Installing the Samsung Pro SSD into Dell Inspiron 1545
Recently there is a lot of buzz around SSDs (Solid State Drives). So to find out if it is really worth it, I thought about upgrading my Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop HDD with an SSD. The laptop has an Intel T4200 2GHz processor, 3GB RAM and 320 GB HDD among other stuff. I think it has worked amazing so far but the newer operating systems and software are demanding more space and speed. So I considered an SSD Upgrade. I got the Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD from Amazon at a very good price. Before we get on with the installation details, here are some things about SSDs that you might want to know:
- It has no moving parts unlike HDDs. SSDs have memory chips just like regular USB Flash Drives. HDDs on the other hand have a mechanical setup of spindles and heads. This gives SSDs several benefits over HDDs:
- It is less prone to failures
- It is lightweight and silent
- It consumes less power
- It generates less heat
- It is incredibly fast by a factor of hundreds compared to HDDs. This is perhaps the single biggest factor for choosing an SSD over an HDD.
But what are the visible benefits of an SSD?
Faster Program Loading Times
One of the most time consuming affair in a computer is loading of programs. When you open a program like MS Word or Photoshop, the first thing that happens is that it gets copied (partially or fully depending on various factors) from your hard disk to main memory (RAM). Now Hard Disk is a slow device compared to the RAM. And this is the reason it takes quite a lot of time to load. So if somehow we increase the speed of the hard disk then programs load much faster. And guess who comes to the rescue – an SSD. An SSD essentially decreases the program loading time by manifold and thus makes is really fast.
Installing the SSD into Dell Inspiron 1545 & Dealing with problems
Installing a new Hard Drive in a laptop is extremely easy in most cases due to the standard size and modularity. But installing this SSD (Samsung 850 Pro 256GB) was a bit tricky. The main problem was the thickness of the drive. The SSD is 7mm while the HDD is 9.5mm thick. This has caused a lot of headache to a lot of people trying to install it. The hard disk won’t latch to SATA port and when rebooted, becomes unrecognisable. I found a rather easy solution to the issue:
- I cut out a cardboard (from the same packaging in which it came from Amazon) to roughly the size of the hard disk (10cm x 7cm) for using it as a spacer.
- Now, I unscrewed my previous Hard Drive and firmly screwed the new SSD to the hard disk casing in my laptop.
- I noticed that there was space left on top of the SSD since it was thinner than the HDD. I placed the cardboard cut-out on top and it filled the space evenly.
- Next I slid this into the Hard Drive bay in my laptop and secured the screws for the HDD.
- I rebooted my laptop and set the mode to AHCI. Then I installed a fresh copy of windows and voila!
I never thought photoshop could load this fast! Feels like my laptop got a new life.
But my upgrades did not stop there. I further upgraded my laptop processor to get an even bigger pleasant surprise. I will share those experiences soon. Thanks for reading 🙂