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Upgrading A 10-Year Old Laptop To SSD

Jerry in San Diego, California asked us about upgrading his 10 year old laptop

SSD insides

Jerry asked: “I have a Toshiba laptop, 10 years old – a Satellite M65. I’m looking for a SSD that I can put in it. The machine runs fine, it’s just dog slow on the current hard drive.”

 

In theory all you would need to do is find an SSD that uses the same connector, swap it for your HDD and you’re in business. In your particular case, this is kind of bad news. The Toshiba M65-series shipped with Ultra ATA drives, not SATA drives. Most modern SSDs, and just about every other type of drive these days, use SATA connectors.

That shouldn’t stop you though, there are Ultra ATA compatible drives out there, unfortunately they are typically more expensive, sometimes as much as two times the price of a regular SATA SSD.

In your case, for the price of a 128GB Ultra ATA SSD, you might be able to find a 500GB SATA SSD. As long as you’re just trying to breathe new life into an old computer, and don’t plan to replace it in the short term, that might still work, but it’s a factor that may make you reconsider whether or not an aging computer is worth the investment.

An SSD should make your computer faster, but it won’t necessarily help it deal well with newer software, since every other component inside the case is still 10 years old. What you’re looking for is a 2.5” IDE/PATA SSD drive. Have a look at those, just about any store that sells computer parts is likely to have a few, and see if you think they’re worth the investment. The installation is easy, you will see performance improvements, but your computer will still be 10 years old, so see if they cost is worth it to you.

You should also consider memory.

You should also consider memory. Your laptop has a Pentium M processor, shipped with 512MB of RAM, has a maximum capacity of 2GB of RAM, and had a 128GB 5400 RPM Ultra-ATA/IDE hard drive. What does all that tech lingo mean? So upgrade your RAM to the full 2GB (Crucial.com still sells memory for your laptop, it’s $30 for a 2GB kit) and then look for that Ultra ATA/IDE SSD drive. There are a few of them around. Amazon.com offers the “Super Talent” 256GB Ultra ATA SSD for approximately $150.

Even though they are primarily a Mac outlet, OWC at macsales.com has the Mercury “Legacy Pro” series of SSD drives that offer an Ultra ATA interface. Although they only certify them for Macs, they might work in your laptop. You can get all the way up to a 480GB model for $299.

Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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