If This Picture Triggers PTSD for You, You May Need a Solid State Drive


Known affectionately as "The Spinning Beachball of Death," frequent sightings of this deceptively happy-looking symbol may indicate your hard drive is in need of a re-vamp. There are two main causes of frequent beach balling on your machine: physical hard drive degradation, and file fragmentation.

Older hard drives (commonly known as "spinning drives") are built with moving parts – and just as with a car, moving parts means degradation over time. Spinning drives tend to have an average lifespan in the range of 4-6 years, meaning the drive in that 2012 MacBook Pro you have might be struggling with simple wear and tear due to age.

Another common issue is file fragmentation. This is essentially another way of saying the information stored on your drive is messy. This messiness is a result of years of use, installing new files and operating systems on top of older outdated files. It's almost like sedimentary layers of use accumulating on top of each other, which over time will slow your system down. To resolve this your computer either needs a system optimization – essentially a "deep clean" to reorganize the computer's file sediment (i.e. wiping your hard drive and doing a clean install of your Operating System, then selectively putting files back on it), or it needs a more powerful organizer to stay on top of it.

Enter the Solid State Drive.

Solid State Drives (aka SSDs) are made of the same circuitry that is used to store information on your iPad or iPhone, and unlike spinning drives they have no moving parts. This means they are very reliable (they can last years longer), and they are also VERY FAST. Using an older machine with a freshly-installed SSD can feel almost like having a brand new computer. Spinning Beachball of Death – begone! 

If you're curious to see if your machine would benefit from an SSD install, shoot me a message and we can discuss.