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Old 10-28-2011, 11:54 AM   #1
KingLou
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Default Cloning HDD to SSD.

So I just built a new gaming PC and decided to forgo using any type of SSD in favor of just a simple, single HDD setup.

Well, I've JUST put that PC together, installed everything, and it's running great. Then I see a good deal on Newegg for a 128gb Crucial M4 SSD. I bought it.

Now, my question is, can I clone my HDD onto my SSD....then just swap in my SSD as my boot/os drive? If so, what program should I use?

The worst part of this is I swear I already found the answer on this site by searching.....and now I can't find the thread again. Someone recommended a cloning program and I forgot what it was.

My case is a Rosewill Blackhawk with the SATA dock on top, which might simplify things a little....I dunno.

Thank you!
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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I say do a fresh install.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:10 PM   #3
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If the partition on the HD is aligned, then you can use something like acronis to clone it over. If you have a seagate or a WD HD, then they have a free cloning program available at their site.

You can also use clonezilla, or gparted or... (all free)

If it isn't aligned, then you need to align it for the best performance possible, or it will be really slow.

You can tell if it is aligned by using AS SSD, and seeing what it says for the HD. No need to run any tests, it will just say aligned or not.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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Alignment is your biggest concern when cloning. Acronis TI 2011 or later will allow you to correct the alignment. I have had the best luck by inserting the drive into my system and use Win 7 to setup and format the drive before copying the system to the new drive.If you formatted your current drive with Win 7 you should be ok.

If you don't have too much loaded on the system, new fresh install would be best.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:57 PM   #5
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Cloning with Acronis 2011, latest build (6696), will handle alignment. It takes about 8 to 10 minutes. I would try the cloning operation first, and if it works, ta-da! If it doesn't then do the fresh install. Why create extra work if you don't have to?
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:41 PM   #6
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Paragon Software\Migrate OS to SSD will align and clone like 20 bux
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:58 PM   #7
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Ok, I haven't really put much on the HDD....just kinda didn't want to go through it again with the SSD. But, if that is the preferable method, that is what I will do especially since it may go quicker.

Since the HDD already has Win 7 on it, and I will now be using it just as a storage drive, I'm assuming I should wipe/format the HDD after installing the SSD?

Thank you!
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:32 PM   #8
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Yes, once you have the OS on the new drive you can format the old one an d use it for data.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:21 PM   #9
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I've used this app http://www.paragon-software.com/tech...ate-OS-to-SSD/ to do just what you want, and it worked perfectly. Not free, and it's not likely you will use it often, but it does what it claims.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:56 AM   #10
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So I decided to avoid potential complications I'd just do a fresh install on the SSD without the old HDD in place.

Once everything was up and running, I installed the HDD, and am in the process of formatting it for a clean slate. Dunno if that was necessary since it was already formatted by the initial Win 7 install. I might have saved myself some time by just deleting all the info on the drive....but I dunno, hidden files, yadda yadda....probably safer to format. Regardless, it's taking an ungodly amount of time.

My question now is, since the SSD is going to be the boot drive, and primary program drive.....what's the "best" most efficient way to make the HDD my storage drive. For instance, all folders like "My Documents", "My Pictures", "Downloads" etc......I want to be on the HDD and have windows still be able to find them. Is this possible?

Thank you for all the help, as always!!
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:59 AM   #11
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I feel I should mention I saw a post where someone said you could just move the "users" folder over to the other drive.....and Win 7 is smart enough to know what's going on. I am skeptical but if it's that easy I'll be happy.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corkyg View Post
Cloning with Acronis 2011, latest build (6696), will handle alignment. It takes about 8 to 10 minutes. I would try the cloning operation first, and if it works, ta-da! If it doesn't then do the fresh install. Why create extra work if you don't have to?
I tried using acronis, allowing it to "fix" the alignment and I also tried a few aftermarket utilities to adjust alignment. Overall, a fresh install was MUCH better, by a large margin.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingLou View Post
I feel I should mention I saw a post where someone said you could just move the "users" folder over to the other drive.....and Win 7 is smart enough to know what's going on. I am skeptical but if it's that easy I'll be happy.
You can move your profile directory to the HD, that isn't a problem. (google for info)
Moving the profile from one install to another might be, I don't recall if it generates new IDs or anything, but it might, even on the same hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gillbot View Post
I tried using acronis, allowing it to "fix" the alignment and I also tried a few aftermarket utilities to adjust alignment. Overall, a fresh install was MUCH better, by a large margin.
That is only better if you don't care about reinstalling all your stuff.
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:42 PM   #14
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I have two desk tops.

Two years ago, I did a clean install when I installed my first 80 GB Intel G2 SSD. This past year, when I upgraded the 80 GB drive to a 120 GB Intel G2 SSD, I used EaseUS Disk Copy to clone it then EaseUS Partition Manager to expand the 80 GB cloned partion to the full 120 GB new drive. Even though I tried to find some indication of degraded performance I was unable to find any difference.

I have a second machine that used a HDD. When I freed up the 80 GB SSD, I decided to use it in the second machine. I again used EaseUD Disk Copy to clone the larger 250 GB HDD to the 80 GB SSD. Again no issues. I only had about 40 GB used so going to the smaller drive was not an issue.

IMO, a clean install is always the method of choice. However, when balancing the time and effort to rebuild from scratch, transfering data, etc., against the enormous time and effort saving ease of a clean install, just simply cloning to the new drive may indeed be the better decision. In fact, if the original drive is well managed, well maintained, and performs very well, I do not think you will be able to see a difference.
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elixer View Post
That is only better if you don't care about reinstalling all your stuff.
I can assure you, I did NOT want to reinstall everything. Based on past feedback, I decided to keep my HDD in tact and try everything I could before wiping the spinning HDD clean. THat way I could go back to the regular HDD if the performance wasn't up to par or the image to the SSD failed. I ended up going back, I assure you, the performance hit was VERY noticeable no matter what "alignment" trick I tried.

After such escapades, I tried a fresh install to see if it was just a bad SSD or something and it flat out FLEW with a fresh install. Overall though, I preferred the space over the speed so I went back to the regular HDD anyway and sold the SSD's.
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