Upgrading to an SSD- HELP! Asus X501a


Aug 30, 2012
OK, so I will try to outline the problem with the most detail I can. This Black Friday I bought an ASUS X501a from Tigerdirect.com (see link below) for 350 bucks. Now, let me say it is a great machine overall, considering the price (TN panel is OK, not horrible, and the HDD is really the only thing holding back performance). I knew these things going in, so I anticipated having to replace the 5400rpm drive with a SSD. Luckily, as this was black Friday, I was able to purchase a 120 gig Kingston HyperX with upgrade kit from Newegg for 70 bucks (see below). I replaced the 60 gig OCZ Agility 3 I was using with as my boot drive in my desktop with the Kingston, with the intention of using the OCZ as the drive for the laptop (don’t need much space, as I do everything through google drive, etc).
So here is where the problems start. Now, as the X501 is a “ultra-thin”, it doesn't have an optical drive. I figured this wouldn't be an issue. I may be wrong... The disk imaging software that came with the SSD drive, Acronis something-or-other, is designed to clone from a laptop or Desktop. However, I don’t think it can be made into a bootable USB device. But this isn’t the first problem. The problem is that the BIOS won’t recognize anything but the WD drive that came with the computer as a boot option. I have USB bootable copies of both Windows 7 and 8, but neither are recognized by the BIOS.
Frustrated, I removed the WD from the laptop and plugged both it and the OCZ drive into my desktop computer, figuring I could clone the disks using the optical drive in my Rig. This worked well enough in that Arconis loaded up and both drives appeared in the program, but the WD drive couldn't be copied because it appeared “empty”. Well ***. I tried reconnecting the drive to different SATA ports as well.
Any ideas? I put the WD back in my laptop as I use it for school (and it isn’t the easiest thing to put in and out, as it involves over a dozen screws and a guitar pick), so the next logical step would be to install windows on the OCZ using my desktop, then install the drive in my laptop and activate it there. I don’t want to deal with this (taking apart both of my computers is never fun), so if anyone has any advice, I’d really appreciate it.

Laptop: (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5328839&CatId=4935)
SDD Kit:

Dougie Fresh

Jan 3, 2010
I have the same laptop and here's what I've learned.

1. Acronis can't handle the GPT drive that came with the ASUS. I ended up getting EASUS ToDo Backup and that was able to clone the drive.

However, Windows 8 had a fit an went into a boot loop after with Error 0xc0000225 so I ended up putting the WD drive back in for now. This happened right after ASUS Live Update ran (this laptop has so much bloatware) so no idea if it was that. I think I found a solution to the USB boot problem and I am working on that but I have no verified this:

Create the USB boot stick, go into the ASUS BIOS and under boot enable CSM, save and restart with USB stick installed, pick the boot option w/o the UEFI: in front of it, install Windows 7, disable CSM.

But, since I need to wrap this present up it'll have to wait until after Christmas.

I did get the memory upgraded. That was a PITA.

The Windows 8 install on this laptop s*cks. Six partitions, 20GB recovery partition, bloatware, etc. I can't wait to UPGRADE it to Windows 7.


Jan 12, 2013
I have an asus x501a but i cannot open it, there are no ram/hdd hatches on the base. I have taken all the screws out, how do you open it?

plus as stated in the manual tapping F9 on boot starts recovery, but that does not work on mine, what is the key to enter the BIOS too please

tried to email asus support (kept saying i had the Serial number wrong In chinese) used google translate to find that out, although none of the numbers on the back have SN before them.

looked in disk management, yes there is that 20gb recovery partition

Please help from Chiswick, West london with all of the above problems. Thank you.


Sep 4, 2014

This is how to open the laptop and replace the hard drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNszlNlEcW0