Replacing a Toshiba Satellite A100 Hard Drive with an SSD

This is a step by step on how to replace the internal hard drive of a Toshiba Satellite A100-376 with a stock off the shelf SATA SSD drive. In my case I chose a Kingston 240GB ssdNOW V300 that is in the sub 100€ price point. But if you shop around you might be able to get the SSD even cheaper.

Here we go: 5 steps to install an SSD.

1 – Prepare the windows partition by cleanig it and defraging the Hard drive using your preferred tools.

2 – Clone it using the Clonezilla Live CD (great little tool)

The Toshiba Satellite A100 is an old machine, but still very capable, and most important it is VERY EASY TO UPGRADE. You just remove the screws, pull the tab and the hard drive is disconnected. Perfect.

3 – Remove the Hard Drive

4 – Install the SSD

5 – Reboot.

If you only use Windows, then check the Disk Management to format the extended space for extra space.

If using other OSes (like… Linux maybe) then use the gparted live cd to resize partitions so you can use the entire disk.

In my case I’m using Linux Mint along side a windows partition (YES, WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED?). After resizing I could not boot because grub could not find the partitions (DAMN MACHINES). THIS MEANS I had to boot from the original Mint Live CD and reinstall grub following the instructions on the Mint community website!

sudo mount /dev/sdXY /mnt
sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sdX

In my case X was “a” and Y was “6”, replace your according to your drive… be warned. Use fdisk -l to find out.

and after rebooting into my Mint I just entered into the terminal

sudo update-grub

to be sure that Mint it was! With SSD prices coming down, there’s no reason to still be using the old hard drives.

Macbook Air: should I, shouldn’t I debate…

Macbook Air

For years I’ve been arguing about the advantages of small format computers.

I even bought one of the first EeePC netbooks from Asus with it’s 7″ display (that is to small, by the way).

On the other way I never felt very interested in an iPad, although I recognise it is a beautiful piece of engineering.

I always felt that an eBook reader like the Kindle would be more suited (a Kindle fits for example the inside pocket of a coat easily while the iPad doesn’t) for a “on the road” device, while for computers an Eee or the Macbook Air would be perfect for computing.

Now, this brings me to my dilemma:

Looking at the alternatives, there are excellent machines out there that could take the Air out of the Macbook in any comparison that you could imagine.

I love the Lenovo Thinkpads and they are cheaper, more powerful and equally robust, but they can’t be found anywhere in Portugal.

On the other hand Apple has in Portugal the distribution channels that make it easy to go to a store and pick up one Macbook Air (something that few years ago was a mirage).

Also the reviews of the Macbook Air by people that really use it (not paid reviewers) rave about its qualities.

Quoting Maria João on the computer:

As for me, a demanding user of computers (home and work), I’ll say: The MBA 11’ is the best Mac I have owned so far. I love it.

Obviously she is delighted with the machine, and if you read through the review you’ll see that she points the bad points about it also.

Was the MBA enough for my demands (limited RAM, HD, ports, screen size)? No, if it was to be my only machine, I concluded. But yes, if it was to become the iMac’s sidekick.

The things that worry me the most is the glossy screen and probably the price of the high end 11″ macbook air vs. its performance.

I don’t worry much about the 13″ version as I wouldn’t ever buy it.

Then I have another problem: computers overload. I have a MBP from 2008, a Toshiba from 2008, a EeePC from 2008, an iMac from 2010…

Do I really need another computer?

Can I justify the price?

Hm, decisions, decisions…