I mentioned in my newsletter last week that I planned to upgrade my notebook’s hard disk drive (HDD) to a solid state drive (SSD) after upgrading it from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
That’s what I did. After the "November (2015)" update to Windows 10, which solved many frustrations, I upgraded my main notebook from Windows 7 Home to Windows 10 Home. After using it for a while, I upgraded from the original HDD to a Samsung EVO 850 240GB SSD.
I also gave a quick preview of the results — "(Preview: WOW! Big Impact!)." Here’s the story:
My first step in the HDD to SSD upgrade was to time how long it took my notebook, without any changes, to boot to Windows 10. This would give me the ultimate baseline against which I could measure the improvements.
My process was simple. I used the stopwatch function of my iPhone. I timed two steps. I always did a Shutdown, not a Restart in my timing. First step, I started the timer at the first display of the Acer logo (Acer laptop). I stopped the timer at the appearance of the login screen. Second step, I started the timer at the same time as I hit the Enter button after entering my password. I stopped the timer at the first display of the desktop.
Why stop at the first display of the desktop? That’s when I could actually do something, even though additional programs might be auto-starting in the background.
The two steps, while still using the notebook’s hard disk drive, took an average of 67 seconds to boot the computer. The first step averaged 42 seconds and the second 25 seconds.
My next step was to use the supplied software to migrate the hard drive operating system and data to the new SSD. This step took several hours.
The effect of the SSD versus the HDD was amazing. As you can see, with the system (OS and data) migrated to the SSD, the boot steps averaged 7.4 and 11 seconds, respectively, for an average total of 18.6 seconds.
NICE! Much better than 67 seconds!
My next step, since I had my Acronis True Image 2016 backup, was to wipe the SSD and then restore the backup image I made with Acronis True Image. The restore took 29 minutes and 14 seconds.
The restored results were almost identical to the boot speed of the migrated drive, 18.6 seconds average vs 18.4 seconds, well within the accuracy of my simplistic timing process.
The next step was to try an SSD optimization tool. In this case, I used the free version of Tweak SSD v2. It recommended a number of tweaks that all made sense. No major change in speed noted, however. Again, this could be a result of my simplistic way of timing.
These results still didn’t make a lot of sense when compared to my desktop. Granted, it has a later-generation Intel Core i7 processor compared to an earlier, slower mobile version of the Intel Core i5.
Still, in my desktop, it typically only took 1-2 seconds between the Enter (at the end of the password) and the display of the Windows Desktop, compared to 11 seconds on the notebook and migrated or Acronis-restored SSD.
So, I wiped the SSD again and, this time, did a clean install of Windows 10 Home. At the end of the install, I installed my usual software and configured it as usual.
The numbers changed dramatically again!
In these final numbers, we see the dramatic effect that you can get when you reinstall Windows 10 (or earlier versions) rather than simply migrate or image-restore in order to move from a HDD to a SSD. These are after a clean install of Windows 10 followed by installation of all my usual notebook applications.
The 67 second average boot time with a hard disk drive was dropped to only 18-19 seconds. With a clean reinstall, the boot time was dropped to only 11.8 seconds! Nice!