3 April 2015

Insert boot device

I would either use a Windows installation/recovery disc or USB to try and repair the MBR.

An easy way to determine if BIOS still sees your disk is to go into it (usually press F2, F10, F12 or Delete when the computer turns on) and go to the boot order/priority section. If a hard drive is listed with a model or serial number, then your hard drive is correctly installed and that means the issues is your MBR, which can be fixed easily with a Windows installation disc.

I will highly recommend an additional diagnosis, cleanup, defrag, update, and getting a Windows repair USB stick for safety against it happening again.

Windows To Go & First SSD Experience

My experience mostly covers external SSD drives with Windows To Go (8.1) installed.

Patriot Supersonic Magnum (Manufacturer) (Amazon)

Good points:

  • Speedy with large files e.g. backup images
  • Convenient size

Bad points:

  • Very poor speed for small files - so not good for Windows To Go at all
  • Quite bulky on the width, so may not be able to plug in things to ports next to it

Imation Ironkey W300 (Manufacturer) (Amazon)

Good points:

  • Very small SSD - size of a normal USB stick
  • Excellent speeds (400MB/s read and write even with BitLocker enabled)
  • Excellent speed even when connected to USB 2.0 (nearly unnoticeable difference)

Bad points:
  • Does lag/freeze temporarily sometimes (not enough to write to Event Viewer, so possibly caused by antivirus software)
  • Very expensive for the storage sizes (£300 for a 128GB drive)
  • Can get very hot
  • Cap does not fit onto the end of the stick

Transcend ESD400K SuperSpeed USB 3 (Manufacturer) (Amazon)

Good points:

  • Cheapest SSD for a decent performance
  • Very small size (wallet card sized)
  • 3 year warranty

Bad points:

  • I had major problems with this device and timeout errors after 2 weeks of use .This was apparent under both Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 14.10
  • Transcend customer support was not helpful

Freecom Mobile Drive Mg USB 3 (Manufacturer) (Amazon)

Good points:

  • Very thin and stylish design akin to Apple Mac
  • Excellent performance speeds
  • Stylish casing
  • No regular lagging issues that I have seen

Bad points:

  • Cable that comes with it is not as stylish
  • More expensive than other SSDs available
  • Comes formatted for Mac (but of course can easily be reformatted by Disk Manager)

Useful notes for Windows To Go users - see this blog

For a detailed breakdown of SSD speeds and prices I could find on Amazon at the time, see here: