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Upgrading storage drive on laptop to a SSD?

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Technique    36

The laptop I have is a Lenovo L530. Probably about 7 years old now. It doesn't get hammered, never has done but the speed of it is a PITA. Somewhere near the beginning i upgraded the RAM from whatever it was standard to its full capacity which is either 6GB or 8GB IIRC. Startup is painful and just general usage is a bit annoying for someone impatient like myself ... so i got thinking of SSD upgrades.

 

Now i know how to access the hard drive, i've seen a video on YouTube how to do that and it looks fairly straight forward.

 

I just don't know what would be compatible with the laptop. First off what type of drive will i be looking at or will any old SSD do? Since it'd be a SSD and not a HDD would it need modification in any way - in that the SSD in my PC needed putting in an adapter to fit properly in the case without just 'hanging there'.

The drive that's in there right now is 500GB and from videos and having a look online it'll be branded Toshiba.

 

 

Once we get beyond which drive will be compatible then we get to talking about how to set the thing up - the laptop came pre-loaded with Windows 7, no activation required. There is also a hidden recovery partition on there - none of this would be on the new laptop, so how would i go about setting the new one up to work perfectly without any setup/activation issues whatsoever?

 

Windows 10, unlike with my PC, is not an option here. For the time being at least i need this to run Windows 7.

 

 

 

EDIT: Side note, would it be acceptable to hang on auction sites for a 'good deal' on a second hand SSD or would you guys simply not touch a second hand SSD even if it was free?

Edited by Technique

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+BudMan    3,537
24 minutes ago, Technique said:

second hand SSD even if it was free?

Why would you not "try" it if free?  Putting in a SSD could make a world of difference for sure on such an old laptop.

 

As to anything special needed to mount it in your laptop.. Most likely not.. Such an old laptop is going to be more than likely just typical sata connection and the ssd will just slide into where your old 2.5 disk is.

 

Posting exact make and model number would allow us to check.. You might not be able to get full speed of say a new ssd if your laptop is only sata 2 vs 3 for example. 

 

If going to purchase something vs the free option.  Your current disk is 500GB, do you really need that much?  A 128 or 256 might be more than enough.. So much cheaper then 500GB ssd.  Windows 7 will run just fine off SSD, nothing to do special here for it to see the disk.

 

So you could go the clean install method, or you can just image the current disk to the new ssd.. Simple usb dock cable and the free software you can download from the SSD maker site would allow you to clone the disk over to the new ssd, then you just swap them.

 

here is manual for the free samsung software for example... You will want to grab the software from the ssd makers site, since they normally limit their software to only work with their disks.. But there are 3rd party options, if you buy some budget ssd that does not provide the software for example.

https://s3.ap-northeast-2.amazonaws.com/global.semi.static/Samsung_SSD_Data_Migration_User_Manual_ENG_v.3.1.pdf

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Technique    36

 

2 minutes ago, BudMan said:

Posting exact make and model number would allow us to check..

 

25 minutes ago, Technique said:

The laptop I have is a [MAKE:]Lenovo [MODEL:]L530.

 

3 minutes ago, BudMan said:

Why would you not "try" it if free? 

I didn't mean it literally, although with words on a screen you can be forgiven for thinking i did, unlike missing the very opening of my post ;)

The point i was trying to make is would you guys in your opinion advise to steer well clear of a used SSD and only buy new or is it worth looking at the second hand market for SSDs?

 

4 minutes ago, BudMan said:

 

If going to purchase something vs the free option.  Your current disk is 500GB, do you really need that much?  A 128 or 256 might be more than enough.. So much cheaper then 500GB ssd.  Windows 7 will run just fine off SSD, nothing to do special here for it to see the disk.

There'll be no free option really. Anything here will cost money. It just depends. If say a 500GB SSD will cost me, for example, £50 and a 256GB will cost me £40 then i'd get the 500GB obviously, but if the 256GB would cost say £5 then it could be different.

*Prices to capacities are purely for example only - i'm not trying to say those prices are accurate.

 

6 minutes ago, BudMan said:

So you could go the clean install method,

Could i though?

This is where i'm hazy - isn't there like OEM versions and retail versions and whatever other versions? So a key for Win7 64bit Pro retail wouldn't work on a Win7 64bit OEM?

I may have the terminology wrong there, like i said the memory is hazy. I remember having some kind of issue like that when working with Windows XP - i needed to buy a different key entirely.

 

Aside from that, it came pre-loaded. A clean install would do away with the recovery partition as it'd be a total new drive so wouldn't i need to transfer everything across? But it would have to guarantee no setup/activation issues.

 

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+BudMan    3,537

Yeah licensing would be on you - a clone will keep the licensing.  But more than likely would not copy of over some oem recovery partition.  Fail to see how that should or could be a show stopper since its freaking 7 year old laptop and a EOL OS on it ;)

 

There are many ways to clean install windows 7 and then install the OEM licensing back ;)  Some of which are prob not appropriate for discussion here.

 

Its been a while since had to do anything with windows 7 related to this.. but you should be able to use slmgr to get some info on your exact license.. There is many a tool for backup and restore of OEM activation..  If it was pre-installed there should be a sticker on the bottom with the product ID you could use.. Then again windows 7 is EOL.. So not sure if that would even work any more, etc.

 

As to your price question.. Here is quick example

https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-BX500-240GB-2-5-Inch-Internal/dp/B07G3L3DRK

21 for 120

32 for 240

55 for 480

 

Windows 7 you could more than likely be fine with the 120GB model..  All depends on what your doing with the thing, etc. etc.

 

Here is the good thing, since your not going to be doing anything with the original disk - You can clean install to the ssd, if you can not get the licensing to work with say clean you can always just put the old disk back and clone it.  You always have the option of running linux on the thing as well for free ;)

 

As to oem licensing when replacing a hdd.. To me replacing the hdd is not really cheating the oem license that came with the machine.. You didn't change out the MB.. So its really the same machine - just a faster HDD... Did you have to re license when you added more memory ;) If the HDD fails - do you have to buy a new license?  No so upgrading the disk to something faster should not require new license either if you ask me.

 

When going with smaller SSD then your original HDD - keep in mind if the hdd is still working you can always just get a case for it and use it as external for "storage"

 

Did it come with reinstall media?  Those are normally OEM branded and no need to "activate" etc.. Also they normally have method of creating recovery media to reinstall, etc. there are many ways to skin the OEM license thing.  So that L530 is only sata2.. So really no reason to buy any sort of high end ssd.. That 21 dollar model would more than likely be all that you need.

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goretsky    1,049

Hello,

 

From looking at the ThinkPad L530 page, it seems any 2.5" SATA SSD should work.  I would suggest making sure the unit has the latest BIOS/UEFI firmware installed first, and also make sure the SSD has its latest firmware installed, too.

 

By the way, the CPUs in the L530 support up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, so if you wanted to add more RAM you could.  My guess is that they didn't announce support for the machine with 16GB because it would cut into sales of pricier T- and W-series machines (the L-series is for more value-oriented systems).

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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ThaCrip    606

I think others got you pretty much set, but ill list some quick advice for SSD's....

 

-250GB range SSD = hard to go wrong here as it's decent enough storage space at a price one can't complain.

-500GB range SSD = pretty much the sweet spot for a solid price but ample storage space.

-1TB range SSD = this offers plenty of space at a reasonable price. this is the most I would get for SSD. it's basically the best bang-for-the-buck for those who prefer plenty of storage space but still want the price to be reasonable as beyond these the price is a bit steep.

 

a while ago 120-128GB range SSD's were okay as they where only around $30 the last I checked (I got a Intel 545s 128GB for $31.99 about a year or two ago) and at that price it's hard to complain especially if your just using the laptop for some basic internet etc. but unless your trying to keep the cost really low, given the 250GB range etc ain't much more $, your better off getting at least the 250GB+ range SSD's.

 

if you got 6-8GB of RAM it's not really worth putting any more $ into upgrading that as it won't be enough of a upgrade to justify the costs, especially for general usage. hell, I have 8GB of RAM on my main PC since May 2012 and I likely won't need any real upgrade for the foreseeable future unless maybe one plays the latest games or video editing and the like. but given the age of my PC I just plan on holding out as long as I can and then just building a new PC which should give me a rather large upgrade for minimal $.

 

on a side note... I doubt it will be difficult to get Windows 7 going when you know what to do ;) ; but as you might already know, Microsoft is dropping support of it in Jan 2020.

Edited by ThaCrip

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+BudMan    3,537
11 minutes ago, ThaCrip said:

Microsoft is dropping support of it in Jan 2020.

Yeah this is not just moving to extended - this is EOL, and security patches are going to be no more, etc.

 

The laptop would most likely run 10, I see it listed all over the lenovo site for that model, etc.  So you should prob move to that.. 

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Technique    36

I'm afraid some of your questions i can't answer as i don't really know how to. I'll do my best though.

 

First off like i said - Windows 10 with the laptop isn't an option. The laptop isn't going to be doing anything too strenuous unlike the PC but there is an important bit of software that i use the laptop for which was actually the main reason behind the laptop purchase and i need Windows 7 to run it. It doesn't work on Windows 10. To get it to work on Windows 10 i'd have to do a whole more load of purchasing which just isn't ideal. I know we'll probably get in to the realms of Virtual Machine talk here which means i should probably address the line "Some of which are prob not appropriate for discussion here." as well ...... been there & done that and not too interested in doing it in this case or indeed any (or at least most) cases. It's just a whole load of hassle. Years ago i'd do things you shouldn't online just to avoid paying but these days i can't be bothered with the aggro of it and just pay up. It's easier. I'm not a fan of Virtual Machines as from my experience they run so damn slow and i've just had it with workarounds. I'd much rather the machine 'just did' the job.

 

The recovery partition - it's handy to have in case anything goes boobies up. I have Acronis True Image 2019 but IIRC isn't this tied to one machine? If so then it's tied to my PC. That said i think i have an older version of Acronis on the laptop and then there's always something free like Macrium - so the recovery partition is just handy although not a 100% necessity. I'd just prefer a clone of the hard drive if that's possible in this case without any backdoor workaround. I have the laptop set up exactly as i want with the programs i want. I'd rather not go through the ordeal of installing everything again.

 

Regards the security - not a concern for me with the laptop really. It is with my PC which is why i've asked about Windows 10 this past week as it's something i'll end up moving to at some point (not sure when) but it's not a concern as far as the laptop goes.

 

Your mention of Linux is a curious one. I wonder if i could use the laptop to try it out - but then how i'd boot with a new drive without a clean install. So to image the existing drive to the SSD but also then dual boot with some version of Linux. I hate it when ideas branch out 😅

 

Regards did it come with anything - nothing physical. No CD if that's what you mean.

 

goretsky - that's a curious one. I remember looking in to it at the time and about 8GB was the quoted maximum which is why i went for it. Same way my PCs motherboard max is 16GB so i said sod it and went for that also.

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+BudMan    3,537

If you have software installed on it - just clone to your new ssd.. If you go with say a 120GB ssd - your talking a $20 investment.. Not sure how that would be concern to anyone... If your worried about $20.. Maybe you should sell the laptop to buy food ;) hehehe

 

Once you have cloned it - you would still have the original as backup, and or sure use whatever imaging software you want to copy the new ssd as backup.

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Technique    36

Was just browsing YouTube.

 

With a free program to download he clones it right across. Not sure if there's a better way or if that's THE way.

 

I'm cautious about following YouTube advice on account of falling foul of it in the past. YouTube advice often seems to show everything as perfect and how you'll never ever run in to any faults which isn't always the case - but like you said, i'd have the original drive anyway should anything go wrong with the clone :)

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Technique    36
7 hours ago, BudMan said:

So that L530 is only sata2

First off i've just had a look at eBay for second hand drives. It seems people are unrealistic with their asking prices. They're basically asking for the same price as i can get the drive brand new. I'm guessing people are banking on it being SSD and just charging whatever they want, the same way the used car market see the name "Volkswagen" and just get ridiculously wild with their asking price.

 

So in other words ... brand new it seems.

 

As i tend to use eBuyer i saw the following:

 

https://www.ebuyer.com/790252-kingston-a400-480gb-ssd-ebuyer-com-sa400s37-480g

https://www.ebuyer.com/755734-pny-cs900-series-2-5-sata-iii-480gb-ssd7cs900-480-pb

 

Just a couple. The PNY is cheaper and faster it seems although it states Sata3 and you mentioned my laptop is sata2 ... does that mean it wont work?

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jesseinsf    85

Crucial website says that your laptop can have a maximum of 8GB of RAM. For a SATA SSD, you can get whatever you want. If you subscribe to Office 365 or subscribe to any other cloud storage then I'd match the SSD with the amount of your cloud storage. If cloud storage is less than 256GB then I'd get an SSD that is 256GB or more. I have an Office 365 subscription which comes with 1TB of cloud storage, so I got an SSD that is the same (1TB). 

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Mindovermaster    2,218
37 minutes ago, jesseinsf said:

Crucial website says that your laptop can have a maximum of 8GB of RAM. For a SATA SSD, you can get whatever you want. If you subscribe to Office 365 or subscribe to any other cloud storage then I'd match the SSD with the amount of your cloud storage. If cloud storage is less than 256GB then I'd get an SSD that is 256GB or more. I have an Office 365 subscription which comes with 1TB of cloud storage, so I got an SSD that is the same (1TB). 

I think you meant Office 360, but anyway, he never said anything about that...

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Technique    36
44 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

I think you meant Office 360, but anyway, he never said anything about that...

No i didn't - because i have Office 2010 :)

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Circaflex    3,555
49 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

I think you meant Office 360, but anyway, he never said anything about that...

And I think you meant Office 365.

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Mindovermaster    2,218
1 hour ago, Circaflex said:

And I think you meant Office 365.

WTH did I say that... :argh:

 

Sorry. My head was on backwards...

 

But my second claim stays.

 

Edit: That might be because I had my mind on a XBox 360 for some reason, and looked wrong to me.

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jesseinsf    85
2 hours ago, Mindovermaster said:

I think you meant Office 360, but anyway, he never said anything about that...

There is no Microsoft product today called Office 360. It's office 365.

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jesseinsf    85
7 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

WTH did I say that... :argh:

 

Sorry. My head was on backwards...

 

But my second claim stays.

 

Edit: That might be because I had my mind on a XBox 360 for some reason, and looked wrong to me.

Now that makes sense.

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jesseinsf    85

I just noticed that you will be running Windows 7 on this machine. Windows 7 does support SSDs, however it's TRIM support is limited (Garbage Collection) . And it doesn't do the best job at turning off features that cause faster wear and tear on SSDs. You will need to purchase an SSD that either comes with it's own Maintenance software or purchase SSD Maintenance software that has a "TRIM" feature. Click the link below to read was TRIM is.

https://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/TRIM

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PsYcHoKiLLa    2,355

Agree with above, you really should put Windows 10 on if you do put an SSD in it. As for the model, as long as the laptop uses sata connections then any SSD should be fine, might want to get a newer model for longevity and quality though, it mostly like won't be running at Sata III speeds, more likely Sata II but the performance will still be night and day compared to a platter drive.

 

I stuck 8GB and an SSD in my old Dell L501x and the difference in bootup and performance was immediately apparent.

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+BudMan    3,537

Windows 7 supports trim, you can check if enabled with

fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

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Technique    36

What did we do in the days before Windows 10?

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Nick H.    9,858
10 minutes ago, Technique said:

What did we do in the days before Windows 10?

There's quite a lot of time before the introduction of Windows 10, what do you mean exactly? What did people use an an OS?

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+BudMan    3,537

Same thing we did before the days of window 7 ;)  Dealt with the limitations of whatever OS running.

 

What specific software do you have that will not run on windows 10?  Some 32bit dos application..

 

But windows 7 will deal with ssd just fine.. My wifes OLD laptop runs 7 still.. It is quite old - and need to get her something new.. But for what she does on it - chromebook is prob all she is going to get ;)

 

Why are we still discussing this - get your ssd, clone your current drive.  Yes is will make a HUGE impact on the overall performance of the laptop..  There are multiple options in the 30$ price range for like 240GB disk... Are you waiting to save up the pennies you find on the sidewalk or something.  If you would of ordered it yesterday, it could be showing up at your door today or tmrw ;)

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Technique    36

We’re still discussing it because my comment wasn’t actually a serious one. It was more in the sense of how when something new (Windows 10) comes out all of a sudden the previous thing is ‘bad’. Avoid avoid avoid like it’s the worst thing on earth ... yet when THAT came out it’ll have been the greatest thing since sliced bread also. 

 

My comment is in reply to the stance of SSD on Windows 7 suddenly appears to be a thing to avoid. Totally different than the advice I was given around 2013, yet now it appears it’s bad advice??

 

 

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