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Question upgrade path for old Laptop

Jul 8, 2020
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So I have a 7 year old lenovo y500 with a 2.5"HDD and a 16gb Msata that acts as a Cache.

I was just getting ready to finally upgrade to new laptop and suddenly my full time job has turned into a part time job for at least the next year (thanks CV-19).

Anyway I'm now trying to put new life into my laptop and extend it out as best I can so I'm planning on trying to upgrade my SSD. The debate I am having is this.

Option 1 get a new SSD sata drive to replace my current and do a fresh install and start over. But when I do eventually get a new laptop put it in an external enclosure because it's unlikely any laptop I get next will have room for anything but nvme. (also would have to buy a big enough flash drive to put the windows install files onto it) Seems the most straightforward option but not sure i really need a 1 TB external drive in the future so maybe not a great long term investment

Option 2. Get a high-quality NVME and a external enclosure for it. Use that now with my current set up and do the video editing I'm having to do all on the external drive, deal with slow boot and loading times. Then when I get my next laptop I can get a cheaper model and immediately upgrade the SSD myself, and then turn the replaced SSD into my new external drive. (this saves me the effort of having to reinstall everything including windows and makes my purchase more future proof and external drive a bit smaller and easier to carry around)

Option 3. Get something like a 128-256gb Msata and replace the cache drive and make this the new boot drive and use the HDD for mass storage. Then find an enclosure to move this to as a small external drive in the future (this is the cheapest and maybe easiest option? as i don't have to transfer a lot of data anywhere)

I'm probably over thinking this and should just go with option 1, but I just wanted someone else's opinion.
 
Jul 8, 2020
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Yeah looking at 1TB, currently sitting at close to 500gb on my current HDD and my job is about to change where for the next year or so will probably be editing a fair amount of video so see my drive filling up relatively quickly
EDIT: unless i go option 3 then i figure go cheap and small and just put windows and the active project i'm working on the SSD
 
Depending on how "thin and light" you go with your future new replacement, many "gaming" and "productivity" laptops these days still come with a 2.5" bay. Depends on how many years in the future this laptop purchase might be though.
 
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robert600

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So I have a 7 year old lenovo y500 with a 2.5"HDD and a 16gb Msata that acts as a Cache.

I was just getting ready to finally upgrade to new laptop and suddenly my full time job has turned into a part time job for at least the next year (thanks CV-19).

Anyway I'm now trying to put new life into my laptop and extend it out as best I can so I'm planning on trying to upgrade my SSD.
I'm a bit confused ... in the 1st paragraph you mention a HDD but then in the 3rd you say 'upgrade my SSD'. Which do you currently have, a HDD or a SSD? Upgrading an existing SSD to another SSD is unlikely to improve things much but going from an HDD to a SSD would be a huge boost.

Assuming you have a HDD, I would go with option 1 BUT, I would ensure the new SSD was at least as big as the current drive (I'm guessing 1 TB). Then I would simply clone the current HDD to the new SSD and ... job done! If you don't already have one, you would have to beg borrow, steal,or buy a sata external HD enclosure (make sure it's usb3) to do this.

I'm guessing you currently have 8 GB of ram. It supports 16 so ... something to think about (that may be more than you want to spend). It's probably got 2 X 4 GB sticks so you'd have to get 2 8GB sticks. But, you should check ... if you're very lucky, it may have 1 8GB stick in which case you'd only have to get 1 to match it.
 

USAFRet

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I'm a bit confused ... in the 1st paragraph you mention a HDD but then in the 3rd you say 'upgrade my SSD'. Which do you currently have, a HDD or a SSD? Upgrading an existing SSD to another SSD is unlikely to improve things much but going from an HDD to a SSD would be a huge boost.

Assuming you have a HDD, I would go with option 1 BUT, I would ensure the new SSD was at least as big as the current drive (I'm guessing 1 TB). Then I would simply clone the current HDD to the new SSD and ... job done! If you don't already have one, you would have to beg borrow, steal,or buy a sata external HD enclosure (make sure it's usb3) to do this.

I'm guessing you currently have 8 GB of ram. It supports 16 so ... something to think about (that may be more than you want to spend). It's probably got 2 X 4 GB sticks so you'd have to get 2 8GB sticks. But, you should check ... if you're very lucky, it may have 1 8GB stick in which case you'd only have to get 1 to match it.
It has the HDD, and then a tiny mSATA drive (16GB) used as a cache.
Very typical for a 7 year old laptop.

Ditch the little mSATA thing, and replace the HDD with a 1TB SATA SSD. Samsung 860 EVO or Crucial MX500.

And personally, I probably wouldn't do a clone operation. Given the age of the system, there is almost certainly a lot of cruft built up. A clean install on a new SSD will be a breath of fresh air for it.
 
Jul 8, 2020
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It has the HDD, and then a tiny mSATA drive (16GB) used as a cache.
Very typical for a 7 year old laptop.

Ditch the little mSATA thing, and replace the HDD with a 1TB SATA SSD. Samsung 860 EVO or Crucial MX500.

And personally, I probably wouldn't do a clone operation. Given the age of the system, there is almost certainly a lot of cruft built up. A clean install on a new SSD will be a breath of fresh air for it.
Went ahead an got a mx500. Thanks for being a voice of reason to not over think things. I was debating the clone vs start fresh and was leaning to start fresh. I don't have a big enough flash drive. but I do have a SD card and a USB reader. I assume i can put the bootable windows file on that and my computer will just read it like a normal flash drive? (i actually have a SD reader in my computer but I don't think i can boot from it.
 

robert600

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I agree a fresh install is always best BUT do it with your eyes open to the fact that all your installed software is no more. Nor is it as simple as re-installing the software because most of us configure software to our needs once it's installed ...that's all gone too. A simple example would be your 'bookmarks' in whatever browser you use - They'll be gone. Yes, there are files you can save that will preserve your settings but ... you have to remember to do it. More complex profiles, exist in other software ... your video editing software may be one of these. There is also the possibility of ... gulp ... driver problems (Win may not pick the best ones). All I'm saying is be prepared to spend days if not weeks downloading, re-installing software and configuring it to the way you want it. In my case, I have a ton of software so .... my OS would have to be very badly screwed up for me to even consider a 'fresh install'. It's amazing to me that Windows does not have a reinstall that allows software to be retained but ...it is what it is.
Cloning avoids all those potential headaches ... in 2 hours you're up and running with everything as it was - just much faster.
 
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robert600

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Either way ... you'll be very pleased with the difference the SSD will make. For an older laptop ... the specs are quite good. Apart from boosting the RAM ... you'll have it as good as it can be. Enjoy.
 

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