Evesham Computer - Can i replace sata 1 hard drive for ssd

  matt-few 10:27 03 Aug 2013


My sons use my old Evesham computer (approx 8 years old) for homework and surfing the net. It has Windows XP Pro on it, and has been working well until recently. However, booting up takes approx 3-4 mins and it hangs on the Blue Windows XP Desktop page for ages before the desktop icons (5) appear.

I thought the best thing to do would be a clean install to remove any clutter and rubbish from the system. Only 15% of the 250GB hard drive is used. Whilst using DBAN to wipe the hard drive before a clean install, I wondered whether replacing the WD Sata 1 hard drive with a SSD would be possible.

I have two in my Mac already, but wondered whether I am likely to get much speed improvement with an older PC.

P4 3.6 Chip 1GB memory 256MB Ati Graphics Card

Thanks in advance


  rdave13 11:45 03 Aug 2013

It's not straightforward installing XP on an SSD. Partition alignment, AHCI mode, lack of 'trim' and disabling various drive tools. Search for instructions on installation to see if its worth doing.

I'd just do a fresh install of XP on your drive. You can download SP3 for XP if you haven't got that vesion of XP. Will save a lot of updating. I don't use software such as DBAN I just format during installation.SP3

  Chronos the 2nd 11:47 03 Aug 2013

As the PC has XP it is not quite as simple to install the OS as it does not natively support Sata. This is what you would nee to do before you could install Windows XP on a Sata drive. Instructions.

To be honest if the PC is only used for homework and surfing then is it worth the bother and expense,dependant on the size of the SSD.

But a clean install of Windows will help and so would an extra gig or memory. But the PC is old which is evident of the P4 CPU. But if it caters for your sons needs then go ahead and reinstall XP.

It might be worth slipstreaming Service pack 3 into your original copy of XP as that will save one hell of a time installing the hundreds/thousands? of updates for Windows XP.

Remember to download to a USB drive all the necessary motherboard drivers ETC as unlike Windows 7, XP comes with very few.

  matt-few 11:58 03 Aug 2013

Thanks for the replies

I was going to order an SSD from Amazon today but after reading your replies will stick with the existing HD.

Will do a clean install today and unto to XP SP3.

The MSI Motherboard does support up to 4 sticks of memory. I only have 1 stick of 1GB DDR memory installed at present. If I install another stick of 1GB memory it still only shows as 1GB. That is with using both together or both individually, so not sure whether there is a fault with the MB, the BIOS needs updating or something else.

Thanks again Matt

  rdave13 13:46 03 Aug 2013

Try the ram in slots 1 and 3 or 2 and 4.

  matt-few 14:17 03 Aug 2013

Thanks rdave13, I will try that.

I used DBAN to do a 35 x wipe of the 250GB hard drive. I was just going to leave to do it 7 times if was going to be quick, but after 4.5 hours it has only just started the 4th wipe. Estimated remaining time was over 50 hours. I am starting to wonder if the hard drive may have problems now, so might be better offer getting a new standard hd for it as will be larger and cheaper than a SSD.

  alanrwood 14:28 03 Aug 2013

I'm not surprised at the time it is taking. This process is very time consuming. 7 times would have been enough unless you have some very secret information on the disk.

  Chronos the 2nd 15:17 03 Aug 2013

Why on earth are you using DBan to wipe a drive you intend to reinstall Windows XP on?

  matt-few 15:24 03 Aug 2013

Chronos the 2nd - I have used DBAN before on drives before that friends have wanted wiped before passing on the old machines. I thought it would be good to use rather than a Windows format pre reinstall of WIndows XP Pro. Just to make sure there was no files hanging around that the new install might try to use.

I know where you are coming from and this is probably OTT, but it's just a safe way to ensure all previous files are cleared. If there were any viruses on the machine, they would be gone too, but shouldn't have been with AV software installed.

  alanrwood 17:19 03 Aug 2013

A normal Windows reformat would have achieved the destruction of any viruses and prevent a new Windows install from using any of the old files.

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