Make my laptop faster

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Make my laptop faster: a reader asks…

My dad bought me a new Windows 10 laptop last year for college. Now that I’m there, my laptop seems to work a lot slower than others. I’m always waiting for a long time for programs to open, and for the computer to start up and shut down. Can I speed up my laptop?

Parents often are looking for good deals when buying laptops for their college-bound children. Saving money is good, but it can result in you (the student) getting a laptop that has older and less-capable specifications. I last wrote about this back in 2015 in my article Speedup my laptop, which you should certainly check out. If your laptop doesn’t already have a speedy solid-state hard drive (SSD), then you might want to consider an upgrade. Doing it yourself will generally save you a lot of money.

You’ll want to check to see how hard it is to replace the hard drive, and a Youtube.com search might be the first place to look. In the Youtube search box, type in “Replace hard drive” followed by the brand and model number of your laptop. This information is usually printed on the underside of the laptop. Then look at any videos that show how to disassemble your laptop to replace the hard drive. If watching the video makes you think that task is beyond your skills, you might look for a classmate or someone on campus who’s good at that sort of thing.

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A replacement hard drive for a laptop should always be an SSD. You can find good SSDs in varying capacities online. I’d suggest you stick with brand-names like Samsung, WD, Hitachi, Crucial, and SanDisk. Most drives you buy now are going to be so much faster than your original spinning hard drive.

Once you have the hard drive, you can use cloning software (such as the excellent Drive Copy from Paragon Software, $40) to clone your internal hard drive to the new SSD before you swap them out. There are free software options, such as Shadow Copy, but you might find them harder to use. And some SSDs for sale will include the cloning software.

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You’ll also need a way to connect the new SSD to your laptop. You can pick up a cheap cable/adapter (like this one for under $8), or spend a little extra for a hard drive enclosure so you can use it with your old hard drive for backup or as an external hard drive (like this one for $10).
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If you’ll leave a comment with your brand and model number of laptop, I can give you a link to the specific Youtube video that outlines the process of swapping out the hard drive. Some laptops are easier than others to upgrade, and some are absolute bears to do, with serious risk of breaking your laptop when not done carefully and without mistake.

 

 

There are currently 680 reader comments on my articles, care to join in? Use the Leave a Comment form below/at the bottom of any existing comments. This is a good place to ask follow-on questions on this subject.

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