I recently upgraded to a new SSD on a newer computer and WOW does it really make a difference. I know a lot of people out there may have an aging computer, or maybe you are running a Windows 10 computer and it feels a bit sluggish. I know from experience that Windows 10 is not really optimized for the spinning disk hard drives (I also like to call them mechanical drives) that come installed on new computers. My best recommendation is to upgrade to a Solid State Drive also known as SSD. An SSD will move at about 10 times the speed of a spinning disk drive.
Before you just go a head and buy an SSD at your local computer shop there are a couple of things you should know. Here is one thing to check to see if the problem is actually your hard drive. The thing to check is the Resource Monitor in the Task Manager of your computer. If you right-click the task bar at the bottom of your screen you will have a pop up. Click on the Start Task Manager text and up will pop the Windows Task Manager.
Open the Performance tab and then click on the Resource Monitor button that you see on the lower right hand corner of the pop up box. Click on the Disk tab to get a better view. If your disk is completely bright green then it means it is using the disk a lot and that is what is slowing down the computer. It is normal if it has usage spikes like the one below. You can see that Disk 0 (E:) is not being used at this time so it shows no usage. If Disk 1 was a mechanical drive the that whole graph would be green, especially if you are running Windows 10. Disk usage like the one below is normal.
If you find that the problem is your hard drive the second thing you should know is you have to calculate how much space you are using on the drive so you can purchase the right size SSD. To do this click on File Explorer on the Task Bar.
This will open to this screen and if you click on Computer it will show you exactly the amount of disk space used.
What you will need is a disk that is larger than the amount of space used. I already installed the SSD in this machine, but as you can see in the top red outline the disk is still bigger than the amount of space that is used. A better example is if I had a 500GB hard drive, but only 100GB of space were used, then I would only need 120 GB hard drive. It is a good idea to purchase an SSD that is at least 10% larger than the amount of data that is used. You don’t know how much space you will need for future programs that you may want to install. As you can see above I have installed a 500GB hard drive for any other programs I may want to install.
As for recommendations, I know that Samsung has some really great SSD’s.
Samsung SSD’s also come with some really good cloning software that you will need in order to clone your mechanical HDD to the new SSD. As for me, I bought the cheapest disk I could find and used EASEUS TODO Backup. They have decent cloning software that is on a 30 day trial when you download it. They even have a really nice tutorial video that is less than 5 minutes long. It is really easy to use and it only took about 45 minutes to clone the old disk. They say that it takes about 1 hour for every 100GB. It was really snappy and smooth when I was done.
This is a pretty easy upgrade to do on your own, but if you are not really tech savvy it is good to get help from a friend that is tech savvy. If you do bring it in to a shop to get this upgrade please beware of people trying to sell you things that you don’t need. Depending on the SSD that you buy this should be an inexpensive upgrade. I usually just charge a flat fee for this (check my Services page) and then the cost of the SSD. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me on my Contact page and I will be happy to answer them.