I’ve been offline a while because I was out of town at classes for a couple of weeks. I had my Dell XPS laptop with me and gave it a proper work out. One thing became apparent quickly: it took way too long to go from the login screen to a usable state. Once I hit the desktop it would take at least a minute before I could do anything.
On my way back home, I received an email from buy.com about a Crucial M4 256GB SSD on sale for $100 off. It was less than $1 a GB so I took the plunge and purchased it in the hope of resolving my slow boot issue. After I received the drive I thought about the best way to install it. I had never installed an SSD much less upgrade a HDD to a SSD. I took a chance since they were both SATA and ghosted my HDD to the SSD. Ghost completed successfully and I removed the HDD from the laptop and installed the SSD.
The laptop booted to the login screen in less than 10 seconds. I put in my username and password and waited. A few seconds later the desktop showed up and within 10 more seconds I was up and running. I was simply amazed at the speed. Now I understood why all these magazine writers sung the SSD song. Windows only asked to reboot to finish installing hardware (presumably the SSD). A reboot later I was ready to go. Pretty painless overall and highly recommended for laptops particularly. If prices come down on 512 GB SSDs significantly, I might think of replacing my Velociraptor drive in my desktop PC!