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Adventures with Solid State Drives

So after spending about 3 weeks futzing around with Solid State Drives, Vista and Windows 7, I think I have come to a set of truths that I have learned.

First, upgrading your operating system is a mistake, you should always install a new clean version of your operating system no matter what. You can find all the install codes you need for your software and you can figure out how to back up your data, and a clean install just fixes a myriad of problems and sins that have built up over the life of your previous operating system lifetime.

I managed to get a good size solid state drive, and I have learned that if you install your operating system correctly on the device, your system will run much better (if you are running Windows 7). I think putting an SSD on a Vista or XP system is just not worth doing (Windows 7 seems to understand the devices and optimizes to use it). You should run Windows 7 to use an SSD.

Attempting to Clone your disk to the SSD while it sounds like an interesting concept, is a bloody waste of your time. I ended up with a somewhat faster system, but, not as fast as when I simply reloaded the OS from scratch and loaded it onto a formatted SSD.

I am not sure what the lifetime of an SSD is, so you should have a reliable back up system for your important data (or better still have all your important data on a NAS or server elsewhere). This makes the system you are running on almost “disposable”, but it is much faster for now, and that is what you are looking for.

Solid State Drive
Spinning Drive vs. SSD

The system I upgraded was a POS HP Laptop, which was having no end of issues with Blue Screens of Death and overheating issues that seem to have subsided for now. As I have ranted previously HP laptops are not worth buying, and not worth buying at any price (I have had to replace 2 of them for my daughters), but if you stick an SSD in one, it might make it a bit more reliable (I we shall see).

All in all an interesting experiment, but if I had simply started from scratch as I was told to do by folks in the know, I wouldn’t have wasted 3 weeks the way I did.

Epilogue: I found the same thing out again, after replacing the HDD in a Dell Inspiron N5110, it ended up being better to start from scratch (again).

Oh, and YouTube is invaluable in these situations:

Photo by tor00722. Published on 29 July 2014 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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