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Replacing an HD with an SSD on an old system - Is it worth doing?

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[OP]
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Dec 23, 2003
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Replacing an HD with an SSD on an old system - Is it worth doing?

I currently have an old desktop pc running Windows 8.1 on an Asus P5K-C board with Q9300 CPU, 500 GB drive (400 GB of it is free), and 3 GB ram. The system runs fine and is used by my folks (who are seniors) for Online Banking, Internet, Email, some Youtube, and MS Word and Excel tasks. Initially, I wanted to upgrade the DDR3 ram to 8 GB but it can be an issue with this Motherboard (only supports 4 GB). My other performance option was to replace the HD with a SSD. My thought was to clone the HD on the SSD, and then start Windows. This way I don't have to reinstall the world back on it.

I have a few questions:

- Is it worth upgrading a 7 year old desktop? Part of me is thinking "if it ain't broke, don't touch it and folks are not complaining."

- If I do upgrade it, will cloning the drive work or will it cause issues going from HD to SSD?

- What free software exists to clone the entire disc? I am thinking of getting a 256 GB Samsung 850 EVO.

- If you were in my situation, would you do the upgrade?

thanks,
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77 replies
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Jul 23, 2002
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A SSD is probably the single best upgrade you can do and is worth it on pretty much any computer.

Both WD and Seagate have cloning software that is free to use as long as you have at least one of their HD in the system.
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Oct 30, 2006
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Cloning will work, I've used Macrium Reflect Free and works fine. I recently did it on an i3 windows 8.1 and upgraded to Win10 as well.

Also went from 500GB to 240GB SSD.
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Jan 27, 2006
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If you are going to replace the drive, I would also take the opportunity to move the whole thing to Windows 10. You can clone the image and then update one of them to see if you parents like Windows 10. If they are okay with it, then leave Windows 10 in place. If not, just clone over it again with 8.1.
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Dec 12, 2009
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A SSD upgrade is totally worth it. I put a SSD in a core 2 duo machine. The computer has never performed better. For under $100, it's s great way to extend the useful life and avert the cost of computer replacement.
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Aug 4, 2006
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Yes.

Yes it is worth it.

Do it.
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Aug 2, 2004
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If it is a Q9300, chances are that it uses DDR2 and not DDR3. But you should be able to upgrade it to 8 Gigs

I just checked. It supports both memory. 8 Gigs on DDR2 and 4 Gigs on DDR3
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Oct 30, 2006
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I would just upgrade SSD and go from there as the performance boost is significant enough to forgo RAM upgrade, since it's only for basic use.
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With a C2 generation machine or newer? Definitely worth it. Not only is it worth it but it should be mandatory to even call it a "computer", lol. HDDs are so painfully slow it's not funny. I still don't understand how people continue to use them as OS/boot drives in this day and age, and am even more puzzled by how OEM desktop systems (Dell, HP, Asus, etc.) get away with selling them with just HDDs.

The only time I'd say it's not worth it is if we're dealing with something really old/slow like Pentium 4 (and the P4 based Pentium D), or Athlon 64 single-core. It's even still worth it on an A64 x2 provided you don't have some weird SATA controller/chipset that's going to give you issues with an SSD.
[OP]
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I will have a look into this tonight.

As for Windows 10, I am not sure if my system and the devices I have will work with it. I have an HP Laserjet 2100 printer and a Canon scanner and both work just fine with Windows 8.1.
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hightech wrote: As for Windows 10, I am not sure if my system and the devices I have will work with it. I have an HP Laserjet 2100 printer and a Canon scanner and both work just fine with Windows 8.1.
If you were using Windows 7 you might have some issues with drivers for older hardware but since everything is fine on 8.1, I'd say everything has a very very good chance of being fine on 10 as well. There are some exceptions (so I'm not going to say 100%) but yeah basically if it's working on 8.1, 10 should be fine. Even if you can't find a 10-specific driver, the 8.1 drivers should work fine anyway.

But if you're happy with staying on 8.1, it's not bad anyway.
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Aug 25, 2006
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hightech wrote: Thanks for the feedback everyone. I will have a look into this tonight.

As for Windows 10, I am not sure if my system and the devices I have will work with it. I have an HP Laserjet 2100 printer and a Canon scanner and both work just fine with Windows 8.1.
As others have mentioned, since you have a decent CPU, yes, the SSD will make a huge difference for your parents. Cloning works well. And I suggest staying with Win 8.1 since it is familiar for your parents. Since they won't be doing nay type of media work, you can live with 3GB. Some boards will accept 8 GB even though spec'ed at 4GB but that really depends. So for now, just go SSD and you won't even know this rig has 3GB.

I have never used free software but I know WD has a version of Acronis if you have a WD disk on the system. Even works if you plug in a USB dock that is attached to a WD drive. This has always worked flawlessly for me. If you buy Crucial SSD's, the come with a key for Acronis at one time. Look into that. Good luck!
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Oct 30, 2006
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hightech wrote: Thanks for the feedback everyone. I will have a look into this tonight.

As for Windows 10, I am not sure if my system and the devices I have will work with it. I have an HP Laserjet 2100 printer and a Canon scanner and both work just fine with Windows 8.1.
Drivers are the only concerns I have with Windows 10 on older systems... if you have the time, try clone your 8.1 then upgrade to 10 and see how it goes.. if not we'll then at least you locked in your license for 10. Don't rollback but re-clone 8.1 if you want to go back to that.
If you decide to stick with 10, I would recommend to do a reset and setup 10 as clean install to rid of any junk using their reset PC feature, only if you have the time and is something you want to do.
[OP]
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redflagged2006 wrote: Drivers are the only concerns I have with Windows 10 on older systems... if you have the time, try clone your 8.1 then upgrade to 10 and see how it goes.. if not we'll then at least you locked in your license for 10. Don't rollback but re-clone 8.1 if you want to go back to that.
If you decide to stick with 10, I would recommend to do a reset and setup 10 as clean install to rid of any junk using their reset PC feature, only if you have the time and is something you want to do.
If anything, I would do a clean install of Win 10 Pro on the SSD and keep the HD drive on windows 8.1 as is. If I encounter any issues after some time, I can always clone the 8.1 OS on the SSD and plug things back in.
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hightech wrote: If anything, I would do a clean install of Win 10 Pro on the SSD and keep the HD drive on windows 8.1 as is. If I encounter any issues after some time, I can always clone the 8.1 OS on the SSD and plug things back in.
Unless you have a license for 10 pro already then that's additional cost. If you clone 8.1 then upgrade to 10 equivalent it's free til July 29. Once you done the upgrade use the Reset PC and it'll be a "clean" install.
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Aug 29, 2011
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Yes

Every PC need SSD

Best possible upgrade ever
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For what your folks are doing, won't it be overkill? I'd wait till it's sluggish, then I'd make the swap.

#RFD #savethemoney
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Nov 12, 2006
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Confirm you even can add an SSD due to SATA compatibility.

I had a motherboard of similar vintage which would not properly handle SATA2.
On a spinner drive I could jumper it to SATA1.
With a SSD, there is not that option.
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dragon_drift wrote: For what your folks are doing, won't it be overkill?
If one merely starts up a computer, that's enough to warrant an SSD. Not overkill, just a basic requirement IMO.

However if you just have your PC to sit there (show your friends, "I have a computer!" like it's some kind of thing like it was the 80s?) and you never actually start/boot it up? Then yeah it's overkill.
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1. You mentioned that "The system runs fine" -- If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
really.... or find good excuse... like parents complain on slowdowns...
or you want to spend 80$ for no good reasons.

2. in case of any slowdown complains, yes, SSD is great upgrade option.

3. Do not guess, go to right place to see specs:
https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P5KC/specifications/

4. According to ASUS, P5KC takes 8GB RAM max on DDR2 and only 4GB max on DDR3 channels.
If you want 8GB DDR3 -- google it -- may be it is possible...or not.

5. There are SATA-2 (SATA 3GB) connectors -- not bad for SSD
(SATA-3 would be better, but SATA-2 is also good)

6. Check if your Windows 8.1 is 32 or 64 bit.
32 bit can use maximum ~3.6 GB -- so upgrade to 8GB
would be useless for 32b.

7. Windows 10 is incrementally better than 8.1.
But it will require some (not much) learning from your parents.


hightech wrote: I currently have an old desktop pc running Windows 8.1 on an Asus P5K-C board with Q9300 CPU, 500 GB drive (400 GB of it is free), and 3 GB ram. The system runs fine and is used by my folks (who are seniors) for Online Banking, Internet, Email, some Youtube, and MS Word and Excel tasks. Initially, I wanted to upgrade the DDR3 ram to 8 GB but it can be an issue with this Motherboard (only supports 4 GB). My other performance option was to replace the HD with a SSD. My thought was to clone the HD on the SSD, and then start Windows. This way I don't have to reinstall the world back on it.

I have a few questions:

- Is it worth upgrading a 7 year old desktop? Part of me is thinking "if it ain't broke, don't touch it and folks are not complaining."

- If I do upgrade it, will cloning the drive work or will it cause issues going from HD to SSD?

- What free software exists to clone the entire disc? I am thinking of getting a 256 GB Samsung 850 EVO.

- If you were in my situation, would you do the upgrade?

thanks,

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