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The best gift for your laptop… and yourself!

It’s the best spend I’ve ever made!  For just on R2,000, my 4½ year old laptop is far, far faster than it’s ever been.  Replacing your old hard drive with a Solid State Disk (SSD) is the best thing you can do for any computer.  And you won’t have to hold your breath waiting for things to open.

When I say fast, it becomes unbelievably fast.  Whereas I was used to waiting for programmes to open — whether Outlook, Word, Excel — as well as megabyte-heavy web pages, they now open before I’ve had a chance to blink.

Turning the computer on and off is a dream.  It probably takes between two and four seconds from pushing the “on” button and it’s completely ready.

What makes a SSD special?  It’s more robust than the old hard drives with their moving parts so it should last much longer.  It uses 90% less power than a hard drive.  It also runs cooler which means the laptop’s fan runs far less.  So your battery will last longer between recharges. (For me, that’s proven to be over 30% longer.)

But it’s the blazing speed that keeps delighting me.  It’s like having 525 gigabytes of RAM.



Battery life


How did the changeover go?

You can find the right SSD for your computer by going to the Crucial website.  Download the Crucial System Scanner — it places a file on your computer and discovers what your options are.

I chose the 525 Gigabyte SSD, which is slightly larger than my old hard drive.  You can buy it on the Crucial website — either USA or UK — but I looked for a local supplier.  Initially I only found one in Gauteng, and their delivery cost to Cape Town was more than double Crucial’s cost of UK to Cape Town!

Then I discovered also sells it and at R2000 vs R2500, they were the obvious choice.  I hadn’t used them before and it certainly won’t be the last time.  They exceeded expectations and over-delivered on their promises.

And then we came to replacing the hard drive and transferring the content to the new SSD.  I called an IT guy to find out what to do… and I went weak at the knees.  So I turned to Google which made it sound a lot simpler than the IT guy had said.

My Crucial SSD comes with a software key for a cloning application.  It means you need a cable so that your SSD can plug into a USB port, and the old hard drive is cloned onto your new SSD.

So I called Incredible Disconnection to find out if they had the cable.  They did, so off I went to buy it.  It turns out that they didn’t and they sold me something instead.  And that didn’t work… and… and.. and.  (This wasn’t the first time.)  Do yourself a favour.  Avoid Incredible Connection!

After thinking of installing a backup onto the SSD, I decided to do a clean install — no 4½ years of upgrades, etc.  So I made sure I had all my content safely on the backup disk and then set about making a list of all the applications and programs I would need to install, and coming up with a plan for lost software keys.

And this is where Microsoft came out tops!  They really do have incredible customer support.  I have only used them a few times over the years, and every time I walk away totally in awe.

Not only did they help with MS Office keys, but also Windows 10, Photoshop and everything else I had on the old hard drive.  All you need to do to get detailed info (software keys, etc) of all your applications is to go to and download their Belarc Advisor.  You get a detailed PDF with all the info.

The decision to do a clean install was the correct one.  Yes it took time and lots of bandwidth, but my new Windows 10 is far better than my Windows-10-upgraded-from-Windows-7.

The System Update for Lenovo Thinkpads is excellent and after I had downloaded that, my old, familiar laptop was back… on steroids.  I read somewhere that T-series Thinkpads are the only computers certified by the US military as “battle-ready.”  (They use them to fight their wars.)  Mine still looks and feels as good as new, and is now faster than I’d ever hoped for.  It will probably have a useful life of 10 years.

Changing to a SSD is a no-brainer.  What are you waiting for?

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