I used the free Seagate Acronis software to backup my original SSHD installation of Win7 Pro 64bit & my other software & data. That took a couple of hours on another machine. Then I "restored" the backup to the new SSD - which took over 12 hours, didn't make sense. I got a couple of transient "chkdsk" error messages (which I had never seen before) during the recovery phase, I was able to cancel their suggestions & continue with the recovery.
This seems to have worked. Booting up the R500 was extremely fast from the SSD, as expected. First boot I got a msg saying that Samsung driver for the SSD had to be installed - although the boot process otherwise looked OK. Then I rebooted with the new driver, and it went well.
My R500 seems like a new machine. Other upgrades prior to this point: my 3rd OEM keyboard, having worn out two previous keyboards with all the typing I've done. 8GB RAM. I tried installing Win10 Pro as an upgrade, it ran but just did not seem worth the learning curve for what I got. So I have stayed with Win 7 Pro 64 bit.
Re-ran Windows Experience Index. HDD performance went from 5.9 to 7.8, other scores basically unchanged from the prior case. Base score was unchanged at 3.4 due to built-in graphics limitation.
Just for information of anyone who might be interested.
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lenovo T500 P9700, WUXGA, 8GB
lenovo T520 i7 2760QM, FHD, 6GB
Enable advanced features on older Synaptics touchpads with the registry: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=122612
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