I have an old HP DV6 laptop that was a dog from the day it arrived a number of years ago. I spent hours going over all the settings trying to speed it up, even overclocking the CPU, all to no avail. I put the computer away and tried to forget the gross error of my purchase.
But from time to time I would think of the laptop in the closet and imagining I might be able to have a go at fixing it with a brand new solid state drive. By this time the sting of my waste of $600 on this blasted thing had faded. I felt I no longer had anything to lose if I screwed things up. If I failed I'd just donate the mess to the local electronics recycle store and forget everything.
The original mechanical drive in the laptop was 500GB but in pricing SSD replacements I thought putting in a 250GB drive would be more economical. After all, I would use it only for Web browsing and E mail. So I ordered the Crucial MX500 250GB 3D NAND SATA SSD. After reading some reviews I learned I also needed the Sabrent SSD to USB adapter to clone the old hard drive and downloaded the Acronis cloning software as Crucial recommended.
Cloning the old drive to the new SSD is where things got frustrating for me. I got everything connected, fired up the Acronis cloning software that I had downloaded onto the laptop, choose all the defaults because I had no idea what all the stuff was under the manual settings, and waited while the progress bar slowly progressed.
After about an hour and a half I saw Acronis just fold up and disappear leaving nothing on the screen other than an error had occurred and that I should check some log. I couldn't find a log even after a long search on my laggy laptop. After considering what might be the problem I finally figured out that trying to clone a 500GB drive onto a 250GB target drive might be a problem. Duh. Now I'm starting to think I'm in over my head.
I couldn't find anywhere on the Acronis web site how to clone a larger drive to smaller one, so I started searching the web for a solution and found a free cloning utility called EaseUS Todo that can dynamically change partition sizes during cloning. I started the process using the new software, watched the computer exit Windows and begin the cloning process.
After a few hours Windows came back. I connected the SSD to another computer in order to view what was now on the new drive. It appeared to be a clone of the old drive but with different volume numbers. That worried me. What would happen when I put the new drive back in the laptop? Would it be able to read a boot drive F: ? No way to tell except to put it in there and see.
Swapping the drives was the easiest part of the process. I just removed the screws holding the bracket onto the back of the laptop and then the screws holding the drive in the bracket. Lastly, pulled out the data and power connector and the drive is loose. Reverse to install the new drive.
To my great relieve, when I turned the computer back on I saw that a program had automatically run to name the drive partitions back to their original letters! Windows started surprisingly fast. My old dog of a laptop had a new lease on life!
So that's my story with the Crucial MX500 SSD. The drive itself is great. I'm loving it. The process of cloning the old to new seems to be more difficult than it needs to be for rank amateurs such as myself. Why couldn't have the Acronis software told me at the start my new drive was too small to clone to and then offer to make adjustments? Why did I have to search the Net to find answers?
My advice for those new to things like this is clean up your old drive before you clone and get rid of the GBs of trash that are probably there. That will save you hours of time. I found some old system files from a Windows 10 upgrade that were taking up 25GBs of space. Use the Disk Cleanup app in Windows to get rid of all that before you clone.