How Changing Your Hard Drive Can Speed up your Computer…

How Changing Your Hard Drive Can Speed up your Computer…

Few things in “modern” computing time have made as much of a dramatic difference to the speed of computers as solid state hard drives. Computer technology and speed increments over time, we know that. I’m regularly asked “Why is my computer slow?” and of course the answer is “it depends”, it depends on a number of different things but it normally comes down to only three – the type and speed of the processor, how much RAM the computer has and the type of hard drive. It’s this last part that we are really interested in exploring this month.

Most people start to think about replacing their computer when they notice it slowing down and depending on the original spec of the computer that is usually when its between 3-5 years old. It’s at this stage we would consider replacing the old, mechanical hard drive from inside the computer with a new SSD (solid state drive). The cost is much less than the cost of a new computer and the difference in speed is significant turning that old, slow computer into the lovely quick computer that you remember of old!

The physical process to swap the hard drive is simple enough. Tower computers are pretty easy to open up and most laptops have a panel that can be removed to expose the hard drive. The tricky part is getting all of your data (programs, pictures, cat videos etc.) over to the new, empty SSD but thankfully there is software out there that will help you make a “clone” of your old hard drive, literally duplicating it identically onto the new SSD. Clonezilla – – is one such piece of software. It allows you to plug your new SSD into your computer using its USB port (with a cable that can be purchased cheaply) and use the software to clone your old hard drive. Once cloned you can simply swap the drives and then your computer will behave exactly as before the change (as it’s not aware anything has really changed) but, of course, it will be much faster as it will be using a SSD.

Of course, there are exceptions to all of this, as with most things in life. If, for example, your computer is slow because the processor or the RAM inside is the bottleneck, then replacing the hard drive with an SSD will not give you as much speed as you might expect.

Probably the best way to decide how to proceed is to call in an expert to have a look. Maybe give your computer a health check anyway and also give you some advice on the best way to speed your computer up – just don’t be suprised if he or she recommends replacing your hard drive with an SSD!