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Installing new SSD in Dell Inspiron 15z Laptop

RUsum1 1,672 January 13, 2014 at 02:01 AM in Computers (4) More Microsoft Store Deals
I purchased the Dell Inspiron 15z Laptop [microsoftstore.com] from Microsoft Store but have yet to open it as it's a gift for someone. I have questions regarding this laptop

1) It comes with 32GB SSD + 500GB HDD. Is this a hybrid drive or is there space for two hard drives (one SSD and one HDD)?
2) If it's just one hybrid drive, is it worth it to "upgrade" to a 90GB SSDnow 200 V+?
3) If I do upgrade it, what's the best method to get a clean Windows installation onto the hard drive? I don't want to reinstall whatever added Dell software may come with the computer so I doubt doing an image backup of the C drive would be best

*please quote my post so I know when people respond.

Thanks for help

41 Comments

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#31
Quote from RUsum1 View Post :
How about for this laptop though?

Does this even have a spot for an mSATA? Or is my only option for an upgrade an SSD?
Doesn't seem like there's a mSATA port on the P580. I tried looking for information about it but the only results I could find were for the Y580.

If you don't mind losing your optical drive you can buy a adapter and install a SSD in there: http://www.extremetech.com/comput...ith-an-ssd
Last edited by heero884 January 25, 2014 at 11:35 PM
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#32
Quote from heero884 View Post :
Doesn't seem like there's a mSATA port on the P580. I tried looking for information about it but the only results I could find were for the Y580.

If you don't mind losing your optical drive you can buy a adapter and install a SSD in there: http://www.extremetech.com/comput...ith-an-ssd
Either that, or swap the HDD for an SSD and live with less onboard storage.
Just as an example, I got an Intel 240 gig SSD [amazon.com] on special for $150 and I also picked up a 128 gig thumb drive [amazon.com] on special for just under $50.
The net result is that I could store close to 300 gigs of data (over and above the OS and programs) with no performance degradation, but a regular HDD, starts to get quite slow by the time it's 50% full, so it would take a 640 gig HDD to match the storage capacity of the set up mentioned above.
Do you follow what I mean?
The short of it is that $200 would beef up that laptop in a big way and you could buy a cheap external USB case [amazon.com] for the present drive to be used as back up.
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#33
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
Either that, or swap the HDD for an SSD and live with less onboard storage.
Just as an example, I got an Intel 240 gig SSD [amazon.com] on special for $150 and I also picked up a 128 gig thumb drive [amazon.com] on special for just under $50.
The net result is that I could store close to 300 gigs of data (over and above the OS and programs) with no performance degradation, but a regular HDD, starts to get quite slow by the time it's 50% full, so it would take a 640 gig HDD to match the storage capacity of the set up mentioned above.
Do you follow what I mean?
The short of it is that $200 would beef up that laptop in a big way and you could buy a cheap external USB case [amazon.com] for the present drive to be used as back up.
That works too. He asked if he could add a mSATA while keeping his original hard drive in there so I gave him a answer that would satisfy that requirement.

It is definitely worth it to get a SSD if you don't have one already. The prices are fairly affordable.
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#34
Quote from heero884 View Post :
Doesn't seem like there's a mSATA port on the P580. I tried looking for information about it but the only results I could find were for the Y580.

If you don't mind losing your optical drive you can buy a adapter and install a SSD in there: http://www.extremetech.com/comput...ith-an-ssd
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
Either that, or swap the HDD for an SSD and live with less onboard storage.
Just as an example, I got an Intel 240 gig SSD [amazon.com] on special for $150 and I also picked up a 128 gig thumb drive [amazon.com] on special for just under $50.
The net result is that I could store close to 300 gigs of data (over and above the OS and programs) with no performance degradation, but a regular HDD, starts to get quite slow by the time it's 50% full, so it would take a 640 gig HDD to match the storage capacity of the set up mentioned above.
Do you follow what I mean?
The short of it is that $200 would beef up that laptop in a big way and you could buy a cheap external USB case [amazon.com] for the present drive to be used as back up.
Yeah I was hoping to be able to have both speed and storage without having the requirement of an external drive. I do have a 90GB SSD that I would put into the laptop (the one mentioned in my first post of this thread). I'll probably end up just using that. I do have a 2.5" external case already that came with a past SSD kit I bought a while ago.
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#35
Maybe invest in a large mSSD Stick Out Tongue
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#36
Well I decided to get an mSATA drive anyway. Not for performance benefits but for storage benefits. I will have a 120GB OS mSATA and swap out the 500GB hard drive with a 750GB hard drive, thus bumping up my overall capacity from 532 to 870. I would have gotten the 240GB mSATA but decided to save the $50 extra it would have cost me. I don't think I'll regret the decision (at least I hope I won't).

Now, what method should I go about getting the OS from the stock drive to the mSATA once it arrives? I used to be able to do this easily with Windows 7 because I had an ISO and I only needed to input my key from the laptop but I don't have a Windows 8 ISO so I'm hoping there is another way.
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#37
Quote from RUsum1 View Post :
Well I decided to get an mSATA drive anyway. Not for performance benefits but for storage benefits. I will have a 120GB OS mSATA and swap out the 500GB hard drive with a 750GB hard drive, thus bumping up my overall capacity from 532 to 870. I would have gotten the 240GB mSATA but decided to save the $50 extra it would have cost me. I don't think I'll regret the decision (at least I hope I won't).

Now, what method should I go about getting the OS from the stock drive to the mSATA once it arrives? I used to be able to do this easily with Windows 7 because I had an ISO and I only needed to input my key from the laptop but I don't have a Windows 8 ISO so I'm hoping there is another way.
It's not something I've done before and the only idea I have is to get an mSATA to USB adapter [amazon.com] and clone the present system onto it, the same way you'd do it with a regular SSD, only a different adapter.
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#38
There is no way to do this by putting the mSATA into the laptop directly as a replacement for the 32GB one?

And is a simple clone the best way to make sure the OS is installed at it's most optimal configuration? I know SSD is a slightly different install than HDD right?
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#39
Quote from RUsum1 View Post :
There is no way to do this by putting the mSATA into the laptop directly as a replacement for the 32GB one?

And is a simple clone the best way to make sure the OS is installed at it's most optimal configuration? I know SSD is a slightly different install than HDD right?
There should be if no needed software is present on the mSATA.

yes cloning is the easiest, and no a SSD is no different to install.

Don't take this wrong but as others posts stated, there was really no need to waste the time and money going through this process, the 32GB cached drive would be just fine and the money spent will more then likely not speed it up (and potentially slow it down if you do not get it all all back within specs).

Just scratching my head and wondering why?Facepalm
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#40
32GB mSATA is big enough for Windows 7 32bit or 64bit. I use 32GB for all my streaming NUCs
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#41
Quote from pingb View Post :
Don't take this wrong but as others posts stated, there was really no need to waste the time and money going through this process, the 32GB cached drive would be just fine and the money spent will more then likely not speed it up (and potentially slow it down if you do not get it all all back within specs).

Just scratching my head and wondering why?Facepalm
I was doing it to increase storage capacity. Move the OS and programs onto the larger mSATA and then also installing a larger spinning drive for files

Would simply replacing the 32GB with the 120GB drive increase overall storage? I don't know how caching drives work alongside the system drive.
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#42
Alright so things aligned pretty well and here is my planned setup (probably overkill at this point)

120GB Crucial mSATA for OS - $50 (after $25 off $75 coupon and PM to Amazon)
2TB hard drive for data (front page deal just now) - $76.49 ($84.99 - 10% coupon)
128GB USB3 flash drive for random whatever (front page deal a few days ago) - $25 (after a $30 off $60 coupon)

Quote from pingb View Post :
There should be if no needed software is present on the mSATA.

yes cloning is the easiest, and no a SSD is no different to install.

Don't take this wrong but as others posts stated, there was really no need to waste the time and money going through this process, the 32GB cached drive would be just fine and the money spent will more then likely not speed it up (and potentially slow it down if you do not get it all all back within specs).

Just scratching my head and wondering why?Facepalm
Are Rocky's suggestions the best way to get my mSATA optimized so the laptop won't slow down from it's factory config? I used to use a Windows 7 SSD optimization guide whenever I did a clean install of the OS which involved things like turning off hibernate to gain more HDD space and some other stuff that I'm forgetting about. Didn't know if Windows 8 is the same.

super late edit: are there any specific changes that need to be made so my mSATA doesn't look for a secondary drive for caching purposes since the computer is set up to do that initially?
Last edited by RUsum1 March 27, 2014 at 06:42 PM
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