I've been going completely crazy lately at the glacial speed of my Toshiba Satellite P50t laptop running Windows 10. My virus scanner kept reporting that the 10+ minutes that it took just to boot up was slower than 100% of computers like it, and hitting the “tune up” button wasn't helping.
For goodness sake, my TRS-80 Model I running NEWDOS/80 back in 1984 could boot faster. Not to mention all the waiting and spinning icons actually using the damn thing. It's 2017 for your-chosen-deity's sake, and a machine with a 2.8GHz processor should be just a bit speedier than that.
So after ruminating for ages on the decline of modern technology and how things “should” be, rather than how they actually are, I decided to suck it up and upgrade the hard drive in the laptop to a Solid State Drive (SSD) to save my remaining mental health.
This also took ages, since the first few USB-to-SATA adaptor cables I bought on eBay to clone the bastard either didn't work, or weren't compatible with the first few hard drive cloning software packages I tried. So I thought I'd write this article to help anyone else in similar situation reduce their mental distress.
My SSD of choice is a SanDisk Ultra II 960 Gb, which I found on eBay for about A$400. I chose it because it's a reputable brand, reasonably cost-effective, is almost as big as the hard drive I was replacing, and has quite high data transfer rates. Certainly a lot higher than a conventional hard drive with all the head seeking required to load the billions of crappy software components that fucking Microsoft Windows 10 needs just to launch the goddam desktop screen. Not to mention the software apps I want to run on it.
The first trick is to get a USB-to-SATA adaptor with an external power supply, because the low-cost cables you find on eBay won't be able to supply the 5volts at 2amps from a USB port that the Ultra II requires in order to function externally while you clone your internal hard drive to it. After trying 2 other dodgy cables from eBay, I found the Unitek USB Converter3.0 to SATA Adapter from Kogan.com worked for me. Kogan is great because they only sell shit that works. It might still be made in China, but they don't stock all the cheap electronic crap that eBay has which doesn't actually work, but is too expensive to mail back once you've ripped it open in Australia.
The next trick is to find cloning software that works. This took me a few goes, including trying the Acronis True Image WD Edition software that SanDisk recommend; which wouldn't detect the drive initially and always failed with a spontaneous reboot mid-cloning.
Eventually I found the free trial version of EaseUS Todo Backup (I don't know if it's pronounced too-doo or toe-doe) worked for me, provided I plugged the USB adapter into the front-most USB port on the right hand side of the machine. Download the trial version, fire it up, hit the Clone button on the main screen, select the “Optimise for SSD” checkbox, select Drive 1 as the target, and give it a couple of hours to work the magic. You don't need all 30 days really, provided you don't take a month off between installing it and getting a working USB/SATA adapter, like I did when I attempted to use Macrium Reflect.
Then all you have to do is pull the laptop apart and swap the SSD for the internal hard drive. Here's a video a really helpful mute with poor taste in music created to show you exactly how to do it:
Here's to speed and sanity!