After seeing the amazing performance boost when I upgraded my iMac with an SSD, I decided I wanted to get an SSD in my wife’s laptop. It’s not terribly slow, but based on my Mac experience, an SSD would make it truly fly. I found a nice Samsung 256GB drive on Amazon for under $100, and convinced my wife to let me take apart her touch her baby.
The drive arrived today, and the first thing I needed to do was load it into an enclosure to do the migration. Samsung has a nice migration tool that you can download that clones your existing drive to a new SSD. I grabbed an inexpensive SATA->USB enclosure from Best Buy and started the process. It took just under a couple of hours for ~55GB to migrate, but it completed cleanly, so I decided to test it.
The first thing I did was try to boot off the external USB device. Unfortunately, that was met with failure. I’m thinking that because her USB ports are only USB2.0 they simply didn’t want to work booting off an SSD. From there I moved to disassembling the case to install the drive in the actual bay.
Disassembly was straightforward with 9 screws on the bottom of the case. I then used my spludger-like tool to gently pry the case open, letting the retaining clips snap apart one at a time. Once the bottom was off, the drive was in plain sight with three mounting screws holding it in place. There were four holes, but only three screws, so I’m not sure how that got missed in manufacturing, but the drive wasn’t moving, so I’m sure it wasn’t a big deal.
Once I removed the old drive it was simply a matter of swapping the brackets and the backing sticker, and gently reinserting the drive into the SATA connector. I put the case back together, with only minor difficulty with one screw, and then pressed the power button, hoping everything would work.
Sure enough, 9 seconds later, I was greeted with a login screen. I did some timing tests and 9 seconds is about where the boot up is landing. Once you enter your password, the desktop appears in about 3 seconds. This is a phenomenal difference from the old drive, which would take at least 60 seconds to boot (on a good day). I opened up a bunch of apps and everything seemed to work, and all her files are where they’re supposed to be. I set it running a Windows update to get everything tidied up, and the machine is in great running condition. One more successful story of an SSD upgrade!