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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I used this kit to upgrade the hard drive on a Dell laptop running Windows 7 64-bit. What you get is an SSD drive (with a spacer as it is thinner than a standard laptop drive), a USB adaptor that lets you connect it as an external drive for data migration, Norton Ghost, a further utility CD, and a short user manual.

The packaging is great, but the bundle lacks a clear step-by-step guide so it can be confusing. Physically replacing the drive in a laptop is usually pretty easy if you have the right small screwdriver, but migrating the operating system takes some care. This is why Samsung supplies Norton Ghost; but it is overkill for the task and installs stuff that you may not need. I would prefer a more lightweight utility, or even to use the backup and restore that is built into Windows 7, but for this review I used Ghost as supplied.

If you do this, I recommend that you read the document called NortonGhost_Data_Migration_User_Manual_(English).pdf which is in the MagicianSoftware folder on the Samsung Magician CD. The main issue is that Windows 7 creates a hidden system partition which you need to copy to the SSD *first*, otherwise Windows 7 will not boot.

You need to install Ghost first of course, which I found slow and difficult. The install flashed several command prompts at me and then seemed to hang. I waited ages, then gave up and rebooted. The install actually seemed to have worked, but I did a further Repair Install just to be on the safe side. Annoying.

I then attached the drive using the USB cable and copied the partitions, which took around 2 hours for my 100GB of data.

Note: this SSD is 128GB and probably smaller than your current laptop drive. You must ensure that your data is small enough to fit before attempting the migration. Note that Samsung also do a 256GB model if you think the task is hopeless.

Once the copy completed, I swapped the drives. I needed the supplied spacer, but otherwise this was straightforward. Windows complained a bit when I started for the first time with the SSD drive, but after a restart all was well.

When the SSD is up and running, it is a good idea to install the Samsung Magician utility on the other CD. This has a tool to configure Windows optimally for SSD. The issue is that SSD drives may wear if they suffer constant intensive data writes, so the tweaks are designed to reduce disk activity.

I did a before and after test of disk performance. Wow. Here are the results from PassMark, comparing the old 7200 RPM HD to the new SSD Drive:

Disk Mark 234.7 improved to 2186.9
Sequential Read 31.4 improved to 241.2
Sequential Write 31.2 improved to 205.4
Random Seek + RW 2.31 improved to 158.2

Another test showed the disk speed improving from 3.7 MB/Sec to 34.8 MB/Sec.

These are amazing figures, and the result is a laptop that is significantly faster. It boots quickly, applications load fast, and everything is snappier. Well worth it.

Technical notes:

You could also use the drive in a desktop PC, but will need a 2.5" to 3.5" adaptor bracket to fit it; Samsung do an alternative kit that has this included. It supports both Windows and Mac. Windows 7 is recommended since earlier versions of Windows do not have proper support for SSD. Your BIOS should be set to AHCI or RAID. On a Mac you need OS 10.5 Leopard or higher. The drive is a 6GB/s SATA drive and you should get even better performance than I got when fitted to a modern PC with 6GB/s ports. Finally, this drive comes with a 3 year warranty "for desktop and laptop PC usage only".
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wanted to get an SSD drive to replace the small hard drive (40G) in my ageing, slow 2004 vintage HP laptop .. and the Samsung SSD 830 was for me the perfect choice.

I had read a couple of horror stories about Ghost, and as the drive was pretty small, I elected for a complete re-install ... of XP ... I wanted to do this because I have similar vintage but quite expensive scanners and A3 printers that simply do not run under 64 bit Windows 7, and also some legacy software that didn't make the cut on the 7 migration.

Replacement of the drive was very easy on the HP ... a couple of screws and a slider look care of the old drive, and the new Samsung SSD (with the addition of the packing kit and a ground up install of XP was fine ... only slowed down by having to reinstall all of the updates and service packs etc.

As my intention is that this laptop will only service the needs of my legacy software and hardware, the reinstall of all of my software was not really arduous, and was completed over a weekend. There are some features on the Samsung Drive that are not supported on XP or Vista, but they were not really relevant to me.

Boot-up (which used to be measured in geological time) is now less than a minute ... program start-up is now super quick (I used to be able to make coffee). and I have also noticed that the fan is kicking in less, so that is an unexpected bonus.

So in summary ... if you have a perfectly serviceable laptop that is just getting a bit long in the tooth, or have legacy software and hardware that has not made the Windows 7 cut ... buy and install one of these drives. If my old laptop does finally die ... I can always retrieve the drive and use it elsewhere.
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on 28 April 2012
I installed it in my mac mini 2011 i5. You don't need to remove logic board. I used internet recovery to install os x lion and then all were amazing fast. My ssd has the second version firmware, which works fine. No need to update to the third which is the latest! Also , I used the program trim enabler to enable trim command and works fine with lion 10.7.3. All now are incredibly fast and lion boots in 13 sec!!!
I have compared also 8gb fo samsung ram. Totally worth the money! Totally recomended!

P.S. I used the adaptor included , to convert my stock 500gb hard disk to an external 500gb storage!

Update: I bought another one and installed it in my new macbook pro mid2012 with same super fast results.
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on 19 October 2012
I already got the desktop version last month from amazon for my main pc and it really transfors the response time as now days HDD's are the bottleneck for speed on day to day tasks. So i have now brought this one to go in my laptop. The reason I say it buy it now while got chance is samsung are bringing out a higher priced 840 model which has kept this one down in price, so the 830 is a very good deal at the moment. The notebook and desktop are both the same drives, but the accesories differ,this one comes with usb to sata cables to allow the old drive its replacing (or any other sata drive) to be attached via usb externally, good for transferring old data etc. The desktop kit instead comes with a bracket to allow the drive to be fitted in a 3.5" bay in a pc case. Thats the difference between the 2, so it may be a case some PC owners will prefer buying the notebook kit for the accessories. Both versions come with norton ghost which is useful if you dont want to reinstall the operating system.
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on 3 December 2012
I've had a few SSD drives over the past couple of years. They boost the speed of your machine by way more than any other upgrade. If you're thinking about buying more RAM, forget it - get one of these and use it as your system drive. Don't worry about it being relatively small capacity, buy a large USB 3.0 external hard drive and keep all your data on there if you need that much space. Alternatively the larger 256 and 512Gb versions are getting surprisingly cheap.

I put this in my 2012 Mac Mini and it gives a read/write performance of around 350Mb/s and 450Mb/s respectively. Apparently the newer 840 model is actually slower, so get these older models whilst you can!

It's very solid, a full metal chassis and with the notebook kit you get a handy lead so you can clone your system drive onto it before installing it, which means you don't have to re-install your whole system and applications again.

BEWARE however that the supplied copy of Norton Ghost is **PC ONLY** - it WON'T work on the MAC - Something that isn't mentioned in the description. Not that you actually need it for a Mac anyway because the Mac has the built-in Disc Utility that allows you to clone a drive (do a search if you don't know how). Just be sure to re-size your existing system partition to smaller than the SSD you're installing otherwise the clone won't work.

All in all, a highly recommended bit of kit that will give any system a huge boost. Mac boot-up times fall from around 40s to around 12s with an SSD! Programs load pretty much instantly!
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VINE VOICEon 19 March 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The main benefit of an SSD is performance. Replacing my laptop hard drive with this SSD unit reduced my Windows 7 boot up time (as measured by Bootracer) from 97s to 62s which is very noticeable. Less quantifiable but equally impressive is the overall "feel" that having an SSD drive brings to Windows during normal use. Programs seem to start faster, when you press the Windows key and start typing to search your system the results leap onto the screen.

The downsides? Only one really which the cost per GB. The end result of this being two-fold, you will wince at the price and you will need to make a decision about how much space you really need to work with.

This varies. My wife's digital life fits quite happily into 128GB so it is was a no-brainer to fit one of these drives in her laptop. I actually used the Kingston SSD V+100 128GB SATA2 1.8inch Hard Drive for her which I was also very happy with so it is worth taking a look at that option as well.

If you have a fairly modern laptop it is quite likely to have a traditional hard drive of 500GB or more capacity. This was certainly the case in my main laptop and I had three quarters filled it with images, programs and movies so replacing it with this drive was not an option. I was lucky as it turned out that I had two slots in my laptop (a Dell Studio 17) and, if you are in this situation, then installing Windows on the SSD along with your key software but keeping all your data on your second drive is a great way of getting the best out of both worlds.

Failing that, these drives are available in capacities up to Samsung SSD 830 2.5inch SATA III 6GBps 512GB Notebook Accessory Kit with Free Norton Ghost 15 but the price really starts to become a consideration.

In terms of what you get in the package, it is more minimalist that the Kingston option - the drive itself, a USB cable to connect your old drive externally to your laptop, some utilities and a copy of Norton ghost. In the Kingston package, you get a drive enclosure which means you can use your old drive more robustly externally and you get a bracket and SATA cables which allows you to use the drive in a desktop computer as well as the screws to fix it. Samsung seem to feel that you can reuse the screws you already have. A little bit of research showed that Samsung actually offer a desktop version of this package which seems to differ only in including the brackets and the cables so I am not sure why you wouldn't chose this in preference (Samsung SSD 830 2.5inch SATA III 6GBps 128GB Desktop Accessory Kit with Free Norton Ghost 15) as the difference in RRP seems to be £0 and the difference in reality small.

You will need to feel relatively confident with computer hardware to actually fit the drive as you will need to be comfortable disassembling your laptop to get at your existing hard drive. How daunting this is depends on the make and model of your PC but it can be quite hairy with lots of little plastic clips waiting to be snapped and the chance of invalidating your warranty. A quick trip to YouTube or Google will probably throw up a video showing how things work for your circumstances so this is a good plan before you buy (or enlist a more techie friend to help).

Transferring the contents of your old drive to the SSD is straightforward with the supplied software (as long as you don't have too much data on your old drive of course!), you take the old drive out, put the SSD in and then attach the old drive with the USB cable, insert the disk, boot from it and follow the instructions. If you have your Windows installation media you can also do a clean install onto the SSD drive (which Samsung actually recommend is the best approach) and then use Windows Easy Transfer to get your data and settings across. In this case, you will need to reinstall much of your software by hand.

All in all, a great option to give your laptop a boost, worth checking the offerings from other reputable vendors such as Kingston and bearing in mind the caveats on technical confidence above.
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on 15 April 2013
I have upgraded all of my computer products to SSD, the increase in responsiveness is unbelievable. When my PS3 hard drive failed, I decided to replace it with this SSD - I knew the PS3 wouldn't be able to make the most of the drive's speed, but wanted to see for myself if it made any difference to the overall experience on PS3.

The difference this drive makes in the PS3 is very small, but it is an improvement - XMB is more responsive and deleting old messages is much faster. Loading games is a little quicker as is installing them.

I wouldn't really recommend this for a PS3 as the improvement is very small and the price of SSDs is still high. However, the small increase is a limitation of the PS3 and not the drive - once I replace my PS3 with the PS4 I will be using this SSD either in my backup laptop or as a boot drive for a gaming PC I plan to build.
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on 8 October 2012
The drive itself is piece of technology. Fast, responsive, even nice looking.
Norton Ghost 15 is on the other's useless if u want to transfer whole partitions.
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on 19 April 2012
Purchased this as replacement system disk for new-ish Dell Latitude (E5520, i5 core, Windows 7 32-bit). Cloned the existing disk without a hitch, but I used Acronis True Image rather than the Norton Ghost software that is thrown in with the new drives. I would avoid Norton Ghost - too many horror stories.

When I re-booted using the new disk, performance was immediately much faster. Ran Samsung's SSD Magician utility (optimisation function, then over-provisioning), then re-booted again. It now takes 20 seconds from pressing the power button to seeing the desktop. Stunning. All programs open instantly.

I also bought a 64GB version of this disk. I connected that to the esata port on my laptop using this cable:

I then transferred a test folder containing 2GB of varied .pdf, .doc and email database files. Time taken: 10 seconds, i.e. average of 200MB/s. Wow !

These SSD disks therefore make a great external back-up medium, for data or for complete clones of system disks, if your time is precious.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 December 2012
I've just installed this Samsung 128Gb SSD into my Packard Bell laptop so I thought I'd put down my thoughts whilst they were still fresh.


1. Once installed, the speed increase is immediately noticeable. The time to when the logon screen appears is about 10 seconds instead of about a minute.

2. Programs launch immediately. Even the lowly Windows Explorer (Winkey+E) launches as I touch the E key. Word, Excel all now launch without the usual delay whilst the program loads from the hard disk. Although my disk interface is "only" SATA II the actual real-world difference between that and SATA III would be difficult to measure, unless you're doing gigabyte data (or disk) backups.

3. Cooler running. When I removed the old 2.5" hard disk from my laptop it was uncomfortably hot to handle. The SSD drive wasn't even luke warm. That can only mean my laptop as a whole is now going to run cooler.

4. Silent. The SSD makes no noise so the tiny amount of noise the old hard disk made (some faint clicking occasionally) is absent. The only noise now is the CPU fan (itself very quiet).

5. The SSD drive is THINNER than my original hard drive. It weighs next to nothing too. It would therefore fit in a very thin chassis. Normally thin drives come at a premium but I found this drive good value for money.

Conclusion: It's like having a massive upgrade to your CPU and/or RAM. Cheaper than buying a new laptop too!


1. The bundled Norton Ghost v.15 was a DISASTER.

Apart from the initial installation issues where it refused to install because my user directory is on a server (use "SUBST H: C:\" to overcome this) the actual disk clone function failed in the last few seconds (after over an hour of copying data) on TWO occasions. This is a well known error (I had ample opportunity to scour the Internet whilst it copied the data from my C: drive to the new SSD drive for a second time) and has plagued this software for several years. Norton should be ashamed of themselves and Samsung would do well do look elsewhere (or write their own disk copying function; you just don't need the entire Ghost installation just to do that simple disk cloning operation).

I found a great substitute piece of software called Macrium Reflect (free version) which did everything for the disk cloning function that Ghost didn't. Without this I suspect I would have given up and returned the SSD to Amazon. I might even buy it, it was that good.

I'm know other users have installed Ghost without issues but the Internet forums are filled with issues with this product. And I am now one of those users affected. I can't believe that in this day and age it doesn't "just work".

Anyway, Macrium Reflect did the job (although it took longer overall than Ghost). UPDATE: just checked whether Amazon sell this software; they don't, but a review of another Samsung 256Gb SSD found EXACTLY the same issue and solution! I feel better about my condemnation of Ghost now).

2. The Samsung bundled "SSD Magician" is not very magical at all.

Sure, it shows you the state of your SSD but the Disc Clone function actually relies on the appalling Norton Ghost installation and if you've read this far you know what fun I had with that.

It's "OK" but showing you your system hardware summary is hardly magical and not really relevant to installing an SSD. It almost looks as though Samsung were "filling" the software with functions to pad it out.


The SSD does everything I had hoped it would, in terms of increasing the "snappiness" of my laptop. The cool running is a welcome bonus.

If the accompanying software had worked out of the box it would have been 5 stars. Lucky that I found an alternative so I'll just knock off the one star for using up an entire Saturday doing this when it should have taken a hour or so at most.

I can only recommend the drive but be wary of the accompanying cloning software - and the FREE alternative!
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