Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Technology
Reload this Page >

how old of a laptop can I put a SSD solid state hard drive in ?

how old of a laptop can I put a SSD solid state hard drive in ?

Old Jul 29, 13, 4:30 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 895
how old of a laptop can I put a SSD solid state hard drive in ?

Hi

I have a couple of old Laptops , one is A Gateway from 2007 and the other a Panasonic toughbook .

I would like to put a Solid state HD in them to speed them up some , only a 150 GB HD would be OK ,

will they work OK on Windows XP ?

is there an adapter so I can add it to the Gateway that has an IDE hard drive ?

Thanks for your advise
LAXlocal is offline  
Old Jul 29, 13, 4:37 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: On the road in North America....
Programs: UA 1MM, *G, Global Entry
Posts: 579
As far as I know, all SSD drives have SATA (Serial ATA) connectors in them. If your laptop has a drive with a SATA connector now, you could swap to an SSD.

While there may be adapters to connect a SATA drive to a PATA (Parallel ATA, aka IDE) port, I expect that they would not fit in the drive bay in the laptop (along with the new drive).
FlyingDiver is offline  
Old Jul 29, 13, 6:01 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: SNA Rwy 20L
Programs: QF Silver
Posts: 703
As FlyingDiver said you must have a laptop with a SATA connector. Works fine on my 2009 Toughbook CF-W8.

It will work fine with Windows XP, you just need to make sure that it is partitioned on a 4K boundary for maximum performance and longevity. Unfortunately XP starts its first partition after 63 blocks which is not optimal. I'd recommend that you partition the new SSD before installing XP using a freeware tool like Gparted (lots of googleable articles).
Zarf4 is offline  
Old Jul 29, 13, 6:39 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SJC
Programs: HHonors Gold, AA Gold, CC Gold
Posts: 57
It will probably work, however running on a mb that old will likely cause issues. Number 1 being that the ssd will not run at full speed and will likely have it's speed fall over time.

It is also possible to use an adapter to connect to an IDE or if you want to spend a bit there are IDE SSD available. But again you will see limited speed increase doing this as the IDE controller will limit the speed of the SSD.

I don't want it to sound like there's no benefit to upgrading to SSD(there certainly is) but just be aware that you will not receive the full benefit with your systems.
jdshscja is offline  
Old Jul 29, 13, 8:27 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: PWM - the way life should be
Posts: 12,451
I think SATA became standard at or before 2006 (my 2006-vintage ThinkPad took an SSD just fine).

Some older (pre-2010?) Macbooks won't work with SSDs because of a different clock frequency in the system bus or some such.
gfunkdave is offline  
Old Jul 30, 13, 7:13 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 895
Originally Posted by Zarf4 View Post
As FlyingDiver said you must have a laptop with a SATA connector. Works fine on my 2009 Toughbook CF-W8.

It will work fine with Windows XP, you just need to make sure that it is partitioned on a 4K boundary for maximum performance and longevity. Unfortunately XP starts its first partition after 63 blocks which is not optimal. I'd recommend that you partition the new SSD before installing XP using a freeware tool like Gparted (lots of googleable articles).
I have the same toughbook , when I get closer I might need you to help me !

How did it change the performance on your toughbook ?
Thanks for the info
LAXlocal is offline  
Old Jul 30, 13, 8:08 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: Aeroplan, AAdvantage
Posts: 2,068
Panasonic toughbook doesn't say a lot. However, even if you are saddled with an old styled PATA connector, you are not out of luck. There are PATA http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=-1&isNodeId=1 drives available, for some price. Most importantly there is an adapter http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9SIA1K60RX7223 Edit: wrong link, I meant http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004FD5BNE/ to convert any 1.8" SATA disk to the old 44 pin standard. The ThinkPad T400s used these 1.8" uSATA drivers and there are aplenty SSDs for it on eBay for a reasonable price. If you pick a used one, make sure the seller properly erases them with http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/deta...cID=MIGR-68369 this utility (nope, format, fdisk etc is not going to cut it) cos you'll hard time doing it but other than that, a used SSD is most likely fine.

Last edited by chx1975; Jul 30, 13 at 4:09 pm
chx1975 is offline  
Old Jul 30, 13, 9:00 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Freeload Univ. Where are you sitting?
Posts: 14,404
Originally Posted by chx1975 View Post
If you pick a used one, make sure the seller properly erases them with http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/deta...cID=MIGR-68369 this utility (nope, format, fdisk etc is not going to cut it) cos you'll hard time doing it but other than that, a used SSD is most likely fine.
Not sure I understand this.

I've used plenty of used HDD's, and the usual format etc. routines work just fine.

Is there something about an SSD that makes these ineffective?

OK - just looked at the link. I'm completely at sea here. Are all SSD'a equipped with a crypto key? What don't I know? Too general - we don't have that much time.

But seriously - what's going on? I don't use an SSD, but we had them in various industrial computers and no one ever mentioned anything about crypto.
BigLar is offline  
Old Jul 30, 13, 10:36 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: SNA Rwy 20L
Programs: QF Silver
Posts: 703
Originally Posted by chx1975 View Post
... Most importantly there is an adapter http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9SIA1K60RX7223 to convert any 1.8" SATA disk to the old 44 pin standard. The ThinkPad T400s used these 1.8" uSATA drivers and there are aplenty SSDs for it on eBay for a reasonable price. If you pick a used one, make sure the seller properly erases them with http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/deta...cID=MIGR-68369 this utility (nope, format, fdisk etc is not going to cut it) cos you'll hard time doing it but other than that, a used SSD is most likely fine.
I too have a few questions/comments about this post...

The link specified for the adapter shows up as an external USB enclosure which accepts a PATA 1.8" drive. Useful as that might be it is not a PATA > SATA converter and must be used externally.

I think there's confusion here between SATA (2.5") and mSATA (micro SATA, 1.8"). Yes you can get an adapter to make a mSATA drive work with a normal SATA port like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817998176, but this probably isn't very useful unless you have an old mSATA drive hanging around.

My Thinkpad T400s has a normal SATA bay and accepts a standard 7 or 9mm height drive. It does not have a old 44-pin PATA port and many people confuse the internal port as being a mSATA slot, but it's really just for WWAN which has the same connector. You can put either a mSATA drive -or- WWAN card in newer laptops like the U310.

With the price of SSDs being < $1/GB I wouldn't consider a used SSD. They have a limited # of write cycles before they die. With load-leveling algorithms they'll last years but if you torture them with 24/7 write cycles they can fail within a few months.

Skipping to the crypto. Almost all new drives support full disk encryption - if you go into the bios and set the HDD password this enables it. If you just set the administrator password on your laptop to prevent others from accessing the machine and your laptop gets stolen the thief would just have to take out your hdd/sdd, plug it into another machine and read your data. With the HDD password set the password must be sent to the drive before anything happens. You can't even easily reformat the drive without first sending the password. Very important to remove the password before retiring a drive as it may be machine dependent, I've taken a password protected drive from a T-series Lenovo, plugged it into a S-series Lenovo and couldn't unlock it even though I entered the same password. I believe that the utility chx1975 mentions just erases the password - this renders the data unusable (if a password was set) but allows the disk to be reformatted.
Zarf4 is offline  
Old Jul 30, 13, 4:07 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: Aeroplan, AAdvantage
Posts: 2,068
Crap, sorry for the wrong link! I meant http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004FD5BNE/ this. The advantage of using an mSATA SSD here is that there is no space concern: it just fits.

But, looking on eBay I found SATA female - 44 pin PATA male converters for a few dollars but I have no idea whether a disk equipped with such a converter would fit in the normal hard disk space. It's probably a hit-and-miss for any given laptop as the SATA plug and the converter PCB eats up a few millimeters -- perhaps removing the casing of the SATA drive helps and then pad it with foam once in place. If I would need to do this I would start with this, making sure I know how to return the SSD should it not fit. Especially with the casing need to be removed, I would research the warranty policies well before going down this road. If it doesn't fit, you would need to throw away the SATA-PATA converter you got from eBay but that's again just a few dollars.

As for used SSD and that utility: SSD disks interpret the Secure Erase ATA command as "this cell is no longer in use", making performance as it was when it was new. Apparently you can use Parted Magic http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-...-an-ssd-drive/ as well -- however, I have NFI whether a converter would pass the Secure Erase over to the SSD (supposedly it should) and so it's much easier if the original owner does this. Because the Secure Erase procedure was chosen a password needs to be set -- just to be removed by Secure Erase itself. Welcome to the PC world where the keyboard controller chip is sometimes used to switch modes on the main CPU, the Secure Erase is used to reset SSDs and so on.

Last edited by chx1975; Jul 30, 13 at 4:36 pm
chx1975 is offline  
Old Jul 30, 13, 10:13 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: SNA Rwy 20L
Programs: QF Silver
Posts: 703
Originally Posted by LAXlocal View Post
I have the same toughbook , when I get closer I might need you to help me !

How did it change the performance on your toughbook ?
Thanks for the info
Just wanted to reply earlier than later while the thread is still fresh.

Before swapping the HDD for a SSD you should migrate the data. You'll need either an external enclosure or USB > SATA cable to connect the SSD. Use some freebie program like EASUS ToDo backup free to clone the partition(s) to the SSD http://www.todo-backup.com/products/...p-software.htm. Select "optimize for SSD" to ensure proper alignment.

To replace your toughbook HDD.

1. Remove battery.
2. Open lid and remove center screw next to the screen, keep this screw separate, it's slightly longer than the others.
3. Close lid, flip over, remove the screw that holds the hdd cover that's in the battery compartment.
4. Remove the two other screws holding the hdd cover.
5. Remove cover, gently lift out the funky foam/tape enclosure holding the hdd.
6. Find the ribbon cable & gently pull the hdd out of the foam 'crate'.
7. Remove the SATA cable from the drive and hook it to the SSD.
8. Reverse the process to assemble.

I can't comment on speed improvement because I immediately replaced the stock HDD with a SSD when I got the laptop but am very sure you'll be amazed with the upgrade.
Zarf4 is offline  
Old Jul 30, 13, 10:39 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Freeload Univ. Where are you sitting?
Posts: 14,404
Originally Posted by chx1975 View Post
Welcome to the PC world where the keyboard controller chip is sometimes used to switch modes on the main CPU, ...
Good gawd! That's how the '286 switched in and out of protected mode. Mid '80's, I believe.

I don't think anyone's done that since the '386 was introduced.
BigLar is offline  
Old Jul 30, 13, 10:41 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Freeload Univ. Where are you sitting?
Posts: 14,404
Originally Posted by Zarf4 View Post
Skipping to the crypto. Almost all new drives support full disk encryption - if you go into the bios and set the HDD password this enables it. If you just set the administrator password on your laptop to prevent others from accessing the machine and your laptop gets stolen the thief would just have to take out your hdd/sdd, plug it into another machine and read your data. With the HDD password set the password must be sent to the drive before anything happens. You can't even easily reformat the drive without first sending the password. Very important to remove the password before retiring a drive as it may be machine dependent, I've taken a password protected drive from a T-series Lenovo, plugged it into a S-series Lenovo and couldn't unlock it even though I entered the same password. I believe that the utility chx1975 mentions just erases the password - this renders the data unusable (if a password was set) but allows the disk to be reformatted.
OK

So this really applies only if you want to encrypt your data. The HDD is capable of it, but unless you specifically set it up that way, it's just another hard drive. Correct?
BigLar is offline  
Old Jul 30, 13, 11:16 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 401
Originally Posted by LAXlocal View Post
will they work OK on Windows XP ?
Lots of good info about the hardware. There is an oblique reference to performance degradation over time with XP that you may have missed. Consider upgrading to Windows 7 or 8, both of which use the TRIM command to mitigate this effect which can be dramatic. Also, these OSes do the right thing with alignment of partitions etc that you will otherwise spend a lot of time getting right.

Finally, if you buy an Intel or Samsung SSD, you will get excellent software to do initial data migration and subsequent management of the SSD.
unmesh is offline  
Old Jul 30, 13, 11:48 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: SNA Rwy 20L
Programs: QF Silver
Posts: 703
Originally Posted by BigLar View Post
OK

So this really applies only if you want to encrypt your data. The HDD is capable of it, but unless you specifically set it up that way, it's just another hard drive. Correct?
Absolutely correct -- if you don't specify the HDD pwd in BIOS it walks, talks, and quacks like a normal HDD.

Originally Posted by unmesh View Post
Lots of good info about the hardware. There is an oblique reference to performance degradation over time with XP that you may have missed. Consider upgrading to Windows 7 or 8, both of which use the TRIM command to mitigate this effect which can be dramatic. Also, these OSes do the right thing with alignment of partitions etc that you will otherwise spend a lot of time getting right.

Finally, if you buy an Intel or Samsung SSD, you will get excellent software to do initial data migration and subsequent management of the SSD.
Unmesh is right about performance degradation over time in XP since it doesn't natively support TRIM (unlike Win 7/8, Linux, etc.) Basically it starts running slower as you fill the SSD. You can mitigate this effect in XP by running the manufacturer's utility (Intel SSD toolbox, Samsung Magician, etc.) once a week or so to optimize the drive which effectively performs a single TRIM on demand. My only disagreement would be that some Samsung drives come with Norton Ghost for migration (forgot the version #) and it's a bit of a pain to use compared to the EASUS software.
Zarf4 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: