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Old 07-07-2010, 03:26 PM   #1
MicroRoller
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Default Clone existing Win XP System HDD to SSD?

I wanted to increase the performance of my boot disk and was initially going to get some WD RE3 drives and a new raid controller to set up a 4 disk raid 10 array until I realized for about the same money I can get a 120-160GB SSD which can perform better.

After reading a bunch of articles and posts on here I'm looking at the OCZ Vertex 2 and the Intel X25-M drives.

I'm currently running Win XP which I understand has it's own issues with SSDs but upgrading to Windows 7 right now would take way too much time to get all my software installed and reconfigured and not something I really want to do right now.

Is there any way that I can Format, Partition and Align the SSD, shrink the current system partition (drive is 160GB) if necessary, then clone it on an SSD and just have everything work? If so anyone have any more details/pointers to instructions or other software I would need?

Since XP doesn't support TRIM can I just run Wiper.exe on a regular basis? Is there any other program I could use like Intel's SSD Tools even if I choose the OCZ drive?

I would appreciate any advice.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:57 PM   #2
fuzzymath10
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My X18-M kit from Dane-Elec came with Acronis software. It took maybe 30-60mins to transfer my sister's 80GB 7200.2 to it. Then I swapped the drives (it was a laptop) and all was well. It also works with different capacities as long as your data fits on the new drive.

Not sure how well the newer SSDs will be with XP, but the X18-M was a G1 and it is definitely fast enough. Her biggest complaint was the drive thrashing at bootup and taking forever to launch programs and now both issues are gone.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
skid00skid00
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Default XP does NOT have 'issues'

I've got an XP Pro system with 2 Gen 1 X25's in it. They work great.
I don't know if you can clone from an un-aligned HD to an aligned SSD. I aligned my HD's (3 of them in rotation) before I used WD 'clone' s/w to restore to SSD. It kept alignment. I ended up buying Acronis True Image Home, which -keeps- alignment working.

If you end up with an X25 that slows way down in benching (cause you can't tell by normal use), you can only get it back using HDDErase (the OLD version-google X25 and secure erase to get the version correct).

My AS SSD benches are as good as the Gen 2 X25's, just no trim.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:34 PM   #4
perdomot
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You're going to want to check your alignment with this tool from Paragon from another thread here in this forum:
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2087876
I tried it and it aligned my SSD boot drive after I restarted and it ran through the process. Seems to work just fine.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:07 AM   #5
MicroRoller
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Default

Thanks for the replies.

Quote:
I aligned my HD's (3 of them in rotation) before I used WD 'clone' s/w to restore to SSD.
This is the part I'm having trouble figuring out. Do I need to realign the existing drive first or can I format and partition the SDD properly and then just clone the drive? I checked and the partition starting offset is 32,256 bytes which would cause problems with the SDD.

It seems just doing a backup/restore with acronis can rewrite the partition information but I'm still looking through their forums to confirm.

Seems like you can get around it somehow by following these steps http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showp...8&postcount=13 Acronis confirms them in their forum http://forum.acronis.com/forum/8322

I'm not tied to Acronis, I have the free WD version that WD uses now instead of it's old Data Lifeguard Tools. So if anyone has any better recommendations, preferably in F/OSS versions I'd be happy to try them.

These are the steps I'm planning.

1. Move crap that shouldn't be on my system drive on to my 2nd HDD to reduce the space used. (I'm bad at putting things in their place my Ctemp folder is the largest most important folder on my drive ) Quick tip I never new, if you right click drag your "My Documents" folder and select "Move" it sets the new location as your "My Documents" folder without needing to use TweakUI. I also set up my browsers to use the second drive for their caches.

2. Backup System partition to be safe before proceeding.

3*. Shrink the System partition using Gnome Partition Editor live CD http://gparted.sourceforge.net/ Keep note of the From what I've read it looks like things go smoother if the old partition is smaller than the new partition. Since my current boot disk is larger than the SSD I plan to buy this will allow me to create an image where the partition will fit on the new SSD. I'm not sure if this is necessary but I guess it doesn't hurt?

4*. Backup newly shrunk system partition. This is the image that will be used for the new SSD.

5. Using Disk Manager delete the existing SSD partition if any. Boot up in the Acronis recovery disk and validate the image.

6. Create new partition and align it using diskpart and give it an unused drive letter. This forum post includes directions on how to use diskpart http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/fo...656#post326656

7. Fast format the new SSD partition using Disk Manager.

8. Using Acronis restore only the MBR and track 0 to the new SSD.

9. Restore the image as "specified files and folders" to the SDD.

10. Swap drive letters to make the SDD the C: drive. Don't know if you can do it in Disk Manager I found directions on how to do it in the registry here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223188

11. Reboot and go into the bios and make the SSD the boot drive.

12. Check that the alignment is correct and everything is working fine then make any other tweaks necessary for the SSD like moving the print spool location and other crap like that.

* - not sure if these steps for reducing the partition size are necessary.

I think I need to get the regular version of Acronis because the WD version can't restore to a different drive letter?

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:09 AM   #6
MicroRoller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perdomot View Post
You're going to want to check your alignment with this tool from Paragon from another thread here in this forum:
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2087876
I tried it and it aligned my SSD boot drive after I restarted and it ran through the process. Seems to work just fine.
Ok that simplifies things. Now I can just clone the drive and fix the alignment problem after the fact. Makes things much easier. Thank you for the link.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:37 AM   #7
MicroRoller
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I was looking into the opensource partitioning tool, GParted, a little more and realized it can move partitions to allign them without losing data.

The interface uses MiB instead of sectors so it's not as intuitive but I found this article that gives a good workaround that lets you put the partition exactly where you want it.

http://www.tuxyturvy.com/blog/index....sing-Data.html
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:41 PM   #8
skid00skid00
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MR, if you correctly partition the SSD before cloning to it, Acronis True Image Home will preserve the partion offset.

It sounds like your current drive has more than 80GB on it - that's a danger sign. You want to try to have at least 20GB free on the 80GB SSD to have effectively low write amplification.
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:21 PM   #9
IT_Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perdomot View Post
You're going to want to check your alignment with this tool from Paragon from another thread here in this forum:
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2087876
I tried it and it aligned my SSD boot drive after I restarted and it ran through the process. Seems to work just fine.

I'm interested in this Paragon Alignment Tool. Is this something you run before or after the installation of your image? I want to install a WinXP image based on an old HDD to a new SSD.

I noticed on this post on a different forum, this guy uses the PAT tool both before and after his installation.

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=94795
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