Switching to a Solid State Drive

so the world is set right again, have my Windows 8 back and functioning. though for some reason it rebooted itself while i was on the patio with my coffee.

wanted to have the same adobe software CC installed so i could compare the launch times from the old hard drive to the new hard drive. but now the software is all different, with different splash screens. so no way of knowing if it is their changes in software or my changes in hardware. launch is faster but might be from improvements on their end.

and of course a system is always faster after a clean install, so not a true test there. the old HP workhorse is doing ok, but has sounded a little ‘off’ through the process. over-clocking the CPU for no reason, and fans going a little nuts here and there. but today sounding more back to normal. much of that i think is the Windows updating and how after updates a system will continue to run and finish installs in the background.

major change to the system, though. which didn’t realize that would have to do. my own stupidity for not researching enough before i began the upgrade. had to learn about the differences between RAID, and IDE, and AHCI. so now instead of a RAID system, i have an AHCI system. which there is yet another factor getting in the way of being able to tell if adding an SSD drive was the right thing to do.

the Windows 8.1 wasn’t slowing down, really. it was just that i was getting close to needing a clean install, anyway. and had seen in browsing and pricing laptops, how the higher-end ones all had SSD drives as well as the standard hard drive. had a little experience with adding drives, like did on my XP – but it died shortly after that and not sure if had to do with my working on it, or if it was only the XP service pack 3 update that signed her fate.

so anyway ….. now instead of having Windows 8 and Windows 7 dual booting from the same hard drive, they are dual booting each from their own drive. this way the hard drive that came with my computer — the standard kind with moving parts that spin — it can get a bit of a rest, and hopefully not wear out as fast. have been looking at complete upgrade to newer laptop, but the thing about that is that unless get into spending major $$$, none of them have as good a CPU as the desktop i have now.

the quad core i have now still ranks as having some value to it, while all the laptops in the range i can afford — their CPU’s are rated at a value of $0. main problem have with my chipset, is that it has built-in graphics – but they aren’t high-end enough to run some of the 3D programming. and beyond that, Windows and ATI (AMD) don’t seem to be playing ball very well together.

for the new Solid State Drive, the drive is much smaller than a standard drive. and there are kits for holding them in place inside the larger bays. thing is, i neglected to get one of those kits. so taped it with masking tape to some corkboard that could slide snuggly into the drive bay. am sure there are all kinds of wrong things with doing that, but it worked.

my thought was i could attach the new drive, have the system recognize it, install Windows 8 to the drive, and bing bang boom i would be done. but could that happen? of course not …. turns out that when you have more than one SATA going on, have to have a “controller.” and thing is with my system, it already had two SATA’s — one for the Hard Drive and one for the DVD drive. and the controller installed by HP was the RAID one …. which long ways back i removed RAID from the Windows 7 system because it was not stable. would put itself into an infinite loop until all your memory was eaten up.

since i almost never used the DVD drive, guess it didn’t matter. my understanding is a controller is something that lets a system know which drive is the ‘master’ and which is the ‘slave.’ so anyway, the IDE setting for the motherboard, or BIOS — is the oldest traditional. i tried that first, and the system crashed so fast that the blue screen of death was a giant blur before rebooting. so put BIOS into AHCI instead and after that was able to install Windows 8 onto the new hard drive.

was crazy trying to install it with the BIOS set to “RAID.” every time the install got to transferring files, would get the blue screen of death and crash. and thing was, that each time i had to enter the dang key-code number first before trying the install. so i entered that dang key-code number so many times, it was like some frickin’ nightmare of Prometheus rolling his stone up the hill.

each time i tried, changed a parameter – because i thought the problem had to be with the graphics board. tried it on digital, on hdmi, on vga. removed the new board and tried the install with the original integrated graphics. tried with one monitor, and then the other. turns out it was one setting in the BIOS that needed changing. though it’s a pretty big change. there’s all kinds of warnings on the page that you better know what you are doing before messing with them.

so anyway i know i’m rattling on, not trying to really write a “how-to” here. it’s more of a lesson about “DO THE RESEARCH.” could have saved myself a lot of time and aggravation. not to mention i could have avoided the MS help line, which was a direct line to HELL (India). no offense but you people need to lighten up.

and top that off with they were no help at all, as in they wasted my time and all i was doing was explaining the issue over and over again until it made me sick. finally got my answer from reading through a few forums i found googling the error code. even so there was nothing definitive that said, “change your controller so you can install Windows 8.”

so anyway ……. i’m not very impressed with India right now. and i’m sure they are less than impressed with ME. which i’m usually much more careful with foreign-relations. but to heck with them. they are all like my little sister when she was about FOUR YEARS OLD — thinking clever and sneaky makes up for being incompetent. in otherwords, sis grew out of it. these people never will and just to heck with it. no offense, folks … but even in writing crowds which are a little crazier than normal — the members from India are way the heck out there in their thought-process. i don’t know what they’re putting in the water, but if you do an aerial-tour you can see how many mines they’ve got going on next to their water sources.

oh well i’m done nattering-on ………… is Thursday but feels like a Monday. not the start of the week, but it’s the start of something!



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