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Old 11-04-2012, 10:00 PM   #1
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Converting from HDD to SSD

Hi, My 500gb is currently partitioned into a C:/ and a D:/ and my windows is installed in C:/

I would like to clone my entire C:/ directory to a SSD that I just bought and then merge the C:/ back to the D:/ to get the full 500gb D:/

I would then have the windows installation in my C:/ (SSD) and the rest in my D:/ (HDD)

Does anyone know the steps and any precaution that I have to take note of in order not to screw the whole process and lose all my data? Could you guys also recommend me a reliable cloning software to do this?
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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What I feel is cloning may not realize the full performance of the ssd.

It maybe better to do a backup of what is needed, then a fresh install on the ssd, at the same time do some housekeeping and select what're the core applications to install and leave those unimportant ones out.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:25 AM   #3
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Fresh installation of Windows is desired and recommended. Although cloning/transferring the system partition to another HDD/SSD can be done. The complexity depends on your current setup. May I ask:

1. Which Windows version are you using?
2. What's the size of Drive C:?
3. What's the size of the SSD?
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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Get Acronis Disk Director or Norton Ghost to clone your partition.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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Hi, thanks for all the replies!

I'm using Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit. The size of my current C:/ is 42.2/115 GB and my D:/ is 12.7/350 GB. The new SSD that I have is 120 GB.

I think I would prefer cloning as I do not wish to re-install my applications due to time constraint.
So after cloning my current C:/ to my new SSD, how do I assign my new SSD into a C:/? I should do this step first before merging my old C:/ with my D:/ right?
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:48 PM   #6
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Hi, thanks for all the replies!

I'm using Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit. The size of my current C:/ is 42.2/115 GB and my D:/ is 12.7/350 GB. The new SSD that I have is 120 GB.

I think I would prefer cloning as I do not wish to re-install my applications due to time constraint.
So after cloning my current C:/ to my new SSD, how do I assign my new SSD into a C:/? I should do this step first before merging my old C:/ with my D:/ right?
take note u may risk problems of windows running properly or application errors as a result of cloning. anyway best of luck in cloning.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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Jackpot! We have the same OS, though differences on capacity. I have a 320GB HDD and a 64GB SSD to start with. I used the built-in Windows Back-up tool only, no 3rd party applications. I have been doing that for a number of times, in 4 machines to date. Anyway, so far I did not encounter any problems at all. Maybe it depends on how sanitized the source environment is or how you do it. Not sure how good Acronis or Norton is, never tried them because as far as I can remember, there was no trial version (plus I do not want to add another app on my drive just for this). Let me find the procedure I wrote, I think I posted something here in HWZ before. Anyway, should you want to proceed, make sure you do these preparations:

1. Ensure your system is clean of garbage - temp files, other Windows files that are not necessary anymore (try Wise Disk Cleaner). Hopefully you get more free disk space too.

2. Defrag.

3. Check the alignment of your current HDD drive. I hope it is aligned. Search for SSD alignment.

4. Make sure you are now in AHCI mode before doing anything. It should be enabled in Windows too.
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Last edited by speedster4005; 12-04-2012 at 10:14 PM..
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:46 PM   #8
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Jackpot! We have the same OS, though differences on capacity. I have a 320GB HDD and a 64GB SSD to start with. I used the built-in Windows Back-up tool only, no 3rd party applications. I have been doing that for a number of times, in 3 machines to date. Anyway, so far I did not encounter any problems at all. Maybe it depends on how sanitized the source environment is or how you do it. Not sure how good Acronis or Norton is, never tried them because as far as I can remember, there was no trial version (plus I do not want to add another app on my drive just for this). Let me find the procedure I wrote, I think I posted something here in HWZ before. Anyway, should you want to proceed, make sure you do these preparations:

1. Ensure your system is clean of garbage - temp files, other Windows files that are not necessary anymore (try Wise Disk Cleaner). Hopefully you get more free disk space too.

2. Defrag.

3. Check the alignment of your current HDD drive. I hope it is aligned. Search for SSD alignment.

4. Make sure you are now in AHCI mode before doing anything.
Cool! Looking forward to your procedure

1. I use ccleaner will that be enough?
2. Defragged!
3. I believe my hdd is aligned: searched for it and they said that the Partition Starting Offset should be divisible by 4096 right?

Size 465.76 GB (500,104,765,440 bytes)
Total Cylinders 64,601
Total Sectors 976,767,120
Total Tracks 15,504,240
Tracks/Cylinder 240
Partition Disk #0, Partition #0
Partition Size 100.00 MB (104,857,600 bytes)
Partition Starting Offset 1,048,576 bytes
Partition Disk #0, Partition #1
Partition Size 115.63 GB (124,151,398,400 bytes)
Partition Starting Offset 105,906,176 bytes
Partition Disk #0, Partition #2
Partition Size 350.04 GB (375,849,484,288 bytes)
Partition Starting Offset 124,257,304,576 bytes

4. The AHCI mode is set in the bios rite? I believe mine shld be in AHCI mode by default already.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:36 PM   #9
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Hi, here it is which is a modified procedure I posted before here in HWZ:

Assumption:
A. Based on your data, your original partition is aligned:

Partition Disk #0, Partition #1
Partition Size 115.63 GB (124,151,398,400 bytes)
Partition Starting Offset 105,906,176 bytes Mod( 4096 ) = 00

B. AHCI Mode must be enabled in Windows:
Check registry entry "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci", under "Start" Value, should be "0". If not, AHCI mode is not enabled in Windows.
You can enable it by:

1. setting the value of the key above to "0"
2. Reboot and go inside BIOS setup.
3. Set your BIOS to AHCI mode and proceed with the boot up. Hopefully this would go perfectly without a BSD.


Process:
1. Delete all temporary files (simply just do a clean up).

2. (Optional) I set the Page File Size to 512MB, specially if you have a lot of RAM .

3. (Optional - needed only when your SSD size is less than the old system drive) Defragment the partition using PerfectDisk 12 (Disk Defragmentation - RAXCO Software). Just use the trial, this is sufficient. This defrag activity will actually move files located at the end of the partition to the nearest available space. thus giving you the chance to shrink the volume. After defrag, do not reboot the machine <= very important. If you reboot, Windows will again transfer some files to the end of the partition and you will not be able to shrink the volume to less than 120GB.

4. (Optional - needed only when your SSD size is less than the old system drive) Go to Computer Management and choose Disk Management. Look for the System Partition (Drive C. Right-click on it and choose "Shrink Volume" on the context menu. Shrink it to say 100GB just to be safe.

5. Go to Control Panel and run Backup and Restore.

6. Choose "Create System Image". You will need an external storage for this one, say an HDD to store the back-up. I connected it via eSATA port to make the back-up faster.
Take note that if you use the built-in defrag utility, it tends to bloat in the size of the back-up file depending on how far the location of other files on the disk. Whilst using RaxCo (see Step 3), it moves some files nearer to the other files, thus compressing the back-up. Just an observation.

7. (Optional - needed only if you don't have a Windows 7 installer disc) After the system image is created, chose "Create a system repair disc". This is the one that you will need to use to restore the system image (aside from the Windows 7 installer disc).

8. Shutdown. Replace the old HDD with the SSD.

9. Boot from the System Repair Disc you created on Step 7 (or the Windows 7 installer disc), and make sure that the external storage where you put the system back-up in Step 6 is available during the restore process. My eSATA port was not detected so I have to go for the USB one.

10. After boot-up on the repair disc, choose Backup/Restore/Repair from system image. Select the System Image from the location you specified in step 6. Wait and see...

11. Once it boots up on the SSD, Windows will just do some additional initialization. Just wait for it.

12. Once settled, go back to Computer Management, then Disk Management. Select the system drive (C, right-click on it and select "Extend Volume" from the context menu. You can then extend now the size of the partition to maximum which is 120GB if the partition is not extended yet. This is because your original partition might be smaller than the SSD capacity.


That's it. You can now do some tweaks for your SSD. You can use SSD Tweaker for a start.
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Last edited by speedster4005; 12-04-2012 at 10:41 PM..
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:39 PM   #10
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1. I use ccleaner will that be enough?
I haven't used CCleaner. Sorry. ;-)
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Old 13-04-2012, 08:39 PM   #11
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Process:
2. (Optional) I set the Page File Size to 512MB, specially if you have a lot of RAM .

3. (Optional - needed only when your SSD size is less than the old system drive) Defragment the partition using PerfectDisk 12 (Disk Defragmentation - RAXCO Software). Just use the trial, this is sufficient. This defrag activity will actually move files located at the end of the partition to the nearest available space. thus giving you the chance to shrink the volume. After defrag, do not reboot the machine <= very important. If you reboot, Windows will again transfer some files to the end of the partition and you will not be able to shrink the volume to less than 120GB.

4. (Optional - needed only when your SSD size is less than the old system drive) Go to Computer Management and choose Disk Management. Look for the System Partition (Drive C. Right-click on it and choose "Shrink Volume" on the context menu. Shrink it to say 100GB just to be safe.

11. Once it boots up on the SSD, Windows will just do some additional initialization. Just wait for it.

12. Once settled, go back to Computer Management, then Disk Management. Select the system drive (C, right-click on it and select "Extend Volume" from the context menu. You can then extend now the size of the partition to maximum which is 120GB if the partition is not extended yet. This is because your original partition might be smaller than the SSD capacity.


That's it. You can now do some tweaks for your SSD. You can use SSD Tweaker for a start.
2. Is 8gb considered alot of ram?

3. 4. When you say SSD size less than the old system drive, does it mean the SSD drive (120gb or usable space which is around 111gb?) is less than the amount of space I used in my C:/ (40+gb) or the total amount of space in my C:/ (115gb)?

11. 12. After this, will my new SSD automatically be assigned as the new C:/? What will happen to my old C:/ and the current D:/? The games (mainly) installed in my D:/ should still be able to launch rite?

Once again, thanks for all your help! Really appreciate it!
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:35 PM   #12
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2. Is 8gb considered alot of ram?
Well it depends really on what you do/run on your machine. I am running one small Linux Enterprise VM (Oracle Database + App Server) plus some development tools and so far I still have enough RAM at 8GB.

3. 4. When you say SSD size less than the old system drive, does it mean the SSD drive (120gb or usable space which is around 111gb?) is less than the amount of space I used in my C:/ (40+gb) or the total amount of space in my C:/ (115gb)?
Total Usable space of the empty partition. Actually it is about the partition size - total amount of space. So if the partition size of the old drive C: (115.63BG in your case) is more than the SSD partition size (111GB), then you need to shrink first the old partition as laid out in Step 3. I think you need Raxco in this.

11. 12. After this, will my new SSD automatically be assigned as the new C:/? What will happen to my old C:/ and the current D:/? The games (mainly) installed in my D:/ should still be able to launch rite?
If you make the SSD as the main drive/master, first boot drive, then it will be drive C: (need some confirmation here from other experts here as I have not worked on desktops for a long time. Only on laptops).

Now with the old HDD, if you want to merge the partitions (this one I haven't tried yet, merging two partitions) , I guess it is fairly easy with some tools or you can do it manually by backing up drive D: to another drive, format the old one as one partition and restore the back-up on it (should you wish to do it manually). You can then plug it as slave or secondary drive. Typically it will become D:, unless you have some other drives such as optical drives where it maybe assigned as D: by Windows. In cases such as this, you can just go to Computer Management and re-assign the drive letters accordingly. Your apps in drive D: should be able to launch as nothing has been changed in your new Drive C:.
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Old 14-04-2012, 10:35 AM   #13
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After changing the registry and bios to ahci mode, my computer just would not go further than the "Loading operating system..." screen, any idea why?

Edit: Omg even after setting back to IDE mode, I'm still stuck at the "Loading Operating System..." screen...

I tried doing startup repair but windows could not find a problem. Next I tried a system restore but it failed too. I realised under "Choose a recovery tool", it states "Operating system: Windows 7 on ( D: ) Windows 7"
Why is my OS on D:/? Shldn't it be on C:/?

Last edited by mickeykim; 14-04-2012 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 14-04-2012, 04:43 PM   #14
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Can you check with BIOS whether some disk is in priority (thus becoming C when AHCI was enabled? Maybe other drives in the system?
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Old 15-04-2012, 12:55 AM   #15
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I set my hdd back as the no. 1 priority and when booting as ahci mode, there's a flash of blue screen (I think) and my pc auto-restarted. When I boot as IDE, it states:
Loading Operating System...
NTLDR is missing
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

Edit: Somehow when I enter bios, the priority is not in order again. I changed hdd as my no. 1 priority, and now it's able to boot as IDE into windows.

Edit: I realised whenever I changed to ahci mode, there will be some errors. When I enter bios, under standard CMOS features, the IDE channel 0-4 are all "none". Does it mean it's not detecting the hdd?
I have to reset the settings to IDE and boot priority for hdd, restart at the error screen, and then adjust the boot priority for hdd again to enter windows desktop without errors.

When I'm back in windows desktop, my msahci start value is still 0.

Last edited by mickeykim; 15-04-2012 at 01:28 AM..
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