Still ticking is the Toshiba Satellite A215 I bought new in September 2010, its life extended now using a Samsung 830 solid-state drive (SSD) and Windows 8.
Now, there was nothing wrong with the original mechanical hard drive except for the typical long boot time. And there was nothing wrong with Windows 7, except that I didn’t have installation disks (darned “instant upgrade”). The combination of things, however, called out for a change of course: I would install the SSD “bare” and make a fresh operating system (OS) install. Since I’d have to pay for Windows 7 — again — I decided to reinstall the computer’s original Vista Home Premium and install Windows 8 for the low, low introductory upgrade price of $39.99.
It took all day. First the lousy Toshiba restore process included all of the original bloatware — stuff I didn’t want originally and certainly not now! That took more than an hour. The good part of that restore is that it restored use of the Toshiba’s built-in LAN port, apparently broken by some previous driver update.
My “immediate gratification” download of Windows 8 took, oh, probably about six hours! Fortunately I could walk away and let the file dribble down, stopping by once in a while to look at the estimated time remaining and heave a sigh.
Once downloaded, Windows 8 installed quickly and without error. I installed the few Windows updates waiting, and was good to go!
The SSD transformed the laptop’s user experience with power-on to logged on in less than a minute; I love the thing. The machine makes less heat now, its internal fan runs mostly at low speed, and I suspect battery life is proportionately improved but I haven’t tested that.
Windows 8 is truly made for tablets, no doubt about it. But I like the freshness of its design, even like the lock screen (shown above), and beneath it all I see Windows 7’s DNA; I feel very comfortable once back at the desktop, behind the tiled interface.
Best of all, for less than the price of a Kindle Fire, I have a speedy, fully-functional notebook computer with a full-size keyboard ready to work with me for some time to come: Vista > Windows 7 > Windows 8 – the third OS for my old laptop PC.