Migrating to SSD

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Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:42 pm

Thanks to the recent TR article concerning Samsung's new SSD and a collection of other drives, I decided to go ahead and pick up Corsair's Nova V128. Consider the gun jumped.

So, with this little guy in hand, I'm wondering how on earth I'm supposed to get my OS drive over there. My OS partition, which I've shrunk to 120GB, sits on a 1TB drive that has other things on its second partition. The first thing I'm doing is to create a system image with the tool built into Windows, part of the recovery suite, but it insists on wanting to back up the entire drive. I'm not sure if it's going to let me piece out the OS partition to the SSD or not.

I'll try Arconis next- not sure if it will let me do what I need to do- but I am kind of miffed that Corsair doesn't include some kind of software to take care of this- even if I have to download it from their site, like getting OEM drives from other manufactures entails.

*Edit: Also, is it a good idea to migrate at all? Should I just start over fresh anyway? I have no idea if Trim or other settings will be affected by a migration as opposed to a fresh install.
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:03 am

Acronis will let you select a partition at boot time. So will Ghost. I remember there being some sort of Linux boot CD that also included partition-moving utilities, but can't remember the name off the top of my head.
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:46 am

You may need to make sure the latest Acronis can deal with SSD alignments?
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:42 am

Ultimate Boot CD has everything you will need. Its worked on the 20+ setups I've cloned and the windows version is dead easy to use. But as always backup everything first.....
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:56 am

Flying Fox wrote:You may need to make sure the latest Acronis can deal with SSD alignments?


Thanks Fox, this is exactly the kind of thing I'm worried about. Moving partitions/boot sectors around is something I've been doing for years and something I'm comfortable with, but I have no idea whether or not Windows 7 will react appropriately to moving to an SSD, versus being installed clean on one.

dragmor wrote:Ultimate Boot CD has everything you will need. Its worked on the 20+ setups I've cloned and the windows version is dead easy to use. But as always backup everything first.....


Thanks- I know I've looked at this before, just have never had the opportunity to use it. Neither Windows Vista nor 7 have given me significant headaches in recent years, so I've never really had to move one around (though I believe I have failed in the past...). This is probably what Morphine was referring to above.

I finished the Windows recovery image last night, and I'm going to see how that goes, just didn't have time to finish it all before work. I'll try Arconis or the UBCD next, and if that doesn't work, I'll settle with a fresh install, and I'll keep y'all updated along the way. Thanks for the help!
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:55 am

You should have no problem relying 100% on the built into Win7 system image and restore tools. Win7 is smart enough to setup the alignment properly with a fresh install or when restoring from an image. I've done it a number of times. I can also tell you that using a 3rd party too is likely to not work (at least not without a lot more hassle). HDClone for example does not (however 3.9.6 just came out and claims "physical copy between media with different sector sizes" as a new feature so I guess it should work if you manually set the alignment on the SSD first, but who wants to mess with that?
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:13 am

drfish wrote:You should have no problem relying 100% on the built into Win7 system image and restore tools. Win7 is smart enough to setup the alignment properly with a fresh install or when restoring from an image. I've done it a number of times. I can also tell you that using a 3rd party too is likely to not work (at least not without a lot more hassle). HDClone for example does not (however 3.9.6 just came out and claims "physical copy between media with different sector sizes" as a new feature so I guess it should work if you manually set the alignment on the SSD first, but who wants to mess with that?


Thanks for the input! I'm worried that the built in tools will lose it when I try to move the backup of a 1TB drive to a 128GB SSD- unless it will allow me to send one partition one way and the other another. If that's the case though, I can use my spare drive to hold the second partition's data and just wipe it on the first and rename the drives, which will leave a single ~120GB paritition containing the host OS. Should work right?
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:01 am

I'll be doing the same thing after christmas, and I think I'm just going to reinstall.
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:08 am

dragmor wrote:Ultimate Boot CD has everything you will need. Its worked on the 20+ setups I've cloned and the windows version is dead easy to use. But as always backup everything first.....

I've heard of that before but never really looked at it. Now that I've given it a cursory glance: freaking awesome.
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:09 am

This thread over at the [H] contains lots of useful tips on this subject, including one guy mentioning that the built in Windows tool will account for restoring to an SSD. Will be using as a reference when I do this, probably Friday or Saturday.
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:30 am

I tried Windows backup. DIdn't work, it checks whether the target hard drive is the hard drive that was backuped. If it's not the same, it won't let you do it so you can't pirate Windows 7 by cloning disks. Pretty damn stupid. I also tried some other imaging programs, but then the they forgot to copy over the 100MB System Reserved Partition, which I don't know what was for. Then of course I got a missing bootmgr message, and no amount of messing with bcdedit could fix it. So I reinstalled 7. On an SSD, it took a lot less time than on a hard drive, so that wasn't too bad.
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:25 pm

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:I tried Windows backup. DIdn't work, it checks whether the target hard drive is the hard drive that was backuped. If it's not the same, it won't let you do it so you can't pirate Windows 7 by cloning disks. Pretty damn stupid.


All I can say is that is the opposite of my experience. You will have to activate Windows again after restoring your system image, THAT is how they "prevent" pirating. ;) I have 4 different systems in my house backup to my NAS and I've restored 3 of them over my network to SSDs. The only problem I had was when I tried restoring an image from a single drive to a RAID.
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:20 pm

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749447(v=WS.10).aspx

ImageX should work. It doesn't care about identical partition sizes nor should there be alignment issues (as you'll use Diskpart in advance).

imagex /capture image_path image_file "name" {"description"} {/boot | /check | /compress [type] | /config | /flags "EditionID" | /norpfix | /scroll | /verify}

You'll will need WinPE to deploy the image you create.

imagex /apply image_file image_numberimage_nameimage_path {/check | /ref | /scroll | /verify}
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:21 pm

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:I tried Windows backup. DIdn't work, it checks whether the target hard drive is the hard drive that was backuped. If it's not the same, it won't let you do it so you can't pirate Windows 7 by cloning disks. Pretty damn stupid. I also tried some other imaging programs, but then the they forgot to copy over the 100MB System Reserved Partition, which I don't know what was for. Then of course I got a missing bootmgr message, and no amount of messing with bcdedit could fix it. So I reinstalled 7. On an SSD, it took a lot less time than on a hard drive, so that wasn't too bad.

It may depend on how set the "backup". IIRC for making a "system image" you need to select that particular option instead of just "backing up this drive".

Edit: found the commands. "Create system image" and "backup computer" are kind of different things.
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:55 am

I don't know if the windows backup/restore utilities would react the same way with an SSD drive, but I recently upgraded my C drive to a bigger one (all mechanical), using the Windows 7 tools, by creating an image of the old C. The only issue I had is that after the image was restored to the new C, the partition created was the same size as the old C. I had to use a separate tool to increase it to take all the space of that new drive.

Knowing this, since you are moving to a smaller drive, I wonder if the Windows restore utility (boot disc) will even work when used with an image of the old drive, even though you know the amount of data from the old drive should fit on the new drive. Hopefully the utility would simply create the new partition to use the entirety of the drive even though it's smaller.
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Re: Migrating to SSD

Postposted on Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:50 am

vince wrote:I don't know if the windows backup/restore utilities would react the same way with an SSD drive, but I recently upgraded my C drive to a bigger one (all mechanical), using the Windows 7 tools, by creating an image of the old C. The only issue I had is that after the image was restored to the new C, the partition created was the same size as the old C. I had to use a separate tool to increase it to take all the space of that new drive.

Knowing this, since you are moving to a smaller drive, I wonder if the Windows restore utility (boot disc) will even work when used with an image of the old drive, even though you know the amount of data from the old drive should fit on the new drive. Hopefully the utility would simply create the new partition to use the entirety of the drive even though it's smaller.


Thanks for the input- if you read into my post above, I did shrink the partition C: is on to less than the size of the SSD. Glad that it worked perfectly for you!
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After Action Report

Postposted on Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:47 am

It's finished!

Here's what I did. I wound up using the Acronis True Image software that Western Digital provides; the drive I was imaging from was from WD. Simple copy volume job, booted right up off of the SSD. I had wanted to use the built in tool *Windows Backup* to do this, but backed down when it insisted on backing up stuff not part of the C: partition- it just took too long *due to Libraries and installed programs on other drives*, and I didn't need to move all of that stuff around several times.

To put games on the SSD, I used the free Symbolic Link Creator. I just copied the game directories to a folder on the SSD, and to create a folder link, I had to select 'Folder symbolic link' at the top, specify to and from folders, give the link name as the same name that the original folder had, and select Directory Junction (important!) as the type of link. This worked great with games from Steam as well as those direct from EA, such as Bad Company 2 and the new MOH.

*edited for clarity
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