Great price, working well so far, lengthy install
I can't say for sure whether it was the drive or something to do with my setup that was the issue, but i eventually got it working and it's 10x faster than my old boot drive (i measured). I was able to pick it up for a little under $100, so i'm as well very happy with the price. My system boots in about 15 seconds now (used to be around 4 minutes). I'll update my review if it crashes later, but so far so good (one day in). It did not come with 2.5" to 3.5" mounting brackets needed to install in a desktop drive bay. I purchased a rosewill 2.5-inch ssd/hdd mounting kit for 3.5-inch drive bay rdrd-11004 that suited the drive well.I'll catalog the steps i took during install that seemed to be successful in the hopes that they'll help someone else out. I don't know which of these steps were necessary (and i'm by no means an expert), but they all seemed to get me one step further than the last, so ::shrug:: i had a lot of software installed that was very old and i wasn't confident that i could get the old licenses transferred to a clean windows install, so cloning the drive was the only option for me, but i'd generally recommend a clean install whenever you're switching to a new system drive. Most steps of this process are only applicable when you aren't performing a clean install.My conditions: windows 7 enterprise 64-bit on a homemade desktop with 4 hdds, cloning old 2tb hdd to new 480gb ssd (not a clean install)0. Backup your system to external media (just to be safe).1. Physically install the hardware as a new drive (this could presumably be done with an external enclosure as well) leaving other drive(s) in place.2. Boot to the old drive as usual.3. Use minitool partition wizard free (i used v9.1) to make a new partition on the blank drive, setting it as the same file system as your current boot drive (mine was ntfs) and ensuring it is set as a primary partition (not logical) and has a drive letter assigned (any available letter will do).- i do not know why, but i was not able to use windows disk management to perform this function. The drive would show up for a short while, then disappear. This happened many times. I as well attempted several different sata cables and ports (all known good) with no change to this behavior. At this point i was pretty sure i'd gotten a bad drive, but once i'd established the partition with minitool, this suddenly stopped happening and the drive seemed to be working just fine.4. (if not already done in bios) change your drive control to ahci (as opposed to ide). This is a two step process, with the first being a few registry edits followed by a change in your bios. I used these instructions that are more for vista but worked well for my windows 7, 64-bit system. If you search for it directly there are some more detailed procedures that change different registry values, but these worked for me. Don't forget to make a system repair disc and system restore point before modifying the registry.- from all that i've read, any ssd should be using ahci to get the best speeds, so this is a good idea regardless of whether it was actually one of my issues.5. Ensure that the system boots properly to the old drive.6. Use macrium reflect - free edition to make an image of your old system drive.- whenever i tried to use the direct cloning feature, it failed. I strongly recommend forgoing the clone feature and instead using the two step (image & restore) procedure instead.7. (optional) use macrium reflect - free edition to verify the image you make of your old system drive.8. Use macrium reflect - free edition to restore the system image to the new drive.9. Shut down the system and unplug any drive(s) other than the ssd.10. Turn on the system.- mine automatically located and booted to the ssd, but some systems may require you to access the boot menu to select it first.11. Windows will likely question to restart to set changes. Go ahead and restart fully. Assuming windows doesn't whine at you further, shut down the system.--------at this point the drive is working well, so anything else is just extra stuff for getting the old drive(s) back up--------12. Plug back in any other drive(s).13. Turn on the system. Windows will probably question to restart again after it finishes with drivers on the other drive(s). Restart again.14. (optional) use minitool partition wizard free to wipe the old drive.Hope that helps somebody else who's struggling.