Replacing a laptop hard drive

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Replacing a laptop hard drive

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:01 pm

I'm trying to replace my laptop hard drive with an SSD. I was wondering what the best way to take everything from my current hard drive over to the SSD. What sort of connectors, and software would work.

Thanks!
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Re: Replacing a laptop hard drive

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:06 pm

Something like this and a copy of Acronis Migrate Easy ought to do the trick. As of a couple of years ago (haven't checked recently), WD and Seagate even had trialware versions of Acronis available for download on their sites. A Linux live CD will also get the job done, if you are OK with a bit more futzing around and (possibly) dealing with some CLI.
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Re: Replacing a laptop hard drive

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:16 pm

WD and Seagate both have a proprietary version of Acronis to aid in disc cloning, but one of the drives (old or new) must be their brand. Seems like 90% of the laptops I work on have a Toshiba hard drive.

Acronis True Image has a 30-day trial though.
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Re: Replacing a laptop hard drive

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:58 pm

Personally I use 'Clonezilla'.
It's free, fast, and always works for me.

Some of the 'questions' is asks aren't really the 'expected Windows Centric Phraseology', but is works well for me with all versions of Windows and Ubuntu.

Maybe if you have a 'spare drive' do a couple 'test clones', just to make sure it works for you and you understand what the program is asking. (Whenever you work with a boot/system drive, you don't want to answer a question incorrectly...)

Another thing is how is 'references hard drives'. Make sure you select he 'proper source and destination', you really do not want to get that wrong. If the drives are of 'different types', which it sound in your case they will be, then it is of course much more obvious.

Also, depending on your Laptop, you may want to do the transfer on a desktop. MAKE SURE THOUGH you do not boot the 'cloned drive on the desktop'! I have had, at times for laptops, make the drive unbootable on the laptop. In 'Theory' Clonzilla will work with USB Storage, so you could hook a hard drive up that way to do the clone. In 'Reality', for me, that has been just a 'Theory' since I have never mixed SATA and USB devices for Clonezilla to clone.

One thing is 'doesn't do' is transfer to a 'smaller partition'. For me that isn't a problem, because I ALWAYS predefine my partition sizes to be a 'specific size'. Currently I am just using 100gb partitions for my boot/system drive, on ALL of my Computers Regardless of the size of the physical drive.

Of course, all data files can 'just be copied' if they are in a 'non-boot/system partition'. Clonezilla will copy 'multiple partitions' that can be selected, or entire drives. I ALWAYS just copy the 'boot/system partition'.

So I do recommend it,
I do use it all of the time,
But I don't deviate much from my specific circumstances.

You can get it, or read about it, at:

http://www.clonezilla.org

P.S.
I have had a few 'hardware compatibility issues', but those are pretty obvious as drives won't be found, or it won't boot.

Those are 'few-and-far-between'.

It is also 'part of the reason' that I tend to use desktops for my cloning of drives.
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Re: Replacing a laptop hard drive

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:04 pm

just brew it! wrote:Something like this...
Those are good suggestions. I have this one.
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Re: Replacing a laptop hard drive

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:41 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Something like this...

Those are good suggestions. I have this one.

I have one similar to that as well (Vantec's USB 2.0 / eSATA version). Just figured I'd suggest the cheaper option since A) I know the Vantec dongle works well (I own one of them too); and B) the dongle also has the advantage of being able to handle legacy PATA drives, which can be handy down the road if you need to help a relative or friend recover data from an old PC that has died. :wink:

OTOH the advantage of the drive dock is that it can also double as a backup device -- bare hard drives essentially become your "removable media". (The dongle is a little fiddly and slow for that use case...)
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Re: Replacing a laptop hard drive

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:50 pm

The free toolset of: WinPE and ImageX.
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Re: Replacing a laptop hard drive

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:24 pm

Moving to Storage.
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Re: Replacing a laptop hard drive

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:48 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:The free toolset of: WinPE and ImageX.


This. I just made the switch and you definitely want ImageX. Since it's file-based as opposed to sector-based, it doesn't matter that the drive you're moving to is smaller than your old drive (as long as it's large enough to hold your files). If at all possible try to reinstall though. You can change the drive mode to AHCI and get better performance (I've heard gains of 10-15%, but haven't done it myself yet). ImageX is incredibly easy to use though, provided you switch off of the RAM disk when using WinPE...
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