Nvidia SHIELD Pro SSD Hard Drive Mod

Nvidia SHIELD Pro SSD Hard Drive Mod

The SHIELD Pro is Nvidia's Flagship Model, swapping out the slow 500GB hard drive with an SSD will make a huge difference.

If you bought a Nvidia Shield Pro, you probably thought you had the best model Nvidia made. Well, you do, sort of and here's why. The Pro actually is slower than the standard SHIELD model. That's because Nvidia uses a standard drive in this model where their Non-Pro models use faster flash memory.

Nvidia Shield Pro SSD Mod

The hard drive that comes in your SHIELD Pro use platters. Solid state drives use much faster flash memory. This means your performance will suffer if you have a standard SHIELD Pro as compared to one of the lower cost regular SHIELD models without a hard drive as they already come with 16GB of faster Flash memory on board.

The good news is you can make your SHIELD pro every bit as fast if not a little faster as the standard SHIELD by doing a simple hard drive swap. Plus, you will still have 500 GB of super-fast SSD storage on tap for all your file storage needs.

This is some information we compiled from our Nvidia Shield Rocks forum on Facebook. By putting it all together here in one spot for future reference it will give you all the info you need to clone your SHIELD hard drive to an SSD Drive and greatly improve its overall performance.

Here's What You Need to Give your SHIELD Pro a Big Performance Boost

1. A Samsung 500 GB SSD. You want this model: Samsung 860 EVO 500GB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E500B/AM) and no don't even bother getting a larger SSD because it will make things much more complicated and the finished cloned drive will still end up being the same 500 GB so your just wasting your money by using a larger drive. Think of this as a performance mod for your SHIELD, not a Hard Drive size enhancement.

2. You will also need a PC with a couple SATA ports or a Drive Duplicator. You can also choose to get two 2.5" external drive enclosures and plug both drives into a USB port on your PC as another alternative. If you don't have a PC, the easiest way to accomplish this is by buying an inexpensive Drive Duplicator on Amazon.

A Drive duplicator makes an exact mirror image of your SHIELD 500 GB Drive onto a new blank SSD Drive.

3. Removing the drive from your SHIELD is a little tricky, but you will want to remove it to replace it with your new Samsung SSD Drive. Watch the video and it will walk you through the process of how to open your SHIELD Pro and how to remove the drive and duplicate it using a duplicator. Just plug both drives into the hard drive duplicator and it does it all on its own, no PC needed.

4. FREE Cloning with a PC. If you have a PC available, and you pop both drives into the 2.5" External drive enclosures like these, then plug them each into a USB port and you can use the Free HDD Raw Copy software you can download for Windows.

SHIELD SSD Raw Copy Tool

This software will make an exact image of your SHIELD pro drive onto your SSD hard drive. Just be sure to choose your original drive as your source drive and your SSD as the destination drive and not the other way around or you could end up overwriting your original SHIELD hard drive with the blank one. (This would be very bad.)

5. Once you have finished cloning your drive by whichever method works the best for you, all that's left is to carefully reinstall your new SSD Drive back into your SHIELD and enjoy your new faster restart times and speedier performance. 

The video below will show you how to remove and replace your drive from your SHIELD and show how quickly a drive can be cloned using a drive duplicator without a PC.

SHIELD Pro Models Are Getting Scarce

If you plan on buying a SHIELD Pro and doing this mod, Pro models are a little hard to find right now. You can still find them for the $299 price, but many sellers have marked them up even higher. Watching Amazon and eBay may be your best bet as new sellers show up there all the time. 

We have not heard officially that Pro models are discontinued, and maybe Nvidia will still decide to release more into the pipeline. But one thing is for certain, once you do the SSD mod on your SHIELD Pro, you will have the fastest and best Nvidia SHIELD or Android box currently available. At least until Nvidia decides to update their line with newer models which at this point we don't know if that will happen any time soon.

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