How to reduce system boot time with an SSD? [Guide]

It is very frustrating to see your system taking minutes to load up. Especially, the Windows computers are worse in this thing. A normal Windows computer with standard hardware configurations takes about 1 to 2 minutes to properly boot up if it has an HDD setup for the OS. This is the same case with any other OS.

But, if you want to reduce this time to 10 to 20 seconds, you do not have to install an expensive processor or upgrade your RAM chips. The only thing you can upgrade is your storage (hopefully). Most of the older and even various latest laptops and desktops will have mechanical hard drives. With time, these drives tend to become slow.

And a slower hard drive will definitely become a bottleneck for any type of computer. This might be the reason why SSDs have become the need of all professionals including gamers, video editors, developers, etc. In fact, I have discussed 10 different reasons to choose an SSD over an HDD in 2021.

But, in this article, I am going to focus just on the benefits of SSDs for the booting process.

In fact, that’s the main requirement of most of the people from an SSD. They might have a fast processor with a decent amount of RAM. But, if a laptop or desktop is booting up too slow even after that, you will have to look at your store as well.

But, an SSD always keep your data resources ready for the system and its other hardware components. So, if the booting is slow just because your slow HDD (as always happens), SSD is the best solution to this problem.

Note: If your system is full of software or has issues with RAM or processor, don’t expect your SSD to solve all your problems. However, I promise a more than 50% reduction in the booting time in most of the desktops and laptops with an HDD to SSD upgrade.

Why your system might be booting up slow?

Lots of people feel frustrated about this. Even after uninstalling all the unwanted software and doing all the necessary upgrades, their system doesn’t seem to reach the booting speed they are looking for.

The main reason is that your storage device is very slow. Of course, there could be various other reasons but if you think everything else is fine, you should definitely look at this aspect as well.

A system (with any Operating System) can become slow because of its slow or degraded storage medium. It could either be an SSD or an HDD. But, most of the time, you will see this problem only when you have an HDD setup as your boot drive.

HDDs are meant to be slow because it is old technology. But, with time, their performance becomes slower and slower. So, this is the first and the main reason why your system is taking minutes to boot up.

Another reason, obviously, can be your slow processor, RAM, or a lot of software installed. If you have permitted your system to boot with a lot of startup software, it will take some time to fire up the OS.

How HDDs causes slower boot?

Whenever your press that Power button on your laptop or desktop to turn on your computer, the BIOS tries to find and run the OS files in order to prepare your system for a start. The whole system including most of its hardware components will start to work on their given tasks.

So, when your processor demands all the files required to start your system from your HDD (Hard Drive), it starts to find them and deliver them to it and then to the RAM if required. This all happens within milliseconds or seconds. But, the time your hard drive takes to wake up and find those files and folders is huge.

The average time your HDD will take to rotate and find a random file can vary between 10 to 40ms.

So, if your boot is dependent upon a storage device (HDD) which itself is taking so much time to wake up, how can you expect your system to start up faster.

How an SSD will improve the booting time?

With the things we have discussed above, you might have a fair idea of how the HDDs work. SSDs are completely different. There are no moving parts and even an old SSD with an old motherboard have the ability to give you a read/write speed around 300 MB/s. However, the latest ones can reach up to 3GB/s.

So, when your device can deliver the required files to the processor at that speed, the bottleneck will be released. In simple words, with an SSD, when your BIOS order all the hardware components to start doing their jobs, the SSD will cause no issues with the file delivery. So, now its the job of your processor and other things to process that information as soon as possible.

This is the main concept behind the SSD and the bootup process. Your system will never have to wait for the files to be retrieved as it do with the HDDs. And, this thing alone results in huge drop in overall booting process of your system.

How much of your time will an SSD save when it comes to the booting process?

As I have discussed above and as per my own experience in this field, more than 50% reduction is fairly normal. Now, some systems can perform better than this and some may get less satisfactory results. But, nobody will regret this decision.

Let me give you an idea of what results you can see with an SSD upgrade.

If you are reading this article, you should surely be facing this issue. So, I am supposing, you have a decent laptop or desktop with a 6th, 7th, or above generation CPU at up to 2.0GHz frequency. The system has any RAM with 4, 8, or 16GB RAM with 2500MHz or more frequency.

And, finally it has a 7500 or 5200RPM HDD drive set as its boot drive.

Now, if it is taking one minute to load up, setting up an SSD as your boot drive can start your system in 20 seconds. If its taking two full minutes to load up, your system can start within 40 seconds as son on.

So, I am taking about more than 50% reduction in booting time and believe me, I have seen most of the systems getting around 70 and 80% reduction.

My recent SSD installation and the results

I have discussed this thing in another article on this website. But, I would like to tell that here again.

I have an old laptop which I had bought in 2017. I was using it until 2021 for browsing, media consumption, blogging, and a little bit of photo editing. It has an i3 Intel Core i3-6006U processor and 4GB RAM (2400MHz Frequency). It has no dedicated graphics card.

So, I was really frustrated by its slow booting times. I had started to take around 3 minutes to load up. Even after the startup, I would haven’t been used some software for like 1 to 2 minutes. After that, it used to give me some usage.

Once, I installed an M.2 SATA SSD and set up Windows on it, I got the same results as I was expecting. Now, my laptop is starting up in just 15-20 seconds. (Note: I have installed a lot of software).

How to reduce your system’s booting time with an SSD?

It is very easy to install SSD on your desktops. Doing this in laptops on your own can be a little bit tough if you haven’t opened your laptop till now. But, you can easily find someone to do that for you. Alternatively, you can watch YouTube videos and follow the tutorials and make installation easy for you.

But, that was the first part. You will see no results except the fast copy-pasting if you just install an SSD and keep your data on HDD. Most people keep their HDDs for raw storage and make SSDs their boot device. This is called an HDD+SSD combo which I have discussed in another article.

How to install and setup an SSD?

Step 1: Clone your existing OS from HDD to SSD

But, the main thing is to install your operating system on your SSD in order to get the most out of it. And, this can easily be done with the help of a popular software called Macrium reflect. You can use this software to clone your Windows, macOS, or any other OS from one drive to another pretty easily. Of course, there is various other software you can choose to do the same thing. But, this one is my personal favorite.

I have found an amazing YouTube video which will help you to easily clone your existing OS to your SSD.

After cloning your existing OS on your drive or installing a new one, you just have to change your boot priority from BIOS from your old HDD to the new SSD.

Step 2: Set your SSD as the boot drive

For that, you will have to enter your BIOS (UEFI) and change your boot drive. For BIOS systems, just enter your BIOS using the suitable key. You just have to press that key repeatedly while your system is booting up. You can check online for those keys or follow the list given below.

  1. Acer: F2 or DEL
  2. ASUS: F2 for all PCs, F2 or DEL for motherboards
  3. Dell: F2 or F12
  4. HP: ESC or F10
  5. Lenovo: F2 or Fn + F2
  6. Lenovo (Desktops): F1
  7. Lenovo (ThinkPads): Enter + F1.
  8. MSI: DEL for motherboards and PCs
  9. Microsoft Surface Tablets: Press and hold the volume up button.
  10. Origin PC: F2
  11. Samsung: F2
  12. Sony: F1, F2, or F3
  13. Toshiba: F2

If this was confusing for you, you can easily follow these YouTube tutorials to make things easier for you. Depending on the type of BIOS on your system, you can follow any of these given videos.

For BIOS supported motherboards
For UEFI supported motherboards

Final Verdict

Congratulations!

You have found the secret to make your computer boot faster than ever. If you have found this article, you can consider sharing it. For other question, you can get in touch with me directly using the contact page.