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Adding SSD to Laptop

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Adding SSD to Laptop

SWMBO laptop (my old Sony Vaio almost 6 years old) is playing up a tad too much so I am treating to one she particularly likes by MSI but I'm getting it from Mesh.
Apparently it can have an SSD added and from investigation it should be an mSATA so I am thinking of getting a Kingston 60GB for the OS and some programs.
Just wondering, how easy would it be to change the OS from the HDD to the SSD. I am assuming it will have a recovery partition, do these allow you to change the drive it's installed on?

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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

If you're going to install the OS an SSD, I would recommend you go for at least 120GB, given the way Windows likes to eat up drive space unnecessarily, 60GB would end up clogged up too quickly and lose the performance gains one gets from an SSD, my desktop when I first set it up with a Mushkin 120GB 2.5" SSD had about 40GB taken up by windows alone after installing & updating (not including drivers, Steam, games, etc.), and that was a fresh install from scratch, rather than a bloatware'd manufacturer's recovery reinstallation....
I'd recommend installing the OS from scratch, for one, it won't contain unwanted filler programs that wastes space, and two, it'll automatically be optimised for SSD operation (filesystem, disabling defrag., etc.), that way it'll run as best as it can... Smiley
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

Is the SSD really "added" and not substituted for the regular electro-mechanical hard drive?  I suppose an m-SATa type, which is usually mounted directly onto the motherboard, might be possible if there is room or some sort of dedicated slot.  What's the model number of the MSI laptop? 
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

From the MSI specifications:
Quote
Up to 256GB SSD ( M.2 type, optional) + 1 TB HDD
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

I looked at the Mesh web site and their MSI laptops all seem to be top-of-the-range machines.  if you are looking for performance why on earth do you want a regular hard drive which will be the rate-limiting bottleneck much of the time.  Who on earth needs 1TB of storage?  If you do, buy Microsoft's rental copy of Office ("365") and use the 1TB of cloud storage that comes with that.  Okay, moving the OS onto the SSD will help speed things up but Windows is liable to keep wanting to take a little look at the regular hard drive and this will slow things down whilst you wait for a response. 
kmilburn
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

@Mav,   as indicated by w23,  your system has an  M.2 connector ,  this is NOT compatible with mSATA,  so the SSD you linked to is not going to work.  When finding one that will work,  you'l need to determine if the connector and drive are B keyed or M keyed  (or both).
One potential issue withthe m.2 connector is which bus it's connected to,  if it's the USB 2 bus, performance will be compromised,  if it's USB 3, PCIex or SATA, it'll be fine.  At the moment,  there doesn't seem ot be any information available indicating which one it is.
Size comparison of mSATA (left) and M.2 (size 2242, right) SSDs
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

Thanks for all the replies.
@twocvbloke I have a 60GB SSD for the OS in my desktop which now has 2GB free! I have another 100GB SSD with just page and temporary files on it and will sometime re-install W7 to it. So I will look at >60GB drives.
@ReedRichards I think this laptop is a little overkill for SWMBO's needs but, since knowing her, she has helped turn my life round for the better and I have been saving for just this sort of thing for her Smiley I have MS Office already with a 3 PC licence so she will simply re-install that. She likes the idea of programs starting faster from the SSD and, with her usage, I don't envisage the bottleneck you mentioned being much of an issue.
@kmilburn I have emailed MSI for further info about which SSD and how to install Windows to it from any recovery partition or discs supplied.
I am wondering whether one of the cheap offers for W7 mentioned elsewhere may be worthwhile as she'll still get the free upgrade to W10.

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sjptd
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

I agree with the comment that it would be foolish to limit yourself to a 60GB SSD for the OS (at least, assuming it is an up to date Windows).  If you having 8.1 and thinking you may upgrade to 10, remember you will need extra space during the transition and it may be difficult to arrange for it to use the HDD for that.
If you do, buy Microsoft's rental copy of Office ("365") and use the 1TB of cloud storage that comes with that.  and make sure you aren't on some silly broadband product with only 2Mbps upload.
Windows is liable to keep wanting to take a little look at the regular hard drive and this will slow things down whilst you wait for a response.  I have never experienced issues like that on my laptop (OS and main programs on 120GB SSD and 1TB HDD for pictures and large, rarely used programs.
My laptop is a PC Specialist which is quite a bit cheaper than the MSI for equivalent spec and easier to change bits about. It is based on a Clevo; lots of small suppliers such as Scan and Chillblast offer very similar machines.  On the downside it is quite a bit heavier and less good looking than the MSI equivalents.
By chance, I just revived my old Dell XPS (about 7 or 8 years old) this morning by putting in a 128GB SSD I had previously used on a now almost defunct desktop.  Moving the OS was quite tricky due to that laptop having a curious legacy Vista/8.1 dual boot.
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

Quote from: sjptd
Windows is liable to keep wanting to take a little look at the regular hard drive and this will slow things down whilst you wait for a response.  I have never experienced issues like that on my laptop (OS and main programs on 120GB SSD and 1TB HDD for pictures and large, rarely used programs.

Perhaps I am being too pessimistic.  I regularly attach an extra hard drive to my main computer which has two already.  I find:

  • The drive that does not hold the OS puts itself to sleep when inactive and takes an appreciable time to wake up again when it needs to.

  • A hard drive in poor health can slow the computer; very much so in the worst case.


I built my other-half a desktop with (just) a SSD and it is very whizzy.  When starting Windows 7 the four components of the Windows flag never completely assemble in the start-up animation because the boot process moves on to the next phase before there is time for that to happen.
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

It's been interesting catching up with SSD technology...
I have discovered that MSI uses M.2 Type 2280 SSDs in their notebook but still not able to gather information on whether 'B' or 'M' key. I found a PDF with more guidance but SWMBO's is not listed although most seem to be type 'B'.
I may have misundertood how these connectors work but if I was to get something like this would it fit either 'B' or 'M' connectors? Problem is, so far, I haven't found any M.2 SSDs that specify what key they are Sad
Any further advice would be appreciated.

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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

Quote from: ReedRichards
The drive that does not hold the OS puts itself to sleep when inactive and takes an appreciable time to wake up again when it needs to.

Erm, turn off the "power saving" nonsense then, an HDD that sleeps a lot uses more power to start up and sort itself out than it does to leave it spinning but idle as well as prematurely kill the heads from being parked so often... Roll eyes
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

Quote from: Mav
if I was to get something like this would it fit either 'B' or 'M' connectors?

I don't know anything about this key business but that thing is very long; are you sure it would fit in the space provided?  I still think swapping the regular hard drive for an SSD (2.5") is a better option than relying on some ill-documented add-on facility.  All tablets use solid state memory and I don't know why it's not now used by default in laptops.  Except that manufacturers have invested a lot in convincing us that we need a hard drive storage capacity that is many multiples of what most of us will ever use.  @Mav, just take a look at the amount of used storage capacity there is on the computer you are replacing.
(@twocvbloke - hard drive set to power down after 20 minutes of inactivity, which I think must be the Windows 7 default.  That 'more power to turn on' thing sounds like what they always used to say about fluorescent lights)     
nanotm
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

the lights do take 40 minutes of power per flicker on switch on, some lights would flicker up to 30 times before becoming stable something to do with creating the arc taking more power than steady state running, much like a starter motor in a car, it pulls up to 700amps when it starts to turn but only 20 when its a full pelt which is why turning the key over and over would drain the battery much faster than just holding it down (at least in older cars that didn't have a choke so wouldn't flood as easily) 
with respect to the hdd's, its a known fact that the park feature damages the drive if activated too often which is why premature drive failures are so common on certain makes of drive that were designed for windows xp (like the earlier spinpoints) which didn't have the default power saving settings from desktop drives ....
to the original question the M2 is normally connected to the PCIe bus but just like any ssd it should provide a decent performance upgrade over a normal hdd but at least 120gb if not 250gb unless you plan on scrapping the system in a few months when w10 comes out .....
a lot of laptops have 2 drive headers inside them and space for 2 drives (not netbook/notebooks) personally I would get a standard 1.8" or 2.5" 120 or 250 gb ssd that runs on the sata bus for the primary drive and have the secondary storage dive as a standard 7200 if performance is an issue, if your more concerned about cost then a standard 5400 hdd coupled with an ssd will be the way ahead, the m2 drive is listed as optional so I would avoid it regardless of the size or price


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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

Two things
What is the first paragraph re lights on about
The M2 connected via mSATA isn't usually connected to the PCIe bus but by combining two SATA ports and the SSD referred to is 6Gb/s limited so no benefit from the 10Gb/s mSata connection
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nanotm
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Re: Adding SSD to Laptop

someone's post had mention of them when I wrote the reply .....
the msata boards that's true, the m2 boards come with a standard pci connector  taken from an info blog:
http://rog.asus.com/308552014/labels/guides/ssd-guide-pci-express-m-2-msata-and-sata-express-the-dif...
Quote
M.2 Connector (NGFF)
Briefly known as NGFF (next generation form factor after mSATA), M.2 is the current connector standard for mobile SSDs, although it has also been adopted by motherboards as well. M.2 connector can plug in both PCI-Express-based and SATA-based SSDs, but is generally PCI-Express-based only. This is important because, as we explained above, SATA and PCI-Express protocols are not inter-compatible. The only way to confirm compatibility between your motherboard M.2 slot and your M.2 SSD is to read the respective product specifications first: if they match PCI-Express-to-PCI-Express or SATA-to-SATA, you’re good to go!
With the launch of 9-series motherboards, the ROG website and forums will also keep a list of M.2 connector protocols available on ASUS, ROG and TUF motherboards.
seems we are both correct as they come in different versions
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