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Dell Laptop SSD upgrade

This is a discussion on Dell Laptop SSD upgrade within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi I have a Dell Inspiron N5050 - service tag: 28GNLT1 - running Windows 7. If compatible, I would like


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Old 05-19-2020, 03:18 PM   #1
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Hi

I have a Dell Inspiron N5050 - service tag: 28GNLT1 - running Windows 7.

If compatible, I would like to fit a 1 TB SSD, any advice re feasibility and brand/model will be appreciated.

Peter
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:16 PM   #2
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That's a pretty old system though it should still run decently.
You should be aware of a few things though.
1. If you didn't already upgrade you memory from the stock 4GB to at least 8 you will tear up your SSD if you install one.
2. If you upgrade to a SSD you will need to use a hard drive copying utility like Paragon Hard Disk Manager or what ever utility is provided with the hard drive or something else to make a complete copy of the hard drive which will include but is not limited to the boot partition and other partitions.
3. Not copying your hard drive with a hard disk management utility will result in a hard drive that is not bootable and you will need to re-install the operating system or you'll need to put the old hard disk back in the system.



If all that is OK with you I like the Samsung Evo series. I've only seen one act stupid so far.
Something like this...
You'll also likely need a tool like this if you don't already have one....


Hopefully that wasn't to much or overwhelming.
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:24 AM   #3
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I have used many old laptops with 4GB RAM and I've installed an SSD in them and the SSD is running fine and does not Tear Up.Of course, 8 GB Of RAM would increase the performance
You do not have to clone your Windows 7 install to your new SSD unless you want that. A clean install of Windows 10 would work best. Then you can attach your Windows 7 drive with a USB Adapter or Dock and you can copy over your personal User Files to the Windows 10 SSD. But if you prefer cloning your 7 drive, it will give you your computer the way it is now was only faster.
It is true that if copying your Windows 7 install to a new drive you would need to use a Cloning software that copies the whole drive and it's hidden partitions, just copying the C: drive is impossible and it would make it unbootable.
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Old 05-20-2020, 05:11 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your comments.

I was wondering if there is a limit on the capacity of the drive so preventing a 1Tb upgrade, but as you don't mention that, I take it that will not be a problem. I had a look on the Dell site, and they only show images of 250/ 500gb drives, but make no mention of maximum capacity.

A memory upgrade at the same time does make a lot of sense, bearing in mind there is a fair amount of dismantling involved to access the drive.

When I did a SSD upgrade on a desktop some years ago the drive came with software to enable installation and transfer of files. But if not, I will take a look at the software you mention.

Good to see that the site is still going strong - I have some happy memories from the times I used to post regularly, which doesn't seem anything like 16 years ago! Sadly, I lost touch with modern tech - as you will have concluded!

Thanks again

ATB

Peter
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:02 PM   #5
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Your Bios is the older type and accepts the older type of HDD Initialization MBR. MBR file system has a maximum limit of 2.2 TB capacity drive or anything smaller.
You do not need to purchase your SSD at Dell site, you can purchase one from Amazon, Ebay or any other online retailer.
Most SSD purchases include a trial version of Acronis True Image or other cloning software, to clone your old drive to the new SSD. You will need a USB Adapter, Dock or Enclosure to put one of the drives in if your laptop has only room for one drive.
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
I have used many old laptops with 4GB RAM and I've installed an SSD in them and the SSD is running fine and does not Tear Up.Of course
Thanks for your advice and granted that may be the case on some operating systems including Windows 7 bare bones but if you do anything that requires any kind of headroom in the memory this is NOT the advice I would give ANYONE to ensure performance and reliability.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visseroth View Post
Thanks for your advice and granted that may be the case on some operating systems including Windows 7 bare bones but if you do anything that requires any kind of headroom in the memory this is NOT the advice I would give ANYONE to ensure performance and reliability.
SSDs of today can take far more read/write cycles than the early ones, so paging is not of much concern. Also, 4GB may not necessarily be insufficient for OP's use case. Not everyone's needs are the same.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
SSDs of today can take far more read/write cycles than the early ones, so paging is not of much concern. Also, 4GB may not necessarily be insufficient for OP's use case. Not everyone's needs are the same.

Mind you I will argue this point until I'm blue in the face because you are partly right and wrong.
Yes SSD can take more abuse than older SSDs however why abuse your drive if you don't need to? Why page over a max of a 6Gbps connection when memory has a much higher data transfer rate and is MUCH more capable of taking the abuse as compared to a SSD not to mention that a base Windows 7 machine will boot up using 3 to 4GB of RAM, no applications loaded. Load a application and now your paging to your SSD.


I mean no offense but I don't like to be corrected on something that I and you obviously know to be true.


Sure you can run 4GB of RAM but for "PERFORMANCE AND RELIABILITY REASONS" You should run at least 6. I know this to be true as I've seen it on MANY systems.


Linux on the other-hand is a completely different beast but MS Windowz is a pig and for a weaker system to run even decently well 8GB should be the minimum even for web browsing since it seems anymore that web browsers use between 800MB and 2GB of RAM.
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visseroth View Post
Mind you I will argue this point until I'm blue in the face because you are partly right and wrong.
Yes SSD can take more abuse than older SSDs however why abuse your drive if you don't need to? Why page over a max of a 6Gbps connection when memory has a much higher data transfer rate and is MUCH more capable of taking the abuse as compared to a SSD not to mention that a base Windows 7 machine will boot up using 3 to 4GB of RAM, no applications loaded. Load a application and now your paging to your SSD.


I mean no offense but I don't like to be corrected on something that I and you obviously know to be true.


Sure you can run 4GB of RAM but for "PERFORMANCE AND RELIABILITY REASONS" You should run at least 6. I know this to be true as I've seen it on MANY systems.


Linux on the other-hand is a completely different beast but MS Windowz is a pig and for a weaker system to run even decently well 8GB should be the minimum even for web browsing since it seems anymore that web browsers use between 800MB and 2GB of RAM.
This is not an arguing platform, just present your thoughts and others will do so. No need to burst a vain over this. I browse on Windows 10 32-bit VMs with 1GB memory and 64-bit Windows VMs with 2GB memory. Unless something has changed with OP's use case, their 4GB memory will still serve them as it has been doing with their HDD. The SSD will be a noticeable improvement without touching ram and keeping the same amount of memory won't tear up the SSD.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:46 AM   #10
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Hi again, need some more advice please...

For a while now I've been getting the message that my hard drive is nearly full, hence my plan to fit a larger drive as above.

However, looking at the partitions on 'Computer' details, the following is shown:-

OS(c) 3.55GB free of 97.6

Local Drive(E) 97.1GB free of 111

Alchemy(F) 343GB free of 348

Belarc Advisor shows the drive as: WD 500.11GB

I've had the laptop from new, and this is how it was set up by Dell.

Seems odd to me that only 20% of the drive has been allocated for the OS?

I believe the Alchemy partition is set up by Dell for back-up?

Not sure what (E) is supposed to be doing?

An explanation re why Dell would set this drive up this way would be very much appreciated?

Also, any advice re whether cloning this image in its current layout onto the new disc would be a good move?

If I were to clone this image as it stands onto the 1Tb SSD, am I right in thinking that I could then resize the partitions using Acronis?

If there is a better way of going about the image transfer, that would be good to hear?

A slightly different issue is that I have connected a Kingston 120 SSD, thinking I might make a spare back-up copy, but it doesn't show on the 'Computer' details along with the other drives? The drivers have been installed, and it does show up on Belarc Advisor?

Thanks for any time you can give to this.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petercj View Post
Hi again, need some more advice please...

For a while now I've been getting the message that my hard drive is nearly full, hence my plan to fit a larger drive as above.

However, looking at the partitions on 'Computer' details, the following is shown:-

OS(c) 3.55GB free of 97.6

Local Drive(E) 97.1GB free of 111

Alchemy(F) 343GB free of 348

Belarc Advisor shows the drive as: WD 500.11GB

I've had the laptop from new, and this is how it was set up by Dell.

Seems odd to me that only 20% of the drive has been allocated for the OS?

I believe the Alchemy partition is set up by Dell for back-up?

Not sure what (E) is supposed to be doing?

An explanation re why Dell would set this drive up this way would be very much appreciated?
I highly doubt this is Dell's factory setup. I suspect the store you bought it from did the install.

Quote:
Also, any advice re whether cloning this image in its current layout onto the new disc would be a good move?

If I were to clone this image as it stands onto the 1Tb SSD, am I right in thinking that I could then resize the partitions using Acronis?
Depending on which cloning software you use, you may or may not get the option to resize the partitions. A full clone will of course include all the partitions on the source drive. A system clone, however, will only include the partitions needed by Windows to boot, so those two extra partitions won't be cloned. Using the cloning software that is bundled with the SSD may not offer selective cloning of the partitions.

Quote:
If there is a better way of going about the image transfer, that would be good to hear?
In my opinion, a better way would be to use a bootable rescue media to clone so that both drives are NOT in use by any other process. If you want the option to resize the partitions or customise the layout/choose which partitions to clone, I recommend Macrium Reflect Free or trial.

Quote:
A slightly different issue is that I have connected a Kingston 120 SSD, thinking I might make a spare back-up copy, but it doesn't show on the 'Computer' details along with the other drives? The drivers have been installed, and it does show up on Belarc Advisor?

Thanks for any time you can give to this.
Is it brand new? It may require initializing or formatting if it doesn't have a filesystem yet. Open Disk Management and post its screenshot showing the status of the drive.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:52 PM   #12
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I'm not having much luck with this... just tried to back up the c: drive to the Alchemy partition, and although it starts, it quits within a minute or so? Tried 3 times, with the same result each time.

Am I missing something?

I formatted the SSD 120GB Kingston drive on another computer, but it wouldn't back up to that, saying there wasn't enough space on it.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:43 PM   #13
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Press the Windows key+X and choose Disk Management. Please attach a screenshot of Disk Management window, showing the lower pane and all the drives (partitions).
How are you Backing Up? You cannot copy the C: drive while you are booted into it. It has System Files that are in use. If all you want to do is copy your User Files, that should work.Just select all the files under your User Profiles, and drag and drop it or copy and paste it to the Alchemy Partition.
We do not suggest backing up or Cloning your C: drive to another drive on the same HDD. If the HDD fails, so does your backup. We suggest backing up to an External USB HDD and/or Cloud service.
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:51 PM   #14
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Old 05-21-2020, 04:55 PM   #15
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How are you Backing Up?
Are you using a program? Are you copying and pasting? What exactly are you backing up? Please, Walk us thru the process.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:38 PM   #16
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I connected the 120GB SSD which triggered a window to open for backing up, however, when I tried to back up to the external SSD a message stated that the SSD wasn't big enough, so I then selected the Alchemy partition and the back-up started, only to fail after around 60 seconds - did this 3 times.

I have a Crucial MX500 CT1000MX500SSD1 1 TB (3D NAND, SATA, 2.5 Inch, Internal SSD) coming from Amazon on Saturday, and hopefully will be able to clone the old to the new prior to dismantling - I already have an external Sabrent enclosure.

Having googled reviews the 'Mini-Tool Shadow Maker' appears to offer the best range of tools amongst the free software options.

Hopefully, it will allow me to image the "system option" suggested above. If I could have backed up the c: drive onto the 120GB SSD it would have been ideal for picking out what I then wanted to transfer. Do you think that 120GB should be enough to enable a back-up of the c: drive? After all it is over 20GB larger than the contents of the C: drive.

Something doesn't seem right about this - on previous occasions when I've tried to defrag the drive it wouldn't have it - saying that another program was controlling the defrag option. If the c: drive is genuinely too large to back-up on the 120GB SSD, I'm wondering if I can clean out some programs to reduce it down. I don't actually have that many programs or large image files on the c: drive, and I'm somewhat suspicious of what has used up such capacity. Apart from the fact that it takes ages to boot everything up, it's been running ok. I usually leave it running 24/7, so the slow start-up hasn't bothered me too much. I've been through the start-up tray a few times, and there isn't that much in it to cause such a slow start-up.

A clean system image does sound like the best option - if I can get the majority of current programs and files onto the 120GB SSD, and dip into it as required, that would be a good outcome.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:57 PM   #17
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This is the message re defrag, clicking on the 'remove settings' doesn't go anywhere, i.e. just back to the previous window.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:55 PM   #18
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Do you have a 3rd party Anti-Virus software installed? Like Norton, or McAfee? Or something like Advanced System Care? These programs have their own Defrag programs that turn Off Windows Defragmenter.
What program Triggers a Backup? Windows? Dell? or one of the mentioned programs?
You can skip the traditional Backup programs and just do a Disk Image of your HDD using Macrium Reflect or other cloning software, then save the compressed Image file to your 120 GB external SSD drive. Or better yet, your 1 TB external.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:24 PM   #19
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I use Avast free version.

I have tried switching it off, but made no difference.

Hopefully, the cloning goes without a hitch.

Thanks for your replies.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:58 AM   #20
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A few more thoughts I would appreciate your opinions on....

I'm thinking this might be a good time to upgrade to Windows 10, in the hope it will make things more straightforward, which is the first thing I would like your view on?

Also, what do you think of this offer on amazon re W10? Is it legit? Is it too good to be true? Will obtaining windows in such a format complicate changing to a new blank hard drive at the same time? Some guidance on the steps to be taken would be a great help?

I'm thinking that Windows 10 on a disc might be more straightforward?

I do have a desktop running on windows 7, but that doesn't have a write/ copy drive.

One old program I really do want to transfer to any new o/s is Macromedia Fireworks, the version I own was produced for XP, but with some advice from TSF, I was able to get it running on Windows 7. Would I be able to run it on W10?

Starting over with a new blank drive and a clean install of W10 will mean I leave the Dell software behind, but is there anything in the bios that might cause problems if such Dell software is missing?

With a 1Tb drive I guess I could add existing o/s on one partition, with W10 on another, wonder what you think of that? Will it complicate transfer and setting up?

I am upgrading RAM to 8GB, so presume that will be adequate for W10.

Have I missed anything?

What do you think about such a change? If it's a go'er ... your thought's on the way to approach it will be appreciated?

Thanks again for any time you can give to this.
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