Replacing a laptop HDD with a SSD by Dave (Page 1 of 2)


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Dave
Hi folks

My laptop must be around 7 years old now. It's a Toshiba Satellite Pro with a nice big 17" screen, running Windows Vista. It's beginning to run a little erratically - well, TBH, it's not too bad, but will occasionally slow down and/or struggle to download web pages, runs quite hot and the battery life is useless! Now I know that the sensible thing would be to get a new one, but don't fancy spending more money than I need to, or the hassle of copying my files across. Or, come to that, moving from Vista - it might not be perfect, but I have it set u how I like it. Also, I have some older programs that might not work on Windows 10 (or whatever), like 2003 versions of Excel etc that don't use the ribbon. I really don't want to move away from that. Also my CD collection is on Superbase which has been defunct for ages!

So, wondering if it might be viable to move from a regular HDD to a SSD. OK, it might cost as much as a new laptop, but I could (possibly) increase storage from 250gb to say 500gb, speed things up a little, cut down the hot running and maybe, just maybe, keep everything exactly as it is now! I don't like change, so it does seem like a possible option, but wondered if any of you knowledgeable folk might be able to advise me for or against?!

Posted 12 Jul 2016, 17:02 #1 

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raistlin
Makes my laptops noticeably faster Dave. I've installed four now without a hitch.
Paul

Cogito ergo sum... maybe?

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Posted 12 Jul 2016, 17:17 #2 

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humphshumphs
You can fit a SSD in place of a normal HDD without any issue. You have 2 choices as to getting your software etc., on the SSD though..... install Vista from scratch, and the same with all the software, or an easier option, is to clone the HDD to the SSD.
Richard

Posted 12 Jul 2016, 17:33 #3 

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raistlin
I cloned each of mine.
Paul

Cogito ergo sum... maybe?

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Posted 12 Jul 2016, 18:14 #4 


PaulT
Running hot - it could be that the fan filter needs cleaning - they do get clogged and hence low air flow through.
Paul

A turkey is for Xmas not for life

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Posted 12 Jul 2016, 19:43 #5 

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Dave
I'd certainly prefer to go for the cloning version - I have no idea where my install discs are (or even if I had any!). Would a clone copy literally everything so it'd be like the same laptop, just bigger?

Hot running - almost definitely clogged! Need to summon up the nerve to open the case and clean it!

Posted 12 Jul 2016, 22:16 #6 

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raistlin
Cloning software does exactly that Dave. It expands to take up the total capacity of the new drive, although there are other options as well if you want to take the opportunity to create a new logical drive for example.

A can of compressed air blown through the external vents usually unblocks filters.
Paul

Cogito ergo sum... maybe?

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Posted 13 Jul 2016, 05:50 #7 

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Duncan
Cloning software is a good way to go. I use Macrium Reflect because its free and works. I have a problem with one piece of software that is somehow locked to the HDD so has to be reinstalled when I change the HDD and clone it. Everything else works just as it should.

Regarding the compressed air, I've seen one problem where spinning the fan with the air caused a problem with the fan blowing the drive chip on the motherboard so hold the fan still if you do it.
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Posted 13 Jul 2016, 21:36 #8 

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Dave
Been reading more about Windows 10. Seems it won't run Office 2003. Apparently only ribbon versions. Not happy about that! Also updates can't be switched off. Not happy about that either! I like to control my PC and not have it randomly changed because someone else thinks "it's for the best"..

Oh, and apparently W10 is moving towards "cloud based" computing. Once again, not for me! I only use my computer at home, and don't need to access files from anywhere else/anyone else's machine, so prefer to keep all my stuff on my personal equipment. Besides anything else, I prefer the speed of locally saved files as opposed to down/uploading stuff

Bottom line of this is that I am thinking more and more that upgrading my current laptop with an SSD is preferable to moving to a W10 laptop. I guess a faster W7 machine might be an option, especially if I could source a good, cheap, secondhand one!

Posted 15 Jul 2016, 21:22 #9 

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humphshumphs
I've upgraded all my PCs/Laptops to Windows 10 (I still have one old laptop on Windows 7 as it runs the laser engraver - and I haven't upgraded the driver software yet) and think it's the best version yet. I am lucking in that I have access to the latest versions of Office and just about any other software that Microsoft does. Yes Win10 likes Office365, and tries to get you to use OneDrive etc., wants to upgrade things without telling you, try and get you to use Edge Browser (which is terrible - and lots of sites don't work properly), oh and a hand full of other annoying things, but I wouldn't go back to Windows 7 as my main OS.

Having said that. If you don't want to use Win10, keep with 7 (don't use 8/8.1 - even worse than Vista in my mind). It will be supported till January 2020 (Win10 support is only till October 2025) so it's not a worry.
Richard

Posted 16 Jul 2016, 06:29 #10 

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Dave
humphshumphs wrote:Having said that. If you don't want to use Win10, keep with 7 (don't use 8/8.1 - even worse than Vista in my mind). It will be supported till January 2020 (Win10 support is only till October 2025) so it's not a worry.


Thing is Richard, I'm still on Vista! I'd rather still be on XP, but you can't have everything ;)

I don't like the sound of W10 at all. Whilst I do browse the Internet a bit (well, too much really!) everything else I do on my laptop is based here, at home, on my machine and doesn't need to be accessed anywhere else. Cloud based stuff doesn't attract me at all, I'd much rather be in charge of my stuff than have it sat on someone else's server. And I don't want my machine to be changed unless I choose to make changes!

So..... As my machine is getting slower and slower, then the SSD route does sound attractive. But also thinking of getting a cheap (secondhand) W7 machine while they are still available, so I get the licence for the OS. Certainly not wanting to move to W8 from what I've read, and although W10 sounds like a big improvement on that, there sounds like a lot of downsides too :(

Posted 16 Jul 2016, 07:33 #11 

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humphshumphs
Dave wrote:Thing is Richard, I'm still on Vista! I'd rather still be on XP, but you can't have everything ;)


XP is much better than Vista. Nothing to stop you still using XP, other than most browsers are not happy with XP now, and some sites won't work at all!

Dave wrote:I don't like the sound of W10 at all. Whilst I do browse the Internet a bit (well, too much really!) everything else I do on my laptop is based here, at home, on my machine and doesn't need to be accessed anywhere else. Cloud based stuff doesn't attract me at all, I'd much rather be in charge of my stuff than have it sat on someone else's server. And I don't want my machine to be changed unless I choose to make changes!


Fair point - can't (and won't) argue that :)

Dave wrote:So..... As my machine is getting slower and slower, then the SSD route does sound attractive. But also thinking of getting a cheap (secondhand) W7 machine while they are still available, so I get the licence for the OS. Certainly not wanting to move to W8 from what I've read, and although W10 sounds like a big improvement on that, there sounds like a lot of downsides too :(


If I was you I would look at a replacement laptop with Windows 7 and stick with that. As I said in a previous reply, Windows 7 will be supported till 2020 :) And it's a perfectly good OS!
Richard

Posted 16 Jul 2016, 10:18 #12 

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Dave
humphshumphs wrote:If I was you I would look at a replacement laptop with Windows 7 and stick with that. As I said in a previous reply, Windows 7 will be supported till 2020 And it's a perfectly good OS!


Should I be putting up a "Wanted: Good but cheap Windows 7 laptop, with at least 500gb hard drive and 17" screen"? :)

Tempted, but the current one with SSD is tempting as I don't fancy copying all my stuff over to another machine. Having said could I clone onto new machine? Or would that make said new machine Vista? (and if that was the case, could I upgrade that back to W7 and keep all my stuff?)

Posted 16 Jul 2016, 11:52 #13 

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humphshumphs
Dave wrote:Should I be putting up a "Wanted: Good but cheap Windows 7 laptop, with at least 500gb hard drive and 17" screen"? :)

Tempted, but the current one with SSD is tempting as I don't fancy copying all my stuff over to another machine. Having said could I clone onto new machine? Or would that make said new machine Vista? (and if that was the case, could I upgrade that back to W7 and keep all my stuff?)


If you are happy with the laptop you have then just clone the drive to the SSD.

I would suggest cloning Vista etc., to the SSD then upgrading the SSD version to Win7 .... that way if you have any issues with the upgrade, you still have a working Hard Drive with Vista and your programs :)
Richard

Posted 16 Jul 2016, 16:20 #14 

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Dave
humphshumphs wrote:I would suggest cloning Vista etc., to the SSD then upgrading the SSD version to Win7 .... that way if you have any issues with the upgrade, you still have a working Hard Drive with Vista and your programs


That's a plan with merit! :)

I've had a go at taking the laptop apart this afternoon in an effort to get rid of some of the dust. Needless to say, I didn't succeed :( TBH, I should have looked up a how-to before I tried, as looking at one after, I realise that I missed a number of screws hidden behind the HDD etc. Oops! I deliberately popped a couple of keys off to have a look behind and it was filthy. Oh dear! I then popped another couple off, and they are not going back on properly (not important ones luckily, just Pause/Break and Scroll Lock)

On a positive note, I "found" a cover on the back which was wasn't covering anything, which I now think (after reading the disassembly how-to) is an empty drive bay! Correct me if I am wrong, but could this be very advantageous if I do go down the SSD and cloning route? As both drives would effectively be internal, would it be fair to say that the cloning would be quicker, plus when it's done, would I just be able to boot from the SSD and then, if (when) that failed, be able to switch back?

Posted 16 Jul 2016, 17:10 #15 


PaulT
Sounds like you have dual bays so yes the clone will be easy. As for booting change BOOT in the BIOS to Drive D:
Paul

A turkey is for Xmas not for life

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Posted 16 Jul 2016, 17:46 #16 

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humphshumphs
Having a second drive bay makes it perfect for cloning. Lucky you :)
Richard

Posted 16 Jul 2016, 20:09 #17 

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Dave
News on the laptop front is that I have had a u-turn in what I intend to do!

Reasoning is thus....

Laptop has been getting very hot, and spare storage capacity is dwindling. I reckoned the idea of swapping the HDD to an SSD was sound, as it would (hopefully) run cooler, and give me the chance to up capacity from 250gb to 500gb,or even more. Also I didn't like the sound of a new laptop with W10 for reasons outlined above

Yesterday I decided I needed to have another go at cleaning the insides of the laptop out, in a hope of getting it to run cooler. All went well, following a detailed guide, until I unplugged the keyboard ribbon cable. The retaining clip came off rather than hinging up, mainly due to the fact that I didn't know it hinged! I was worried at this stage that the thing would fail on re-assembly, but carried on, finally getting access to the motherboard. I could see the fan through a gap in this, in all honesty not looking too mucky. At this point I chickened out, and after a cursory fan clean, began re-assembly. All went well until I tried to replace the retainer clip, which snapped in two. I tried a bodge repair (taped it in) but it didn't work - couldn't type anything. So then tried putting it roughly back in place and taping that, which gave me around half the keys. After this I found two old laptops and cannibalised them for the clips, but they weren't the same. In the end I have managed to get the two halves of the original clip more firmly seated, and taped over this, which has given me keyboard access back, but probably only until the tackiness of the tape gives up :(

So, I'm now looking at new laptops. I'm figuring that this one has a limited life now, as the keyboard could fail at any moment (and using a virtual one is nigh impossible) and it's still running very hot. I really don't want to give up some of my old programs and the idea of copying everything over is daunting. However, Gill reminded me this morning that she runs W10 on her machine and has Office 2003 successfully working on it, and perhaps it's about time I either gave up my CD database or at least migrated it to another program! Also, whatever the name for the media player on W10 is, I know that is capable of streaming all my mp3's to my Denon stereo, which this machine can't. As well as that, for some reason the network connection on here is getting flakier by the day, so that should improve

If I keep this machine I'll be taking it apart again to clean it, which could kill it. I could but a laptop cooling pad, but I might as well put that money towards a new one. Also if I went SSD, the price of a 1TB drive is around the price of a new machine, also with 1TB (albeit not SSD). What swung it was looking online for a 17" machine (like the one I have) and assuming they wouldn't exist but then finding that there are some on eBay, from Argos, which although refurbished, are new and come with a warranty.

I'd like to stick to Toshiba (not sure why, but we've had four Toshiba laptops now) and I can get one for £289

Toshiba laptop

I could save £30 and get a similar HP, but would I regret it?!

HP laptop

Any advice welcomed! :D

Posted 18 Jul 2016, 11:38 #18 

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raistlin
Over the years Dave, I've had HP, Tosh, Sony Vaio, Dell, IBM and Fujitsu laptops.

To be fair, I really couldn't choose between them for reliability. At the moment I use a Toshiba for work and a VAIO for running the Jaguar SDD / IDS (same sort of thing as T4 (Testbook version 4.Computer Diagnostic System) for Rover) and they both perform faultlessly. NEITHER, however, has Windows 10. The Tosh has Windows 7 which suits me perfectly and the Vaio has Windows XP so it is compatible with the Jaguar software.

I used to rate the IBM Thinkpad range but haven't tried one since they were taken over by Lenovo so can't venbture an opinion.

Dare I say that the decision, given an equivalent spec, might come down to which one you like the look of best?
Paul

Cogito ergo sum... maybe?

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Posted 18 Jul 2016, 17:35 #19 

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Duncan
I had Toshibas as my first and second.

The first was sold quite 'young' as I got my second under a good deal. However I sold it to someone who after 18 months were having problems so asked me to upgrade the hard disc because it was so slow. I did this but noticed it was deathly slow and really noisy. After a while I twigged it was blocked with muck so after a good clean it was much better, but it clearly blocked very easily.

The second died a few days after the warranty expired and needed a new motherboard as the graphics chip failed, a very common problem. I've heard HPs of that era were just as bad. This time it was poor soldering, and to be honest I fixed it with a blowtorch (no, really).

In the mean time, a few machines at work, that get 10 hour a day use in dirty conditions were slowing down and getting war. These Dells struck me as being much better put together and easy to take apart to clean. So I replaced my second failed Tosh with a Dell. Over the years it too picked up some fluff, but much less. Now it was a consumer version rather than a business machine, but the only dissapoinment I had was the batteries stopping working. It wasn't quite so well built but is still going now and appearing at Nanos. I upgraded it to SSD and since it came with Win7 I got the upgrade to win 10. Its still a perfectly usable machine.

My work PC is also Dell, running win 7 from an SSD (that it had from new). Theres a couple of funnies (EG the driver for the SD card has a bug that means it stops the PC sleeping if you close the lid). but overall its good.

Finally, having got a bit fed up with windows7 (10 only came after it was retired) because there were that many updates and patches, I went Macbook. Took a bit of learning but even so Its the best I've owned.

So from me I'd say think about Apple, but if you don't fancy the expense and learning curve, you could do worse than a Dell, especially if you go for a business targeted version.
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Posted 18 Jul 2016, 17:44 #20 


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