ASUS Q200E hard drive upgrade instructions (replace w/SSD)

The Q200E is a great little laptop that is generally available for about $449 at Best Buy. The Q200e and the other similar models sold elsewhere (X202E, S200E) are definitely one of the best touchscreen Windows 8 laptop options out there! Unfortunately, they are all shipped with a relatively slow hard drive and the RAM is soldered in. The only other thing the Q200E is lacking is Bluetooth :-(

EASY PERFORMANCE UPGRADES:
You can now replace the slow hard drive with a fast SSD and you can even add Bluetooth! :-) Recommended SSD: Samsung EVO 250GB SSD (or larger)

*Bloatware removal is of course recommended as well  :-)

Here are step-by-step photos of the hard drive removal and SSD upgrade process, these instructions apply to the Q200E/S200E/X202E:

(you can disregard the mini pci-e wifi card upgrade photos if you want to stick with the standard Q200E wifi only (no bluetooth) setup)

RATING NOTE: while this upgrade is a little more difficult than some other laptops, but the new SSD still resulted in a HUGE performance improvement so I give this upgrade a 4.5/5 star rating :-)

FYI ASUS has a variety of very similar models in this line, including:

  • X202E (it even comes in pink now!)
  • S200E,
  • Q200E 

They are all identical in basic construction and the hard drive upgrade process is exactly the same for all of them.  Right out of the box the Q200E is a very nice machine however, the slow hard drive really drags down the overall performance :-(. So I chose to upgrade mine to a Samsung 840 SSD and the performance improvement has been drastic*!

*Note: I also did a clean install of Windows 8 Pro (which is possible even when using upgrade edition media), this eliminated any bloatware that had been loaded from the factory.

 

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36 comments

  • rafael garcia

    thanks, for your tutorial,I want to replace the hd on asus q200e,and instal windows 7 because I hate windows 8,also my digitizer needs to be replaced,but I can find it anywhere any info will be appreciated

    • Hi Rafel,
      Thank you for your comment. I am excited that you are going to install Windows 7, it should run very nicely on your Q200E :-)

      As foor a replacement digitizer, the closest I could find was part # 13GNFQ1AP060-1 but unfortunately I believe that is just the bezel and not the actual digitizer :-(

      Sorry to not be of more help, my only suggestion might be to watch eBay for a broken Q200E/S200E that has a malfunction OTHER than the digitizer and then salvage the part.

      Good luck and enjoy your laptop Rafael!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Steve

    How much has the battery life improved with the switch from the regular hard drive to the ssd?

    • Hi Steve,
      Thank you for your question. I would estimate battery life has improved by about 10-15%. The primary improvement has been performance and vastly decreased standby/resume times.

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Robert

    Hey, thanks for this step by step. What SATA category is the new SSD drive. Can I put in a SATAIII or am I relegated to a lower speed due to the interface of the notebook.

    • Hi Robert,
      Thank you for your question. You should be able to get SATA 3 6GB/s on your Q200E if you add an SSD:
      http://www.crucial.com/store/ListParts.aspx?model=Q200E
      System Specs – Storage: SATA 3 – 6Gb/s, SATA Version — SATA 3 – 6Gb/s
      :-)

      More confirmation:
      “The mechanical HDD is another small issue, however that’s one that is easily rectified as the device uses a 2.5″ SATA III port, so you could quite happily switch it out for a SSD.” -http://www.cclonline.com/article/1009/Review/Netbooks/Asus-Vivobook-S200E-11-6-Review/

      Enjoy your nice laptop Robert!

      Best regards,
      -JD

      PS if you get an SSD, let us know which one you picked!
      PSS the Samsung 840 EVO is a nice new SSD offering good performance at a very reasonable price IMHO :-)

  • Jason

    I have a ocz vertex 3 that I want to upgrade with my q200e. I looks like the drive you comment is too large. Can you give more detail into that?

    • Hi Jason,
      Thank you for your question. A 7mm SSD will fit perfectly :-) but a 9.5mm drive will be too thick :-(

      Hopefully that answered your question, if not please let me know and I will try to help!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Jason

    I had asked because I have a ssd I never used from a previous project. I came across a cheap q200 with no hd. Saw an chance for a computer for the kids for a song. Unfortunatly the drive is 9.3mm. Did you try the drive, would the case just not close? I’m willing to do some grinding :)

    • Hi Jason,
      Thank you for the additional info. That is a really cool project and I think you are going to be in luck, no grinding required! ;-)

      You should be able remove the case from your Vertex 3 by removing the scrws from the bottom of it (stickers may be covering some of the screws) and then the SSD should fit in the Q200E no problem. :-) Removing those stickers will void your SSD warranty though. :-( Also be aware of static electricity when working with the SSD because you do not want to shock/potentially-damage it.

      Please keep me posted on how your project goes Jason and let me know if there is anything else I can do to help!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Andy

    Thanks for the tip!

    Since you seem to be a guy in the know, perhaps you could answer this question. I just purchased a Q200E and within a few days someone in the household cracked the digitizer (based on the noise I see on the boards, it sounds like this particular digitizer is notoriously fragile…) I honestly don’t care if it has the digitizer or not. I’m perfectly happy with just having a non-touch-screen laptop and I don’t plan on paying $150 for a digitizer for a $320 laptop (starving dad/college student).

    Do you have any recommendations? Could I just remove the digitizer and would the bezel cover the appropriate components?

    Thanks for the advice!

    • Hi Andy,
      Thank you for your nice comment and great questions!

      First off, it does sound like a lot of the digitizes are starting to break on these models :-(

      However, I have not seen this firsthand. Can you describe to me what happened? (like is there a crack in any part of the screen assembly, did the touch capability just stop working, etc.)

      I am assuming there is some issue (like a crack etc.) other than just the touch capability not working… with that being said, here are some thoughts:
      #1 apparently it is very hard to replace just the digitizer or just the LCD, as they are most likely semi-permanently glued together:
      ‘It is almost impossible to replace only the LCD or only the digitizer for the Asus VivoBook S200E-CT162H if you do not have a hot air station.’ -Source
      and of course it is very expensive to buy the complete assemply :-(
      #2 I imagine it would be possible to remove the digitizer/display assembly and replace it with a display panel only (no digitizer) which is much more economical, and there are even matte options if you do not like glossy!

      Here are some links (for both Q200E and S200E) and the websites usually have some generic installation videos you may want to peruse:
      http://www.screencountry.com/index.php?section=products&model=Q200E%20VIVOBOOK&brand=ASUS
      http://www.screencountry.com/index.php?section=products&model=S200E%20VIVOBOOK&brand=ASUS&series=OTHER%20ASUS%20MODELS
      https://www.laptopscreen.com/English/model/ASUS/Q200E%20VIVOBOOK/
      https://www.laptopscreen.com/English/model/ASUS/S200E~VIVOBOOK/

      AS for specifics, I have not taken apart the display assembly on the S200E/Q200E/X202E models :-(

      I have, however, upgraded my Dell M6700′s 17.3″ 40-pin 1600×900 LCD panel to a very nice 1920×1080 LCD panel and it was surprisingly easy. I will be uploading photos of the process soon and it will likely be analogous to the process you would go through on the Q200E:
      +remove the screen bezel cover
      +unscrew the panel/digitizer attachment
      +fold the existing panel/digitizer down toward the keyboard
      +carefully un-peel the tape holding the 40-pin LCD connector in place
      +carefully disconnect the panel/digitizer
      +remove panel/digitizer
      +insert new panel
      +insert 40 pin LCD connector into new panel (leave digitizer connector unconnected)
      +replace tape
      +screw in new panel
      +replace bezel
      (seems a lot longer/harder than it is!)
      You can see the process for the Dell here:
      ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_laptop/esuprt_precision_mobile/precision-m6700_Owner%27s%20Manual_en-us.pdf
      (under removing display)

      So, to make a long story short: probably cannot replace the digitizer, you probably can replace the screen, or if everything works ok as-is you could just leave the broken digitizer in place :-)

      Let me know what you decide on and if you have any other questions Andy!

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • LeRoy

    I just picked up the q200e and an SSD drive… replacing the drive looks fairly easy, but how did you restore/copy the OS to the new drive?

  • Shan

    I followed this website for my new Q200E with 128GB Samsung EVO SSD, the laptop is now super agile :). I like the explanation and the easy way of getting this done. Honestly SSD is making a ‘hellofalot’ of difference to any laptop.

  • Dave

    Hi JD,
    I have had the Q200E for about 10 months now. It currently has Win 8.1, Office and other software. How did you transfer the OS and other s/w to the SSD?
    Also, could you give the exact make model of the SSD?
    I am worried I may purchase one that may not fit.

    Thanks
    Dave

  • K. Wong

    Thanks for this post and taking the time to add photos. I used it as a guide to replacing the hdd that came with my q200e with a ssd after the old drive failed. I installed Ubuntu on it right after swapping out the drives and it went off without a hitch.

    • Hi K. Wong,
      Thank you for your nice comment. I am very glad that my post was helpful for you.

      Congratulations on the nice SSD upgrade and using Ubuntu, I bet it is a very fast combination!

      How do you like the touch capabilities on Ubuntu?

      Have a great weekend!
      -J.D.

      • K. Wong

        Yeah! It IS really fast. It now takes about 6 seconds to boot up and only about 3 to reboot. I’m really happy with it and even though it doesn’t really have touch enhancements (I’m using 12.04) it’s still easy to move windows around and tap buttons. It only gets a little tricky when closing out a window by touching that very tiny x. Personally, since I’ve got small hands it’s not a problem, but someone with larger hands might unintentionally minimize or maximize a window. I did notice that the touch capabilities seemed a little off on the first boot up, but after the second everything worked great. I’m a SSD convert now. It’s worth every penny.

        K-

        • Hi K,
          That is awesome news, thanks for sending the additional info!

          Sometimes I really get tired of MS Windows and I think Ubuntu is definitely one of the best alternatives :-)

          Have a great weekend and enjoy that nice SSD!
          -J.D.

  • antony

    i am certain that i want to upgrade to an SSD, would this one fit? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W00YW3571
    i was looking at the specifications and was unsure if it would fit the same as the one you used

  • antony

    in addition to my previous question, that SSD that i want is SATA 6, will it work?
    Thanks in advance!!!!!!

  • Bill

    Hi J.D.

    I also have a Q200E and intend to install the Samsung SSD, BUT, I also want to install Win 7…this will be my backup pc to my desktop….I don’t need the touch screen, just primarily want to install Win 7…. how about drivers etc, after the Win 7 install (if it is possible)…?

    Thanks in advance for your input,

    Bill

  • Heath

    Hi JD,

    I have had the Q200e model for over a year now, and my hard drive just encountered the infamous “Click of Death,” so I’m looking to replace the 500 GB hard drive with 1TB hardrive, I’m looking for something affordable so I found a 1 TB mechanical hard drive that fit the bill.

    Would it be a good idea to replace the existing hard drive with the new mechanical one? Is that ok?

    Heath

    • Hi Heath,
      Thank you for your comment. I apologize for taking so long to reply. :-(

      Did you go ahead and do the upgrade, or any other progress on the project?

      To answer your original question, replacing the failed HDD with another mechanical drive will be just fine. However, make sure it is a 7mm hard drive as conventional 9.5mm drives will not fit in the Q200e as they are too thick! :-)

      Thanks again for commenting Heath and have a great weekend,
      -J.D.

  • antony

    I was able to successfully upgrade my hdd to an ssd with your guide. now I have a question about upgrading a different laptop, I have a Toshiba e45t-a4300 that has a sata 5400 rpm hdd. I want to upgrade it to a Samsung 840 evo ssd. I did the same process to clone the hdd but when I actually swap out the hdd with the ssd, it says checking media presence, no media present when I boot up, and it wont boot up. any idea what I can do to fix it? all I can think is that the ssd isn’t compatible with the laptop.

    • Hi Antony,
      I am glad to hear you had good success with your first hdd to ssd upgrade :-)

      Sorry it took me a while to respond, if you have already solved your Toshiba Satellite E45T-A4300 issue please let me know how you did it.

      Otherwise, if it is still giving you trouble, here are some things you may want to try:
      +is the Samsung 840 EVO SSD listed in the BIOS/UEFI interface? (i.e. is the laptop able to recognize the SSD, but just not able to boot from it?)
      +if there is an mSATA cache drive, can you adjust any of the options in the BIOS/UEFI to make sure the new SSD can be utilized independently?*

      I believe your model may have a 32GB mSATA cache drive installed which is meant to complement and speed up the original HDD (PC Magazine refers to this as a hybrid drive setup. While I believe Intel calls this ‘Intel Rapid Storage’ technology.

      While it is a good idea it is unnecessary when you install an even faster SSD like the 840 EVO. It can also present some major issues when trying to replace drives, as often none or only some of the drives will be visible to the OS etc. So, you would need to see is there an option to disable the 32GB mSATA cache drive (either via BIOS/UEFI or physically removing the mSATA drive) or at least unlink it from any sort of caching/combined setup. After that I believe you may be able to get your SSD working and avoid that ‘no media present’ issue. Initially my thought might be to set the laptop to AHCI mode and try booting that way, or doing a clean install in AHCI mode… but there may be a better way to accomplish your goals.

      Here is a link to a somewhat similar situation to what I am describing:
      https://communities.intel.com/thread/32268
      alas it can get quite tricky so I am including some more articles on the topic:
      http://forum.acronis.com/forum/53365
      http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/t/19532474.aspx

      I hope some of this helps you Antony and please let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist!

      Best regards,
      -JD

      • antony

        thanks for the detailed response, i ended up returning the laptop because it would get very hot. any way i have a question about the asus vivobook, now that the ssd is successfully installed, my drive is divided into two, in My Computer ihave the Local disk that has the OS inside of it, and i have another drive that has the rest of my free space from the SSD, is there a way to combine the two? after all they are both from the same SSD.

  • Zee

    Hi JD,

    I have had the Asus Q200e model for over a year now, it came with windows 8 home edition but for some reason last month it stuck on blue screen, I was not having any recovery disk so I decided to buy new licensed windows 7 cd.Last night I installed after deleting all the partitions, install went well except the drivers now I don’t have any drivers so please guide me from where can I get network, webcam and all other drivers for this Asus Q200e and what is the sequence to install drivers and how?

    I visited Asus website but they have drivers only for windows 8 and 8.1 for this notebook.

    I really appreciate your help, I have checked so many websites but couldn’t find any quide or drivers.

    Zee.

    • Hi Zee,
      Than you for your comment. Great job on getting Windows 7 installed on your Q200E!

      I am sorry to not have a better answer or have my own mirror of the drivers, but I have sold my Q200E so I cannot look in device manager etc. and determine the device ID/drivers needed etc. :-(

      One thing I might suggest is to invest in the following adapter:
      Bolse BO-N1557
      It should be plug and play with Windows 7 and it will allow your to immediately connect to wifi and then you can let Windows 7 automatically download drivers for unknown devices. (it is also just a handy adapter to have around for working on new laptops/computers IMH)

      Beyond that, you may want to checkout out these drivers: http://www.driversdownloader.com/asus-drivers/asus-q200e-notebook and see how they work for you.

      Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help, and good luck to you in your tech adventure!

      Best regards,
      -J.D.

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