I had recently purchased an SSD for my old desktop PC and really loved the effects it was having on it. So, I decided to purchase another SSD for my older laptop but wasn't going to be getting the previous SSD because it didn't come with cloning software, which was important for the laptop. After reviewing several SSDs, I came across this one and noticed that this model comes with Acronis True Image. There are free alternatives but the quality of these free options vary and can easily fail during cloning, leaving you with a bigger issue to resolve if that happens.
Now, in order to clone the HDD to the SSD, it requires and external connection, which BestBuy doesn't carry in most stores. It can be found much cheaper online. I had the cable from my previous SSD, so I was ready to go. For those that are new to SSDs, the way you decide which one to get depends on your current HDD. Basically, you have to get an SSD that will be able to clone your current HDD and still have over 20% of storage space free.
For laptop owners, one of the first things you need to do before doing the cloning process is make sure that the laptop has the charger cable plugged in and secured to the outlet, if the laptop loses power during cloning you run the risk of losing all of your content in the HDD. Not really an issue if you have backed up the system or have the OS CD, but if you don't be careful. After insuring that the laptop is fully powered, connect the SSD using the external cable to the laptop and format the device. After, install the SanDisk dashboard, which will have the Acronis True Image software on it for download. One thing I learned when I did this and contacting SanDisk support, the download might fail a few times, but continue doing it and it will download properly. SanDisk support stated that it can take up to 4 attempts at downloading before it actually goes through, so keep that in mind. Once finished downloading the Acronis software, just follow the easy instructions to begin the cloning process, in all, it should take anywhere between 25mins to 45 mins in my case for the cloning to be done. At that point, begin with actually installing the SSD into the laptop, be sure to remove the battery and drain all the energy. Make sure to be in a static free zone, you can easily fry any components.
Overall, the process of setting up the SSD and installing is very simple. I'm not tech savy but was able to do it, just be careful. Believe me though, it is worth it. The performance you get from switching the HDD to the SSD is night and day. My laptop is older but I maintain it very well, still, with age, the hardware does begin to slow down. To give reference, with the HDD, from powering on the laptop to having it get to the desktop and run all the background process would take about 3mins, I timed it before installing the SSD, with an additional 2 mins to load up an internet browser at times. 5 mins before the laptop was ready for actual use. After the SSD was installed, that drastically changed and went to 35 seconds to boot to the desktop and load all background apps with another 5 seconds to load into any program or web browser. Needless to say, the performance gains was something that I'm more than satisfied.
Sorry for the long review, but I like to be thorough. As for the device itself, it's good quality. Not the same as my previous SSD, that had a tin case, which this SSD is simply plastic. Not a big deal but for those that love sturdy builds, this might not be for you. As for the read and write speeds, it's not the fastest but still better than any HDD. Also, for those that are installing this into a desktop PC, especially if it's an older one, depending on the type of Sata ports your PC has, you might not get the best performance out of the SSD. It doesn't matter if this is Sata 3, if your PC is Sata 2, you will only get Sata 2 performance. Still, like i said earlier, the performance gains will be noticeable regardless if the SSD is being connected to older hardware.
One last thing before ending my review, this is more for people who don't know, once you install the SSD, make sure to turn off Disk Defragmentor from running on a weekly basis. Defragmentor is only for mechanical HDDs and if you let it run on your SSD, you will cause issues with the SSD. As to what to do with the replaced HDD, if it's still in good condition, convert it over to an external HDD by buying a case for it. Never a bad thing to have extra storage.