Upgrading Your Hard Disk Drive

Hard Disk Drive

Having had quite a few Hard Disk Drives in for repair recently, I thought I should write an article on replacing your current drive with a Solid State Drive (SSD). There are some advantages and disadvantages which I’ll go in to in a moment, but the basic difference is the SSD drive doesn’t have any moving parts, and is less likely to get damaged when dropped or knocked.

 

Hard Disk Drive
The photograph on the left shows the inner workings of a conventional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) which can get damaged easily and render your data inaccessible. (A regular backup is always a good idea to avoid loss!!)

PROS and CONS

Taking in to consideration that your disk drives stores all your files (pictures, documents etc) it also includes the operating system (Windows, OSX etc) and programmes (Word, Excel, etc) not to mention all your settings so things are just the way you like, a disk failure can cause a considerable amount of frustration and time. So, lets look at the advantages of replacing your HDD with an SSD.

SOLID STATE DRIVE

The first advantage is reliability. An SSD has no moving parts and stores its data in cells. It is much less likely to go wrong.

There is no fragmentation, so accessing your data will be faster. Booting up will take less time, as will running programmes.

An SSD is silent and uses much less power. So good for the environment too.

So what’s to lose upgrading your drive?

The main disadvantage at the moment is cost. Prices will fall as more people start switching, but at the moment a 500GB SSD is around £100 (I have picked them up for around £75 on special offer) as opposed to around £40 for the HHD equivalent. If your go for a 1TB drive prices rocket up to the £200 mark. So if you need lots of storage space it may not be feasible.

Solid State Drive (SSD)
This is the alternative. A Solid State Drive (SSD) has no moving parts and therefore less susceptible to damage.

 

Other Options

Best of Both Worlds
You can install an SSD disk for your system and a HDD. Keeping the SSD for the system and the HDD for storage. This works well, but if you have a laptop, there may not be space for 2 drives, although there are workarounds.

Hybrid Drive or a Dual Drive
Hybrid and Dual drives put a bit of both into the one drive and prices fall somewhere between the 2.

A Solid State Drive can really boost the performance and load times of a computer, and can be retro-fitted to all Window or Mac systems. Reliability will increase and power usage and noise will be reduced, if you are willing to pay a little more!

** Please remember to always backup anything you do not want to lose! **