the cable and the ones on the display seem solderable. If the contacts on the display are on glass he might be able to solder the cable to the display with solder paste, a hot air soldering station or a temperature controlled normal soldering station and some soldering experience.
    Else, his idea with the conductive pen seemed the best. He might just make sure that the cable sticks to the display properly, which requires glue between the contacts, which won't be that easy to accomplish.

    All in all a tablet with serious poor design decisions.
  • CaedenV - Monday, February 18, 2013 - link

    I am no expert on tablets, but I have had several laptops, game consoles, and GPUs over the years that fail due to heat stress where connections get bad. The problem with repairing these connections is that they are often BGA so that you cannot simply solder it, or they are in sensitive areas where a soldering iron (or at least mine which only has a high or higher setting) is not a delicate enough tool to get in those areas. I have had great success with these types of items with baking them, or using a heat gun which applies a minimum amount of heat necessary to restore the connection, but not so much heat that it is going to damage anything.

    The nice thing about a laptop though is that you can remove the screen without trouble in order to bake the rest of it. On the Surface I am not sure if you can repair the damaged part without removing the screen, and I am not sure how the screen would deal with being baked or heated with a heat gun.

    Another concern with this is that with most things I have done this with it tends to be a temp fix as the thermal issues that caused the problem do not simply 'go away', so the problem tends to reoccur over a period of time. Perhaps as this was a physical damage issue, and not a thermal damage issue it may not be such a problem, but it is a concern.
  • rifky - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    How to use the internet withot wi-fi in the blackberry 64Gb play book?
    pls help me in this problem quickly.
  • rifky - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    can we use the internet through using dongles in Blackberry 64Gb play book?
    when we have'nt wi-fi connection...

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