by Jerry Jackson
When solid state drives (SSDs) started to appear several years ago, every laptop owner who saw one immediately wanted one. Unlike hard disk drives (HDDs) with moving parts that are prone to failure due to vibration or impact, SSDs have no moving parts (similar to a USB flash drive or thumb drive) and are significantly faster than the hard drive in your laptop. Until recently, SSDs were too expensive for average consumers to own, but Kingston hopes to change all that with the SSDNow V-Series with Notebook Bundled Accessory Kit. This Kingston SSD upgrade kit includes not only an affordable 128GB SSD, but it includes everything a typical laptop owner needs to turn an average laptop into a high-performance machine.
Kingston SSDNow V-Series with Notebook Bundled Accessory Kit Specifications:
Packaging, Features and Installation
Most commercially available SSDs on the market include the SSD and nothing else. The manufacturer just assumes you know what to do with it. Kingston recognized that many laptop owners might want to upgrade to a SDD, but the typical consumer needs a bit more help. That's why Kingston includes an external enclosure and a copy of Acronis True Image software so that you can transfer your entire hard drive (including Windows) to your new SSD. The added benefit of the external enclosure is that you can put your old laptop hard drive inside the enclosure and use it as extra storage. The images of the SSD show the SSD inside the mounting bracket for a HP Pavilion dv4t notebook. The mounting bracket isn't included ... I just neglected to remove it prior to taking photos.
I usually just install a clean copy of Windows whenever I install a new hard drive or solid state drive in a notebook, but I've also used various types of software to clone hard drives so that I don't have to re-install Windows. Typically, cloning software doesn't work as well as you might think. You usually end up wishing you had just installed a clean copy of Windows instead of trying to copy your old hard drive. This was NOT the case with the Kingston SSDNow kit.
I can honestly say that this is the easiest upgrade kit and easiest cloning software I've ever used. Just remove your old hard drive from your notebook, install the new SSD, install the old hard drive into the provided external enclosure and connect it to a USB port on your notebook, then insert the install CD into the drive and follow the on-screen instructions. The entire process couldn't be any easier ... well, almost.
There are only two minor annoyances I encountered when using the Kingston SSDNow kit. First, there is no printed copy of the installation instructions. You have to print out the instructions from the PDF document included on the CD. It would make life much easier if Kingston included a printed copy of the instructions in the box. Second, if your current hard drive is larger than 128GB (and you're using all or most of that space) then you need to remove software and files from your old hard drive before you try to clone your old hard drive over to the new SSD.
Still, I can't get over how easy this kit makes upgrading a laptop hard drive to a super-fast SSD.
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