Slow Performance? – Upgrade your System Drive to a Solid State Drive
If you’ve came to these guides if you are running an Older Dell System and your Hard Drive (HDD) has failed or if your system has sluggish performance (100 % Disk Usage) then you should consider upgrading to a Solid State Drive (SSD).
The image shows a large clunky 3.5″ mechanical HDD, a 2.5″ SSD and a M.2 SSD side by side.
You should check your System Manual to determine what drive types are compatible – usually 2.5″ or M.2. Also check how easy, the system is to open to get to the drives it’s usually very easy with Desktops, where you slide off the cover and get right to the drives. It can be slightly more difficult with Laptops, where you need to be careful how you take off the cover and may need to disconnect the battery first. Some systems such as Tablets have the drive soldered onto the motherboard and are non-upgradable. Dell offer great Service Manuals especially for their business range of products (but usually the home models also).
You can run Windows 10 comfortably with a 250 GB SSD however if you need to store more files on it the 500 GB-1000 GB is recommended. I personally would avoid 120 GB SSDs or less.
These are now affordable and I recommend the Crucial MX500 (click see more below for Amazon affiliate links, please use these as it will help fund the website costs and test hardware needed to keep my Windows Reinstallation Guides up to date).
Older systems with a clunky 2.5″ mechanical HDDs are slightly thicker however the Crucial SSD comes with the spacer (if required)
These use the same connectors as the 2.5 ” Drives, you just need a spacer
Your system will already have a SSD installed if you only have a M.2 slot.
Getting Windows on your New SSD
Although I recommend A Clean Install of Windows 10 see Windows OEM Downloads and FAQs. You can use Macrium Reflect to create a image of your Windows Boot Drive onto an External Hard Drive and with Bootable Media you can restore this onto your new SSD. See my guide Backing Up Your Windows Installation Using Macrium Reflect.