Wednesday, December 27, 2017

ssd for thinkpad t400s

Since I repaired the broken hinge on the Thinkpad T400s I want to improve its performance and prolong it as long as possible. I have notice the computer has became sluggish of late. I had tried to determine what could be the cause to no avail. I suspected that the harddrive may be on the last leg, as these 1.8" and 2.5" can exhibit this symptom. I decide to upgrade to a solid state drive (SDD).

It is easier say than done as 1.8" drive is very uncommon. I would have to pay a lot of premium for one of the same size as the existing 256GB HDD. Fortunately with a bit of research I realize I can buy a mSATA SSD which is currently in the pricing sweet spot, and use a mSATA to 1.8" drive adapter. To get the best price on the mSATA SSD I snagged an Amazon Warehouse Inc's open box deal.

a 250 GB Samsung mSATA SSD from Amazon Warehouse Inc

a few days later the mSATA to 1.8" HDD adapter arrived; it is actually quite expensive but this is the nicest I could find

the mSATA SSD mounted onto the adapter

In order to transfer the Windows 7 image as well as all the data from the HDD I have to back everything up onto a USB HDD, and also create a Windows bootable recovery CD. Once that is done I then remove the old HDD and swap in the new SSD assembly.

1.8" HDD is quite small and uncommon

as the CD-RW does not got used much it too was sluggish, and I have to try it a few time before the Windows recovery disc would boot

the transfer building of the drive image onto the SSD took a bit of time; only until it is done and the Windows boots up that I would find out if the Amazon Warehouse Inc deal is any good

 All went well. Now the Thinkpad T400s has no more HDD I turned off the Lenovo Airbag Protection for the mechanical HDD. In its hay days the Airbag Protection was quite an innovation that was unique to the Thinkpad T series notebooks.

As I suspected, no more sluggishness. In addition to much faster performance I know indeed the old HDD was on the last leg.

Having done this conversion I am going to upgrade my 5k iMac to SSD as well. It is a bit of PITA and entails some risk of cracking the screen as it is held to the frame via foam adhesive tape. A 1TB SSD can be bought for $300 - $400 from my quick check. At the time the cost of Apple's SSD option was out of this planet.

iFixIt has some excellent step by step how-to, and they want to sell you a few specialty tools. There are videos on Youtube but typically they are poorly made and with improper technique. I much prefer instruction with well written text in conjunction with excellent photos - something in such short supply of the texting and Fartbook era where a lot of people no longer can write a complete sentence. So sad!

my 27 inch 5k iMac bought in 2014

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