Suggestion required - SSD vs HDD vs nothing

Hello everyone

I have a hp laptop (pavilion g6) purchased in 2012 with 4 GB ram and intel i5-2430M CPU (2.40 GHz) which has now been showing a warning for imminent failure of hard disk for past some time.
Also, its speakers are non-functional, operates while being plugged in (no battery backup) and sometimes touch pad goes wonky (though a mouse suffices).
I have been thinking of using this machine as a home media server and would thus require replacing the existing hard disk.

I have a couple of queries:

  1. Would it really make sense to invest and keep using this machine at this point?
  2. If the existing HDD is replaced, should it be with a SSD or another HDD? My concern here is with fast performance vs more storage capacity (with cost considerations in mind).

It would really be appreciated if anyone could provide their insight over this.

Given that it is a laptop, I would say no.
You can buy a refurbished desktop with 8Gb ram and an SSD
for not much more then you would spend on putting a disk into that laptop. A desktop would make a much better server.

It is your choice. That is just what I would do.


It sounds like you are needing more than just a boot drive!!! All that aside, I have two Dell laptops that have been refurbished with an SSD boot drive, and the performance is very noticeable, so I would highly recommend an SSD. I would think again, before I used any laptop, for a media server, running from a charging cord, sounds like an accident waiting to happen.
I know laptops are useful, and have there place, but about the only time I use, the one I use, is when I am too lazy to get up and power up the desktop.
As @nevj has said the decision is yours!!!


aay: I must get aboard the desktop train as well. Laptops are simply too delicate because they’re built for size, not durability. Desktops use size to promote cooling and to allow more durable components. Size does matter.


Hi @aay,

I’d put in an SSD if only to run some tests, for example as a home media server.


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Save your money, don’t try to invest in technology that sounds like it’s on its way out

Yes I too would go for a tower if you have the space. But it does also mean that you need to get screen keyboard and mouse this will off set the cost savings


That is not a waste. You can always move an SSD to another computer, later on.

You dont really need these for a server. It helps if you can borrow them to set it up, but once running you can do the occasional instruction or mainrenance with ssh


At this point, unless looking for huge capacity for a backup drive where speed is totally a “don’t care at all” consideration, I’d go with an SSD… Last time I looked, in reasonable sizes (i.e. under 1TB) they are cost comparable w/ a spinning disk, and reliability seems comparable as long as you don’t use them as a swap drive…

However the speed increase is amazing, it basically shifts any performance bottlenecks from the drive to the rest of the system…

That said, from the description of the machine you were describing, I’d also join with the chorus saying probably not worth trying to fix it… However as pointed out putting an SSD in it, doesn’t mean that you can’t pull it back out and put it in a different machine later…



Thank you all for your valuable inputs.
I will indeed keep in mind the suggestions you all have provided.

I had purchased a refurbished laptop just a couple of weeks back for daily use, that’s why i was tempted to put the old one for some alternate use. Can’t get a desktop right now due to space constraints and also portability issue which laptop can provide.

Maybe i’ll wait for some time before carrying out any such experiment.
Thank you all once again.

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In some 10+ years of tinkering (with SSD) - I’ve never had an SSD go wrong - or “go bad” - I know they have a limited number of writes - but I’ve never hit that… The only SSD I’ve had go wrong was some sort of M2 SATA device on an adaptor - into an Android “stick” (I hacked it to run Ubuntu 12.04)… that’s it… plus occasional issues with NAND on single board computers (not failing exactly, but exhibiting signs of corruption - entailing a wipe and re-install).

I’ve had untold number of magnetic spinning platters go bad on me… I’ve got trays and containers full of dead HDD’s - I need to start throwing some out… That’s in some 30 years of tinkering with computers…

You can’t go wrong with SSD - best thing for computing in my experience, working with computers… Moving parts always fail, they’re doomed to it…


I had. It was a Kingston drive with life left 98% or so, definitely not weared out…
All of a sudden it stopped to work, and was identified as Satafirm-something instead of Kingston*-something*.
It was replaced for me by Kingston with RMAA.

EVERY drive (SSD / HDD) are subject to fail at any time.
So the best practice is to have backup of important data, even if one has the worlds internetional number one most reliable drive!

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I assume if you are planning to create a media server, you’ll be storing a bunch of movies and web series on it and considering that, using SSD might be an expensive choice.

Also, if you are thinking of using the same machine, means you cannot buy a new machine (correct me if I’m wrong) so using a multiple HDD may be a good choice here.

Again, if you can, you can start with RaspberryPi and create a NAS which looks like a perfect balance between price, performance, reliability and you’ll be future proof too.


You can’t go wrong with SSD - best thing for computing in my experience, working with computers… Moving parts always fail, they’re doomed to it…

Fully agree ,I use SSDs on old equipment from the 2010 era ,but never fill these up.
Always keep a healthy spare capacity.
Recently I acquired a 11-13 yrs old MacBook Pro ,changed the HDD by an SSD ,running Mint 21.2 and am very pleased. SSDs are nowadays pretty cheap.

Frank in County Wicklow Ireland