Solid State Drive - Upgrade SSD installation
A "how to" for a SSD installation and use of a Solid State Drive, will it make your computer faster?
Solid State Drive installation Introduction:
Solid State Drive's are IDE or SATA interface connection. So if you have an older computer that is IDE you can install a SSD in the computer.
A Solid State Drive is a all memory electronic device, as a storage device I have found:
This article will help you install a Solid State Drive, if you want to use it for extra removable storage or if you want to use it for your boot or startup drive.
The first drive I
picked was the
Solid State Drive
64G OCZ OCZSSD2-1C64G R. I bought the 64 Gig from
the reviews were good a
Solid State Drive upgrade installation how to:
First let me say that a Solid State Drive Upgrade installation is not a cheap upgrade.
(note - place you mouse pointer over the image to view a larger image).
Solid State Drive Upgrade installation instructions:
When you receive your new drive it may or may not be formatted, the OCZ drive was formatted. That was irrelevant for my use, I am going to over write the drive with a ghost image of my system. (You may want to make an image of your current startup drive, this will save you hours of work).
The drive is very compact and from my observation will create less heat than a mechanical drive because of no moving parts thus drawing less power.
Installing the drive is very straight forward. Secure the drive in the computer, connect your power and the drive interface cable.
Start the computer and go in to your BIOS setup, check the BIOS to insure that the drive is recognized by the computer.
When I installed the drive I set it up as the third SATA drive in my computer. Through the BIOS setup I made it the boot drive. After installing the ghost image (see notes) I restarted the system and received a non-system boot drive error.
Next I started up my computer and checked the drive for functionality, very nice. Very fast. The image I used is about five months old and nothing is missing.
Once I started the computer again all I had to do is up date my image to the current backup.
From my observations this makes my computer faster, I have the program Desktops (this program allows me to have four individual desktops. I have been using this program for over a year, I open programs I use frequently each in a different desktop. The programs open faster than with a mechanical drive. Actually when you click on the short cut it opens before you can move your mouse pointer. Very nice.
Because I have optimized my computer and the swap file is on a RAM Drive thus the write speed to the Solid State Drive is not a factor for the swapping of programs in and out of the swap file when the physical memory has been exceeded.
SSD - Solid State Drive upgrade installation of drive details:
Observer ESD! Your new drive is prone to ESD (Electro Magnetic Discharge) take precautions outlined here to keep from destroying your new drive!
What the drive looks like inside: (note - place you mouse pointer over the image to view a larger image).
The PCB fits in the case very tightly, how ever there is not any shock absorbent material between the case and the PCB. (Printed Circuit Board )
Looking at the top side of the PCB you have eight memory IC's of 8 gig each, this gives you 64 gig of Flash memory. On the back you have the connection points for eight more IC's, this leads me to believe that the Case and PCB for the 64 Gig and 128 Gig are the same.
KISS - Keep It Simple Stxxxd very nice, compact and low power usage, low heat producing.
After Solid State Drive upgrade installation; Did it make my computer faster?
So for an overall experience the computer is faster, opening a 65 Meg spread sheet before upgrade would take a couple of minutes, now three seconds! Yes it is faster.
The test computer has a Core 2 2.8 GHz Quad processor, 8 Gig of memory, and video card with 1 GB of memory. My main test was a couple of games I like, one of the games I play is graphics intensive and will drag between scenes while the images are loaded, sometimes the change is noticeable up to a second or two. With the drive there isn't any noticeable drag.
Unless your hard drive is failing or you need to upgrade then the cost is prohibitive for those on a budget, as I noted at the top of the article I traded speed for money, as your primary boot drive the cost of the 64 Gig Solid State Drive is comparable to a 500 Gig mechanical Hard Drive. I was under the impression that the computer would boot faster (a few reviews I have read suggested that) but my tests tells me it is not significantly faster to load the OS. Now if the SSD was integrated in to the motherboard on the main bus this may hold true. But using the SATA interface and a cable will cause a bottle neck, thus prohibiting the higher transfer rate that pure physical memory on the motherboard has. In a laptop and the Solid State Drive being the only drive it may prove to be significantly faster. Defiantly a weight and power saving for the laptop owner.
SSD upgrade installation Notes:
Since I wrote this article I have added Solid State Drive's to all my laptops and have one newer Solid State Drive that I use as an external storage device. Some of the latest versions of SSD have a USB connector along with the SATA connector. Very nice.
Myth: A SSD or Solid State Drive is a hard disk.
Fact: A Solid State Drive is all electronic (memory), it does not have any mechanical parts, it emulates the older mechanical hard drive only.
Myth: A Solid State Drive is hard to install.
Fact: Nothing could be farther from the truth! A SSD is as easy to install as the older hard drive.
Myth: A Solid State Drive will not work in my Mac, nor can you use any Linux Operating Systems.
Fact: A SSD can be installed in any computer (or gaming system) that had a hard drive. You can load any operating system on a SSD that will run the computer it is installed in.
Myth: A Solid State Drive will cause more problems than it cures, you see people having issues with them on all the blogs and forums.
Fact: The issue or problem is not the SSD it is either the installer or the BIOS, the people having problems with their new drive did not research the product before they bought it.
See my SSD: A few questions and A few answers page if you are having doubts about your Solid State Drive.
Something that server admins / owners may want to consider:
You could use two Solid State Drive's in the place of the two RAID 1 hard drives in your server, set them up the same way as the old mechanical drives were (i.e.: make an image of one, then break the mirror, removed the old mechanical hard drives, install the two new SSD's then put the image on the primary drive, set the mirror and voile' in about fifty minutes or so you will have a RAID 1 on your server that will last about 1.5 MILLION hours. Now that is cool ...