Can I replace my hard drive with an SSD?

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SSDs, or Solid State Drives, offer a number of advantages over traditional hard drives. Laptop drives have always been slower than their desktop counterparts, and the hard drive can be one of the main bottlenecks in laptop performance. The main advantage of an SSD is one of speed, because the drives have no moving parts and are based on flash memory. Although the access speed of memory cards is not particularly quick, SSDs use optimised controller electronics to achieve high read and write speeds. A second advantage is that, again because there are no moving parts, SSDs are practically immune to knocks and bumps, making them particularly suitable for laptops. The disadvantages are that capacities are currently still pretty low, and they are very expensive.
That said, if you want to sacrifice capacity for speed then it’s certainly possible to. Unless you plan to reinstall Windows and all of your programs, you will need to back up all the data on your hard drive first. To do this, you will need a program such as DriveImage XML (www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm) to copy the entire partition to an empty, removable hard drive. A laptop’s hard drive is usually located behind a panel on the underside of the laptop chassis, so remove the panel and slide the existing drive out. Slide the SSD drive in, use your Windows install or recovery disk to get a basic setup running, then copy the partition back from the removable drive.


Source of Information : Windows IT Pro June 2010

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