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Superwrench
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SSD

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HP Laptop - 17t-by300 CTO
Microsoft Windows 11

Hello, I have a 17t-by300 that is 1.5 years old with a 1 tb HDD w/ optane. I recently updated to win 11 and had to go back to win 10 as the boot up time is just awfully long.

My question is there a socket to add SSD drive to help in speeding up boot times and a suggestion on what manufacture is best to use. I am not a gamer just general computer usage.

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Huffer
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Yes the Optane module is a type of SSD but it's small capacity and has to be "joined" with the hard drive with software and "accelerates" the hard drive to create performance almost as good as if it were an SSD alone. I think there is a chance your Optane setup was knocked out by the upgrade to Windows 11 and you can just reactivate the Optane module to get your boot times and operating speed back up to where you want. 

 

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000088163/memory-and-storage/intel-optane-m...

 

Or if you want to, the Optane module can be replaced with an SSD. Post back and let us know how you want to proceed. 

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Superwrench
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Thank you for your timely response, I think it best to try and see if there is a issue with optane first. I checked the management page and it is enabled but that is for windows 10. I gather I would have to load win 11 and then check?

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Superwrench
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I went ahead and reloaded win 11 checked out optane controller to see if it was enabled, it was and boot times are still very long. I would like to proceed with changing out optane and use new ssd as a boot device, your thoughts?

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PeteC22
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A few thoughts:  You may find after several re-boots, boot time should decrease.  Optane works by recognizing frequently accessed routines then storing them so future repeats are run from the much faster Optane vs. the spinning hard drive, so the first couple of reboots may still be slow.  You might also try going into the Optane application, turning off Optane support, and then re-engaging it (that will clean out old data).

 

I had a similar set up in a previous i5 HP Pavilion (Optane & 1TB hard drive).  Frankly, even with Optane that is still much, much slower than any SSD regardless of Optane assistance.  

 

There are a couple of different routes you can take here.  You could disable Optane, then remove the Optane module and replace it with a NVMe SSD, and adjust the boot order in BIOS (Which will result in the fastest storage option)...or if you aren't really comfortable with doing this, you could also instead purchase a 2.5" SATA SSD, clone your current 1TB hard drive to it (Don't forget to disable Optane support before you clone the drive!) and simply swap drives (This is a bit easier, however NVMe drives are several times faster than SATA SSDs).  Frankly, the speed gain of even a SATA SSD is dramatic, and although NVMe drives are faster in ordinary usage you'd be hard pressed to notice the difference.

 

At any rate, any SSD drive will result in tremendously faster response over the 1TB spinning disk.  Optane does assist slow hard drives, but not even remotely as fast as having a SSD boot drive.

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Huffer
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I agree with @PeteC22 except to say I am a bit stumped why it is so slow with Optane enabled. Optane is not as good as a true SSD boot disk but its still a big improvement over a spinning hard drive alone and for the most part creates an acceptable level of performance. The drawback is it can be a bit complicated and Windows updates and other software changes can mess with the Optane acceleration. All else equal, you want an NVME boot disk. I know I will never own another computer equipped any other way. 

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PeteC22
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I agree completely!  When I had the Optane & 1Tb spinning drive, Optane did result in much quicker boot times, but I noticed it took a couple of boot-ups if I disabled/re-enabled Optane for it to really kick in.

 

I personally much prefer a NVMe drive versus a SATA SSD, however, to me (I don't do a lot of really disk-intensive stuff) the jump from spinning hard drive, even with Optane to an SSD drive is huge, the further jump from SATA SSD to NVMe, although apparent is fairly modest.  That is why I mentioned the option to just swap a SATA 2.5" SSD with the original hard drive.  The NVMe upgrade is superior, but the 2.5" SATA option is easier if someone is not particularly adept at updating their laptop and they will still enjoy a massive performance boost.

 

Now that the price differential in drives has lessened a lot, folks with perfectly good, but slow older laptops really should consider an SSD/NVMe upgrade.  My wife has an older Dell Inspiron, 6th gen Intel i3, with 4gb DDR3.  I tossed in a 500gb San Disk SSD and kicked the ram up to 8gb.  Even with the older architecture, it now performs quite nicely, booting up in about 10 seconds where it used to take several minutes.

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Superwrench
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Thank you guys for all the input here. I,m thinking I will try my luck at replacing the drive with NVme ssd. I have few questions,

if I do a fresh install of win 11 on the current drive will I lose the ability to go back to win 10? secondly, can I clone the NVme drive while attached to socket?

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PeteC22
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There may be more than one school of thought here, but my recommendation.  If you want to do a fresh installation on the NVMe drive, it can be done, but personally, as long as you like the configuration you are already using on your current drive, I'd opt for cloning (but opinions on this vary, it is true that there are advantages to a fully pristine Windows installation on a new drive).  As I have always had pretty clean installations, I have always cloned new drives, so I will leave that for others to comment/explain procedurally.  I will say this:  Were I going to do a new installation, I would use the HP Recovery to put your system back to the original specs and then upgrade to Windows 11.  IMHO, less likelihood of driver issues that way.

 

Replace your Optane with a NVMe drive:

1. Do NOT fail to do this!  Use either the Optane app, or Intel's Rapis Store utility and turn off Optane support. This will take a few minutes as it needs to copy back routines stored in Optane to your hard drive. 

2. Restart your laptop, hit the f10 key to enter BIOS - make sure that the Optane is disengaged (not in Raid configuration with your hard drive).  Boot, then shut back down.

3.  Follow the instructions in your Maintenance manual (here is yours HP 17 Laptop PC Maintenance and Service Guide) to replace the Optane module...btw, don't panic, your Optane module is double keyed while your NVMe drive is single keyed, that is not an issue!  Remove the screw holding the Optane in - its small, don't lose it! Remove the Optane module and insert the NVMe in its place and screw down.

4. Re-assemble.  If you are going to clone your original drive to the NVMe, don't change boot devices in BIOS yet.

5. Boot up, and go to Windows Tools, Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management. You'll see your hard drive (Disk 0) and an unnamed Disk 1.  You right click on Drive 1 and Initialize it, and then right click on it and create a simple volume (GPT).  (You'll notice it now has a drive letter) Go ahead and format it as NFTS (Quick Format is fine).  Close it out.

6. Now you are ready to clone!  By the way most drive retailers will offer some kind of free drive cloning software, but I have always had great success using Macrium Reflect 7 Free.  As the name states, it's free, and I've yet to have a clone not work correctly.

7. Once you have cloned the drive, shut down. I recommend at least temporarily removing or disabling the hard drive - systems do not like 2 Windows boot drives and often it will interfere with your booting from the NVMe.  If you want to reinstall your 1tb drive to be extra storage space, I'd re-format it as a blank drive.  *1TB NVMe drives are not at all expensive anymore.  Although you could use your old drive as a data drive, if you don't need the extra storage, I'd just take it out, it's relatively heavy/noisy/prone to bumps or jolts, and you'll get longer battery run-time without it.

8. That should do it!  It IS more work than simply cloning and swapping in a 2.5" SATA SSD in place of your original hard drive, but it is the fastest storage solution for sure!

8. Re-boot into BIOS, again making sure that the NVMe drive is your boot drive, save any configuration changes and boot up.

 

I don't always think linear...what drive should I buy?

I recommend a Gen 3 NVMe (you could run a Gen 4 NVMe, but it would run no faster than a Gen 3 due to your PCIE slot.  For laptops, I'd go with a drive known for running fairly cool.  Even though I do not have this, the Hynix 31 Gold NVMe may be the single best laptop NVMe as it runs very cool with undemanding power draw while delivering class-leading performance (Hynix may not be a household name, but they like Samsung, are a big name in memory, developing and manufacturing their own).  If you are looking to purchase say at a Best Buy/locally, the Samsung SSD 980 (not 980 Pro) is a fine drive and recently the 1TB version has a price reduction to $99 USD.  It also runs fairly cool and has very good performance - I use it and am more than satisfied.  The WD Blue 750 NVMe would be another fine choice.  I'd stick with one of these, there are cheaper options, but generally at very little price difference, $5 to $10 savings on a drive may be worth it if you're building 100+ systems...but for your personal laptop?  Get a quality drive!

 

 

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Superwrench
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Much thanks for the detailed step by step information, as soon as I decide which drive to go with I will attempt this task.

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