Off Topic Question Hard Drive to SSD upgrade on my Lenovo Y580 Laptop - PC Hardware

Kaps

Contributor
:
CX-5 Touring 2016.5
Hope everyone is doing ok during this crisis.

Due to lockdown I had to pull my old 2012/13 Lenovo Y580 out to help my kid do her studies. We opted out of getting a loaner from the school district as we knew they would have thousands of people requesting.
The Y580 is probably one of last laptops where you can upgrade the RAM, HDD without too much fuss. HDD can be pulled out in 3 minutes or less.

It runs on Windows 7, I have anti virus etc. on it and it has decent graphics, could use better RAM but my most limiting factor is disk reading / writing speed. I believe its 5400 rpm. Windows Experience score is 7.9 on all but disk speed which is 5.9 if this matters.

I wanted to upgrade it to an SSD. I am seeing SSDs on eBay for under 50 bucks for 128 - 240 GB which should be enough for me. I plan on using the existing HDD as external storage. I have got these Qs - I know there are some very knowledgeable folks over here, seeing if I could get some help.

1. I am assuming $ for $ the SSD is better value than faster RAM. Is this true?
2. Is it really worth on a Windows 7 machine - I plan to start installing some games on it for my kid, old NFS / FIFA etc. so she has some fun things to do. Other than that its browsing and light applications.
3. What brand of SSD and what type? I am not familiar with mSATA / SATA III etc. I guess my only limitation is if the SSD would fit in my 17 inch laptop but other than that are there any other considerations?

I Plan on cloning this SSD through USB and switching out. Keeping my HDD for a month to ensure my machine is working ok then wiping the HDD and using it as storage.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
I'm not a hardware propeller head, but the first thing I would do is maximize the amount of RAM you can have in that machine. That will minimize the hard drive I/Os, which mostly affects booting up, starting programs and saving files (when you have enough RAM.)

A quick search shows that the max RAM usable with 32 bit WIN7 is 4GB.

The max on 64 bit WIN 7 depends on the Edition:
  • Starter: 8GB
  • Home Basic: 8GB
  • Home Premium: 16GB
  • Professional: 192GB
I would ALWAYS do this first and see how performance is. It's cheap & easy. Although you may have already maxed out on memory.

I did a little reading on SSDs a while ago and recall that there is a downside to using them as boot discs. Apparently there can be failures caused by repeated reading/writing in the same physical memory. A quick search refreshed my memory on this:

While it is true that SSDs wear out over time (each cell in a flash-memory bank can be written to and erased a limited number of times), thanks to TRIM command technology that dynamically optimizes these read/write cycles, you're more likely to discard the system for obsolescence (after six years or so) before you start running into read/write errors with an SSD.
The other issue you're probably aware of is that WIN 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft (support ended January 2020.) So they are no longer providing Security Patches. So there's a little exposure here.

I know this is not a direct answer to your question...
 
:
East Iowa
:
'19 CX-5 GT-R
Hope everyone is doing ok during this crisis.

Due to lockdown I had to pull my old 2012/13 Lenovo Y580 out to help my kid do her studies. We opted out of getting a loaner from the school district as we knew they would have thousands of people requesting.
The Y580 is probably one of last laptops where you can upgrade the RAM, HDD without too much fuss. HDD can be pulled out in 3 minutes or less.

It runs on Windows 7, I have anti virus etc. on it and it has decent graphics, could use better RAM but my most limiting factor is disk reading / writing speed. I believe its 5400 rpm. Windows Experience score is 7.9 on all but disk speed which is 5.9 if this matters.

I wanted to upgrade it to an SSD. I am seeing SSDs on eBay for under 50 bucks for 128 - 240 GB which should be enough for me. I plan on using the existing HDD as external storage. I have got these Qs - I know there are some very knowledgeable folks over here, seeing if I could get some help.

1. I am assuming $ for $ the SSD is better value than faster RAM. Is this true?
2. Is it really worth on a Windows 7 machine - I plan to start installing some games on it for my kid, old NFS / FIFA etc. so she has some fun things to do. Other than that its browsing and light applications.
3. What brand of SSD and what type? I am not familiar with mSATA / SATA III etc. I guess my only limitation is if the SSD would fit in my 17 inch laptop but other than that are there any other considerations?

I Plan on cloning this SSD through USB and switching out. Keeping my HDD for a month to ensure my machine is working ok then wiping the HDD and using it as storage.
1) An SSD will give you the most bang for your buck. It'll make a computer even that old feel much faster. RAM is a good upgrade but depending on the type it uses, it might be hard to find compatible memory this late in it's life.
2) Yes it's worth it on Windows 7. Plus if the machine meets the necessary specs, it's still possible to get a windows 10 upgrade for free or at least cheap.
3) It has to be a SATA III SSD. Not an nvme or m.2. Physically it'll look just like the hard drive that's in the laptop now. Newer computers use a physical format that looks a bit like a stick of memory. Good brands include Intel, Samsung, PNY, Sandisk, Western Digital, ADATA and HP.
A final note, while Windows 10 handles this correctly by itself, Windows 7 will try to Defrag the SSD the same as it would a regular HD. Do NOT let it. It's not necessary and it increases wear on the drive.
 

AuraNova

Reflection of Elegance
:
Florida
:
'20 Blue CX-30
I build computers. So I can help with some more simple tips/tricks to build on what NathanH said...

1) Best thing to do is a fresh install of Windows 10 on a new SSD. You can actually get it for free without a code officially. The only thing you have to deal with is some customization lockouts and a watermark in the corner. Other than this, it's fully functional.
2) Shop around. You can get a decent 480GB-512GB SSD for around $45-$55 on sites like Newegg. They also sell some shells to turn the HDD into a portable drive.
3) RAM is only going to make a small improvement to multitasking. If you do plan to game older games on it, 8GB should be fine. I believe your model has 8GB. Very few people will ever truly utilize more than 16GB on any average usage. If you upgrade the RAM, make sure to buy sticks with the rated speed the laptop can handle for the best money.
4) The biggest improvement to gaming is your graphics card. Unfortunately, your chip is not replaceable, so you will have to live with that.

One last note: Typically, pre-builds will always have bloatware preloaded into your computer. These programs/apps have a tendency to slow down your computer and use way more RAM and CPU power than it should, even if you are not ever using them. This is another reason why a fresh install is a great idea.

Hope this helps.
 

Kaps

Contributor
:
CX-5 Touring 2016.5
Thank you very much for the replies. I have this model 2.5 inch HDD WD WD5000BPVT24HXZ 5400RPM 500G HDD. So I believe a 2.5 inch SATA III should fit. I found two on Newegg that I liked

for $57
and
for $64 (I am leaning towards this as its faster and has 20Gigs more)

Before I pull the trigger - can Auro / Nathan / Avoidin confirm if this is a direct replacement?

On getting Windows 10 for free, I assume since I have a licensed copy of windows 7, I should be able to get it upgraded to 10 (Basic) and then clone it to the SSD through one of the free tools? Sorry I am little noob when it comes it to tweaking OS and have been on my work laptop for most of my life.

Another Q, if it is recommended I install win10 on the SSD directly any pointers would be great, if I do have to go this route how does this enclosure look:
 
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AuraNova

Reflection of Elegance
:
Florida
:
'20 Blue CX-30
@Kaps You should be fine loading W10 directly on the SSD. I do that for my M.2 drive in my main desktop. As far as loading W10 onto the SSD, Microsoft has some instructions on what you need to do:
It's fairly simple to do. It's just a small bit time consuming.

For cloning software, I use the free version of Macrium Reflect. The UI takes a bit of getting used to, but it's fairly non-intrusive and once you get the hang of it, you should be okay. I would also make sure to backup all of the important files onto another drive or thumbdrive whether you clone or not. That way, if the cloning does go wrong (i.e. the drive goes bad or something interrupts the process), your important files will be safe. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about cloning the original drive.

Either of those SSDs are good to get. I would recommend this TeamGroup drive with 512GB currently for $56 on sale.
Either way, any of those drives should be great. Margin of error is about the same for any of the brand name drives.

As I sit here, I hope I didn't forget anything important. So I will leave it like this for now. I hope this helps you out some more.
 

Kaps

Contributor
:
CX-5 Touring 2016.5
That is cool, I also plan to note my Microsoft Office Key from my Windows 7 and use it to obtain Office 365. I found these set of instructions and like it very much:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-windows_install/clean-install-of-windows-10-os-on-new-ssd-best/9186ae98-b2b4-4b7a-b3ff-0b053ce2d1c9

Don't try to copy the old OS from the HDD, it is much better to clean install Windows 10 on the SSD



If you do not have Windows 10 Installation Media Click HERE to download the Media Creation Tool (Click on Download Tool Now), with that you can download the latest Windows 10 ISO (Select Create Installation Media for Another PC), you can create a bootable USB flash drive (min 4GB) using that tool or create the ISO file which you can later burn to DVD



Once you have the bootable installation media created:

  1. Shut down your system. remove the old HDD and install the SSD (there should be only the SSD attached to your system during the installation process)
  2. Insert the Bootable Installation Media
  3. Go into your BIOS and if SATA Mode is not set to AHCI, change it
  4. Change the boot order so the Installation Media is top of the boot order
  5. Save changes to BIOS and Reboot your system
  6. The Installation should start
  7. During the installation process skip the steps which ask for a product key and select the option 'I am Reinstalling Windows 10 on this PC', and activation will not be an issue, your PC will have a digital entitlement stored on the Microsoft Servers
  8. During the installation process, your system will reboot, at that point, you may need to go into your BIOS and change the boot order so your system boots from your Hard Drive, otherwise the installation may start all over again - do not remove the installation media at this point
  9. When Window 10 has finished installing and the desktop appears, shut your system down
  10. If you have a second HDD bay install the old HDD into it and start your system
  11. Make sure you can see both drives in Windows File Explorer, if not you may need to restart a couple of times for Windows to recognise both drives
  12. Install any required drivers (can be obtained from the support page on the Website of the manufacturer of your system
  13. When your system is up and running,
  • copy your data (files, images, music . . . etc.) from the old HDD into a temporary folder in the SSD
  • format the old HDD and name it Data Drive
  • copy the files back onto the old HDD
  • Delete the temporary folder from the SSD

But there is an issue with my specific laptop:
While researching : can ideapad y580 be upgraded to windows 10
It seems there are no drivers from Lenovo for Y580, Y580 is also not listed as an eligible device for windows 10. Lenovo says :-
"Y580 is not supported for Windows 10 as per Lenovo upgrade guide here. ... Reading through the guide, "After upgrading to Windows 10, you may find some features of the previous version of Windows are unavailable on Windows; or some functions do not behave as it did on the previous version of Windows"

Honestly, I am only going to be using this laptop without any special Lenovo features like one key recovery etc. I just want Bluetooth / USB 3 / Audio / Video / WiFi and apps capable of running on my CPU / GPU to function correctly. Am I worrying needlessly?
 

Kaps

Contributor
:
CX-5 Touring 2016.5
Thanks Aura.
I was able to upgrade my laptop to SSD and get Win X installed. Thank you so much - it was a breeze took 10 minutes or so. Hardest part was to get SSD slotted in the holder. Waiting for the Hard drive enclosure now as its coming in from China.
I am hunting for Office and a good anti virus s/w - any suggestions would be good.
 

AuraNova

Reflection of Elegance
:
Florida
:
'20 Blue CX-30
Yay, I'm glad it worked out for you @Kaps!

As far as I know, Office is being pushed as a subscription based product these days and is also being renamed to Microsoft 365. The most recent "physical" version of it is Office 2019, but it's really limited to just Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to use.

As far as anti-virus, stick with the one that's in Windows. It's actually better than most of what's out there, it doesn't intrude, updates really well on its own, and most importantly, it's free!
 
:
2019 CX-5 GTR
@Kaps

I'll just chime in.. depending on your use case for MS Office.. the open source solution might be a fit for you.
https://www.openoffice.org/

or


Both open/edits/saves MS Office file formats, keyboard shortcuts are the same, both have a modern interface and is an easy learning curve.

a comparison of Open Office vs Libre Office :
https://www.reddit.com/r/software/comments/2tmu4l
3 way comparison
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
I'm not a hardware propeller head, but the first thing I would do is maximize the amount of RAM you can have in that machine. That will minimize the hard drive I/Os, which mostly affects booting up, starting programs and saving files (when you have enough RAM.)
More RAM is never a bad thing, but should not be number 1 if you are still using a 5400 RPM or even a 7200 RPM mechanical hard drive. The hard drive in that case is the single biggest bottleneck to performance and upgrading to an SSD of some sort (2.5" SATA, M.2 NVME if supported, but not applicable in Kaps' case) is the only way to see noticeable improvements in OS and Program load times, read/write speeds, and file searching.

RAM increase will help if you use programs that utilize a ton of RAM, or regularly browse the internet with a crap ton of tabs open. Chrome is notoriously a huge RAM hog.

And you are correct in saying SSD's have a finite number of read/write operations. But its such a high number that there really is no disadvantage. I have 8 year old SSD's as boot disks still going strong and in healthy states. The key is you never want to completely fill up an SSD as they require a certain percentage of empty space to stay healthy and run TRIM and other maintenance operations, and you don't ever run defragmentation on them. General rule is to have 10-15% empty space at least on them, so should plan for that when figuring out how much space you require.

Anyway, when I build my next PC, prices are cheap enough now for SSD storage, that I will likely not even have mechanical drives anymore. I already had one fail on me last year (a at the time 5 year old 3TB Western Digital Black 7200 RPM drive). Sure you still can get more space for the money, but 1TB and 2TB SSD's are not unreasonable anymore, depending.
 
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ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
Yay, I'm glad it worked out for you @Kaps!

As far as I know, Office is being pushed as a subscription based product these days and is also being renamed to Microsoft 365. The most recent "physical" version of it is Office 2019, but it's really limited to just Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to use.

As far as anti-virus, stick with the one that's in Windows. It's actually better than most of what's out there, it doesn't intrude, updates really well on its own, and most importantly, it's free!
Correct, I pay a yearly subscription of $99 for Office 365 which gives me the Office suite for up to 5 devices. It also gives you the latest versions of Office when they release. Might be up to 6 people now looking on their site. Not counting my work Macbook Pro, there are 7 other computers in my house between laptops and desktops so it makes sense for us.
 
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