Friday, August 21, 2015

Get new speed, security, & durability with a Solid State Drive

Get new speed, security, & durability with a Solid State Drive

Computers no longer come with operating system DVDs.  Instead you get a 'recovery partition' on your disk drive -- which does absolutely no good if your disk actually crashes!  And most users never created "Recovery Media" on their own blank DVD-R discs.  So if everything goes wrong, your alternative is to BUY a new machine.  Here's how to secure your computer's future while making it FASTER and more durable!

If you're contemplating a free Windows 10 upgrade and/or your PC / Mac / Laptop is 4+ years old, you should clone your ordinary Hard Disk Drive (HDD) to a Solid State Drive (SSD). Flash chip based SSDs are much faster than HDDs (boot up in 30 seconds), never need defragmenting, and are more resistant to bumps and knocks (you can't have a 'head crash' when there aren't any heads!).

The cost for most users will be $96/$143/$245 including a 120GB / 240GB / 480GB Solid State Drive (SSD) AND a complete SATA to USB 3.0 cloning adapter and cloning software.  Here's what HDD (Hard Disk Drive) Mac or PC users need order:

     $24 Apricorn SATA Wire USB 3.0 Notebook Drive Upgrade Kit

      $72 OWC 120GB Mercury Electra 6G SSD 2.5" SATA 7mm Solid State Drive

(or $119 OWC 240GB:
  or $221 OWC 480GB:

There are cheaper Solid State Drives, but I picked the OWC because both Read/Write speeds are both over 500Mbps (cheaper SSDs are slower). There are also larger SSDs.

Follow the instructions in the cloning kit, and then replace the old HDD with your newly cloned SSD. Label the HDD and put it on the shelf, just in case you might want/need to clone again. For example, if your free Windows 10 upgrade exhibits unexpected software or device incompatibilities and you're past Microsoft's 30-day downgrade deadline, you can reverse the cloning back to your previous version of Windows.

If you're concerned about the process, for example, removing the glass screen of an iMac to replace the HDD or disabling UEFI BIOS so you can boot from a CD, enlist your local technology support to assist you.
Pricing as of August 2015
Copyright © 2015 Professional Nerds ®

Is Windows 10 ready for Prime Time?

Is Windows 10 ready for Prime Time?

Microsoft Marketing has released Windows 10 as a free upgrade for Win7 & Win8.1 owners. By using terms such as "for a limited time" (and not defining "limited" as meaning ONE YEAR), Microsoft has succeeded panicking and stampeding Windows users into upgrading production PCs & laptops (one which you rely on to work every day!) without proper compatibility testing, leaving some users stuck with a non-functional PC! 

It's been 3 weeks since Windows 10 was released, and there already have been THREE setups of Windows 10 updates pushed out to fix problems! For those who've upgraded, Microsoft only allows a 30-day roll-back period to go back to their previous Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 operating system. Starting August 29, 2015, the initial upgraders will be committed to Windows 10 - no going back, UNLESS they first made a clone of their hard disk drive.  How to clone details are here:

I have successfully updated two older, "clean" test'machines, but I don't recommend anyone update a "production" PC/laptop until they've verified there are no incompatibilities. Just this week (Aug 20, 2015), Symantec hastily released a "Windows 10 Upgrade" version of their Norton Internet Security software, because the existing version caused Windows 10 upgrades to fail (by the way, such upgrade failures are not considered Microsoft's fault!). 

Another area users forget to check is SCANNER software from printer/scanner vendors. Scanning software which worked on Windows 7 may not work with Windows 10. Manufacturers such as Dell are posting website notices that the "device drivers" (i.e. graphics, WiFi, etc.) for many of their older PCs and laptops have not been tested with Windows 10 (and therefore may not work!).

Based on these and other problems I've already seen, I think Windows 7 users should NOT upgrade -- Windows 7 will be supported until 2020, and it'll be time enough to get Windows 10 on your NEXT PC/laptop (unless you get a Mac with OS X instead!). Windows 8.1 users SHOULD upgrade to Windows 10, BUT they should wait a few months to let OTHERS get more bugs out!

Copyright © 2015 Professional Nerds ®