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Possible Laptop Upgrade from HDD to SSD General Question
Old 07-13-2017, 01:18 PM   #1
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Possible Laptop Upgrade from HDD to SSD General Question

So, is upgrading a laptop from HDD to SSD (for same sized drives) in today's world pretty much as simple as making an clone or image of the old HDD, then restoring onto the SSD? (After the physical replacing of course).

I know in the old days of SSD's (which is like about a year ago), care was needed to not write excessively and wear out but isn't that pretty much a non-issue today with newer SSD's?

Possible upgrade not for me but a relative.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:04 PM   #2
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You can do the upgrade with save and restore, but when I did it for myself, I actually backed up all my documents/photos/code to MS OneDrive (I have 1 TB of cloud storage that comes with my MS Office 365 subscription) and then I reinstalled everything and downloaded my documents again (I actually configured Windows to use the OneDrive folder as the Documents folder so they're always synced). I just think a fresh install is a cleaner setup. If you're doing it for someone else, you may not want to take that much time.

I do not worry about writes with mine. I used an online tool that claims to estimate lifespan of all the SSDs on the market based on the volume of data you write. The numbers ranged from something like 6 years to 106 years. I'll probably be replacing my laptop in 6 years anyway so I decided not to make any changes in how I use it.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:24 PM   #3
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You can do the upgrade with save and restore, but when I did it for myself, I actually backed up all my documents/photos/code to MS OneDrive (I have 1 TB of cloud storage that comes with my MS Office 365 subscription) and then I reinstalled everything and downloaded my documents again (I actually configured Windows to use the OneDrive folder as the Documents folder so they're always synced). I just think a fresh install is a cleaner setup. If you're doing it for someone else, you may not want to take that much time.

I do not worry about writes with mine. I used an online tool that claims to estimate lifespan of all the SSDs on the market based on the volume of data you write. The numbers ranged from something like 6 years to 106 years. I'll probably be replacing my laptop in 6 years anyway so I decided not to make any changes in how I use it.
Actually, this upgrade is for my SIL who said her laptop is way too slow and instead of buying a new one (she really can't afford to) I suggested getting a SSD to boost performance but not cost too much.

A tech friend will do the actually upgrade, but I wanted to make sure what I said to her is accurate without a lot of work involved.

Thanks for the sanity check .
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:29 PM   #4
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I know in the old days of SSD's (which is like about a year ago), care was needed to not write excessively and wear out but isn't that pretty much a non-issue today with newer SSD's?
It's mostly a non-issue. SSDs use automatic wear-leveling, and your OS takes into account normally that you use an SSD. Especially if you have enough memory. What you want to do is avoid using the SSD as extended memory (swap). Don't think about it if you have anything approaching normal usage patterns.

Do take care if you plan to use Linux as OS though, best to tweak its settings.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:44 PM   #5
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I upgraded one using a Samsung EVO drive about three years ago. Everything came in the package. I downloaded and installed software, connected the drive with the cable provided, ran the software. Opened up the back of the laptop, replaced the drive, (four sccrews), and closed everything up. Took about 15 to 20 min and all worked as advertised.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:27 PM   #6
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I upgraded one using a Samsung EVO drive about three years ago. Everything came in the package. I downloaded and installed software, connected the drive with the cable provided, ran the software. Opened up the back of the laptop, replaced the drive, (four sccrews), and closed everything up. Took about 15 to 20 min and all worked as advertised.
+1
I did it as well, although I think I copied important files to a thumb drive first.

The difference is GREAT. So I did it for my desktop as well.

My desktop is linux but I have 12 Gig of memory so it very rarely swaps (doesn't even swap when I run a VM while typing this. So I didn't do anything about the swap.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
Actually, this upgrade is for my SIL who said her laptop is way too slow and instead of buying a new one (she really can't afford to) I suggested getting a SSD to boost performance but not cost too much.

A tech friend will do the actually upgrade, but I wanted to make sure what I said to her is accurate without a lot of work involved.

Thanks for the sanity check .
I think the only caveat would be how old the operating system on her laptop is. Windows 10 and 8 will automatically set your SSD up properly. Other Windows versions (e.g. 7) may need some tweaking and some (e.g. XP and Vista) may need additional software for the important TRIM function.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:47 PM   #8
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I think the only caveat would be how old the operating system on her laptop is. Windows 10 and 8 will automatically set your SSD up properly. Other Windows versions (e.g. 7) may need some tweaking and some (e.g. XP and Vista) may need additional software for the important TRIM function.
She has Windows 10. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:17 PM   #9
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The update is super easy.

Wear for anyone using Windows 10 will be a non-issue. It should automagically support TRIM, and the drive itself will do it's own wear-leveling.

I would recommend buying an SSD from either Samsung, Toshiba, Intel, or Micron.

Finally, Windows 10 probably handles the situation, but tell your sister to not bother defragmenting the SSD with any Windows tool or other software. It will not help with any good SSD in terms of space or access speed, and it will slightly reduce life.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:33 PM   #10
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Do I have this straight: I can pop in some more RAM and an SSD and don't have to invest in a new MacBook?
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:51 PM   #11
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The update is super easy.

Wear for anyone using Windows 10 will be a non-issue. It should automagically support TRIM, and the drive itself will do it's own wear-leveling.

I would recommend buying an SSD from either Samsung, Toshiba, Intel, or Micron.

Finally, Windows 10 probably handles the situation, but tell your sister to not bother defragmenting the SSD with any Windows tool or other software. It will not help with any good SSD in terms of space or access speed, and it will slightly reduce life.
Good tips. Also, as I understand, turn off hibernation.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:03 PM   #12
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She has Windows 10. Thanks for pointing that out.
Then she should be good to go. An SSD will definitely perk up performance but I wonder if perhaps some of the problem is that a lot of crap (e.g programs at startup) has built up over the years. If so and she wouldn't have a lot of different software to reinstall, it might work even better with a fresh install of Windows 10 making sure to back up important files first. I have an old laptop from 2007 running Win 10 with 2 GB memory and it's surprisingly snappy. (I just replaced it with an HP 2-in-1 Spectre x360 with Intel I7 processor with SSD and it's quite an improvement of course.)

I would also second the suggestion to go with something like a Samsung SSD or at least one that comes with some software for cloning the existing hard drive.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:07 PM   #13
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Do I have this straight: I can pop in some more RAM and an SSD and don't have to invest in a new MacBook?
My understanding is that some MacBook models have the RAM soldered in as well as proprietary SSDs. So, not a case of "popping" anything in.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:03 PM   #14
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Do I have this straight: I can pop in some more RAM and an SSD and don't have to invest in a new MacBook?


As Ian notes, it depends on the year/model of MacBook you have. My wife has a mid-2010 MacBook Pro, and I swapped out the hard drive for an SSD last year. It's transformed the performance, and she should be able to get several more years of use out of it.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:09 PM   #15
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As Ian notes, it depends on the year/model of MacBook you have. My wife has a mid-2010 MacBook Pro, and I swapped out the hard drive for an SSD last year. It's transformed the performance, and she should be able to get several more years of use out of it.
Mine is also a Mid 2010
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:39 PM   #16
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Just watched some youtube's for my model, pop in looks about right.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:47 PM   #17
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Then she should be good to go. An SSD will definitely perk up performance but I wonder if perhaps some of the problem is that a lot of crap (e.g programs at startup) has built up over the years. If so and she wouldn't have a lot of different software to reinstall, it might work even better with a fresh install of Windows 10 making sure to back up important files first. I have an old laptop from 2007 running Win 10 with 2 GB memory and it's surprisingly snappy. (I just replaced it with an HP 2-in-1 Spectre x360 with Intel I7 processor with SSD and it's quite an improvement of course.)

I would also second the suggestion to go with something like a Samsung SSD or at least one that comes with some software for cloning the existing hard drive.
I'm sure the accumulation of a lot of crap stuff is part of the problem too of lack of performance. I guess that a lot of stuff on SSD is still faster than lot of stuff on HDD .

In an idea world, there'd be reinstalling of OS and software, not including one that are bloat, but I can stay, she's not the type to have the patience or know how.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:38 PM   #18
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Besides the speed up which will be great.
She can now walk around, jump up and down and spin in circles with the laptop on , and not worry about a HD crash.
It makes it much more robust for portable use, can even shake it to get out bread crumbs while it's running.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:23 AM   #19
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I have a now six year old iMac that boots and runs modern software like Photo Shop about as slow as molassas in January. It's agonizing, but I admit I have time to prepare from scratch a nice cup of hot coco while I am waiting.

I purchased and external SSD drive and connected it via one of the Thunderbolt ports on the iMac. This allowed me to keep my DVD drive in place and to avoid opening the iMac which, while doable, is a pain. After installing the OS and the software I use most often I turn it on.

WOW!

My 3-4 minute boot is not 20 seconds max. PS starts up in less than 15 seconds compared to several minutes before.

Maybe, someday, if Apple decides fully support the Mac again, I may replace the iMac with a modern one. But for now, the SSD has brought the old lady back to an active life.
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:16 PM   #20
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Update: The SSD upgrade for my SIL unded out as a no go.

SIL received SSD from Amazon, brought the computer shop and had laptop HD replaced with SSD. I called talked to my brother (her DH) yesterday, he said everything is working and laptop runs a lot faster. I message SIL today reminding her to turn of hibernation setting. No answer. Talk to brother today and he says SSD died, brought laptop to computer place and they said SSD died. Wants money back.

Not sure if SSD really died or not working due to human error but going to go forward with return and money back. Oh well...
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