01 Mar

Adding a Solid State Drive to an Old Laptop

OK, when I say old, about 2 years old, but it was showing its age. It was taking nearly 5 minutes to reboot, and closing Eclipse could take a minute or two.

I decided to invest in a SSD . Not a state-of-the-art SSD, one that’s a little older, but only cost $118 for 480GB. My old drive was 1TB but I had only used about 300GB, so I figured 480GB would keep me for a long, long time. I ended up purchasing a SanDisk SSD PLUS 480GB Solid State Drive (SDSSDA-480G-G26) because of the brand name, and the reviews were good. There were other drives about the same price or cheaper but a lot had negative reviews. You can find it at Amazon.

Note – installing this drive will cause you to reinstall all your existing software and data – have a backup, or use Dropbox or equivalent.

Before i started I created a Windows 10 recovery memory stick – easy enough following the instructions on Microsoft’s own site.

Installation of the new hard disk in my HP Envy was a nuisance, the was an installation video that walked through removing all the screws on the back – why would they put screws under the stick on plastic feet? There’s a warning on the video to be careful removing the back so the cable don’t come un-plugged – oops, the back came completely off and all the ribbons disconnected themselves. Once I installed the new drive, put the ribbons in place and tested the system I found the keyboard didn’t work right, so I re-seated the ribbons and it worked the second time.

After putting back the case and reinstalling Windows 10 the system was up and running. I then had to waste a number of hours reinstalling Office, Eclipse, Dropbox, and more. Then Dropbox had to download over 100GB of files which took nearly a day.

But at the end of the day, wow! Rebooting the system takes seconds. I can be up and running in under 30 seconds including starting the application I want to run. Closing Eclipse has gone from minutes to seconds. Everything is insanely fast. The package says “up to 20x faster” and I can believe it.

I would say – well worth the $120 and 6+ hours it took to install the hardware and reinstall the software.

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