Not sure why I waited to upgrade my PC with an SSD - easier than I thought!

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Andrew
My photo computer is pretty well speced.

  • 32GB RAM
  • i7 -8700 @ 3.2Ghz
  • NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • 1TB HDD - 7200 RPM (Main drive)
  • 2TB HDD - 7200 RPM (Image Archive drive)
  • Internal SD Card Reader
  • Running Windows 10

An older system, but still plenty capable.
The one lagging item in the package is the internal HDD. I thought about it for a while upgrading to an SSD.

I waited for a few reasons.
Unsure if the tech was mature enough yet, a reliable company that I trusted to come out with a good unit, size (1TB was the floor), and my capability of actually doing the swap.

I was talking with some friends and they all mentioned how easy it was to switch over from their older spinning platter drives to the SSD.
So, I go back into research mode after abandoning the idea a few years ago. I'm glad I did as the process was much easier than I had expected it to be.

Here is my process:
  1. Purchased a Samsung 1TB 870 QVO SSD Drive ($99)
  2. Purchase a USB to SATA transfer cable - Sabrent ($6.99)
  3. Purchase a 2.5" to 3.5" drive bay converter - Sabrent ($7.99)
  4. Download and Install Macrium Reflect 7 - (Free)
  5. mount the SSD to the converter bay plate
  6. Plug the drive into the USB cable and plug into USB 3.0 port
  7. Fire up Macrium Reflect
  8. Click Clone this Drive on the main drive (selecting all partitions)
  9. Click the destination drive (the new SSD)
  10. Click Start
  11. Go out into the living room and Play Call of Duty on XBOX One with my wife for 30 minutes
  12. Check on progress - drive clone process at 57%
  13. Go back out to living room and play some retro games on Pandora's Toybox emulator machine (played some Samurai Showdown and Robo Army on the Mame/Neo Geo emu).
  14. Check back in another 30 minutes - Clone process is complete.
  15. Verified that the drive was copied correctly.
  16. Shut down PC
  17. Extracted the old hard drive
  18. Installed SSD in it's place
  19. restarted PC
  20. Done!
  21. Enjoying the new speed enhancements from the SSD drive.
Total cost of project:
  • $113.98 in materials
  • 1.5 hours in time spent from unboxing, to cloning to install of new drive
I could kick myself for not doing this sooner. It was ridiculously easy.

My next project, when I decide to spend the money might be to replace the 2TB image archive drive with an SSD as well. I checked on 2TB($199) and 4TB($449) prices and I'm thinking the time might be soon!
 
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It used to take Word between 5-10 seconds to start up the first time from a cold boot. It now takes it less than a second!

I noticed the speed increase in Lightroom straight away, which was my biggest hope.

I used to start the computer, then walk away for 5-10 minutes while it loaded "everything" (yes, I only have what is necessary in the Startup deck).
Now, once I see the desktop, it's basically ready to rock and roll! :)
 

Growltiger

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Well done, it is a very satisfying upgrade.
If your second drive is just an archive then it probably won't be worth it. Also you may find that 2TB is becoming too small for you anyway.
My second drive holds all my data and is 8TB, and probably it will be some years before there are affordable 8TB SSDs, so I have to wait.
 
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Well done, it is a very satisfying upgrade.
If your second drive is just an archive then it probably won't be worth it. Also you may find that 2TB is becoming too small for you anyway.
My second drive holds all my data and is 8TB, and probably it will be some years before there are affordable 8TB SSDs, so I have to wait.
After the purge of the non-keepers, I’ve got quite a bit of free space. 100,000 images freed up quite a bit of space.

the second drive is where all my active images reside. I’m just thinking it might be worth it to speedup access. Thankfully, I’m not in any hurry to switch.
 
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Southern Cal
Keep a close eye on the new SSD.
Take advantage of Macrium Reflect.
I bought an external USB SSD about 6 months ago to use strictly to record my security cameras.
All of a sudden I got a message saying the drive needed to be reformatted before using then it died.
Windows does not see it when plugged in.
For a brief moment Windows did see it.
I ran Crystal Disk Info to see if the drive was healthy.
It said everything was OK and then it died again.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
A SSD will make an older computer seem new again.
The big "problem" for me was when Windows does an update. On my wife's PC, with a spinning drive, the BIG updates took over two hours to run. And during that time, the computer was unusable. That is the really irritating part about the updates.
BTW, this is the reason why I hate auto updates, especially on a work computer. I would come into the office, put the laptop onto the dock, turn it on, and . . . the computer would start an update. The computer was unusable until that update finished. This was really bad when I had to do something immediately for the boss. "Sorry boss, my computer is running an update, and is not usable."​
Back then, I stopped using Google Chrome for that reason, I could not turn off the autoupdate.​
The related problems is that MS sends out several of these BIG updates a year. So she ran into the SLOW update often enough to be frustrating.

Now with the SSD, Windows updates finish in minutes.
The Windows start up with the SSD is VERY fast, and it feels like a completely new computer. My wife is happy.

The disc I/O for Win10 is such a bottleneck, that I would not make/buy a new PC without a SSD as the system drive.

I have gradually replaced the spinning drive (system drive) on all the computer that I normally use with a SSD.
Data drive is still a spinning drive. An 8TB SSD is EXPENSIVE, and I do not need the kind of I/O speed for data that I do for the OS.

I generally only use the major brands, to give me some level of protection; SanDisk, Samsung, etc. Yeah I know even the majors can screw up. But with brand X you know nothing about them, and you may not have anyone to go back to. House brands are difficult, as you don't know who made the drive. And they could put the same label on drives from different manufacturers.

I don't know anything about "Reflect" but as I understand, Win10 installs on a SSD differently than it does on a spinning drive. Because of that, when I installed the SSD on my wife's computer, I did a fresh install, so that Win10 could install properly on the SSD.
 

Growltiger

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I don't know anything about "Reflect" but as I understand, Win10 installs on a SSD differently than it does on a spinning drive. Because of that, when I installed the SSD on my wife's computer, I did a fresh install, so that Win10 could install properly on the SSD.
That used to be true of Win 7 and Win 8. But Win 10 is smart enough to know how to handle a change to having an SSD or vice versa. I have five systems here converted to system drive SSDs, all with huge performance improvements and no problems, all done by simply imaging the system across.

Macrium Reflect is a professional IT backup tool. Its basic free version is very useful for home use.
 
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I have two. One SD for years and a new M.2 one now a few months old. They work great.
As a gamer i wouldn't be without them.

For temp files for photos they make a difference. Also the OS and my download folder are there.

DO NOT OPTIMIZE the drive.
 
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My experience was very similar. Several years ago I upgraded the desktop machine that I used for my photo editing to SSD. I was amazed at how simple it was and very pleased with the speed improvement particularly when booting up and/or starting programs. More recently I replaced said desktop with a 17 in laptop with a graphic card that has 6G of memory. It came with a 256 M2 SSD and a 1TB spinning disk for a data drive. I upgraded the data disk to a 2TB SSD and intended to upgrade the M2 to 1TB. However now I don't really see a need for upgrading the M2. Doing all I need it to faster than I can keep up.
 
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Well done, it is a very satisfying upgrade.
If your second drive is just an archive then it probably won't be worth it. Also you may find that 2TB is becoming too small for you anyway.
My second drive holds all my data and is 8TB, and probably it will be some years before there are affordable 8TB SSDs, so I have to wait.
I have a big 8tb drive in mine as well for EVERYTHING. I have 4-2tb drives for of off-line storage, but I got tired of swapping drives when I was looking for something. (I have a hot swap bay and bare backup drives.)

But OS and LR catalogs are on an NVMe with personal and active stuff on a standard SSD. @alexf I love having an NVMe for the primary drive.
My experience was very similar. Several years ago I upgraded the desktop machine that I used for my photo editing to SSD. I was amazed at how simple it was and very pleased with the speed improvement particularly when booting up and/or starting programs. More recently I replaced said desktop with a 17 in laptop with a graphic card that has 6G of memory. It came with a 256 M2 SSD and a 1TB spinning disk for a data drive. I upgraded the data disk to a 2TB SSD and intended to upgrade the M2 to 1TB. However now I don't really see a need for upgrading the M2. Doing all I need it to faster than I can keep up.
I had (and an thinking about getting another) Dell Precision 5000 series and if you get the smaller battery you can get an internal NVMe and 2.5 drive, it's a great feature.
 

JLH

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Jan 28, 2019
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145
I switched over most of my computers to SSD over the last year or two. Once you go SSD on the boot drive everything else seems...well....S-L-O-W. I still use spinning discs for saving all those thousands of photos however. Think I have three drives (total) in my main computer. SSD for boot up and programs, discs for the other 8gb of storage. Also use external drives for B/U of data. I run Win 8.1 on a few machines due to some software and Win 10 on the rest. All my old Win 7 machines got upgraded to SSD's and Win 10.

Life has been good since SSD prices finally got reasonable.

Happy New Year!
 
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Feb 22, 2005
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That used to be true of Win 7 and Win 8. But Win 10 is smart enough to know how to handle a change to having an SSD or vice versa. I have five systems here converted to system drive SSDs, all with huge performance improvements and no problems, all done by simply imaging the system across.

Macrium Reflect is a professional IT backup tool. Its basic free version is very useful for home use.
I was thinking of doing this to my machine but I'm running win 7. Am I better off passing on this?
 
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