Moving from HDD to SSD

Hard Disk Drives are slow, let’s switch them for Solid State Drives..

One of the main reasons for slowness on older computers is the terrible read and write speeds of their aging hard drive storage. It’s fairly easy to swap in an SSD and get much better performance.

I’ll be cloning the internal hard drive on a Dell Inspiron 15 3000 to an SSD and then using the old HDD as an external hard drive.

Parts List

The enclosure was chosen specifically because the laptop I’m doing this on has no USB type C ports. I didn’t take much time choosing these parts, so comment below if you’ve found better parts and/or lower price points.

Step 1 – SSD into Enclosure

The enclosure has a simple tool-less design. Slide it open, slide in the SSD and slide it closed.

After this, I connected the USB cable and plugged the drive into a SuperSpeed USB port on the laptop.

Step 2 – Software Setup

The software I chose to use is Macrium Reflect Free.

After downloading and installing, I followed the below guide with the only change being that I was copying from a larger drive to a smaller drive:

Here’s what Macrium Reflect looked like when I opened it. Disk 1 is the internal HDD and Disk 2 is the externally connected SSD:

Upon clicking “Clone this disk..” and “Copy Partitions”:

The multiple partitions were shown on the SSD with The “3 – OS” partition automatically resized to compensate for SSD being significantly smaller than the HDD. After clicking “Next”..

.. it was done.

Time to shut down the laptop, remove the battery and disconnect power.

Step 3 – Swap SSD with HDD

I found this guide for the specific laptop model:

… and using it, I swapped the HDD and SSD:

After closing it up and turning it on, quite magically, it just worked. No issues with Windows or anything. This was WAY too easy.


Using CrystalDiskMark pre- and post-SSD swap, the numbers showed a vast improvement:



Not exactly a scientific test because I didn’t make sure other programs weren’t accessing the drives at the same time. However, The real test for me was the bootup time and responsiveness in Windows. For that, it was absolutely night and day. With the SSD it was possible to immediately open programs once the desktop appeared. Apps opened significantly faster and the device is way less annoying to use.


Thanks to me using devices exclusively with their “shipped with” storage, this is the first time I’ve experienced the speed difference that can be directly attributed to storage performance. It’s huge.

If you’re contemplating buying a new laptop because your current one is just too slow on bootup or opening files, it could just be that the HDD is slowing everything down. Your RAM and processor may still be good so save that money and swap in an SSD instead!

If you have any questions/would like to share your experience with replacing HDDs with SSDs, leave a reply below. To receive an email when I publish a post, subscribe here.

(Featured image remixed from this photo)

One thought on “Moving from HDD to SSD

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  1. Im sure this will be helpful to many out there that either have computers sitting around or having to put up with slow computers.

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