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Toshiba Satellite laptop SSD upgrade

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April 8, 2012 12:48:22 PM

I think this is the right place to post this. Apologies if that's not the case.

My uncle's laptop, a Toshiba Satellie C650-1CR has broken. From a few tests, its obvious the hard drive has completely broken. I plugged it into my desktop PC and it doesn't even come up as a drive, even though I can feel and hear it spinning. Anyway, this is beside the point.

The laptop has no warranty. Therefore, it was a question of what to replace the hard drive with. I can get an almost identical conventional hard drive for £50. However, I suggested that perhaps a relatively small capacity SSD may be worth the premium. I get the impression that for ~£70 I can get a fairly basic SSD with a capacity of ~around 60GB. I also realise that I can only really use 3/4 of the drive's storage to gain the full benefit of an SSD.

My question is simply- what SSD would be most appropriate at ~£60-£70? I have always been modifying and building full size ATX PCs and have never installed an SSD. I am pretty well versed in the various compatibility issues you can encounter when installing new components. However, I have never modified a laptop. Any advice would be invaluable.

Thanks in advance :) 
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
April 8, 2012 2:34:49 PM

Buying a new SSD is a great idea and it should be very easy to install.... do you have a backup image to restore from? are you planing on buying a new copy of windows?
a b D Laptop
a c 351 G Storage
April 8, 2012 3:09:30 PM

1) Any Sata II/III SSD should work fine. I'd probably go with a Marvel based controller (ie Curcial M4) or the Samsung 830 in the Sata III catagory. For Sata II, intel or Samsung would be great. While the Sanforce 22xx should be ok as they have Finally worked the bugs out, I generally do not go with them.

2) You're close on how much space is unusable. about 4 gigs disappears because of manuf using base 10 and computer uses base 2. Than need to leave 10 ->15 % free so that CG and Trim can do their thing.

3) Although workable, I would not recommend going with a 60 Gig SSD in a single bay laptop. 60/64 is the MIN recommended size for a Desktop which can offload some files/programs to the HDD (this option not available with single drive system). The recommended size for a desktop is 80+ gigs with the typical recommended being the 120/128 gig SSD.
A lot depends on usage so a 60 gig drive may work, but on the same token may be asking for trouble down steam and must monitor disk fill closely. Reason I say 60 could work but would really go to 80+ gig - My Typical usage is around 35->40 gigs OS + progrqams, NO Games and Hibernation disabled, page file min/max set to 1024 mb, Restore points disabled, and my docs relocated to HDD. Did have an 80 Gig Intel G2 as a boot drive, but all my systems now have a 128gig OS + program drive.

Me - Two desktops with daul 120 gig SSDs, one Laptop with dual 128 gig SSDs and two laptops with a single SSD (smallest one 80 Gig Intel G2).
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April 8, 2012 5:22:24 PM

anonymous1 said:
Buying a new SSD is a great idea and it should be very easy to install.... do you have a backup image to restore from? are you planing on buying a new copy of windows?


No backups I'm afraid. Just going to have to be a clean Windows 7 install. And yes. Although, more likely, I will just download a pirate copy, then use the legal key code supplied with the previous Windows 7 install.

I think this would work but correct me if I'm wrong. And although its a bit of an illegal workaround, in the grand scheme of things I'm still using a paid for Microsoft key code.
April 8, 2012 5:33:17 PM

RetiredChief said:
1) Any Sata II/III SSD should work fine. I'd probably go with a Marvel based controller (ie Curcial M4) or the Samsung 830 in the Sata III catagory. For Sata II, intel or Samsung would be great. While the Sanforce 22xx should be ok as they have Finally worked the bugs out, I generally do not go with them.

2) You're close on how much space is unusable. about 4 gigs disappears because of manuf using base 10 and computer uses base 2. Than need to leave 10 ->15 % free so that CG and Trim can do their thing.

3) Although workable, I would not recommend going with a 60 Gig SSD in a single bay laptop. 60/64 is the MIN recommended size for a Desktop which can offload some files/programs to the HDD (this option not available with single drive system). The recommended size for a desktop is 80+ gigs with the typical recommended being the 120/128 gig SSD.
A lot depends on usage so a 60 gig drive may work, but on the same token may be asking for trouble down steam and must monitor disk fill closely. Reason I say 60 could work but would really go to 80+ gig - My Typical usage is around 35->40 gigs OS + progrqams, NO Games and Hibernation disabled, page file min/max set to 1024 mb, Restore points disabled, and my docs relocated to HDD. Did have an 80 Gig Intel G2 as a boot drive, but all my systems now have a 128gig OS + program drive.

Me - Two desktops with daul 120 gig SSDs, one Laptop with dual 128 gig SSDs and two laptops with a single SSD (smallest one 80 Gig Intel G2).


1) First of all, cheers for the recommendations- there's so many options. With conventional hard drives I've found in the past certain brands seem to simply do a better job, although to a novice it wouldn't be obvious. So I'm glad you've given me a few pointers there.

I'm guessing there will be no detectable difference between SATA II and III, as the laptop doesn't support the new standards, in the same way a USB 3.0 flash drive would be limited in the speeds it could achieve if plugged in a USB 2.0 port?

2) Again, cheers.

3) I think I get the jist of what your saying. To put it simply- 60/64GB not recommended, 80GB+ should be the minimum, 120/128GB ideal. And just to clear this up, as I'm unsure whether its been made obvious- the SSD would be the only drive in the system, for the OS, files, everything.
a b D Laptop
a c 351 G Storage
April 8, 2012 5:49:49 PM

1) Yes, I figured it was the only drive, have two toshibias, a A205, and a A306 - Both with single bay and single SSD.

2) DO Not get a pirated OS - Much better and still free, Just use any Legit copy, Retail, OEM, or Upraqde, does not matter. Don't have one, just barrow one.
..Do A clean Install (Copy image from a HDD is not recommended.
.. Using a copy, Install Win 7. DO NOT enter Key during install. Once install is complete THEN enter key and activate (Method I used for my Samsung RF711 Laptop. If you barrowed a "Upgrade version, then you MUST select custom install. When the upgrade version is complete you will need to do two steps (A) regedit, to change mediaBootInstall from a 1 -> 0 and (B) run the Cmd prompt (W/Admin privelage) and issue a rearm cmd. Just google "using windows 7 upgrade for clean install" - any questions on this and I'll post steps. (Note the one from Maxium PC is very good.

There is not as much real life diff for a sata III SSD between sata II and Sata III ports. primary diff is on Sequencial reaqd/rights and this is the Least Important matrix. Sata II SSD (Let alone a sata III SSD) on sata II is still WAY faster than a HDD. Most, but not ALL, draw less power than a HDD so easier on Battery. Another added bonus is less Susceptible to damage when jarred.
April 8, 2012 6:01:18 PM

RetiredChief said:
1) Yes, I figured it was the only drive, have two toshibias, a A205, and a A306 - Both with single bay and single SSD.

2) DO Not get a pirated OS - Much better and still free, Just use any Legit copy, Retail, OEM, or Upraqde, does not matter. Don't have one, just barrow one.
..Do A clean Install (Copy image from a HDD is not recommended.
.. Using a copy, Install Win 7. DO NOT enter Key during install. Once install is complete THEN enter key and activate (Method I used for my Samsung RF711 Laptop. If you barrowed a "Upgrade version, then you MUST select custom install. When the upgrade version is complete you will need to do two steps (A) regedit, to change mediaBootInstall from a 1 -> 0 and (B) run the Cmd prompt (W/Admin privelage) and issue a rearm cmd. Just google "using windows 7 upgrade for clean install" - any questions on this and I'll post steps. (Note the one from Maxium PC is very good.

There is not as much real life diff for a sata III SSD between sata II and Sata III ports. primary diff is on Sequencial reaqd/rights and this is the Least Important matrix. Sata II SSD (Let alone a sata III SSD) on sata II is still WAY faster than a HDD. Most, but not ALL, draw less power than a HDD so easier on Battery. Another added bonus is less Susceptible to damage when jarred.


Yet again, thank you, you have solved all my problems for now! I think I've got an upgrade copy of Windows 7 Home Premium, so I'll find that. Glad to know there is negligible difference between the two SATA standards in this case.

It seems £70 is the maximum that can be spend on a new drive. With this in mind, I think the best option would be

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crucial-CT064M4SSD2-64GB-M4-SSD...

I wish I could get the same drive in the 128GB capacity but there's no budging on the £70.
a b D Laptop
a c 351 G Storage
April 8, 2012 9:09:04 PM

With the upgrade copy, don't forget:
(1) Use the custom installation
(2) DON'T input key untill AFTER (a) installation is complet and (b) you have applied the two post installation steps (regedit) and rearm.
(3) Use the key on the laptop to activate.

Quote from maxium PC:
A true geek has never been intimidated by the registry, but lets face it, it's a mess in there. To access the registry you will first need to open up the start menu and type "regedit" into the search field, followed by enter. To find the proverbial needle in this haystack, you will need to navigate through the tabs listed on the left in the following order:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/ . If you don't like doing it the hard way just click Edit then Find and type MediaBootInstall into the search field, and press enter.

Once found, double click MediaBootInstall and change the "1" to a "0". Once you have finished this, simply click Ok and close out the Registry Editor.

AND For Rearm Cmd:

You can also accomplish this by clicking the start menu, typing cmd into the search box, then right clicking the command prompt application and selecting Run as administrator.

Once the command prompt appears type slmgr /rearm and press enter. Next simply type Exit and hit enter again, after which it will ask you to restart your machine.

End quote:

ENJOY
a b D Laptop
a c 351 G Storage
April 8, 2012 10:08:54 PM

Added:
Once you have windows 7 installed on laptop and activated.

Go to control panel and select Backup. Use this to create an image of your SSD. The image can be placed on an external HDD or a set of DVDs (normally 3 to 5). Once image is created you will be prompted to create a repair disk - this is a bootable Win 7 disk that can restore your SSD. Will NOT have to A) re-install win 7, B) Will not have to redownload all them windows update, C) No driver loads and D) No re-installing programs. Just pop the restore disk in and restore to drive - 10 Min and your done.
April 9, 2012 5:23:41 PM

RetiredChief said:
Added:
Once you have windows 7 installed on laptop and activated.

Go to control panel and select Backup. Use this to create an image of your SSD. The image can be placed on an external HDD or a set of DVDs (normally 3 to 5). Once image is created you will be prompted to create a repair disk - this is a bootable Win 7 disk that can restore your SSD. Will NOT have to A) re-install win 7, B) Will not have to redownload all them windows update, C) No driver loads and D) No re-installing programs. Just pop the restore disk in and restore to drive - 10 Min and your done.


Cheers yet again for all these in depth instructions. At this moment in time all I can say is thank you so much. You've been a great help to me.

I'll get the SSD, install windows, do all the steps you've explained so kindly, make a backup, and then hopefully be able to thank you once more for all your help.

If I have any more queries I know who to ask! At this moment in time there's little I can add. I'll just order the new drive soon and get back to you on my progress.

I'm repeating myself quite a lot here, but thanks!
April 14, 2012 2:04:18 PM

Everything went perfectly. Performance is a serious step up from a normal hard drive, and all in all it's been a complete success. Thank you very much for all your support RetiredChief, you've really made this process go entirely smoothly.

Cheers!
!