See part 3 for a riveting expose in to the seedy world of hard drive cloning…
In this edition we tackle the brutal reality of actually getting shit to work.
TL;DR: Stuff and things
Are we there yet..?
As well as shitty software and a data/power cable, the SanDisk SSD Conversion kit comes with a metal tray and some screws. It’s a bit light on instructions, but that’s fine; you’ll work it out. In order to hold the disks in place, the Cooler Master chassis that I have conveniently has accessible, removable trays that have little spring loaded plastic dowels that pop in to the holes that would, in the dark old days of computing, have been reserved for screws. I love screwless systems; they are elegant, and so much easier than faffing around with screw drivers. I screwed the plate to the SSD and then proceeded to pop it in to the drive bay… But wait… hang on moment… it doesn’t… actually… seem to fucking fit!!!!! Yes, one of the few components that has remained largely unchanged for the last 30 years, doesn’t fit in the extraordinarily standard bay that was designed specifically for the purpose of holding the thing that was supposed to fit! In the end I kind of jimmied it in there and relied on friction to keep it in place. It has no moving parts, so it’s not like it’ll come out, right?
Next, and almost last, on the to do list was to change to priority of my boot order so that the machine booted from the SSD, rather than the HDD, both of which now had Active System and Boot partitions. This would be a piece of piss, right? Oh lawd! Why did I say that? It’s not is it? It’s gonna be hell! You weren’t there man! You don’t know!
This seemingly trivial task turned in to 20-30 minutes of swearing and button mashing as I tried in vain to determine the correct key to drop from the boot loader in to the BIOS. It’s definitely F5 or maybe F8: <mash>, <mash>, <mash>. Nope, that did not work. OK, let’s try everything else: <mash>, <mash>, <mash>. Fuck! After much indiscriminate mashing of keys (literally all of them), talking to Google for a bit, and very nearly losing my shit, because I could not find a reliable download for the MSI P55-GD80 motherboard; after throwing all of my toys and everyone else’s out of all the prams; after praying to God and the Devil himself, I finally found out that it was F11. F-FUCKING-11!!! Who does that? Why would you do that??? Fuck you MSI!
Who Dares Wins Rodney…
Finally, I managed to change the boot order for my 5 physical disks (three internal and two external), plus USB, DVD and what not. While I was in there, I also found the Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) setting that actually allows me to run my memory at 1600mHz rather than 1333mHz. That only took me the best part of 4 years to work out!
I restarted the machine and it booted to Windows, and gentlemen… It is FAST! It is like shit off of a shovel. The drive is up and running. I have started to transfer certain games like 7D2D and Arma 3 to the SSD partition, using the ‘better’ method and, as of writing this article, I am about to finally drop the old Windows boot partition on the WD HDD and reallocate the space to my rapidly growing Steam games library.
All of this is of course coupled with an 8GB memory upgrade (2x 4GB HyperX Fury Red) and the introduction of an MSI Nvidia GTX970, which I have to say is pretty fucking sweet. The GTX 970 is significantly faster than the now dated Radeon (8,660 vs. 2,260 on Passmark scores) and is so much quieter than my previous Radeon HD 5850 – one of the first DX11 cards on the market.
Bring it on bitches!