Question Upgrade to SSD-is it worth it?

Guliath85

Junior Member
Aug 2, 2021
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Hello, I have an ancient PC, and buying a new one is not an option at this point. I've seen those Adata SU650 SSD's and I am thinking about buying one. My motherboard G31M-ES2C supports only SATA 2 and the other components are very old too Intel E5200, 4GB of RAM, gt 9400, windows 7. Do you think that I will have a noticeable difference if I switch to SSD?

One more stupid question. How does one migrate all the files from the old HDD to a new SSD? If I want to make a fresh windows 7 install on the SSD, but leave the HHD inside the PC - how will the HDD be shown? Like a normal partition? Is there any danger to my files? Or since my Windows is on the HDD now it will be somehow corrupted? I have important documents, pictures, which I don't want to lose. For example - if the HDD will appear like Lokal disk (E): will I be able to open it and navigate to Documents. Desktop and so on? The HDD is now in 2 parts C: and D:.

P.S. The HDD mirroring option (if this is the name of it) is not what I want - I will prefer fresh windows install on the new SSD.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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That said it really depends on your bottleneck. For example if you are on dialup internet an SSD isn't going to help with that.

An SSD will make a huge difference in boot time and general system responsiveness, however W7 isn't SSD aware so you gotta manually turn off any disk Defrag software.

My 10 year old W7 system has an SSD. Only problem is that there is no going back once you get spoiled by the speed.
 
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lakedude

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Mar 14, 2009
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You can totally keep using your old drive for storage but I'd pull it out completely while you load the system software on the SSD.

The system may become confused about which drive to boot from so you might disable the HDD's ability to boot.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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Sep 13, 2008
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That said it really depends on your bottleneck. For example if you are on dialup internet an SSD isn't going to help with that.

An SSD will make a huge difference in boot time and general system responsiveness, however W7 isn't SSD aware so you gotta manually turn off any disk Defrag software.

My 10 year old W7 system has an SSD. Only problem is that there is no going back once you get spoiled by the speed.
Yes, an SSD upgrade would be huge. A correction though, Windows 7 should be SSD aware, and you shouldn't need to turn off or mess with disk defrag stuff. Windows will defrag the spinner, but not the SSD. Windows 7 also supports TRIM, which is important for the SSD, and will work as long as you install in AHCI mode. For AHCI, check your BIOS, I think it should support it, but make sure it is enabled.

Alternatively, if you are trying to get more mileage out of the old system, and you don't have stuff that absolutely requires Windows, you may want to consider loading a light Linux distro on the SSD. It will be more secure, and likely perform better on old hardware.
 

lakedude

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Mar 14, 2009
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A correction though, Windows 7 should be SSD aware
I must have been thinking about XP.

Any advice on having 2 bootable drives in one system? I've done this and it works but one time it seems like the system booted halfway from one drive and halfway from the other...
 
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igor_kavinski

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Jul 27, 2020
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Any advice on having 2 bootable drives in one system? I've done this and it works but one time it seems lime the system booted halfway from one drive and halfway from the other...
That's a really weird thing to read about. How do you know that it changed to the other drive in the midst of booting? Usually, the system will boot only from the first accessible drive in the boot order set in the BIOS/UEFI, even when there are multiple bootable drives.
 

igor_kavinski

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Jul 27, 2020
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You can totally keep using your old drive for storage but I'd pull it out completely while you load the system software on the SSD.

The system may become confused about which drive to boot from so you might disable the HDD's ability to boot.
Yeah. Totally agree with that. Remove either the HDD's SATA or power connector and then do the fresh install on the SSD. After everything is working fine, reconnect the HDD's connector. Just make sure that if you partition the SSD into multiple drives and then install some software on those drives, reconnecting the HDD will mess up the drive letters. Usually, the 2nd drive's C becomes the new drive D if you boot from the SSD.
 

VirtualLarry

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OP, if you have a PCI-E x1 expansion slot free (not covered by the video card, and not a plain old PCI slot), then look into getting a 2-port ASMedia-chipset SATA6G expansion card, they are detected as standard AHCI ports in Win7. I don't think that the ICH7 used with the G31 chipset supports AHCI.
 
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igor_kavinski

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My motherboard G31M-ES2C supports only SATA 2 and the other components are very old too Intel E5200, 4GB of RAM, gt 9400, windows 7. Do you think that I will have a noticeable difference if I switch to SSD?
One guy in my office described his SSD upgrade as "I was in Uganda before. Now I feel like I'm in the US!".

Your 9400 GT will gain a few FPS in streaming data type of games like Grand Theft Auto. Gameplay should also become a lot smoother with fewer hitches.
 

VirtualLarry

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Probably. I've only used the Syba model, but they should all likely be similar, as long as they have that chipset on them.
 

lakedude

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That's a really weird thing to read about. How do you know that it changed to the other drive in the midst of booting? Usually, the system will boot only from the first accessible drive in the boot order set in the BIOS/UEFI, even when there are multiple bootable drives.
Ahhh, I wish I remembered better but actually I never really understood what happened.

The drives might have been clones of one another and that might have contributed to the issue.

W7 Edit: Maybe W8...had extra partitions that I never understood. So yeah somehow the system started booting from one drive and finished on another. It actually worked that way as I recall but it led to some confusion. There might be a record of this online with more specific info. Searching...
 
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mindless1

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Aug 11, 2001
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^ Yes, if another OS is installed on a 2nd HDD, the boot loader may point to the other drive instead of each being independent and alternated between using the bios.

It's usually better to disconnect one drive before installing OS to the other.

This Ableconn is PCIe x2 though.
That will be an issue, since the board appears to only have the one PCIe slot with more than one lane, which is being used by the 9400GT video card.

 
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lakedude

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Screenshot_20220324-130300_Chrome.jpg

Based on this I'm guessing the system I had trouble with was actually a W8 system... I wouldn't have been confused by 2 partitions.

So what should be done to use the old spinner as a data drive? Will removing the boot flag work, or does more need to be done?
 

Guliath85

Junior Member
Aug 2, 2021
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Thank you all for your replays!

I have opened the BIOS and have checked every single menu option. I couldn't find the acronym AHCI. Either I am blind, or too stupid to find it... or there is no such an option? If I don't have it - should I buy an SSD?
I have no free PCI slot either.

P.S. I have checked in the device manager under IDE ATA... no AHCI entry as well.
 

igor_kavinski

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Jul 27, 2020
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So what should be done to use the old spinner as a data drive? Will removing the boot flag work, or does more need to be done?
If you really want to, you can format the small 500MB boot partition in the drive you don't want booting, in Disk Management. Just make sure you don't format the boot partition of the drive you actually use to boot!
 

lakedude

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IMHO people are generally too CPU and RAM happy. The best upgrade for an old system is an SSD, or an OS lightweight enough to run in RAM.
 
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kschendel

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Aug 1, 2018
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Just get a SATA SSD and don't worry about SATA 2 vs 3.

I replaced a hard drive with an SSD in an old iMac with a wonky SATA controller that sometimes booted into SATA 1 and sometimes SATA 2. It was almost impossible to tell what speed the drive was running at from a user perspective. The SSD was subjectively so much faster than the old hard drive that we got an extra 2 years out of the machine before replacing it.
 

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