Upgrading HDD → SSD

The hard disk on my laptop1 had been giving signs of being near failing. So, the weekend before last, I finally upgraded it to an SSD2.

The physical replacement was quick and easy. After considering just moving (cloning) the setup from my old hard disk, I decided to instead do a fresh OS install. The OS install was a breeze, but setting up all my customisations took a while. I live and work in Dropbox. Getting it all to download and sync took a few more days as well.

I had been dithering on this upgrade for over a year, and only did it now because of the state of the old HDD. Should’ve done it way earlier!

The transformation has been … extreme. So much so that it’s disrupted my workflow.

Earlier I used to switch on the laptop, and go to the kitchen to (say) put on water to boil for coffee. I’d come back a couple of minutes later to log in, then go back to the kitchen while the login & startup apps started. Another 5 or so mins later I’d come back and start Chrome and other core apps. This time, I’d pour the coffee out of easy filter, drink half a mug, and be back to see the apps almost fully open.

Now: I switch on the laptop, and by the time I’ve gotten up from the chair it’s asking for the password. Sit down, type password, press enter. By the time I slide in the keyboard tray and get up, it’s already logged in and ready. Start Chrome and other apps, and start to walk to the kitchen. Before I’ve left the room, everything is ready and waiting for work to start!

It’s too fast. Almost discomfortingly fast. I’ve lost my moments of peace, moments when I got lost in thoughts, did deep mental dives, meditated, or went to the loo. All while the computer was processing something. The upgrade means I don’t have time for any of those things anymore. Hell, I barely have time to breathe!

So, here’s my recommendation: If you want peace of mind, and calm, thoughtful breaks in your workflow, stay with an HDD in your system.

If you’re one of those blitzy fast cars type, dump the HDD, and upgrade to an SSD right away!

  1. I have a 5+ yo Samsung Series 5 laptop that I absolutely love. The only other change I’ve made to it is an upgrade to 8GB RAM. One big reason I haven’t bothered getting a new laptop is that there’s still nothing out there that’s good enough to entice me away from this. 
  2. Upgraded from a 500GB in build Samsung HDD to a 1GB Samsung 850 EVO. It’s at the higher end of SSDs, but the performance improvement so far has removed any qualms I had about paying £20 extra over the best alternative. It may have also helped that my HDD had never had more than 10% free space in last few years.