SSD and older laptop

All things storage here: hard drives, DVD RW drives, little wicker baskets.

Moderators: morphine, Steel

SSD and older laptop

Postposted on Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:05 pm

The hard drive in my wife's laptop (Dell Inspiron 1520) is starting to show its age and recently showed some SMART errors. In an effort to stave off catastrophe, I took advantage of the deal posted last week on the Samsung 840 (250 GB)SSD. Her laptop has a SATA HDD (120 GB) obviously, and the BIOS is the latest greatest for her model.

Now on to the problem:

I used the supplied CD and installed Samsungs data migration software as well as Samsung magician. I slipped the SSD into an external USB to SATA dock and started the 2+ hour data xfer. After the xfer was complete, I rebooted the laptop and checked the contents of the SSD while it was still in the dock. Everything looked good.

I then swapped out the HDD for the SSD and that's when the **** hit the fan. The laptop did not recognize a valid boot drive. I happened to have a copy of gparted on DVD+RW handy, and booted through that. Gparted showed a drive that was 4.38 GB in size. I am presuming its reporting back itself and nothing more.

Any suggestions?
mmp121
Gerbil
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:09 am

Re: SSD and older laptop

Postposted on Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:17 pm

my thought is you never installed a bootloader. Someone else will have to clarify.
i7-2600k @ 4.3ghz | Asus Z-77-V LX | Corsair Vengeance 2 x 8GB | Asus Xonar DG | Saphire Radeon 6950 2 GB | XSPC Raystorm | Swiftech MCP-35X | Swiftech MCW-82 | HW Labs SR1 240 | XSPC RX120 | Western Digital 640GB
turtlepwr281
Gerbil
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Philly Suburbs

Re: SSD and older laptop

Postposted on Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:31 pm

Dells, like a lot of OEM machines, typically have multiple partitions. These don't have drive letters assigned so you don't see them in some utilities and a program that just does a volume copy won't pick them up. My mother's Dell (running Win7-x64 out of the box) had both a restore partition (which contained the Master Boot Record) and a FAT16 partition that also stored additional utilities that the BIOS explicitly looked for and used (which is why it was still FAT16 I presume). So I ran into this when I swapped in an SSD, but Macrium Reflect solved it (and it's free, and does the right thing with SSD alignment).
UberGerbil
Gerbil Khan
 
Posts: 9999
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 3:11 pm

Re: SSD and older laptop

Postposted on Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:25 pm

Ya, there are a bunch of OEM partitions for restore and other purposes... That's why the best way to upgrade to SSD is do a fresh OS install :wink:
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1890
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Re: SSD and older laptop

Postposted on Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:36 pm

I repeat the recommendation to simply backup all of the data and do a fresh install.

Also if this is still Windows XP there will be a lot of tweaks to do in the OS for your SSD to run optimally. If you can do Windows 7 instead you should.
Elsoze
Gerbil
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:57 am

Re: SSD and older laptop

Postposted on Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:48 pm

Already went the fresh install of Win7 64-bit route w/out repartioning whatever was done by Dell a few years ago and also upped her ram from 2GB to 4GB. So I'm hoping OS wise I'm good. We are currently in process of backing up her drive to our NAS in case I choose to go the route of doing another full install onto the SSD.

Since I only had a 3 hour window this afternoon to do the work I didn't have much time to debug before she needed her laptop back. I'll have more time tonight to try all the above suggestions and gather more info.

Thanks all!

Elsoze wrote:I repeat the recommendation to simply backup all of the data and do a fresh install.

Also if this is still Windows XP there will be a lot of tweaks to do in the OS for your SSD to run optimally. If you can do Windows 7 instead you should.
mmp121
Gerbil
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:09 am

Re: SSD and older laptop

Postposted on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:10 am

Given that the old drive is throwing SMART errors, a fresh install to the new drive is advisable regardless. No telling whether the errors have already corrupted any of the OS files. Hopefully you didn't overwrite any previous backup(s) when you did the backup to the NAS. That way, if any of *her* files have been corrupted there's still a good copy somewhere.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 38134
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: SSD and older laptop

Postposted on Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:27 pm

All,

I feel now that things are well in hand, I owe those of you who helped some feedback. First off, I screwed up royally. In my rush to get things done in my time window, I neglected to notice that the SSD is slimmer than the HDD by a few mm. So when I slid the drive into the slot, it barely missed the SATA connectors and hence nothing showing up when I booted from the gParted DVD.

Long sory short, I ended up having to go the wipe and re-install route as the image that was successfully copied over would attempt to boot and the BSOD. I suspect it has something to do with AHCI and ATA mode settings in the BIOS. I flipped it from ATA to AHCI when doing the reinstall. Also learned about aligning portions for the 100MB partition that Win7 creates.

All in all, a good learning experience with my first personal SSD install. I will try to remain calm when I go for it again when I build my new PC this summer.
mmp121
Gerbil
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:09 am

Re: SSD and older laptop

Postposted on Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:39 am

Hi mmp121,

I'm having a similar problem to you. I also have an Inspiron 1520 and a Samsung 840 SSD and can't get it to connect to the SATA connectors because it's so thin.

How did you manage to solve this problem please?

Thanks for your help
yerman164
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:36 am


Return to Storage

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests