Upgrading a hard drive can be an intimidating and time consuming process, but it may be necessary to speed up your computer and help it run smoothly. Computers are an integral part of Ham Radio these days and I consider mine a part of my Ham station. Have you wanted to upgrade your hard drive? Given this method, it’s very easy (no software reinstallation) and only requires an external HDD and a CD/DVD drive with a blank CD. For my new hard drive I’ve chosen to go with a 2TB solid state hybrid (SSHD) for three reasons, performance, cost and storage. The SSHD will be faster than my old drive. The cost of a new solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) is much less than a full SSD. A 500GB SSD runs around $150 whereas a 2TB SSHD comes in at less than $100.
This is something I’ve wanted to do since I got my new (used) PC. I am using a HP 8300 Elite SFF Desktop PC for my Ham Radio applications. This is an excellent choice for Ham Radio. The small form factor makes it easy to manage and hide under my desk. It’s an i5 which is not the fastest, but good enough. It came with 8 GB of RAM and a 2 TB hard disk drive. The HP has numerous USB ports front and back and also has a DB9 serial port that I use for CW keying! There are expansion slots too.
Upgrading a Hard Drive Can Be Time Consuming and Scary
If you read how-to-upgrade articles on the Internet and try them you may have a lot of trouble just as I did.
I ran into a problem trying to use a USB thumb drive as a Windows RECOVERY drive. When I got to the step, writing the image to my new SSHD, it gave a EFI BIOS error. Eventually it did work, but I could not re-create the operation again for the video, so I took the easiest way I knew and used a blank CD to make a REPAIR disk.
Booting from the repair disk and going through the process was flawless each time I did it. This is the easiest way in my opinion.
Why I Like This Method
When you get a new PC it’s a hassle loading the programs and restoring data. This process eliminates that. Using a disk image, your PC and the new drive will be just as you left it on the old drive. You won’t have to setup date/time, time zone, country, keyboard, Internet connections, wireless connections, users, enter the MS Windows product key, install programs, reinstall other product keys or go through the MS activation process. None of that stuff that takes away our hobby time!
Since this is a fairly new PC to me I didn’t have a lot of junk software, so starting fresh with a new installation of Windows would not have benefited me at all. Even if I did have a lot of extra software I would just remove it first while using my old hard drive and then make the image. This is the easiest way.
Upgrade Your Hard Drive – What You’ll Need
- A new hard drive – I am using a 2TB Seagate SSHD
- Blank CD/DVD
- External HDD or something to store your image. I have a Seagate 3TB ($88).
In this video I’ll show you how I did it. The entire process took approximately 5 hours for me. Most of it just waiting on the PC. It was very easy and my PC is running better than ever. My logbook loads faster, adds QSO’s faster and all of my other programs have benefited from this hybrid SSD.
See the link below for the step by step.
Cautions – Upgrade Your Hard Drive
As a word of caution, try this at your own risk. I cannot make any guarantees. The good news is if you do have problems, the old drive can be reinstalled and you lose nothing. Then work out the issues and upgrade your hard drive as I did.
My old hard drive and new hard drive are the same size so I did not have any problems with partitioning or partition sizes. If you choose a smaller SSD it will not work. The new drive must be of equal or greater size. If the new drive is larger, you will need to use a partition manager to view and access the full size of the new drive. Not a big deal though.
Thank you again for coming by and I appreciate all of the comments. If you have a question please comment below. I will do my best to answer it and your experience will undoubtedly help others as well.
How to revive your Windows 10 installation with System Image Recovery – Step by step. This recovery method (RECOVERY drive) did not work for me, but the article is a good step by step. I used a system REPAIR disk instead of the RECOVERY disk.