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Are SSDs hard to install?

At Upgradeable, we use what we sell. That really is the test of the quality: a personal recommendation.

My workhorse desktop that sits under my desk at work is a Dell Vostro. It is getting a bit old, I’ve had it for three years. We have tested all sorts of memory combinations in it, and it just not keeping up with the endless Thunderbird updates that seem to arrive each week.

I don’t need a new computer, I need an SSD.  I’m the boss, I can order an new computer if I want, but I really want to play with the new Crucial SSDs that have arrived.

What is an SSD I hear you say.

Solid state drives, or SSDs, are a hard drive made from flash memory. Basically it is a hard drive that is faster and runs cooler than a normal hard drive. If you want to know more, see our page on the benefits of a SSD.

This is how I installed my new drive, and yes it is this simple. I surprised myself how easy it was, and I got that satisfaction that I did it myself, geeked out and did a major upgrade!

If you are cloning (copying) your current drive to the new SSD, then you want an installation kit. I used the desktop installation kit. If you are upgrading a notebook, then use the notebook version.

In the kit there is a SATA to USB cable. Use this to plug into your new SSD and the USB end does into the computer’s USB. Insert the supplied CD into your CD/DVD drive and started the software. Follow the onscreen guide, which is what drive you are cloning and the target drive (the new SSD).

Once the process starts, time to go make a cup of tea. Actually, it will take a lot longer than that, depending on the size of the drive, it could take hours. Make sure you have plenty of time for the install, the computer will be unusable while it is cloning.

Once the drive has been cloned, shut down your computer. Open the case up, so the hard drive is accessible (see your manual).

There will be room for a new drive, use the supplied caddy to insert and attache the new drive. Unplug your old drive, and use the same connector to plug into the new drive. At this stage I left the existing drive in its bay, just not plugging it in. Make sure you swap over power cable as well.

Restart the computer, it should boot and operate from the new SSD. You should notice an immediate speed increase, the computer will start a lot quicker.

I left the old hard drive in its place for a week, ran the SSD to make sure everything was operating correctly. I’ll write in another blog post soon, ideas of what you can do with the old hard drive.

I have a new SSD in my computer, and it feels like I have a brand new computer. It took a small amount of work and about half an afternoon of disk cloning. It feels twice as fast, and it is like I have a new computer, and I didn’t have to go through the hassle of installing all new software!!

Hope this helps anyone considering a SSD. Do it, it is not that hard. I had the confidence of the tech support in my office, but if you buy a SSD from Upgradeable, you can rely on their support as well.

About the author: James Hopkin is a part time Upgradeable CEO, and a full time skateboarder. His natural habitat is going fast down your local hills.

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