Select and set up a Crucial M2.2280 NVMe PCIe SSD

Android Studio works quite slow with a normal SATA Hard Disk Drive (HDD), on a computer. To overcome this, there are a few solutions, including waiting for the good folks at Google to release another efficient version, or if you are seriously into Android development, then you can augment the hardware of your computer by installing a Crucial Solid State Drive (SSD). Here is how I did it:

  1. Visit the Crucial website at https://www.crucial.in/. Here, choose to let Crucial scan the system and suggest the right SSD or simply select the computer model and get the list of SSDs that are compatible. To be safe, let it scan the computer. This works very well with Windows 10, and even though Dell suggested a maximum SSD capacity of 512 gb, Crucial suggests SSDs with higher capacities.
  2. There are 2 flavours in SSDs. One is the M.2 SATA SSD (slower) and the M.2 NVMe SSD (faster) which work using the PCIe slot on the motherboard. Choose the NVMe SSD for best performance. Refer https://www.pcguide.com/tips/nvme-vs-m-2-vs-sata/ for more information on the types of SSDs. I chose to go with the NVMe PCIe SSD for performance.
  3. I selected the 512 gb Crucial P5 model https://www.crucial.in/ssd/p5/ct500p5ssd8/ct18120055. It works like a charm. I first used it for a few weeks on Windows 10 and thereafter, Crucial support let me know it can run on Linux.
  4. Fitting it in the laptop was easy, except opening the back case, for which a guitar pick was needed. However, in certain models of Dell Inspiron / Vostro laptops, a proprietary screw mount is needed to securely screw the NVMe PCIe SSD on the motherboard. Crucial cannot provide the screw mount. The Dell Inspiron / Vostro custom screw mount is part number CPA-GDKK0. Dell does not supply this part by default, unless SSD or Intel Optane was opted for, when buying the laptop.
  5. After installation set up the BIOS to enable the SSD and also see https://pureinfotech.com/clone-windows-10-hard-drive-ssd-macrium-reflect/ to know how to use Macrium Reflect in Windows 10 to clone the HDD to the SSD. Once this is done, you can set the BIOS to boot off the SSD.
  6. Lastly, enable bit locker encryption on Windows or encrypted volumes on Linux.

With the Crucial P5 NVMe PCIe SSD Android Virtual Devices in Android Studio open up instantly, with no lag.

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