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Laptop SSD Upgrade – I Love SSD’s

January 11th, 2013 No comments

I just have to say. I love SSD’s.

I have a HP Pavilion dv6 3030tx. Its not the fastest machine.
It is a 1st generation Intel Core i5 540M, with 4GB of memory.

If you read the posts on this site I recently upgraded to 8GB of memory.
This made little performance difference.

I rebuilt my PC with Windows 8 and upgraded to a Samsung 830 256GB SSD.

To give you an indication of a general performance improvement, read on.

Performance Benchmark Prior to SSD upgrade

I am a software developer and I do all of my development in Virtual Machines.
My current VM platform of choice is Virtual Box.

On battery on my daily bus trip I do the following:

1. Login to Windows.
2. Start Virtual Machine – Windows Server 2012
3. Login to Windows VM
4. Start Visual Studio 2012
5. Load solution I am working on.

All the above tasks generally take approx 12 – 15 minutes before I am at a working visual studio solution in my VM.
As an example it was taking approx 1.5 minutes to reach my desktop alone.

The windows performance score was 5.9 with the lowest score being the Hard disk.

HP Pavilion Performance SATA Drive 8GB Memory

Performance Benchmark after windows 8 and SSD upgrade

All of the above tasks can now be completed in under 2 minutes, that’s about a 600% improvement.

The windows 8 boot time is unbelievable. I can be at a working desktop in about 15 seconds, including typing my password. Did I also mention shutdown is about 5 seconds.

The other noticeable benefit is the improvement in battery life.
On my daily 2 hour commute to and from work, I would generally be running below 10% battery and being asked to find power or shut down.

Today on a full trip and working the entire time, I still had 40% battery life left.

The windows experience score is now 6.6 with the disk now 7.6 up from 5.9

SSD Performance

Some of this start up improvement may be coming from the Windows 8 upgrade (don’t get me started on metro…), but its still awesome, I’ve been restarting just to see how fast it is.

Don’t throw out your old PC, just upgrade to a SSD, you will not be disappointed.

FYI this is what AS SSD showed about my drive in the laptop.

AS SSD benchmark on Samsun 830 256 GB

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Windows 8 HP Pavilion switchable video driver install

January 11th, 2013 No comments

The Problem

Recently I upgraded my HP Pavilion dv6 laptop to windows 8. Windows 8 detected and installed the default Intel HD video driver only. The switchable graphics driver was not installed. The ATI HD5650 was not being used.

The solution

The following instructions are what I did to successfully install the switchable graphics driver on Windows 8 Pro 64-Bit

1. Download the driver for your HP Pavilion model. My driver was for example here:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareCategory?os=4063&lc=en&cc=au&dlc=en&sw_lang=&product=4188763#N313
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=ob-88549-1&cc=au&dlc=en&lc=en&os=4063&product=4188763&sw_lang=

2. Run the downloaded driver.

  • Click Next
  • Accept the terms and click next
  • The default location will be something like “c:\swsetup\SP50640” click next.
    (I will refer to this directory through the following steps, just use your specific directory)

  • The software will extract to that location
  • When the driver installation starts click cancel

3. Install the C++ redistributable

  • Enter the video driver directory e.g. “c:\swsetup\SP50640”
  • Enter the C:\swsetup\SP50640\Packages\Apps\VC10RTx64\vcredist_x64 diretory (64-bit) or;
    C:\swsetup\SP50640\Packages\Apps\VC10RTx86\vcredist_x86 for 32 bit

  • Choose properties and set the compatibility to Windows 7.
  • Run as administrator
  • Follow the prompts and complete the install


4. Install the ATI Driver

  • 64-Bit – enter the C:\swsetup\SP50640\Bin64 directory
  • 32-bit – enter the C:\swsetup\SP50640\Bin directory
  • Choose right-click properties on the “InstallManagerApp.exe”
  • Set compatibility to run as “Windows 7”
  • Choose Run as Administrator

The driver should be successfully installed. IWOMM

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Categories: Hardware Issues Tags: