Back blipped a little... All is well we've been busy and then on holiday.
I ordered a Solid State Drive (SSD) to replace the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) in my old laptop. The laptop is second hand Dell (from 2016) that has already had a new keyboard installed (before I bought it) and I've since replaced the battery and upgraded the RAM to the maximum the board will take.
I first plugged the SSD drive into to it via a SATA-USB cable and booted it it with Clonezilla from a CD. Using Clonezilla I copied the smaller HDD to the larger SDD as-is. I then took rebooted the system and check that both Linux and Windows would boot properly. Next I rebooted with a GParted Live CD and made the original partitions bigger so I'd have more space to play with.
I then unplugged it, removed the battery, and swapped the HDD for the SDD. It's a business class Dell, so swapping the drive around is dead easy and a lot less fiddly than a consumer grade laptop, which can often be nasty to work with.
I then rebooted the system and checked everything was okay. Windows hasn't been booted on this computer for over a year, so it was keen to spend the rest of the day downloading and rebooting its self multiple times. I then deleted lots of things it had decided I may want - which I didn't, and after giving it another 50 GB of disk space I actually only had about another 10 GB free...
Next it was time to try Linux which is the main operating system I use. That was happy to start booting but sulked after it had loaded the initramfs as it couldn't find the SDD. I then reused the GParted Live CD to boot it from the CD, and then using a chroot I reinstalled a new initramfs from which was fine when I rebooted.
The new boot time is now pretty quick. From power on there is a few seconds while the firmware wakes the hardware up. GRUB starts almost instantly then and there is a 5 seconds delay to allow me to pick Windows if I don't want the Linux default. Debian takes less than 10 seconds from then to get to the graphical logon prompt. Once I've typed in my password it's less than 5 seconds and the desktop is fully loaded and operational. I can't take the GRUB delay out in case I do want to switch between Linux and Windows, nor can I take out the time it takes me to type my logon passphrase... so it's about as it's going to be with more than four year old kit.
Today's late back blip is the now redundant HDD - but still has a story to tell..!