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I recently took delivery of a Lenovo Yoga 300, the lower-end model of their impressive convertible line.

This otherwise perfectly usable Laptop with 4GB RAM and a Celeron N2840 chip unfortunately ships with a traditional WD Blue hard drive (at the time of writing) and it’s noticeable. With a slower processor, the least I could do to alleviate some of that performance bottleneck is swap the HDD out with a nice, speedy SSD.

The reason I’m documenting this is due to the lack of information online. I ended up following the official service manual supplied by Lenovo which still leaves a little to be desired, though allowed me to get the job done.

The below is documented under the assumption that:

  • You have an OS already installed on the SSD
    or
  • You’re going to reinstall with a USB stick after booting up with the new drive

Remove the bottom cover

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Lenovo have used a combination of M2 screws and plastic clips to secure the bottom panel to the laptop chassis. While the screws come out with ease, the plastic clips take a little more persuasion.

  1. Remove all screws. These are 6.5 M2’s and a suitable screwdriver should be used.
    NB: The 4 screws at the front are angled slightly. Not an issue now, but bare this in mind later.

  2. Start by lifting the corners at the hinges first. These should pop up with ease, so don’t lift too forcefully.

  3. Gently pry the bottom panel away from the chassis between the hinges. This will require a little more effort and will ‘pop’ 3-4 times.

  4. As the bottom panel is quite tight to the sides of the chassis, gently pull upwards between the hinges, this will effectively lever the panel clips ever so slightly away from the sides of the frame, requiring very little effort to then pull the sides up either with fingernails or a spudger.

  5. Once both sides are up, the front of the panel will still be securely fastened using slightly different clips. I found the best way of releasing them was to take a firm hold of one of the corners, pull away from the front of the chassis and down while levering against a spudger or finger placed close to the front corner (on the same side, naturally). This should effectively pull the panel away from the chassis and up, resulting in a satisfying pop as it releases. Repeat this pulling motion while gently manipulating the front of the panel. It will become increasingly easier to pop the remaining clips as each releases.

Remove the hard drive

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With the front of the laptop facing you, the hard drive is easily accessible on the left.

  1. Remove the SATA connector

  2. Remove the 3 4mm M2 screws using a suitable (different) screwdriver. My model used three to secure the hard drive on the bottom left, right and top right as pictured.

  3. Once free, remove the hard drive from the chassis and put the laptop to one side.

  4. The hard drive has a metal adapter screwed on to each side, transfer these to the new SSD making sure to match orientation of the plates when doing so.

Reassemble

At this stage the old hard drive should be out and the new SSD in, all that remains is to reassemble the device in reverse order.

  1. Screw the SSD into place and reattach the SATA cable

  2. When refitting the bottom panel, do so in the reverse of the way it was removed; fit the front first and lever the panel down. It will likely require some gentle persuasion to slot back into the sides.

  3. Gently click the plastic tabs back into place from front to back. The front will require a little more force but not much. Remember the back corners will not clip (so don’t force them), but between the hinges will.

  4. Screw the bottom panel down loosely, double checking all plastic clips have clipped before fully tightening the screws. Remember the front screws are at a slight angle, be aware of this and don’t cross-thread the screws!

Power on

Or actually, before you do, flip the laptop the right side up and give it a gentle shake. If there’s nothing rattling about you’ve done a good job. While you’re at it, test the volume rocker on the side to ensure it’s still “clicky” and hasn’t been fouled by the case.

When ready, power on.

Enjoy the added benefits of an SSD and if you need any assistance leave a comment below or @jasonbayton on twitter.

Comments

17 responses to “Lenovo Yoga 300 (11IBY) hard drive upgrade”

  1. dada81 says:

    Could you please show where exactly are any plastic clips which may break on the bottom cover (picture would suffice) and could you tell if a 9.5mm SSD fits? I gather the HDD in it is 7mm thick… TIA

    • Jason Bayton says:

      I’m afraid I no longer have it, so can’t crack it open to answer your questions with any scientific accuracy. This photo may help: https://bayton.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/20160218_114513.jpg

      Breaking the clips seemed less likely on the Lenovo than other laptops I’ve opened. Provided you apply an upwards pressure initially at the back between the hinges, the side clips practically glide apart. The tricky part was the front, but maintaining a pressure towards the back of the laptop combined with a slight side to side wiggle and the aid of a credit card saw them pop out without too much fuss.

      As for the SSD, without trying I couldn’t tell you. The only way I’d have known it doesn’t fit is by trying one and wondering why the bottom cover won’t clip back on..

      Best of luck!

      • dada81 says:

        Thank you all the same, guess 9.5mm M4’s outdated, so I’ll get 7mm SSD first, like you used, and only then try crack it open, avoiding breaking…hopefully.

        • Jason Bayton says:

          Providing you don’t force anything you’ll be fine. You have the benefit of seeing it cracked open at least now which I didn’t, so that should help a little too! Best of luck.

  2. julio says:

    buenas tardes yo tengo una lenovo yoga 300 casi igual al de la fotos el mio vino sin disco duro una una ssd interna de 32 gb, pero me e dado cuenta que tiene el conector y el espacio para poder agregarle un disco duro,pero no encuentro el conector sata crees que mi modelo se pueda instalar un disco y aumentarle la memoria ya que dice que viene soldado a la placa.

  3. Luis Angel Simòn Cueva says:

    hi, could you please tell me how can i get the hard disc or the SSD because mi notebook doesnt have it, i am from Argentina, thanks, greetins!

    • Jason Bayton says:

      You’ll need to obtain the relevant parts perhaps from eBay. I don’t have it to hand, but Googling should turn up a thread or two listing the correct part numbers to look for.

  4. Paulino Belamide says:

    hi jason, i got this yoga 300 as a gift, so i should not really be complaining. but here is what i found out and i’d appreciate any advise. it is supposed to be loaded with windows 10. actually as i found out, it’s windows 8. i thought i should upgrade to windows 10 since it is free until july 29th. i tried but unsuccessful because after i installed office 365, i was left with less than 1gb free space. windows 10 install requires at least 5gb. so what do u advise i should do? stick with windows 8? upgrade to a bigger hd? thanks!

    • Jason Bayton says:

      Sounds like you have the 2GB/32GB version? If you feel inclined, pop Windows 10 on a USB stick and try installing that way. If you’re determined you could decrease storage by removing 365, disabling hibernation, reducing pagefile size and deleting anything else you don’t need.

      I don’t recall if you *need* to perform an upgrade rather than a fresh install in order to get your Windows 10 entitlement key, if you don’t you could just install it on there and blow away the existing OS.

      To get a larger hard drive requires finding the correct parts referenced in the comments here and opening up the laptop. You could then create an image of your OS, transfer it to the new disk and expand the partition to fill remaining space. That would certainly let you upgrade with no size warnings.

      Up to you!

  5. mediaset italia says:

    fantastic guide : my notebook at 32gb or hhd da 2tb installation

  6. Luis Ruiz Figueroa says:

    your friend know if this team has a module to put additional RAM?

  7. edu says:

    Hi Jason! This is Edu from Barcelona. Thank you so much for this completed info. Can you tell me which SSD can I buy of 256gb and where to buy it? Thanks again!

    edu

  8. Ayanle Hussein says:

    Hi, Dear Jason Bayton,
    hope you are doing good, and this comment will finds you in a good condition, this is ayanle, hereby writing to find out “LENOVO YOGA 300-11IBY” has come with a Hard Disk or not?

    would you please tell me whether that type of laptop come with a Hard Disk or not? the reason why i am trying to find out towards this issue, is one of my customer came at my place and asked me to format and reinstall about windows 10, and when i was trying to format it is telling something like this,

    windows can’t be installed on drive 0 Partion 1. (show Details) i just clicked the show details and telling me,…windows cannot be installed to this disk. This computer’s Hardware may not support booting to this disk. ensure that the disk’s controller is enabled in the computer’s BIOS Menu!!!
    i have tried to resolve this with direction above, in the BIOS menu, and so confused,
    i have asked the owner of this computer about what has happen this computer and told me that he did handed over to someone else before me to do for his needs, but later on the computer come at my station,..
    after know about that issue i decided to make sure whether this computer is complete through motherboard, and i have seen something missing, and it is the HARD DISK DRIVER, wondered what the hell is going on, therefore, come on this website for help, whether this issue is nature or not?

    i will appreciate for your positive response towards this issue,….

    ayanle,
    address: Nairobi, Kenya
    E-mail: ayanle2006@gmail.com

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